The two Five Towns firebrands behind the launch and growth of Hindi’s Libraries were honored this week as “Persons of the Year” by the Nassau Herald, the secular newspaper in the Five Towns.
Here’s an excerpt from the Nassau Herald report. [The full Nassau Herald story will be posted at LIHerald.com on Thursday. The Nassau Herald print edition is sold in street-boxes in the Five Towns.]
After Cedarhurst resident Dovid Kanarfogel’s wife, Dr. Hindi Krinsky, died last year, he decided to honor her memory, with the help of his friend Leslie Gang, by putting books in the hands of children.
Since it launched, Hindi’s Libraries has collected and donated 70,000 books to 380 groups, institutions and medical practices in the U.S., Israel and Puerto Rico.
Gang, communications director at the Brandeis School in Lawrence, was working at HAFTR when Krinsky, HAFTR curriculum coordinator and an English teacher with a Ph.D. in literacy education, died in August 2018 at age 32 of complications of Crohn’s disease.
Hindi’s Libraries began with families leaving books in decorated wooden boxes on the HAFTR campuses.
Since then, Gang and Kanarfogel have devoted themselves to what Gang has called “an assembly line of good,” collecting, organizing, packing and shipping books.
Gang, who grew up in Woodmere and now lives in Hewlett, said that her upbringing, being raised by parents who emigrated from Odessa, Ukraine, inspired her desire to help others. “My mother, who has always been my role model, instilled in me the importance of kindness and giving back. She taught me just how much of an impact people can make by stepping out of their comfort zone to do something good for another human being.”
Kanarfogel, an attorney who’s also a lifelong Five Towns resident, has thousands of books stacked up in his house at any given time. “Hindi would be proud of the fact that we’re giving children who don’t have access to books the opportunity to read,” he said. “Getting kids to read was one of her passions.”
“I’ve been offered multiple opportunities to work with organizations over the years, and the reason I decided to work with Hindi’s Libraries comes down to two points,” said Woodmere resident Miriam Wallach. “Giving kids books who are in need of them is right in my wheelhouse. The second reason is that I have two kids [who] were blessed to be in Hindi’s classroom.”
“Leslie is a go-getter who is exceedingly capable and relentless in a good way,” Wallach added. “Who is able to come up with a plan like Hindi’s Libraries out of nowhere, like Leslie did?”
Kanarfogel not only works on Hindi’s Libraries in his off hours, but he is also raising five children: 9-year-old triplets Eliana, Hudi and Ezra, Dorit, 5, and Abie, 3.
Wallach said she was amazed by Kanarfogel’s positive attitude.
“The way he conducts himself, with having a career and raising five children on his own, is like a walking miracle,” she said. “He always has a smile on his face, and you could see the love his children have for him.”
For more information: HindisLibraries.com.