CEH Library

Come visit our renovated CEH Library located on the second floor of the synagogue. Over the past three years, dedicated volunteers and staff have carefully curated our book collection to volumes that are relevant to our congregation. You’ll find an outstanding collection of children’s books, research volumes (including Talmud), cookbooks, and a modern fiction collection.

You can access all of our library holdings on the OPALS Database.

On Friday, November 15 we will celebrate the “re-opening” of our CEH Library with a special Shabbat service and oneg. All are welcome!

Each month of the 2019-2020 School Year, we will post a review of a book that is available in our CEH Library. If you would like to review a book or other media item, contact Laura Naide at school@etzhayim.net. All books will be available to purchase through CEH’s Amazon link (purchases will provide a small net benefit to CEH).

Our book review for August is “If All the Seas Were Ink,” by Ilana Kurstan. The book may be purchased HERE through our Amazon Smile link.

The review by Laura Naide may be read below and HERE.


Excerpted review from Goodreads.com:

At the age of 27, alone in Jerusalem in the wake of a painful divorce, Ilana Kurshan joined the world’s largest book club, learning daf yomi, Hebrew for “daily page” of the Talmud, a book of rabbinic teachings spanning about 600 years and the basis for all codes of Jewish law. A runner, a reader and a romantic, Kurshan adapted to its pace, attuned her ear to its poetry, and discovered her passions in its pages. By the time she completed the Talmud after seven and a half years, Kurshan was remarried with three young children.

Kurshan takes us on a deeply accessible and personal guided tour of the Talmud, shedding new light on its stories and offering insights into its arguments both for those already familiar with the text and for those who have never encountered it. For people of the book both Jewish and non-Jewish If All the Seas Were Ink is a celebration of learning through literature how to fall in love once again.


I recommend this book as an excellent description of one woman’s personal journey through Talmud and life. The author has a deep grasp of literature (both religious and secular) and weaves quotations and poems throughout the book. The brief excerpts from the Talmud will whet your appetite for more Jewish learning. At times, I found the author’s description of her personal circumstances to be repetitive but her joyful transition throughout the book is inspiring. I rate this book 3.5 stars out of 5.