Thursday, May 15, 2014

Recent Acquisition: The library of Rabbi Dr. Stanley Greenstein

Rabbi Dr. Stanley Greenstein with his wife, Judy

Rabbi Dr. Stanley Greenstein, studied at the Jewish Theological Seminary and received Rabbinic ordination at Leo Baeck College in London. Rabbi Greenstein served many congregations in the World during his long career, including in Shreveport, Louisiana; Salt Lake City and at the Laurelton Jewish Center. Rabbi Greenstein was also Professor of Theology and Religious Studies at St. John's University. Born in to a family of Rabbis, his father, a graduate of the 1930 JTS class, Rabbi Manuel Greenstein, was Rabbi for many years in West Palm Beach, FL as well as serving congregations in Steubenville, Ohio; Battle Creak, Michigan and Gloversville, NY. His grandfather, Rabbi Samuel Greenstein was Rabbi in Warren, Ohio. Rabbi Greenstein passed away in March of this year, he was 79.

There are two types of people in the world, those who love and read books and those who do not understand them. Rabbi Greenstein could have made a perfect poster boy for the former, a true booklover. His home, seemed to have been a home for his books first and family second. Every available space contained a neat bookshelf with books. His wife related how they stopped counting their books when they surpassed 10,000 volumes.

Every book was used. There was scarcely a book in the house that did not hold several bookmarks. Nearly every Scholarly Jewish Book published in the last 100 years reached his collection, with a special focus on Jewish History, from the very ancient to the Holocaust and Israel. A product of the early JTS, his library reflected his extensive study of all Rabbinic texts, with a library that would not feel lost in a Hasidic Yeshiva in Williamsburg. Of note, was the timelessness of the books purchased, with books from the early 1900s as well as many books published in the last decade. May his books serve as his memory.

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