Welcome to the Sidney Needelman Library. We invite you to visit our Solomon Schechter award-winning library in person.The Sidney Needelman Library is a valuable resource available to all members of the congregation. Along with a wide selection of research volumes, there is a collection of popular literature on Jewish themes, and even Jewish cookbooks. There is also a fine collection of Jewish books for children available for circulation.The library’s objectives are to:

  • Support, complement and enrich the adult and juvenile educational programs of Beth Hillel Synagogue.
  • Contribute to the development of Jewish social, intellectual and spiritual values.
  • Contribute to the knowledge and pride of Judaism with special attention to our Jewish-American heritage.
  • Stimulate growth in the appreciation of Judaism in both Hebrew and English literature.

Anyone member or non-member may borrow a book or two. The Needelman Library is open during office hours and evenings before and after minyan.

Support your library by donating to the Sidney Needelman Library Fund.

CONTACT  call the Office at (860) 242-5561

New book reviews
The Levy Family and Monticello, 1834-1923: Saving Thomas Jefferson’s House by Melvin I. UrofskyEach year more than a half-million people from around the world visit Monticello, but few realize that Thomas Jefferson’s house was also home to the family of U.S. Navy Captain Uriah P. Levy and his nephew Jefferson Monroe Levy, a United States Congressman. Even fewer realize that without the Levy family’s stewardship, there might not be a Monticello to visit. Although the Levys literally saved Monticello from ruin–not once, but twice–in the nineteenth century, and actually owned the property longer than Jefferson, the family’s vital contributions to preserving Thomas Jefferson’s home have been largely ignored or minimized. In a story filled with drama, irony, political wrangling, and legal battles, Professor Melvin I. Urofsky corrects the misconception that a “century of ruin and neglect” marked Monticello between Jefferson’s death and the creation of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, the private, nonprofit organization that today owns and operates Monticello. The story of the Levys and Monticello is a story of the blending of cultures and personalities, of Yankees and Virginians, of Jews and Christians, of city folk and rural people. It is the story of the power of a symbol, and how in America such symbols cut across lines of religion and class and ethnicity. And behind all of this is the towering presence of Thomas Jefferson.
click on this link to find out more about the Levy family and Monticello

Songbird by Walter Zacharius

Many within the publishing industry and some without will recognize the author, for he’s the near legendary founder of numerous houses and imprints including Kensington, Zebra and Arabesque-and at age 80, is publishing his first novel. But it’s what’s between the covers that counts, and Zacharius has written a romantic tale of a young Jewish woman’s struggle with the Nazis that will entrance many readers. The novel divides into three sections, following, respectively, the destruction of the life of privileged young Polish Jew Mia Levy as the Nazis invade Poland and, eventually, send her family to Treblinka, even as she takes refuge with the Resistance and escapes to America; Mia’s sojourn in Brooklyn, where she falls in love with a young musician, then is recruited by American military intelligence; and her return as a spy to Europe, where she joins a brothel catering to high-ranking Nazis and takes her revenge. The longest, strongest section is the first, distinguished by Zacharius’s meticulous recreation of Polish Jewish life under early Nazi occupation-scenes set within Jewish ghettos are harrowing and unforgettable. The American sequence offers welcome respite from the previous horrors. The final section occasionally slides into luridness, as Mia works as a dominatrix binding and whipping Nazis, but here and throughout, the narrative will sweep readers along with its large passions and clever plotting; also worthy is the author’s ability to narrate convincingly from the POV of a young woman. This is one of this year’s more unusual and captivating debut novels.
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