Braun Library News

To access our Braun Library catalog on-line click here.

Do you want to see what’s in our library? Click on the link for the catalog on this page. Try the “Simple Search” option first. Or select “Advanced Search” from the drop-down menu. If you still need assistance, click on “Help.” Some of the catalog options are not enabled at this time. Additional catalog searching information is available in the library.

Thanks go to The Braun Family and Rabbi Rosenthal who made it possible to install ungraded hardware to link the library catalog to the internet through the synagogue web site. Jacqueline Luna, our library intern, cataloged and barcoded all of our books and DVD’s. Check-in and check-out are now automated, too. Marvin and Elaine Gale provided the initial funding for computerizing the library.

Our library is ready for another busy year. Preschool classes come to the library on Tuesdays for story time and experience books on Jewish holidays and values. Abraham Ratner Torah School students are frequent visitors on Sundays and Wednesdays, using our computers and books and working on assignments. The library also functions as a warm meeting place for synagogue classes and groups.

Braun Library News

What would it have been like to be a Hebrew child in Egypt at the time of the Exodus, an eyewitness to the Ten Plagues and the parting of the Sea?  The Longest Night: A Passover Story by Laurel Snyder and illustrated by Catia Chien is a brilliant re-imagination of the Passover story from the perspective of a small girl. The book is the winner of the prestigious 2014 Sydney Taylor Book Award for Younger Readers presented annually by the Association of Jewish Libraries .

More Sydney Taylor Award Honor  Books for Older Readers and Teens   

  • The Blessing Cup by Patricia Polacco. This prequel to Polacco’s The Keeping Quilt shares the journey of an heirloom teacup from a Russian shtetl to America. For Older Readers Ages 7-10.
  • The Nazi Hunters: How A Team of Spies and Survivors Captured the World’s Most Notorious Nazi by Neal Bascomb, a stunning account of the mission to capture Adolf Eichmann. For Teen and Adult Readers

 New Books for Adults

  • Lawrence in Arabia: War, Deceit, Imperial Folly and the Making of the Modern Middle East  by Scott Anderson. World War I, the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, and the lives and careers of T. E. Lawrence, the Zionist Aaron Aaronsohn, and others merge in this fascinating history.
  • Little Failure: A Memoir by Gary Shteyngart.  A humorous, self-deprecating memoir of the novelist’s Russian-Jewish immigrant family.

What’s Your Favorite Book of Jewish Interest?

Our Preschool Director, Anita Hill, has many “favorite” Jewish books. On the top of her children’s book list is Something from Nothing by Phoebe Gilman. A tailor recycles his grandson’s favorite blanket. Anita says, “The story is a great example of how important it is to repurpose and not just throw something away because it is old. New meaning and use can be found with a little imagination and a different perspective…”

Library Hours – When Torah School is in session

  • Sundays, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
  • Wednesdays 3:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
  • The Library’s Book Cart is present in the Social Hall after some Shabbat services.

For more information, email the library or call the synagogue office.

Thank you to our Friends

Our library is grateful to Elaine and Marvin Gale, whose contribution to our current fundraising effort will underwrite the cost of maintaining our software support system for the next two years. The Gales provided the original funding for our software package, allowing us to computerize the library. Their generous new gift insures that we will have the funds to continue providing internet and computerized access to our growing collection for our members, students, and staff. Thank you, Elaine and Marvin.

The library began a low-key fundraising campaign in November. So far, friends of our library have responded enthusiastically to our request with donations that will allow us to pay our library assistant and purchase additional materials to process our books, CDs, and DVDs. Thank you to the following donors:

Ralph Barnes
Susan and Richard Braun
Wendy Falcon
Charlotte Freifeld
Elaine and Marvin Gale
Rory and Mel Goldberg
Susan and Charles Hayman
Seth Krosner and Phil Johnson
Zita and Morris Liebermensch
Roberta and Jerry Litvinoff
Barbara and Mathew Loonin
Marcia and Robert Malkus
Arlene and Daniel Orlansky
Sallie Palash
Margaret Benedict and Randy Philipp
Alina and Ricardo Sanchez
Phyllis and Sam Spital
Edith and Dan Standler
Larry Vigdor


Five ways you can help our library grow

  1. Join the library committee.
  2. Contribute to the Library Fund. The library is entirely dependent on contributions to add new books and DVDs to the collection. We want to continue adding the best new literature for Jewish children as well as popular and worthy material for adults. A gift to the Library Fund is a heartfelt way to honor someone or express your sympathy. Library Fund donations are acknowledged in the Shofar, a book plate is placed in a new book noting your gift, and an appropriate letter is sent. To contribute to the Library Fund, contact the synagogue office or select the “Library Fund” from the online donation options.
  3. Celebrate a child or teen’s birthday with a Birthday Book Club purchase.
  4. Purchase a book or DVD from our Amazon Wish List.
  5. Let us know what you want in the library.


Contact us at or by leaving a message with the synagogue office at (619) 697-6001.

The Library Committee

Susan Braun, Chairperson
Susan Hayman, Librarian
Rachel Barron
Sarah Barron
Gabi Fisdel
Abe Goldberg
Bea Goldberg
Susan Haradon
Barbara Jacobs
Judy Shear

Our library’s mission is to provide Jewish books, DVDs, and CDs for the children, adults, and teachers of our congregation.

A Message from the Rabbi about Our Library

The handwritten and printed word has always been central to the odyssey of the Jewish people. Our primary religious document, the Torah, is still painstakingly copied and preserved as it has been for centuries using the rather primitive tools of bird quill and sheepskin. Torah scrolls are treasured in synagogues throughout the world in much the same form as they were at the time of the Talmud. Jews have always prized large personal libraries and one of the questions a Bet Din asks potential Jews by Choice is, “What Jewish books do you have in your home?”

Tifereth Israel has long been the home of the Braun Library, established by Dr. Richard and Sue Braun. For many years the library has been overlooked and underutilized. This summer a devoted group of volunteers has been working to renew and revitalize it. The Braun Library has been moved closer to the Cohen Social Hall, to room #1 in our school building, outdated books have been culled and new ones ordered. Additionally, acknowledging that learning modalities have changed, the Braun Library will also become a resource center with computers and an audio/visual center for our Silverman Preschool and Abraham Ratner Torah School students, as well as the congregation at large. We look forward to the reopening of the newly renovated Braun Library in the coming months.

Rabbi Leonard Rosenthal
The Shofar, November 2009