Tikvat Israel Congregation

A Friendly, Participatory, Egalitarian Conservative Synagogue in Rockville, MD

Grab a New Title in TI’s New Little Library

Jonathan Lantner built and
stocked the Little Library as his
bar mitzvah project. He intends to fill it with books for readers of all ages. (Photo by Amy Matathias)

There’s a new structure at the driveway entrance to our synagogue where congregants and community members can pick up some new reading. Jonathan Lantner, with assistance from his father Dan, installed and stocked a Little Library in front of Tikvat Israel in mid-October.

A Little Library, also known as a Little Free Library, is part of a neighborhood book exchange program that operates
nationally and globally. Anyone can borrow or add books to the public bookshelf at any time. Jonathan got the collection going with books for all ages on topics of Jewish culture and cuisine, as well as PJ Library books that he’d already read. Congregants may borrow books and drop off others on any topic.

Jonathan, an 8th grader at nearby Wood Middle School, has a particular user audience in mind for the Little Library. Given its location, he envisions Rockville High School students, neighbors and ECC families exploring the titles that show up and hopes they will contribute their own favorite works to create a real community feeling.

As Jonathan shared with the congregation in his d’var Torah when he became bar mitzvah in June, “One way to see things from a different angle is to read. Books can let you see the world from a new perspective.”

He added, “I am doing this because not enough kids like reading, so I am trying to show how great books are. I have also seen that not a lot of Little Libraries have middle grade books in them, so I will keep a supply of books for that age group in it.”

by Melissa Apter