After some parents approached Dr. Malka Ungar asking her to rejuvenate the dormant TDSP Book Fair, Dr. Ungar searched for a book company that would be sensitive to the unique needs of the TDSP community, and only provide books in keeping with Torah values.
Luckily, Dr. Ungar found a local vendor, the Phoenix Book Company, who emerged as a willing partner in this endeavor.
What made Phoenix Book Company, and its owner, Mr. Jade Korn, different from other bookfair companies, was that they welcomed the TDSP collaboration.
Dr. Ungar arranged for a group of mothers, including Mrs. Gittel Goetz, Mrs. Brachi Gewirtz, Mrs. Chana Yankelewitz, and TDSP Staff member (and mom!) Mrs. Esther Muroff to visit the book company’s downtown warehouse.
“We want to go down and talk to him and get a sense of the books he was selling,” said Dr. Ungar.
The mothers asked for a selection of books suitable for preschool through 8th grade. Mr. Korn allowed them to choose the books, and he also allowed them to go through the books before the book fair, to make sure they were appropriate. Some choices were rejected, but Mr. Korn made sure to replace them with other books.
With a curated selection chosen, Mr. Korn came to visit TDSP, where he was “fascinated that our kids read authentic Jewish texts in the original language,” said Dr. Ungar.
Dr. Ungar connected Mr. Korn with Menucha Publishing, and he purchased some books from them. Dr. Ungar hopes to introduce him to more Jewish publishers in the future.
The book fair took place this past week in the multi-purpose room. The room was beautifully set up with tables and bookshelves covered in brightly colored books, all handpicked by the mothers listed above, with their content vetted by Mrs. Muroff, Mrs. Rachel Tuch, and Dr. Ungar.
But that’s not all! In keeping with the times, TDSP art teacher Mrs. Naomi Weintraub used the book fair opportunity to mount a Chanukah art exhibit. Student-made artwork of colorful and inviting menorahs and candles decorated the walls and made the book fair fun and welcoming to the parents and students who came.
“The parents were excited and the kids were excited,” said Dr. Ungar. “It was great to have parents come in and have conversations about books and how to support their children with reading.”
TDSP thanks Dr. Ungar, Mr. Korn, and the volunteers for the bookfair, including the people listed in this article and Esther Malka Aufrichtig, Rivka Leah Gelb, Sheera Gotthelf, Malky Kosofsky, Hadassah Mandel, Nadine Tuch and Fraida Leah Zuckerman. Thank you all for your help in making the TDSP book fair a success!