From Passion to Action

Giving a little but getting a lot is an understatement for the Maurer Jewish Community Library volunteers.

During any given shift, volunteers restock books, find books based on requests from all over the Jewish community
and Indianapolis, check books in and out, research books to be added to the collection, and catalogue donations. Many requests the library gets are from teachers at the Jewish Community Early Childhood Center and local schools. The library contains Holocaust information books, children’s books, fiction and non-fiction books, and books
on Holidays – all with a Jewish connection.

Hear from three library volunteers and the impact they make for the Indianapolis Community.

For the past 1 ½ years, Rhonda Berns has volunteered at the library because she loves giving back to the Jewish

“I fell in love with the library,” she said. “It brings me joy. I get more out of it than I put into it. I am a caregiver at heart and I feel like I am making a difference.”

Andrea Pactor has also been a library volunteer for 1 ½ years because she likes books and likes to read.

“It’s a busy job but it’s so much fun,” Pactor said. “I have been around books my entire life. It’s one of the greatest benefits we get from our taxes and one of the smallest institutions we have in a community. Libraries welcome everyone and it is important to me that I can strengthen that.”

One of the volunteer newbies, Dodie Stein, has been volunteering for 6 months. She also donates books to the library.

“It’s a great library with some really cool stuff in there and I love books,” she said. “It’s great for people who are new to Judaism or just want to learn more.”


Did you know that there is a library on the Max & Mae Simon Jewish Community Campus that has an extensive collection of Jewish books? It is part of the Indianapolis Public Library Shared System and books from the library are sent to libraries all over the community. They also have a Jewish ritual objects lending library, too! The library is located in the Center for Jewish Engagement and Learning (CJEL), in the former BJE. It is open from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. most Tuesdays and Thursdays. Visit for more information. Contact Library Coordinator Andrea Burnett at if you are interested in becoming a library volunteer.


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