Meet our Neighbors: Edyth Geiger and the Safed English Library

Edyth Geiger and the Safed English Library

Edyth Geiger and MikOne of the places that Livnot always sends volunteers is to the Edyth Geiger English Library in Tzfat (also sometimes spelled Safed), Israel. While at Livnot “I volunteered at the Edyth H. Geiger Library, the neighborhood’s English library. There, I was able to alphabetize the Classics, Drama, and Poetry sections (and grin from ear to ear over the collection). Surrounded by the British-accented chatter of fellow volunteers and locals, I learned about Edyth and the origins of the personal collection that turned into a lending library. Her house overflowed so heavily with them that she used fruit boxes to store them under her bed. Over the (many) years, a full-fledged library formed, supported entirely through donations and volunteers. Her love for books (and giraffes) has created a delightful community of fellow book-lovers who are just the proper amount of off-center. Today, the library houses over 30,000 books.” –Mikhail Pozin (256) Edyth Geiger’s Safed English Library was started over 30 years ago when Edyth Geiger opened up her personal collection to the public. Edyth Geiger is 93 years old from Wisconsin, USA. She has lived on Jerusalem Street in Tzfat since 1970. She was in the Women’s Army Corps during WW2 and studied law at the University of Chicago. Edyth has 2 grown sons, 2 grown daughters, and a collection of over 2,000 giraffes and various giraffe paraphernalia. A couple of year ago Edyth was interviewed by an Israeli news station. You can watch the video here:


“The ideal destination for English readers in Tzfat is the Edyth Geiger English Library. Run entirely on volunteers and donations, the air in the library is permeated with a love for reading and a genuine urge to get others to read. All major sections of any other library are found here in the small building under Edyth Geiger’s house, including a vast Judaica section Eric and Edythand a section for English learners that is frequented by native Hebrew speakers in Tzfat. While volunteering there, I had browsed a number of rare and interesting titles and worked with several energetic and passionate volunteers. I left each day wishing I had had enough time to organize just one more batch of books so that I could spend more time among the stacks,” — Eric Chirlin (256) Please visit the library’s website to learn even more about this amazing place to visit and/or volunteer in Tzfat.

Meir Paltiel
Meir Paltiel
[email protected]

Originally from Syracuse, NY, Meir received his BA in American History and Political Science from Tulane University and his MS in Resource Management from SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry. He arrived in Israel in 1992, served in the Nahal Infantry Unit before moving to Kibbutz Sde Eliyahu. On Kibbutz, Meir was Assistant Manager of the... Read More