Aleph Launches Book Drive to Uplift Inmates

There is no way to measure the value of books in an inmate’s life. In the case of David, his tear-stained prayer book became his only lifeline.

Nothing in David’s* life could have prepared him for the anguish of prison. He was stripped of his most basic human dignity, cut off from his friends and family, and severed from his spiritual roots. Aleph provided David with a siddur, the very first one that he owned. “Even in the most isolated cell, I would clutch that prayer book to my heart and know that I was not alone.” 

Unfortunately, David is one of many helpless people who are locked behind bars and subjected to terrible indignity, prejudice, and often injustice. With the pandemic raging through the prison system, family visitations have been suspended leaving the prisoners lonelier than ever before. They haven’t seen any family or friends in over six months!

The Aleph Institute– an organization that cares for the emotional, physical, and spiritual welfare of incarcerated individuals– is launching a new initiative to collect Jewish books that will provide relief and comfort to prisoners during their time of despair.

There is no way to measure the value of books in an inmate’s life. In the case of David, his tear-stained prayer book became his only lifeline. Despite the misery around him, he clung to his siddur and felt Hashem’s protection. When a person is physically shackled, a book has the power to unlock the mind and provide inner freedom. For the thousands of men and women whom Aleph helps every day, Jewish books provide inspiration, education and illumination. 

The Rebbe, under whose mandate Aleph was formed, cherished every single person, including– and perhaps especially– people who were otherwise forgotten. The Rebbe insisted that even in prison a person must be able to “maintain a sense that he is created in the image of G-d; he is a human being, who, if only he desires it, can be a reflection of G-dliness in this world.” This message is the driving force behind the Aleph Institute, and we urge you to take part in accomplishing this important mission. 

You can transform a prisoner’s reality by donating any spare Jewish books, used or new, that you have:  Siddur, Tehillim, Novel, Memoir, Torah Insights, etc. 

Your books will provide hope, help and healing to the most isolated and neglected people in society. Especially during these trying times, it is impossible to measure the value of even one Jewish book for a prisoner who is all alone in a miserable jail cell. The power of this act of kindness cannot be weighed by a gold or silver standard, rather by the priceless value of hope in despair, and light in utter darkness. 

Please, join this cause. Help spread the word of our National Book Drive, by reminding your friends and family to go through their books and collect any extra books that they no longer need.

In the merit of your kindness to our brothers and sisters behind bars, may Hashem remember his children who are imprisoned in Golus and set us all free, with the coming of Moshiach now! 


Contact Yankel to arrange a pickup at yankel@aleph-institute.org or 310-598-2142 #204

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