The Jewish Public Library would not be what it is today without the many men and women who dedicate their time to volunteer at the JPL.
We are grateful for their contributions and like to introduce some of them below:
At first glance, Connie Abramovitch may seem like just any library volunteer. Yet every week for the past 14 years, I’m reminded that she is in fact truly extraordinary in the way that she dedicates her time to volunteering at the library. She never says no to anyone who needs her assistance. Her husband Syd who passed away suddenly a few years ago was equally praiseworthy.
Syd used to arrive a little later on Tuesdays. He picked up and delivered books to our frail and homebound members, many of whom would otherwise be isolated. But he brought so much more than our library to their doors; he personified the idea that we recognize, value and care for our members, no matter their age or physical condition.
Valentina Ionescu has been a gift to the JPL. She began working at the Library while completing her degree in library studies at McGill, and has been an incredibly hardworking and diligent asset to the JPL for the past year. During her weekly visits, she assists in shelving in the adult library, and is happy to help in our book sale, shifting collections and helping out in any way she can. Born in Moldova, Valentina speaks Romanian, Russian, English and French fluently and also understands Italian and French. She is a mom to four-year old Christina, and her calm, conscientious manner is greatly valued and appreciated.
MALCA SUSSMAN HUBNER
Born in 1935, Malca Sussman Hubner, has been a member of the Jewish Public Library since she was 5 years old. With fond memories of Sunday morning library visits to the JPL, she first began volunteering for the library in 1980. She joined the staff in 1981, working at circulation and in organizing Yiddish books and requesting Interlibrary Loans. She became a noted volunteer reading for the library’s “Yiddish talking books” project. After her retirement, she has continued to volunteer weekly for the JPL for the past twenty years, doing everything from administrative work to member phone calls and accounting assistance. She continues to be a smiling and hardworking volunteer who is passionate about the JPL.
The library encourages our volunteers to share their skills and passions with us. From the outset, Marlene made it clear she was unimpressed by our failure to provide the necessary care to our many library plants. She immediately began helping us to create a more appropriate environment for our green friends to thrive. Marlene is patiently teaching us the importance of proper watering, lighting and plant nutrition. We have a livelier and greener library as a result. With her guidance, the winter blues will be no match for our green space.
Marlene, with her trowel and green thumb has become an essential part of Wednesday morning at the library for the past year and a half. Aside from her horticultural duties, she is assigned a variety of other tasks on a regular basis and always completes them efficiently and competently.
Eiran Harris has been a devoted volunteer of the Jewish Public Library Archives for the past 27 years. Mr. Harris was responsible for collecting, preserving and providing access to many rare historical documents on Jewish history. His efforts have helped scholars, researchers and genealogists to consult sources that would otherwise have been incomplete. In addition to being a volunteer archivist, Eiran has been involved in recording the oral testimony of the Montreal Jewish community. For many, he has been a "guardian of history", a living encyclopedia for families, organizations and members of the Jewish community in Quebec. In 2008 he was awarded the designation of Archivist Emeritus and “Preserver of History” by the Officers, Board and Staff of the Jewish Public Library.
In 2017, Eiran was awarded a prize for outstanding volunteerism by the employment ministry of the Quebec Government. Shown here is Member of National Assembly, David Birnbaum, député de D'Arcy-McGee MNA, presenting Eiran with his award at a celebratory breakfast.