benjamin-libraryBenjamin loved books. When he died in 1990 at the age of four, his family chose to perpetuate his memory in a child-friendly way. With the help of family, friends and local volunteers, they established The Benjamin Children’s Library in Beit Shemesh, Israel.
The Benjamin Children’s Library, centrally located in the Meyerhoff Community Center, currently serves thousands of children from all segments of the local population, their parents and teachers. Library users are veteran Israelis, as well as new immigrants from Russia, Ethiopia and English-speaking countries.
The Benjamin Children’s Library is a community gathering place run by and for the community by a small professional staff and an army of dedicated volunteers. It is a stimulating, safe activity center which is close to home, where children can do homework, play, use computers, draw, use puppets and scarves, and listen to music. And, of course, read.
The library offers a range of resources to members and walk-in visitors, including collections of Hebrew, English and Russian books, computers, cassette and videotapes, a toddler corner and a homework/reference room. The library sponsors informal book-based programming such as story hours, puppet-theater, summer reading programs, workshops in paper and bookmaking, and a storybook carnival.
A large percentage of the library’s most regular visitors come from disadvantaged homes and use the library as an afternoon center. At the library they receive homework help, subsidized memberships, a wonderful selection of books and activities, as well as warmth and support.