top of page


Synagogue Library II.jpeg

The Jewish community of Bern has had a community library since at least 1970, run by a team of volunteers.

The JGB library is a community library that is primarily aimed at community members for entertainment and education. Jewish authors on Jewish topics are collected. It is neither an academic library nor an archive. Scientific special literature is only acquired and collected if there is a direct connection to the Bern community. Today it has a stock of around 3,500 catalogued books and brochures. About 1,000 books have not yet been catalogued.

usage and opening hours


Opening hours :

The library is not staffed. Visits can be arranged by calling the office from 9.00 a.m. to 11.30 a.m. The library is open to community members before, during and after events provided it is not otherwise occupied. Books can be borrowed independently at any time (please note the lending regulations). You can read the newspapers in the library, browse through the complete collection of previous FORUM issues, consult various encyclopedias and enjoy a cup of coffee (CHF 1.-). Further information is available for members on the password-protected page.

Use of the library by non-members of the community:

For security reasons, the library is not freely accessible to non-members. If you would like to use the library, please contact the library Contact  and briefly identify your request. You will be contacted yon how to proceed.


magazines (can not be checked out)

  • tachles: the Jewish weekly magazine (Zurich)

  • Structure: the Jewish monthly magazine (Zurich)

  • Revue juive: Magazine (Zurich)

  • Jüdische Allgemeine: independent weekly newspaper for politics, culture, religion and Jewish life (Berlin)

  • Jüdische Rundschau: independent monthly newspaper in Germany reporting on politics, faith, knowledge, culture and Jewish life

  • FORUM of the JGB: chronicle of the Jewish community


Categories (books)


The books are arranged alphabetically in each category according to the author's name. The biographies are arranged by the name of the biographed person, not by author.


Inventory approx.:

Belletristik, Romane, Erzählungen
Kinder- und Jugendbücher
Französische Belletristik
Englische Belletristik
(noch nicht fertig katalogisiert)
o     Allgemeines 
o     100 Philosophie / Psychologie
o     200 Religion
o     300 Sozialwissenschaften
o     600 Kunst
o     700 Sprach- und Literaturwissenschaft
o     800 Israel
o     900 Geschichte

A detailed list of categories can be found here  here .



The library has a small annual purchase loan. Thankfully, there are also donations from friends of the library and funds from the sale of duplicate copies.

New publications that fit into the library's collection area and are of particular interest to the JGB are constantly being purchased. Books that are presented and discussed in the reading circle, in the Salon Sefer or at events organized by the cultural commission, as well as publications by community members, are generally purchased.

List of new acquisitions: Since the beginning of 2019, the new acquisitions have been listed and briefly presented on a quarterly basis (usually based on the blurb). Some of the new acquisitions are also presented in the FORUM. The new acquisitions are on the book trolley in the library for one to two years.

January - February 2019 / March - April 2019 / May - August 2019 / September - December 2019

January - March 2020 /  April - June 2020 /  July - September 2020 /  October - December 2020

January - March 2021 /  April - June 2021 /  July - September 2021 /  October - December 2021

January - March 2022 / April - June 2022 / July - September 2022 October - December 2022

January - March 2023 / April - June 2023 / July - September 2023 October - December 2023

January - Märch 2024

We are happy to accept purchase requests from library users. please take  contact  up with us. The stock grows much faster than the purchase credit would allow, as we receive many book gifts. 

We are happy to accept book gifts, but ask you to observe the following rule: Please do not simply bring books that you want to give to us to the community. We are not responsible for disposal. Please contact the library team in advance with a description of the books (preferably with a list of the authors and titles of the books that you would like to give to the library). We will then discuss the next steps with you.

If the books fit into the library's collection area and are not yet available, we are happy to accept such gifts. We try to sell duplicate copies at the book stand in the WIZO Shuk. On the day of the open house for Jewish culture, we set up a book table in the entrance of the community center where those who are interested can take books with them. A cash box is available for voluntary contributions to the library.

online catalog

You can now download a preliminary version of the library catalog in PDF format from the library homepage. The books are in the catalogue  categories  or  alphabetically by author  orderly.

With the PDF search function you can query the catalog for author, title or keywords. You can find out whether a book is in the library's inventory. However, you cannot determine whether a book is on loan, nor can you reserve a book electronically, as is common in public libraries. The cost of purchasing library software would far exceed our budget.



  • Library ICZ

  • Kornhaus Libraries

  • Swissbib Basel Bern
    Joint catalog of the university libraries in Basel and Bern and the Swiss National Library

  • National Library

  • Ecclesiastical Library Bern

bottom of page