Named in honor of Temple benefactors Adolph and Clara Wurn and their family, The Temple is proud to house the largest synagogue library in the Southeast. Open to the entire Jewish community, the Wurn Family Library also serves as a resource for area churches, students and bible study groups
The Wurn Family Library is proudly staffed and operated completely by volunteers. It is run according to the guidelines of the American Library Association and the librarians are always grateful to those who want to help out and to those who donate. “Friends of the Library” help ensure the self-sufficiency of the library and conduct the ongoing “Hallway Book Sale” from books donated by the community.
A unique feature of the Wurn Family Library is its sizeable selection of fiction books. “Most synagogue libraries don’t include much fiction,” explains Assistant Librarian, Virginia Singer. “Our books are chosen based on Jewish content and/or authors.” Authors available at the Wurn Family Library include Daniel Silva, Jonathan Kellerman, Naomi Ragen, Orson Scott Card, as well as Israeli and classical authors such as Isaac Bashevis Singer and Amos Oz.
“Hilda’s Garden” – named in honor of Hilda Gelfman who served as Head Librarian for 22 years – features 4,000+ children’s books that range from classics to the latest releases. You will find everything from picture books about Shabbat to stories for the holidays, bedtime reading and for other educational purposes.
It is a point of pride too that no book is ever discarded. Rather, they are donated to various groups including the Bartram Trail Library, River Garden, Lake City Veterans, Brooks Rehabilitation and local county “Friends of the Library” organizations.They also contribute to a rabbi book exchange for those who are newly ordained, or who request books.
The library is open any time Congregation Ahavath Chesed is open and books are available even when staff is not present. Simply use the sign-out form at the front desk and abide by the honor system. Good reading!