The Next Chapter of the Jewish Community Library

The Jewish Community Library began in 1960 as a small collection for Jewish educators in the offices of what was then the Bureau of Jewish Education, now known as Jewish LearningWorks. Over the past 62 years the library has exponentially grown to include a collection of almost 40,000 items, and a year round menu of book group opportunities and public programs including the beloved One Bay One Book initiative.

As the Library has grown, its reach has expanded. The Library now serves the general public, and nearly 5,000 patrons from across the Bay Area utilize the main branch, as well as the Library’s programs and services each year. You can learn more about the Library’s wide reach in 2021-2022 here.

Over the past five years, Jewish LearningWorks has sought to refine its focus, deepening our efforts to support Jewish educators. During this year’s strategic planning process, our Board reaffirmed our commitment to nurturing and training educators and Jewish professionals as our core priority. After six decades of incubation, this summer the Jewish Community Library will become independent of its original organizational home.

To solidify the foundation of the Jewish Community Library, and propel it into an independent future, we have undertaken a thoughtful process, working alongside the Library’s staff, and its fundraising arm, the Friends of the Jewish Community Library. Beginning this summer, the Library will have a new fiscal sponsor, the highly regarded San Francisco Study Center. Jewish LearningWorks will continue to provide financial support for the next several years, as it makes this transition. 

We are proud to have been a part of the Library’s development and excited by the opportunity for it to embark on the next phase of promoting Jewish literacy for all ages.

Rose Katz Musical Enrichment Fund

After 17 years of serving patrons and book clubs, beloved librarian Rose Katz retired from the Jewish Community Library in December 2021. In honor of her service and her love of music, a fund has been established by Jewish LearningWorks and the Friends of the Jewish Community Library to support the Library’s future music-related programs and acquisitions.

If you were touched by Rose’s dedication, knowledge and presence, we invite you to make a gift to the Rose Katz Musical Enrichment Fund.

We are honored to celebrate her and keep the music playing!

One Bay One Book pick ‘The Hidden Palace’ explores assimilation through fantasy

In 2013, Pleasanton author Helene Wecker published her first novel, “The Golem and the Jinni,” about an unlikely friendship between two magical creatures who meet in New York City in 1899. The book incorporates elements of fantasy, historical fiction, and Yiddish and Middle Eastern literature and won several awards.

It was also a hit with Bay Area Jewish readers, according to staff at the Jewish Community Library.

What became of Queen Vashti? One Bay One Book program tackles ‘The Book of V.’

Whither Vashti? One Bay One Book program tackles ‘The Book of V.’

The Jewish Community Library has chosen Anna Solomon’s new novel “The Book of V.” for its next One Bay One Book program, a popular, community-wide offering served up annually by S.F.-based Jewish LearningWorks. Published in May, Solomon’s third novel follows three women in different time periods whose lives offer interpretive windows into the Biblical stories …