African Burying Ground

I recently attended a gathering at Temple Israel, where African American and Jewish community leaders spoke, celebrating the fundraising project that will support the Portsmouth African Burying Ground. The Chestnut Street memorial park will honor the 200 unnamed African slaves buried on that site, whose remains were discovered in 2003. African American speakers included Rev.Continue reading “African Burying Ground”

Digital Public Library is Live!

A wondrous thing happened this past week in the Digital Public Library of America going live. This portal provides the public with free, open access to endless cultural and historical materials that have been digitized at countless institutions. A valuable support to all modern and traditional libraries, the DPLA brings “different viewpoints, experiences, and collectionsContinue reading “Digital Public Library is Live!”

The Dovekeepers

At my synagogue’s most recent sisterhood brunch, I ran into Renee, an old family friend whom I had not seen in more than 15 years. I greeted her with a smile and a hug, and we wandered together to the temple library, where she shared with me her insight into its significance and history. SuddenlyContinue reading “The Dovekeepers”

Hedy Lamarr’s on the Line!

Hedy Lamarr fled Nazi-occupied Austria and invented cell phone technology in the 1940s?? Sort of, yes! As with many amazing things I discover, I heard this story on PRX Remix and couldn’t stop thinking about it all night. The story in short: Thought to be the most beautiful woman in the world, acclaimed Hollywood actressContinue reading “Hedy Lamarr’s on the Line!”

Good Deeds Day 2013

Good Deeds Day is coming up everybody! What project are you planning to help somebody in your community? Since its inception in 2007, Good Deeds Day has grown to have 250,000 participants in Israel last year, and thousands more worldwide. Apparently MTV has been involved in marketing the cause, and several large sponsors help theContinue reading “Good Deeds Day 2013”

Remembering Artist Elliot Offner

I was delighted this week to learn about the life and work of Elliot Offner, a Jewish American sculptor who taught at Smith College while I attended there. Although I never had the pleasure of knowing him personally, I befriended the great blue heron he created– for the 18-year-old me there was no more peacefulContinue reading “Remembering Artist Elliot Offner”

HaSefer B’Sakit

Before my arrival, Al and Diane instituted “Sefer Basakeet” in conjunction with the K-2 classes in the temple Hebrew school– an awesome program that translates as “Book in a Bag.” This monthly activity brings the children into the library for a story read aloud and an activity sheet reinforcing comprehension of the story, through characterContinue reading “HaSefer B’Sakit”

Well there’s a new kid in town…

It’s me! This week I began work at the Nancy Mae Shaines Memorial Library at Temple Israel in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. I am learning the ropes from Al, Meryl, and Diane, congregation members who have been holding down the fort since the previous librarian retired about a year ago. I LOVE it here already. VeryContinue reading “Well there’s a new kid in town…”