Sunday, July 31, 2016

Recent Acquisition at Mizrahi Bookstore: The Albert and Tammy Latner Jewish Public Library of Toronto

Mizrahi Booksore is proud to announce it's recent acquisition of the Albert and Tammy Latner Jewish Public Library in Toronto, consisting of approximately 50,000 Jewish Books, Periodicals and Newspapers.

The Latner Library, founded by Ben Zion Hyman in the 1930s, began as an independent library located in the bookstore of Hyman, until 1941 when the public library was formally established and moved to a set of rooms in the College Street and Spadina Avenue area in the 1940s. It then moved to the intersection of Markham Street and Harbord Street and then Glen Park and Glenmount Avenues. In 1983, it settled in its final location in the Lipa Green Building at 4600 Bathurst Street.

The library closed in 2008, “due to a lack of resources and a decline in circulation of books being taken out”. The books were carefully stored for 8 years awaiting an institution or library to acquire them, but no such opportunity availed itself, unfortunately. Mizrahi Bookstore has now acquired the library, and we are in the process of finding good homes for each of the books in the collection.

The library consists of an excellent collection and very wide range of Jewish interests. All the classics you would expect are present, as well as endless fine scholarly works, and many unusual titles. Local publications and periodicals are a strong point as well, with full runs of many Journals and Newspapers rarely seen.

The books are now in NY at our storefront and have been shelved in our newly expanded upper level of the store, visitors are more than welcome to browse and enjoy. With the numerous closures of Jewish public libraries, and the changing habits of the book reader in the modern age, there has never been a more crucial time to build your personal collection. Gone are the days when you would travel hours on a train to a library and spend what felt like eternity roaming the stacks of books. In an era when we must steal time to hide from our devices and read a book, our books must be near and dear to us, thus the importance of a home library. All are welcome to visit our store and develop your interests among our 150,000 books now in stock.

Many thanks to Dara Solomon, Bill Gladstone, Mariana Botezatu, Peter Oliver, Barry Sullivan and the endless other people who assisted in the transport of the book, without whom this would have been impossible.

A glimpse at our upper level, housing the Latner Collection

A glimpse at our upper level, housing the Latner Collection

A glimpse at our upper level, housing the Latner Collection
A glimpse at our upper level, housing the Latner Collection

Article in Ami Magazine about Mizrahi Bookstore

For those of you who haven't seen it yet, there was an article recently in Ami Magazine about Mizrahi bookstore, which you can read below. Many thanks to Yossi Krausz for his excellent writing and to the photographer who managed to get some nice photos despite the organized chaos here.

On the scarcity of books in the Displaced Persons Camps in Germany חוסר הספרים במחנות הפליטים

I recently came across an interesting letter written by a David Friedman in a Displaced Person Camp run by UNRRA in 1946. Describing the dire situation in the camps and asking for assistance, Friedman also writes אנחנו סובלים פה חוסר ספרים. מקום דירתנו פה ב"ה טוב, מי יתן שיהיה כמו כן בארץ..
"we suffer here from the scarcity of books. Our apartment here is is thank g-d good, if only it shall be as such in the holy land.."

Mentioned in the letter are the Pupa Rebbe, and Rabbi Yaakov Yitzchak Neiman.

Hat-tip: J. Djmal

Aaron Stefansky, Jewish Philanthropist and Bookseller extraordinaire 1965-2016

Aaron was a son of Rabbi Eliezer Stenfansky. His father, Rav Leizer, is a mashgiach at Beth Medrash Govoah in Lakewood, NJ.

Aaron was a living legend in the world of Jewish Bookselling, and a fixture at the numerous Judaica auctions he attended. Aaron is credited in having a large part in the development and expansion of the rare book market and his knowledge and expertise were instrumental in the building of some of the finest collections of Judaica in the world today. Many of the fine libraries in existence today, were built under his guidance. Always willing to help, endless people have benefited from his generosity from both his knowledge and financially, and endless charitable causes were supported through his philanthropy.

Salo "Sal" Kluger August 21, 1946 - July 14, 2016 Jewish Bookseller and Yiddishist

SALO "SAL" KLUGER passed away on Thursday, July 14, 2016, at home. He was 69.
Born in a D. P. Camp in Weiden, Germany, the family later settled in Lynn, MA. Sal met his wife of 47 years, Myrna (Glazer) Kluger, as a fellow student at Northeastern University in Boston, MA. In recent years, Sal collected and dealt with items related to Yiddish Culture, American Jewish History, Jewish Music and related fields and was known and loved by all. His knowledge of Jewish Folk history was phenomenal, and he was always a pleasure to deal with. Endless artifacts from the Borscht Belt, the Lower East Side and long forgotten Jewish Communities were preserved by Sal through his endless efforts. With the passing of Sal, the Jewish Community has lost one of it's guardians of it's heritage, תנצב"ה.

An unusual Pair of Approbations in the book Helkenu Betoratecha by R. Zvi Hirsch Friedman

In חלקנו בתורתיך Helkenu Betoratecha, published in 1951, authored by R. Zvi Hirsch Friedman, we find published 2 approbations in the book that seem like a very odd pair. In the beginning of the book appears a letter from R. Yoel Teitelbaum, the Satmar Rebbe and at end of the book appears a letter from Abraham Joshua Heschel, one of the leading Jewish theologians and Jewish philosophers of the 20th century and a Conservative Rabbi. 

R. Zevi Hirsch Friedman learned by the Kidushat Yom Tov of Sighet (R. Hananiah Yom Tov Lipa of Sighet) and the Arugat ha-Bosem of Hust. He was the Av Bet Din of האטסעג, and later resided in Brooklyn