The CJE (Center for Jewish Education) Library was established in 1977 as an outgrowth of the Aaron H. Leibtag Resource Center at the Board of Jewish Education, an agency of the Associated Jewish Federation of Baltimore. The Resource Center was originally dedicated to providing curricula and materials for congregational schools and principals, and grew to support early childhood educators. When the Louise D. and Morton J. Macks Center for Jewish Education moved to its current location in 2003, the space was designed with the library and resource center as the centerpiece, adding materials relevant to day schools and general community members. The library received accreditation with AJL as a community library in 2019, prompting the creation of a library mission statement and collection development policy, which reinforce the idea that the CJE Library serves the entire community.
To date, the CJE Library has close to 20,000 resources. These resources include materials for: educators, adults, families, children and other Jewish communal professionals in the categories: fiction, nonfiction, Hebrew language books, educational resources, maps, posters, films, primary sources and Judaica.
The CJE Library continues to thrive by providing personalized consultation with expert librarians. In addition, CJE Library provides quality adult programming such as author talks and the support of local book clubs. Children’s programming includes a summer reading initiative and a community library program to support schools. The library’s reach extends to the entire spectrum of educators and community members and serves over 5,500 patrons.
Judith Pachino speaks at recent Book Talk presentation.
The Macks Center for Jewish Education’s Library and Resource Center seeks to connect people in the community to Jewish resources that support them in their Jewish educational journys. The Library and Resource Center maintains a diverse collection catering to children and adults, including educators. The collection of this lending library includes: books, multimedia, Judaica, posters and curricular materials.
Local Author Series
On the second Tuesday of the month, CJE brings in Baltimore’s finest local Jewish authors to learn more about the books they wrote and the stories behind them. Books being presented and discussed by the authors will be available for check-out in the library.
Jessica Fink, firstname.lastname@example.org
Resource Collections are a way to share curated resource lists with patrons. The collections are thematically related and include physical books, ebooks, web pages, images, documents, and lesson plans.
Programming for Children
Shy or reluctant readers are welcome to join us in the CJE Library to read to Karma Dogs from H.E.A.R.T.S. Help Encourage All Readers to Success. Karma dogs are friendly, nonjudgmental and good listeners. First Tuesday evening of the month.
Rachel Turniansky, email@example.com
Tzipur Sipur: Traveling School Librarian
A Community Librarian visits schools that do not have a library or librarian on staff. The librarian brings stories, research materials, and books for the children to check-out. The program is designed to help students access appropriate books (level and content), as well as, help reinforce a community of readers.
Sonia Kozlovsky, firstname.lastname@example.org
Offering teachers resources and curriculum on different topics. Topics are constantly evolving and can be created in partnership. Some of our previous session topics were based on these subjects: Understanding Grief; Immigration to Israel; Incorporating Parsha into the general curriculum; Teaching Students to Be Upstanders; Holocaust Curriculum and resources.
Our library catalog is open 24 hours and at any time you can log in and request a book to be held for you. Once the book is pulled from the shelf, you will be notified that it is ready for pickup. The turnaround will be within seven days of each request. When you come to pick up your book(s), you can call the CJE front desk at (410) 735-5000 to set up a time for pickup and/or drop-off. The days and hours that we will be scheduling and offering curbside checkout are Monday and Wednesday 11-4 and Friday from 11-2. Check out our catalog here. If you don’t have a username and password or aren’t sure what your username and password are, please email our librarian, Jessica Fink, and she can help set you up.
Library Book Bundle
Are you looking for children’s books, but don’t know where to start? Let the librarians surprise your child and you with a wonderful selection of books. Each bundle will consist of three books based on your child’s school’s summer reading list and age. You may request bundles by clicking here.
Our library catalog is open 24 hours and at any time you can log in and request a book to be held for you. Once the book is pulled from the shelf, you will be notified that it is ready for pickup. The turnaround will be within seven days of each request. When you come to pick up your book(s), you can call the CJE front desk at (410) 735-5000 to set up a time for pickup and/or drop-off. The days and hours that we will be scheduling and offering curbside checkout are Monday and Wednesday 11-4 and Friday from 11-2. Check out our catalog here.
Highlights of Our Collection
Founded as a library for congregational school educators, CJE grew to serve early childhood educators, day school educators, educational leadership (such as principals), and informal educators who work in our sister agencies. To date, the CJE Library has more than 12,500 educational resources. These resources include: lesson plans, curricula, picture books, non-fiction books, maps, posters, films, primary sources and Judaica. The CJE Library continues to thrive by providing personalized consultation with expert librarians, professional development and support to schools.
The CJE Library Grief Collection was founded in 2019 in partnership with Sol Levinson Funeral Home. The children’s portion of the collection is housed in the CJE Library. The adult collection is housed in The Marjorie Levinson Bereavement Library at the Sol Levinson Funeral Home.
We are grateful for the support that allows us to reach out to families, educators, practitioners and others who are in need of these resources.
To date, the collection comprises 300 volumes and is reviewed regularly by JCS (Jewish Community Services) professionals.
As a specialty collection that serves the needs of the Jewish community, we house a unique Hebrew language collection. It includes adult fiction and children’s picture books, which are used and appreciated by our Israeli community and Hebrew language learners. The collection also includes Hebrew curricular materials that support the teaching of Hebrew for adults and children. The library itself is full of Hebrew signage and resources which reinforce the message of Hebrew language as integral to the foundational identity of Jewish community members in Baltimore. We strive to serve as a resource that enables access to this critical component of our heritage. To date, the Hebrew language collection includes nearly 2,000 volumes.
The CJE Library continues to serve our specialized patrons by providing personalized consultation with expert librarians, circulating books to Hebrew language book clubs, supporting Hebrew language instruction for ulpan programs and classrooms, and onsite events such as alef bet yoga.
Plans for Our Future
The library is about to begin the process of being redesigned and expanded. The location of the new library has not been announced yet. The library will continue to maintain a diverse collection catering to children and adults, including educators and other professionals. New programming and initiatives will be created to support early childhood programs, day and congregational schools’ curricula as well as create a community hub for engagement and learning.
Our Partnership with AJL
The library has and will continue to work closely with AJL during the transition. Remaining accredited from the AJL is very important to the library. The benefits and connections through AJL have been instrumental in the past and still now as we are looking to the future!
After spending half of her childhood in sunny San Diego and the other half in equally-sunny South Florida, Jessica began her career as an educator at the University of Florida, where she received her degree in Elementary Education (and became a devoted Gator fan). She continued her education at the University of Pennsylvania, earning a Master’s in Elementary Education. She taught pre-kindergarten in Philadelphia until she moved to New York City to complete a Master’s in Library Science at The Pratt Institute, while also teaching at the Abraham Joshua Heschel School. Her tour of the northeast finally ended in Baltimore in 2012, where Jessica began teaching at the Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community Day School and led programming at the local libraries for the JCC Parent, Infant and Toddler Program. She was previously a Community Connector for the CJE and has been happily serving the community as the CJE librarian for the past few years. Jessica resides in Pikesville with her husband, daughter, and son.
A native Baltimorian, Sonia graduated from UMBC and the Baltimore Hebrew College with degrees in both History and Jewish History. She began her professional career as a librarian at the Baltimore Hebrew College, and subsequently wrote a chapter about its history in the book, Jewish American Voluntary Organizations, edited by Michael N. Dubkowski. For the past 37 years, she has been the librarian at Krieger Schechter Day School. In addition, she is the Community Librarian for the Center for Jewish Education in Baltimore. Sonia enjoys reading, gardening, hiking, cooking and spending time with her family.