What the Library Does

The Jewish Community Library, a program of Jewish LearningWorks, offers resources for people of all backgrounds to engage with the riches of Jewish thought, history, and culture.  Located on the campus of the Jewish Community High School of the Bay in San Francisco, the Library‘s collection includes more than 39,000 books, periodicals, CDs, and DVDs spanning a huge range of topics and perspectives, as well as a collection of more than 900 eBooks and audiobooks that can instantly be downloaded. Library staff is available to offer guidance for research or title selection. The Library also operates small branches at Jewish community centers in San Francisco and Palo Alto, as well as “Pop-up Pushcarts” at events in the community. These remote branches are currently closed during the pandemic.

Several thousand people also come to the Library each year to take part in cultural events (events are currently taking place via Zoom). The Library hosts more than sixty public programs and events annually, featuring authors, scholars, performers, and musicians, and covering a broad range of subjects. The Library also hosts exhibitions throughout the year, often showcasing local Jewish artists. And the Library offers monthly genealogy clinics and film classes, as well as a drop-in book club. The Library’s programs for families include Hebrew storytelling programs, as well as musical and storytelling programs in English.

And hundreds of people throughout the Bay Area participate in the Library’s book discussion programs. The Book Club in a Box program allows book groups to borrow sets of twelve copies of more than 120 titles, including fiction, plays, memoirs, and non-fiction, written by authors from sixteen countries. One Bay One Book is a year-long conversation around a single book and its themes that engages readers in eight Bay Area counties. The selection this past year has been Anna Solomon’s novel The Book of V.