Celebrating Purim

image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. Book of Esther, Hebrew, c. 1700-1800 AD - Royal Ontario Museum - DSC09614.JPG •Uploaded by Daderot Created: November 20, 2011
image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. Book of Esther, Hebrew, c. 1700-1800 AD – Royal Ontario Museum – DSC09614.JPG  Uploaded by Daderot Created: November 20, 2011

A long time ago when the empire of Persia and Medea ruled the world, all citizens of the capital city of Shushan were called to a feast at the king’s palace. Though the leader of the Jewish community, a very wise man named Mordechai, advised against it, the Jews of Shushan felt they had no choice but to obey the king’s decree. This feast was the beginning of a series of events that would lead King Achashverosh (Ahasuerus or Xerxes in English), to stamp and seal a terrible decree on the suggestion of his wicked advisor, Haman (a direct descendent of the ancient Jewish enemy Amalek): all Jews in the kingdom were to be slaughtered on the fourteenth day of the upcoming Hebrew month of Adar. Men, women, and children would be destroyed, no survivors. The Jews of the kingdom gathered in prayer under the guidance of their leader Mordechai. They donned sackcloth and ashes in mourning. But the Jewish people had a secret weapon, one that had been put in place some time earlier: Mordechai’s niece, Esther, had been chosen out of all the beauties in the kingdom to marry King Achashverosh. Queen Esther lived modestly in the palace, keeping her Jewish identity and faith secret, but in this she had no choice but to act. When she heard of the decree, she fasted and prayed for three days. Then Queen Esther went before the king without being summoned. This was a selfless, extraordinarily brave act that would lead to her death unless Achashverosh stretched out his scepter in welcome. Miraculously, he did. Continue reading

International Students

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Sun Hee Choi, Assistant Director of International Student Services

When I first contacted Sun Hee Choi last year about giving a presentation to the International students about the library, she replied with great enthusiasm and welcomed the library’s reaching out to her. Since then we have kept in touch, and this February she again invited the library to be part of the orientation that her office provides for International students at the beginning of the semester. Continue reading

Researching African-American History

Harlem Renaissance artist Archibald J. Motley Jr.'s Black Belt, 1934
Black Belt, 1934 by Harlem Renaissance artist Archibald J. Motley Jr.

February is Black History Month, making it an excellent time to highlight some of the many resources in our collection related to African-American history, including some lesser known items like subject dictionaries and online videos.  Continue reading

On The Up & Up: Happy Lunar New Year!

2178-1265426617lu3kThe Lunar New Year, or “Chinese New Year” falls this year on Saturday January 28th. Traditionally, this holiday marks the beginning of spring and is celebrated throughout the course of a week (or longer), this year from 1/27 to 2/3, 2017 is the year of the rooster. Those born under the rooster are considered “are hardworking, resourceful, courageous, and talented.” During the holiday families clean their homes and gather for festive meals and revelry. Learn more about Spring Festival traditions in Celebrating the Lunar New Year.

What did the President say?

Presidents
Presidents Bush, Obama, GW Bush, Clinton, and Carter

With today’s Presidential Inauguration, I have been giving some thought to the speech every president gives on the historic day. Today, with the ability to live broadcast on TV and now also the internet, one is able to hear firsthand what a president says in real time. That is true. But what if you cannot catch the speech live? I strongly encourage you to go to the primary source and read a full transcript of the speech, rather than relying only on commentary online and in the news. Continue reading

Student Post: I am a New Yorker

(CC0 image via Pexels)
NYC skyline (CC0 image via Pexels)

This post was contributed by: Mao Mitsuya, student of the Touro Graduate School of Business.

My biggest dream was to live in New York City. I kept dreaming it every single day and telling everyone for 7 years. I finally made it come true last September, and I’m living my dream now. Continue reading

Remembering Martin Luther King

Martin Luther King, Jr. Montgomery arrest, 1958 (CC0 image via Wikimedia)
Martin Luther King, Jr. Montgomery arrest, 1958 (CC0 image via Wikimedia)

As we approach this long weekend, take some time to look back on the life and achievements of its honoree, Martin Luther King Jr. Librarian Annette Carr contributed this history of MLK Day and resources from our collection available to learn more. 

Martin Luther King Day occurs each year on the 3rd Monday of January. This federal holiday was established in order to commemorate Martin Luther King’s birthday (which was January 15, 1929) for his vision of an America where equality and freedom is extended to all citizens.
Continue reading

Student Post: Visiting the Amish in Lancanster, PA

This post was contributed by: Karlene M. Williams, MHRM candidate 2017, Touro Graduate School of Business, originally from Grenada.

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Karlene Williams (photo credit Shawn Davis)

For the past three years, I have enjoyed visiting the Amish in Lancaster County Pennsylvania, which occurs on the second Saturday in November. I first participated in this trip in November 2006 with some family and friends, and it has become my favorite pre-Thanksgiving activity since I moved to the United States in 2013. You may ask yourself, why a trip to the Amish? For me it’s about getting away from the hustle and bustle of New York City for an entire day and appreciating the way of life of a religious group that has preserved its identity in the midst of technology and a fast-paced world. Continue reading

The Gift of Animal Helpers

Elvis (photo by Annette Carr)
Meet Elvis (photo by Annette Carr)

I don’t need an alarm clock. I have Elvis for that. No, not the King of Rock ’n’ Roll. Elvis is a black cat who I adopted several years ago at an animal shelter where I volunteer. Elvis has taken over my home, my heart, and my pillow. He acts like a supervisor and treats me like his staff. In the early hours of the morning, I am slapped from my dreams by a soft paw demanding attention, food, or just because he finds it amusing. Continue reading