Dear Rabbi Simon
We have a box of Chumashim (mostly Bereishis) that were cast-offs from one of the Jewish schools (we were able to have them for Elkanah’s bar mitzvah). They were given to us to use/dispose. With a few exceptions they are in pretty bad shape though still usable technically.
We’re not sure what to do with them – should they go to the genizah [facility for respectfully disposing of unwanted or no longer serviceable sacred items] or is there some alternative use? What would you recommend?
The simple if unfortunate answer is that such items are very difficult to re-purpose/find a suitable home for. The affluence of modern Jewish communities and the affordability of new sefarim have eliminated the demand for worn out even if serviceable sefarim such as you describe. (Just as an aside, this delightful essay, by a friend of mine (and founder of the highly-regarded Cross-Currents blog) has some thoughts on this phenomenon https://cross-currents.com/2017/12/08/moving-commentary-occasional-travelogue-1/.)
In practice, they are best deposited in the genizah facility to be found in the parking lot at Beit Shmuel (AKA “Rav Chuna’s”) on Golders Green Road, corner Woodstock Avenue. It is praiseworthy to make a donation there to offset the costs of respectful disposal (ie, burial).
Rabbi Rashi Simon