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A donation of books in honor of Mark & Ada Levene

Tuesday 4 February 2014, by C&D Office

Today the teachers were delighted to formally introduce new books into the school library. The donation of these books has a special story behind it. The donor, Monica Brown, donated them in memory of her parents. Her father, Mark Levene, did not have the opportunity to go to school and was self-educated. However, he became a life-long bookworm, so in loving memory of her father’s adoration of books, Monica wanted the children of Neve Shalom – Wahat al Salam to enjoy the pleasures of reading and learning.

Some of the students were asked to apply stickers with Monica’s message in the donated books. Along with the stickers, the library now features a display frame with pictures of Monica and her parents, and her message in Hebrew, Arabic, and English.

Monica’s father had no formal education. He was self-taught from childhood and loved books so much that he later became president of the Library Council of the Leys Institute in Auckland, New Zealand. This library was established in 1905 to encourage recreational reading and learning among the young people of the community. It is still serving Auckland today.

As a child, Monica became fascinated with how things work and once completely dismantled a bicycle she won in a mechanics contest, much to her father’s dismay. She then became enthralled with photography, developing film that she took with an old Brownie box camera borrowed from her aunt. This love has lasted a lifetime and she has become an internationally recognized photographer.

During World War II, Monica met her late husband, Harold Lewis Brown while he was stationed in New Zealand with the 118th Medical Battalion of the 43rd Infantry Division (US). They were married in Auckland in 1944.

After the war he was discharged back in the United States and she joined him in Columbus, Ohio, where he earned a Doctor of Dentistry degree from Ohio State University (OSU). They then moved to Cincinnati where he set up his dental practice.

While there, Monica served as Executive Director of the Health Careers Association of Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. She also organized a Regional Junior Hadassah and served as president of the Cincinnati Chapter of the Hadassah Medical Organization. Monica received a Master of Science in Health Planning and an Administration degree from the University of Cincinnati.

After Harold died she came to Ohio State University and served as Director of Continuing Medical Education in the Department of Surgery.

Although her eyesight is failing, making it difficult for her to read, Monica believes strongly in the importance of books in our world. She shares her father’s love of libraries and would like to help the children of WAS-NS develop the reading skills necessary to thrive in today’s complex world.


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