The Ellen Jeanne Goldfarb Community Learning Center provides a welcoming space for Jewish learning.

Whether you’re looking to dive into the latest Jewish publications, relax with a great novel, or find inspiration in one of our rotating displays, our Learning Center provides the resources and guidance you’ll need to get started. The two-story facility includes the Deborah Library, a collection of 12,000 volumes for adults and children, the Miller Reading Room, the Abraham J. Feldman Museum, and the Marjorie L. Rafal Archives. Our librarian is Rima Yashgur and she can be contacted at

Learning Center Hours

Visit us at the following times this summer (self-checkout is also available whenever the building is open):
Tuesdays: 10:00am to 2:00pm
Sundays: 9:00am to 12:00pm

Library Registration for Non-CBI Members

Please click HERE to complete a registration form if you are not currently a CBI member (all CBI members are automatically registered). Submitting a registration form will allow you to borrow books from our library. You can also visit us and complete a hard copy in the library.

Online Catalog

NEW! Check-out our online catalog by clicking on the link below. Our library includes materials related to the history, beliefs, and practices of the Jewish faith, with a focus on Reform Judaism.

Current & Rotating Exhibits:

Jump into summer with a good book!

The Hebrew Teacher by Maya Arad
In these three stirring novellas—comedies of manners with an ambitious blend of irony and sensitivity—author Maya Arad probes the demise of idealism and the generation gap that her heroines must confront. 

All-Night Pharmacy by Ruth Madievsky 
With prose pulsing like a neon sign, All-Night Pharmacy is an intoxicating portrait of a young woman consumed with unease over how a person should be.

Metropolis by B.A. Shapiro
A gripping thriller that follows six mysterious characters whose lives intersect when a tragedy occurs at the storage facility where they all rent units.

The Postcard by Ann Berest
A vivid portrait of twentieth-century Parisian intellectual and artistic life, an enthralling investigation into family secrets, and a poignant tale of a Jewish family devastated by the Holocaust.

The Red Balcony by Jonathan Wilson
Based on actual events, it’s 1933, and Ivor Castle, Oxford-educated and Jewish, arrives in Palestine to take up a position as assistant to the defense counsel in the trial of the two men accused of murdering Haim Arlosoroff, a leader of the Jewish community in Palestine.

The Woman Beyond the Sea by Sarit Yishai-Levi
An immersive historical tale spanning the life stories of three women.

100 Saturdays: Stella Levi and the Search for a Lost World by Michael Frank
The remarkable story of ninety-nine-year-old Stella Levi, whose conversations with the writer Michael Frank bring to life the vibrant world of Jewish Rhodes, the deportation to Auschwitz that extinguished ninety percent of her community, and the resilience and wisdom of the woman who lived to tell the tale.

My Life in Recipes by Joan Nathan 
A new cookbook from the best-selling and award-winning author Joan Nathan, My Life in Recipes uses recipes to look back at Nathan’s life and family history.


The Vatican and ME: Unlocking the Divine Treasures Inside (OUR DIVINE HERITAGE) By Harry Hirschel Moskoff 
Harry Moskoff has dedicated himself to studying artifacts from the time of the second Temple which are presently held by the Vatican. These include items such as ancient makhta (incense shovels) and khatzotzroth (silver trumpets). Written in memoir prose, it deals with the complexities of dealing with the revered Vatican Church, then the finding and subsequently the revealing of ancient Jewish and Christian antiquities.  

Resource Highlights

Located in the historic 1934 former library room, our museum’s collections hold dozens of pieces of Judaica, spanning three millennia and coming from five continents. Additionally, the collections holds two centuries of Congregation Beth Israel’s history, with many artifacts from one of New England’s oldest and largest Jewish communities. The museum, at the intersection of Hartford history and Jewish heritage, is a must-see for anyone interested in either or both. The Museum is open during synagogue hours. Guided tours of the Museum and the Sanctuary can be arranged by emailing

Our CBI Library @ Home program continues under Karen Beyard's direction! If you or someone you know is not able to get to the CBI library and browse through new books and classics in our 15,000 book collection, Karen and her volunteers will arrange delivery and return of lovingly selected books to browse at home. Email Karen at for more information or to arrange for a book bag drop-off.

Enjoy current issues of The Forward, a provocative and entertaining Jewish newspaper, International Jerusalem Post, Jerusalem Report, and the Ledger. We keep back issues for several months. We also subscribe to several other excellent Jewish periodicals including Lilith (a feminist perspective), Moment (insightful commentary), and Eretz (the Israeli magazine in English that comes closest to National Geographic). Current issues are in the reading room; back issues are saved in the library stacks.

You will find the Plaut Torah commentary and Torah: A Woman’s Commentary open to the week’s portion. Books elaborating the themes of the Torah reading or providing additional context are available for check-out. The study table also includes children’s books related to the weekly readings and the holidays.

Past exhibits have highlighted Jews and baseball, Jewish art and artists, cookbooks and food memories, graphic novels and comics, and our commitment to social justice. We also have a permanent display of books related to our Congregation’s history. Most recently we had a "Standing with Ukraine" exhibit and "120 Books for Every Age".

Current Exhibit: Celebrating 75 Years of Israeli Independence

This display features books from our extensive collection on the history of the creation and building of the State of Israel, highlighting Israel's history, culture, the diversity of people and their achievements and challenges. We also included many recent books of contemporary Israeli writers. Whether you are interested in borrowing a book on Israel's founding fathers, the Independence war, great oversized photography albums, the latest Israeli novel or mouth-watering Israeli cookbooks, please stop by and help us celebrate Israel's 75th birthday.

We try to collect books listed as “Jewish Best Sellers” by Hadassah Magazine, National Jewish Book and other award winners, and Jewish books receiving attention in the American press. We buy popular and literary fiction about Jewish themes or by Jewish authors, and interesting new non-fiction about a broad range of topics of Jewish interest. We also have a collection of Jewish-themed and Israeli films.

Our collection has many important Jewish books on a wide range of topics. While our mission is more community-oriented than academic, we can help most people make progress in their quest for Jewish learning.  Learning Center Director Rima Yashgur can help find information online if needed.

This beautiful space provides a large collection of children’s books for check-out, games and toys, and space for parents and their little ones to enjoy a little quiet time. Tot Shabbat takes place in the children’s room, and young congregants and their teachers visit frequently when YEP is in session.


Those who can reach top and bottom shelves in the stacks can help with shelving and collection maintenance. Computer skills, library background, or a willingness to develop new skills are also helpful.

Become a Friend of the Library

Sue Fulleton, Chair
Lynn Newman, Treasurer
Friends actively support the Learning Center and library collections and sponsor great programs. The Friends Advisory Committee, which includes several professional librarians among its members, provide advice and consent about the director’s plans and library operations.  Join today!