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:

Check It Out: Jews in Sports

As we transition from the Jewish High Holidays season into a new year, the rich tapestry of Jewish life continues to interweave its threads into every facet of our society. From the grand stages of the sports world to the intimate corners of our communities, Jewish individuals have made an indelible mark, exemplifying resilience, excellence, and the unwavering spirit of our heritage. As we embrace the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead in the coming year, let us take a moment to celebrate the achievements of Jewish athletes—a testament to the enduring strength of our community and the pursuit of excellence that defines us. We invite you to explore our new library exhibit, “Jews in Sports,” where you can delve into the world of Jewish athletes, their triumphs, their stories, and the valuable lessons we can glean from their remarkable journeys. Within the exhibit, you will find a selection of books that delve into the spiritual connection between sports and Judaism, serving as a poignant reminder of King Solomon’s Biblical Teaching that without a spiritual connection, all of life’s activities are futile. The display also showcases books that shed light on the tragic sports events in Jewish history, such as the Munich terrorist attack on Israeli team members during the 1972 Olympic Games and the blatant racism and anti-Semitism that marred the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin.

NEW EXHIBIT! Honoring CBI’s 180th Anniversary

This display commemorates the establishment of CBI and 180 years of religious freedom in Connecticut. The showcased books delve into the rich history of our congregation, the Jewish community in Connecticut, and offers a comprehensive chronicle of the development of Hartford’s Jewish community.

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!