the congregation of moses
Welcome! The Herman and Rose Fisher Library
is now open to the entire Southwest Michigan area.

Come in and browse among thousands of books, DVDs, CDs and periodicals encompassing Jewish fiction and non-fiction (Bible, history, law, lifecycle, Hebrew, holidays, Israel) for children, teens, and adults.

Kol Hasifriah, "Voice of the Library"

By Rachel Haus
November 1, 2016

Many of us know that the Pilgrims based their first feast of Thanksgiving on our own holiday of Sukkot, with its theme of gratitude for the bounty of our lives, and the recognition that our good fortune is a gift as tenuous and open to the elements as the walls of a sukkah.

We have many books in the library that speak to our yearning to express our gratitude. One of my favorites is Talking to God by Naomi Levy. Her father was killed when she was a teenager and over the years as she became a rabbi, married, and had children, Rabbi Levy learned to be thankful for the smallest moments of joy. Her original prayers-micro conversations with God, really-are accessible to the least theological of us, and can help us through those times in our lives both broken and whole.

My other favorite is the classic Molly's Pilgrim by Barbara Cohen. Molly and her parents are Jewish immigrants from 19th century Russia. Her teacher assigns her class to construct pilgrim dolls for Thanksgiving, and Molly's mother creates one that looks like herself, because, she explains, she must be a pilgrim since she escaped persecution, war, and fear for the freedom of America.

The story of Molly's Pilgrim has never been more prescient. The pilgrims were immigrants, compelled to leave their homes and face deprivation and the unknown for the hope of life and freedom. Our Jewish ancestors faced the same choice and now, desperate refugees from the Middle East and Africa are in this country as modern day pilgrims. Just as Molly counted on her classmates to accept her mother as the model for her pilgrim doll, so we must learn to recognize that a pilgrim can have many faces.

Library News

Circulation

There has been some confusion regarding checking items out on Shabbat and holidays vs. an unstaffed weekday.
This is what you do:

  • Shabbat and holiday checkout: Use the card system (with instructions) found on the front round table.
  • Unstaffed weekday: Write your name, title of item, and checkout date on the form found on my desk.

Membership

Our library is about to become more of a community library than it has ever been! Our membership policy is the following:

  • All those affiliated with CoM, TBI, TBE, or KCJS may have full use of the Library without restriction.
  • Those unaffiliated with a synagogue or KCJS must pay a nominal annual fee for checkout privileges.
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