The Prentis Memorial Library
Laura Williams, Curator
School Year Library Hours:
Monday - Friday
9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
9:00 AM – NOON
The Prentis Memorial Library was established in 1878 as the Temple Beth El Library by Rabbi Henry Zirndorf, the Temple's ninth Rabbi. It is the oldest Jewish congregational library in Michigan. The library was named the Anna S. and Meyer L. Prentis Memorial Library in the mid 1970s when the congregation moved to its present location.
The library is a cheerful gathering place and contains some 10,000 volumes of English language Judaica. The collection consists of Adult and Children's fiction and non-fiction which provide a major resource of information on a variety of Jewish subjects. The children's books are housed in a comfortable nook that includes a play-toy section. It is a cozy corner for story hours during religious school. There is also a selection of Jewish newspapers and periodicals including, The Detroit Jewish News, The Forward, The Jerusalem Report, Commentary, Moment and Babaganewz for children.
The Prentis Memorial Library contains a significant and beautiful asset in the Leonard N. Simons Collection of Rare Judaica, 900 volumes from the 17th through the 19th century. These were generously donated to enhance the scholarly resources of the library.
Descendent of First President Returns with her own story.
Jacob Silberman was the very first president of Beth El. Not only that, he returned again to serve as our third president as well! His big portrait can be found next to the sanctuary foyer alongside his wife. The Silberman family was there at the beginning of Temple’s history ...