Library

The Helen Blau Memorial Library

The Library is open Friday evenings before and after Shabbat services, and, when Religious School is in session, Wednesdays from 3pm - 6pm and Sundays from 9am – noon.. At other times, the main office staff will be happy to open the library for you.

The Helen Blau Memorial Library is a source of pride at Central Synagogue. This beautiful room, located in the Upper Rotunda, houses an outstanding collection of Jewish books, films, music and magazines. We continually update our collection with the newest in Jewish fiction and non-fiction, children's books and reference works.

actual library photo book stack

In the early 1950’s, Rabbi Gittlesohn asked Lenore Sandel, of blessed memory, to work on Central’s library. The Library Committee came into being soon afterward to classify the books and maintain the library’s collection. Maurice Blau and his family honored his wife Helen with a donation and the library was named in her memory.   Later donations, noted on a plaque in the library, insured the general maintenance of the library and made possible new acquisitions and subscriptions. Contributions  to the Library Fund are appreciated and will be mentioned in the temple bulletin. If you wish to commemorate a special occasion, a bookplate can be appropriately inscribed.   Our Library Committee continues to work together on the library's upkeep and welcomes new members.

We have a flexible lending policy and will do whatever we can to facilitate your visit to our library. Books may be returned to the library or to the main office. We strive to provide you with items of interest, so please contact us with your suggestions, requests or questions at librarian@centralsy.org 516-766-4300 ext. 317. Our temple librarian is Sara Reed.


The Library Committee sponsors an annual book talk as part of our "Central Reads" program, encouraging congregants to read the same book and come together for an enlightening discussion. Recent titles include A Pigeon and a Boy by Meir Shalev, The Book of Names by Jill Gregory and Karen Tintori, The Bread Givers by Anzia Yezierska, My Father's Paradise - A Son's Search for His Father's Past by Ariel Sabar and The People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks. In 2013, in conjunction with the Caring Community Committee, we featured our own Drs. Jane and Sam Brody in an informative and enjoyable presentation of their new book, The Voice of Experience: Stories About Health Care and the Elderly. On Mitzvah Day 2014, the Library Committee held a very successful book drive to benefit the children of Bethany House.

actual library photo childrens table