We at Jewgle may not be experts in community planning, but we love the concept of community cohesion.
Some time back it was suggested that the Jewish centre needs to develop as a cultural hub for the community.Â That is, if it is not already performing that function.Â A cultural hub means arts, hebrew language, Holocaust centre, youth groups, activities and presentations etc, etc, all of which can be found at the Centre.
The concept that we raise here is one that integrates any future development with the Centre, with the pending development toÂ build the new Maccabi pavilion.Â This is not just about asking why the two discussions are not linked into one project, it is about asking what potential is being lost by not taking a broader vision forward.
So here is our simple idea.Â Somewhere between the pavilion and the Jewish centre should be a new modest structure in the form of a community library.Â This library would also be the library of Carmel School, and it would be a research centre for all things Jewish.Â
Carmel School has an exceptional library with great facilities.Â It has the Rabbi Coleman collection, it has a full set of Maccabean volumes, it has religious and secular books of Jewish literature.Â Yet it is underutilised, and there is often a shortage of room to put the material to work.
Our community has other libraries – the WA Jewish Genealogical library at Noranda Shule.Â Batai Midrash which have texts and Rabbinic literature.Â Zionist offices contain books and audio visual resources relating to Israel.Â So on, and so forth.
Now imagine that this material was all centralised.Â Imagine if access to these resources was promoted, and that the community ran a private library for anyone to access.Â Imagine if there was a small auditorium attached, where films, lectures, and presentations could regularly take place.Â Imagine if there was an internet cafe to cater for visitors, researchers, and school students.Â
Our community has a history that is unfolding by the day.Â What steps are in place to record and preserve that history?
Our community has no central point of outreach, for both Jews and non-Jews, to community the beauty of our heritage.
An all-purpose library could be a self sustaining entity.Â It could be given ease of access with modest remodelling, and even sit adjacent to a new cafe, that supposidly will sit in the new Maccabi pavillion (heck, it could even be a kosher facility with the right mindset applied).
This concept is yet another small idea that could have a dramatic influence on our collective community development.Â If only we were all reading from the same page when planning for the future needs of our organisations.