Barbara A. Rader Fund Reshaping BEKI Library

Barbara Rader, who passed away in January 2020, was a voracious reader who frequently read more than 150 books per year. An active working member of the Friends of the Woodbridge Library, she earned an M.A. and Ph.D. in English and worked professionally as a book editor. She was also a longtime member of Congregation Beth El-Keser Israel’s (BEKI) board.

In her memory, her family established The Barbara A. Rader Memorial Library Fund, which is reshaping BEKI’s Rosenkrantz Family Library. The young adult collection has already expanded by 75 titles, and additional children’s books and parenting books have been added. The purchases will continue, next focusing on the adult collection. Each new book displays a bookplate designed by BEKI member Howard Gralla to honor Barbara Rader.

“Barbara’s enduring professional goal was to elevate the role of books and reading to prominence in people’s lives,” Dennis Rader explained. “She lovingly encouraged her four grandchildren to become avid readers. The broad objective of this Memorial Library Fund is to perpetuate her goal and to encourage others to do so in the same way.”

The Rader project has inspired other book initiatives at BEKI. Thanks to the Ari Nathan Levine Memorial Fund, BEKI’s Kadima youth group (for grades 4 through 8) now has a Book Club. Youth & Family Programming Director Annie Norman-Schiff chose The Way Back by Gavriel Savit as the first book, featured in an author talk at a recent BEKI Schmooze. In addition, new art has been installed on the library walls with a set of prints called A Genesis by Gabor Peterdi. A camera system to livestream events from that room is an additional component of the Rader project.

Find out more at


An Island Galaxy, 1966;
from A Genesis, a suite of
15 etchings, now on
display in the BEKI Library.

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