In the summer a Birthright group arrived from Washington with hundreds of books for the library. How did it come about? Leah Alpert, who works at the library and participates in the Partnership's Melton program, visited the Washington community this year. While she was there she chatted with members of the community and mentioned that there is a shortage of new and good books in English at the library. Her request touched them and, through the community center and synagogues, the community organized a book collection. The books found their way to their new home, thanks to the efforts of a Birthright group. The Partnership wishes local book users enjoyable reading and welcomes such initiatives. The community center wrote a lovely letter to the Washington community:
"To the Jewish community of Washington DC,
We would like to offer our heartfelt thanks to you for the beautiful books which you collected and sent to us, to the Ramat Beit Shemesh Community Center library.
Our library opened seven years ago and it houses a selection of books in Hebrew and English for small (kindergarten age) children, children who know how to read, youth and adults. Thank God, aliyah from the United States, Canada and western Europe has grown over the years and, thanks to your help, we can now provide a solution of a wide range of recently published books in English for the many kindergarten children, school children and youth subscribers to our library.
Your goodwill and wonderful help have made us very happy. The Ramat Beit Shemesh community thanks you very much and we will be delighted to cooperate with you again in the future.
Thank you very much.
We await you in Israel (visitors and olim alike)"
Leah Alpert - library manager
Miri Shalem - community center director
All the residents of Beit Shemesh