Donating Jewish books is a worthwhile endeavor, and your books will likely find many eager readers. The key to maximizing your donation, however, is to identify the best recipient for these books, depending on their subject matter. Specialized Jewish books, particularly religious materials written in Hebrew and Aramaic, or older Yiddish-language books, will only be appreciated by specific communities of readers. More generic works, such as English-language Jewish fiction or reference materials, will easily find a home at many synagogues, Jewish community centers and retirement homes.

Sort the collection you wish to donate by subject matter and, if applicable, by language. Hebrew, Aramaic and Yiddish texts all use the same alphabet, so it may be difficult to distinguish a religious Hebrew work from an anti-religious socialist text in Yiddish, but you can at least make a start at categorizing them. Categories might include fiction, reference, religious and so on.

Count the number of volumes in each section. You may have to find different destinations for different books, and will need to communicate this information to your donor sites.

Donate your the books locally. If you want to donate these books to a local organization that serves the wider community, contact your local public library. If you would like to donate to a Jewish congregation, school or retirement home, contact your local Jewish Federation. You will be directed to institutions looking for book donations and their donation procedures.

Donate your books nationally or internationally. This is especially relevant for rare books in Yiddish, which are collected by the National Yiddish Book Center. Under-served Jewish populations around the world receive books from Scattered Among the Nations. Contact these institutions and describe your collection.

Tip

  • Religious works should not be discarded in the trash. Jewish custom dictates that ritual objects, including some books, should be stored in an area called a "geniza" and then buried. Contact a local synagogue for details.