Starting from an uncatalogued collection of donated books in the 1950’s, the Fritz and Edith Lehr Library has grown to become one of the finest and most respected in the state. We are part of the New Jersey Chapter of the Association of Jewish Libraries and are often asked to advise other synagogue libraries.
The Fritz and Edith Lehr Library includes more than 4,000 books, periodicals, and videos in our completely computerized catalog, as well as an extensive reference section of commentaries, dictionaries, Midrash, Talmud and classics.
Congregants can borrow from our collection free of charge, and we welcome you to use our scholarly material for research. Religious School classes explore the library on a rotating basis.
We are also proud of our special exhibits, which have included the 100 best books of modern Jewish literature, a memorial exhibit of I.B. Singer’s books, and a tribute to Philip Roth.
We have several sets of Haggadot representing different philosophies and points-of-view for our members to try at their own Seders. Contact the Library if you would like to borrow one of these sets for your Seder.
The library at Temple Emanu-El is named for Edith and Fritz Lehr. Fritz Lehr was a past president of the congregation. Also instrumental in the founding and progress of our library were nursery school director Liz Brodie who was our first part-time librarian beginning in the late 1960’s, and Rabbi Howard Seldon-Sommers who led our first effort to catalog the collection in 1977. We became computerized in the late 1990’s thanks to a bequest from a member.
Library tributes for all occasions help in the purchase of new materials. We have several ongoing and interest-earning funds including the Laura Leffler, Jack Rindner, Martin Shulman and Aline Lynn Siegel Funds that are directed towards specific Library needs. Please see the Tributes section of the website for more information.