The Levi Yitzchak Family Center and Library, an integral part of the lives of thousands of people in the community, held its first community breakfast this past Sunday. The breakfast was chaired by Ben and Lynda Brafman, who have embraced the library since its inception. They were dynamic partners in the successful launch three and a half years ago, and they continue to be staunch supporters and advocates of the library.
Guests entered the building and were treated to a lavish breakfast catered by Qcumbers and they had the opportunity to walk around the library. Hundreds of pictures of visitors enjoying the library in one capacity or another were on display. The program began with a short video presentation. The video presented poignant thoughts from a diverse group of library patrons ranging in age from a four-year-old girl to a great-grandmother who survived the Holocaust.
The breakfast was attended by over 100 people, including many whose lives the library has touched and many who wanted to learn more about what the library has to offer. Lisa Hawk, the library executive director, shared with the guests an overview of the library’s history and programs, from “A Little Curious” for toddlers to author visits and guest speakers for adults. Also highlighted was the vast collection of books that the library has available to its members and guests. Whether you are looking for a picture book, a biography, a book on talking to your teens, a sefer, information about Israel for your next trip, a Holocaust memoir, or the latest kosher cookbook, you can find it among their current and growing collection of over 9,000 books. In addition, they are vocational partners with both Kulanu and Ohel’s Bais Ezra Division. Every week, students and residents are warmly welcomed both as volunteers and as library guests.
Hakaras hatov was expressed to Bracha Kramer, the program director, for her hard work and never-ending dedication. There is a limited amount of time for sleep, work, family, and one’s own interests. Therefore, an individual’s time is a very precious commodity. When someone dedicates themselves in support of a cause, they become invaluable. The library depends on its volunteers who have committed themselves to coming consistently every week. Three shining examples are Wendy Barone, Bukie Cohen, and Stacy Powers. There were also many couples who were on the breakfast committee. They have provided invaluable support to the library over the years.
Lisa then introduced Rabbi Zalman Wolowik, who spoke on behalf of his wife Chanie and himself. His heartfelt words about his son, Levi Yitzchak, a’h, were very moving. Rabbi Wolowik shared that while this great loss to his family is still felt, emunah gives them the ability to continue doing the great work that they do for our entire community. He also shared a brief d’var Torah about the value of having a Jewish library and the importance of giving our children the opportunity to read.
Mr. Brafman then delivered a powerful and passionate speech stressing to those in attendance that the library is a privately funded organization, worthy of community support. He explained that the difference between starting an organization and continuing it can be likened to having a child and then lovingly giving support for a lifetime. Mr. Brafman stated that the library was a great idea, and the support that was received to open was incredible, but as with a child, the continuance is loving but costly. Mr. Brafman then emphasized, “support is necessary, not only to honor the memory of their [Rabbi Zalman and Chanie Wolowik’s] son for as long as we can . . . but for this active, ongoing project that should continue in perpetuity.”
The breakfast committee included Avi and Danielle Aronovitz, Joey and Samantha Hain, Zev and Aviva Golombeck, Zevy and Evy Guttman, Barry and Atara Habib, Sholom and Pessy Jacobs, Ari and Ruthy Jungreis, Steve and Marjorie Kellner, David and Caroline Levy, Melly and Rochelle Lifshitz, Daniel and Leora Mishaan, Uri and Wendy Ottensoser, Evan and Lisa Pockriss, David and Orly Simai, Jeff and Nicole Spivak, and Avram and Elana Weissman.
It was wonderful to see so many familiar faces come out in support of the library, including Rabbi Teitelbaum, Rabbi Hain, Councilman Anthony Santino, and Nassau Legislator Howard Kopel. For dedication, volunteering, or donation opportunities, or to learn about upcoming events, call 516-374-2665, visit www.lylibrary.org, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
The Levi Yitzchak Library is located at 564 Central Avenue and is open Sundays 11:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m., Mondays closed to the public, open for class trips, Tuesdays 11:00 a.m.–7:00 p.m., Wednesdays 11:00 a.m.–5:30 p.m., Thursdays 11:00 a.m.–7:00 p.m. v