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Leaving to love the shul library
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Leaving to love the shul library

Students in Sarah Bercovicz’s fifth-grade class participate in Library Snapshot Day at Torat El, with Peggy Gaber-Casey explaining the Jewish Library Word Search puzzles she created for the event.
Students in Sarah Bercovicz’s fifth-grade class participate in Library Snapshot Day at Torat El, with Peggy Gaber-Casey explaining the Jewish Library Word Search puzzles she created for the event.

Congregation Torat El in Ocean Township marked Jewish Book Month in November with a host of literary activities at Library Snapshot Day.

Every class in the synagogue’s Jacob S. Friedman School of Jewish Studies spent some time in the Kurt Gruenwald Memorial Library. About 100 children — including 20 teens from the high school program — and 35 adults — parents of the students — took part.

Guest storytellers read to the kindergarten, first-grade, and fourth-grade classes, and others came in to take photos and work on Jewish Library Word Search puzzles. Everyone received “I Visited My Library Today!” bookmarks, stickers, and library “tattoos.”

Participants also collected gloves, hats, and scarves for the Mitten Menorah in the lobby — donations that will be brought to the Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Greater Monmouth County in Asbury Park for distribution to those in need.

Among the ways young Library Snapshot Day participants completed the sentence “I like my library because…” were: “it gives me more opportunities to find answers,” “it’s cool,” “it’s fun to read,” “there are a lot of cool and unique informational books,” “the librarian is AWESOME,” “I get to learn about my Jewish religion,” “it is welcoming and allows time for peace and reflection.”

Library Snapshot Day was sponsored by the Association of Jewish Libraries to capture the diversity of services in Jewish libraries and underscore their importance in Jewish life. Across North America, 30 libraries in synagogues, day schools, community centers, and universities chose one day to hold the event, collectively serving some 3,550 people.

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