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JWI’s Library Project Takes Off

I have lost all sense of home, having moved about so much. It means to me nowonly that place where the books are kept.

John Steinbeck

When a woman leaves an abusive relationship and runs to a shelter for safety, she often leaves with just the clothes she's wearing and her children in tow. There is generally little time to pack personal items, such as her children's favorite books. Yet books can provide a world of comfort and reassurance during a traumatic time.

That's why Jewish Women International's Library Project was born: to respond to an un-met need among abused women and their children. The goal is to establish the librariesof books as well as other appropriate items, such as videos, puzzles and gamesat faith-based and secular shelters and safe houses around the country.

JWI libraries are already in the works for Baltimore, Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, Richmond, St. Louis and South Florida, with interest coming from additional locales in Maryland and other communities.

Women are gathering for Library Project parlor meetings and programs, and the business community has shown interest in making JWI libraries a part of their charitable giving. Children's-book publishers have already started sending books to JWI to help turn this dream into a reality.

Sherry Salzman, National Library Project chair, is reaching out to the entire JWI community to spread the word about the project. She has drawn in women who are already involved with JWI, as well as those who are new to our work.

"The Library Project offers excellent potential for JWI visibility and volunteer involvement," says Salzman, "either as an individual, or as part of a JWI chapter, council or network."

To learn how you can become involved in creating a JWI Library Project in your community, contact Resa Levy at or Stephanie Schneider at or call them at 800-343-2823.