Shavuot, the Festival of Weeks

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Young women celebrating Shavuot in Israel, 1965 (CC image via Wikimedia)

this post was originally published May 30, 2017. It has been edited and updated.

Shavuot, or the Festival of Weeks marks 7 weeks since the conclusion of the Jewish Exodus from Egypt, when the Torah and the Ten Commandments were received at Mount Sinai. There are a number of customs associated with the celebration of Shavuot, which can be enumerated using the mneumonic of the Hebrew word acharit (אחרית‎, “last”). These include the reading of a liturgical poem and from the Book of Ruth, the consumption of dairy foods (like cheesecake, blintzes, and kreplach), the decoration of homes with flowers or greenery, and all-night Torah study. Read more about the meaning of Shavuot and its traditions.

This year, Shavuot begins at sunset on Sunday, May 16 and ends at sundown on Tuesday, May 18. Touro Libraries will be closed Monday, May 17 and Tuesday, May 18, and will resume their normal schedule on Wednesday, May 19.

Chag Shavuot Sameach! Happy Shavuot!

Celebrating the Lunar New Year

This post was originally published on February 8, 2016 and has been updated

Chinese New Year celebrations in San Francisco (photo by Daniel Dionne)

Our enthusiasm for opportunities to start fresh has frequently made its way onto the blog, from the Jewish New Year (Rosh Hashanah), to the civil New Year, to the start of a new semester.

This week marks another calendrical reset: the Lunar New Year. Commonly known as the Chinese New Year for its largest group of celebrants, it’s the start of a calendar determined in part by the phases of the moon, rather than the Earth’s revolutions around the sun. Because of this, the civil date of the holiday varies from late January to mid-February.

According to former Touro Library Cataloger, Liping Wang, observations of the holiday often include cleaning the home, families gathering for a home-cooked meal on New Year’s Eve, fireworks, and “luck money” given from the older generations to the younger in red envelopes. In New York, you can normally participate in parades and other celebrations held in Chinatown, in Manhattan, and in Flushing, Queens. NYC public schools recognize the Lunar New Year as an official holiday, meaning no school for students. Alas, Touro classes are all still in session, but we wish you all a happy Lunar New Year!

You’re invited…to our spring webinars!

The Touro College Libraries are excited to share the schedule of webinars our staff are offering this spring. From Pubmed to peer review, these sessions will offer Touro faculty and graduate students the opportunity to learn new tools and expand their skills. We hope you can join us!

Please click on the title of a webinar for more information and to register via Zoom. Note: times listed are in EST.

Advanced Pubmed: Taking Your Search to the Next Level (NYMC)
Friday, January 29, 2021 – 1:00pm – 2:00pm

Accessing & Navigating Library Resources Remotely (TC)
Thursday, February 18, 2021 – 1:00pm – 2:00pm

Depositing Your Work in Touro Scholar (TC)
Thursday, March 4, 2021 – 1:00pm – 2:00pm

Conducting a Systematic Review (NYMC)
Tuesday, March 9, 2021 – 12:00pm – 1:00pm

Creating a Research Web Presence: Tools for Research Profiles and Websites (TC)
Thursday, April 22, 2021 – 1:00pm – 2:00pm

Peer Review and Open Peer Review (TC)
Thursday, May 13, 2021 – 1:00pm – 2:00pm

Unpaywall your published article via Touro Scholar (TC)
Thursday, May 27, 2021 – 1:00pm – 2:00pm

Introduction to Grant Searching for Biomedical, Life Sciences and Public Health Research (NYMC)
Thursday, June 3, 2021 – 4:00pm – 5:00pm

These webinars will be recorded and shared on our Recorded Webinars LibGuide, where you can also find past webinars. If you have any questions about these webinars or topics to recommend, please email sara.tabaei@touro.edu.

What is Schizophrenia?

This blog post contains discussions of schizophrenia. This post is for informational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. For questions related to advice, diagnosis, or treatment please contact a licensed medical provider.

Growing up around someone with schizophrenia gave me a front row seat to the disorder and the toll it can take on an individual and their loved ones.

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines schizophrenia as “a mental illness that is characterized by disturbances in thought (such as delusions), perception (such as hallucinations), and behavior (such as disorganized speech or catatonic behavior), by a loss of emotional responsiveness and extreme apathy, and by noticeable deterioration in the level of functioning in everyday life.”

sketch of woman in profile
Image by ElisaRiva from Pixabay

The definition seems very straightforward, but, to anyone who has cared for someone coping with the disorder, schizophrenia can be all-encompassing and an individual voyage into uncharted territory. There is no cure for the disorder, but treatment and management of symptoms is possible through medication, talk therapy, and a strong social support system.

I was inspired to make a LibGuide about the disorder, not only to add to our library’s collection of LibGuides, but also to educate the general community about the disorder. Schizophrenia is more prevalent than the average person may realize. In fact, 30% of the homeless population in the United States is estimated to have schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, or bipolar disorder. The number of people in prisons with schizophrenia is also shockingly high, with an estimated of 24% of municipal jail inmates suffering from the disorder. Without access to psychiatric hospitals or care, many schizophrenics go untreated and end up wandering the streets, sleeping on subways, or becoming incarcerated, usually for a non-violent crime.

Please feel free to visit the LibGuide on Schizophrenia and share your thoughts. I added a simulation video section to the LibGuide so that people may be able to experience what a patient experiences during their symptoms and have a better understanding of the disorder.

This post was contributed by Annette Carr, Librarian at the School of Health Sciences at Bay Shore

References

Merriam-Webster. (n.d.). Schizophrenia. In Merriam-Webster.com dictionary. Retrieved April 30, 2020, from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/schizophrenia

Ramsay, C. E., Goulding, S. M., Broussard, B., Cristofaro, S. L., Abedi, G. R., & Compton, M. T. (2011). From handcuffs to hallucinations: Prevalence and psychosocial correlates of prior incarcerations in an urban, predominantly african american sample of hospitalized patients with first-episode psychosis. The Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, 39(1), 57-64. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3612963/

Wiltz, T. (2019). ‘Gravely disabled’ homeless forced into mental health care in more states. Retrieved from https://pew.org/2ULfUAb

Ways To Positively Affect Yourself & Others During COVID-19


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Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

While it feels like the whole world has been turned upside down due to the coronavirus, you can still do your best to better yourself and help others during these turbulent times. Through social distancing, diligent hand washing, and adhering to direction given by the CDC and WHO, we can all help to stop the spread of the virus. In addition to distance, hygiene and listening to public health agencies, there are a multitude of things that you can do to positively affect yourself and others during COVID-19.

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Celebrating Spring and the Persian New Year at the same time!

Spring Blossoms
aaron-burden from Unsplash

The Persian New Year begins on the first day of Spring, which falls on March 20th this year. It is called Norooz, which translates roughly into New Day.  Though its origin goes back to the faith of Zoroastrians, this day has been celebrated for over three thousand years, by almost every Iranian, as well as by other countries that have been influenced by this Persian tradition over the centuries.  It is considered a secular holiday, and therefore religion and ethnicity differences are put aside during this time of celebration. Continue reading

Who is that masked man? Happy 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

On the night of Wednesday, March 20th, after having fasted all day Jews all over the world will gather in synagogues, houses of worship, places of study, and sometimes in their own homes to hear the story of Purim.

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Learn how to legally re-use your own figures

Do you create figures for your papers? And then publish your papers in closed-access journals?

Copyright agreements will vary from publisher to publisher, but if you have created your own figures and illustrations for your publication, nobody else will be able to reuse them, unless they are granted permission by the publisher. In some cases, not even you, as the author, would have permission to reuse those figures.

Sara Hänzi explains how to legally re-use your own figures and, in turn, create more visibility to your work.

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Chanukah: The Festival of Lights

A Chanukah menorah (or chanukia) (CC0 image via Wikipedia)
A Chanukah Menorah, or Chanukia (CC0 image via Wikipedia)

Chanukah, also known as the Festival of Rededication, or the Festival of Lights, is an eight-day holiday that generally falls sometime in December (in the Hebrew calendar, the 25th of Kislev). This year it starts on Sunday evening, December 2 and ends in the evening of December 10th. It celebrates the rededication of the Holy Temple after the successful revolt of the Maccabees against the Seleucid Empire. To rededicate the Temple, oil was needed to relight the menorah inside, and there was very little left – only enough to burn for one day.  However, the oil that was used burned for eight days, and to celebrate this, a festival was created – Chanukah. Continue reading