Over Passover, I traveled to Israel to meet with AJL members, authors, illustrators, and publishers to see if we could reorganize a group there. My first day in Jerusalem, I met with Elhanan Adler at the National Library.
The library was very exciting.
They are working on digitizing some of their collection to make it accessible to more people.
I stayed with Anna Levine, the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators Regional Advisor for the Middle East and Sydney Taylor honoree for her Young Adult novel Freefall .
We went to the once in every 28 years Blessing of the Sun at the Kotel.
When in Jerusalem, I also met with Jeff at Jerusalem Books.
He is looking forward to seeing everyone in Chicago where Jerusalem Books will be exhibiting.
Travelling north to Tsfat, I met with Esther Heller from Targum Press.
In Tel Aviv, I met Peninah Moed Koss, who is known in Israel for her picture books about Berale, a lovable snail. In the U.S. her young adult novel Real Time
gives teens a thought provoking look at a suicide bomber and his victims. Peninah will be joining us in Chicago this summer and sent a present to each traveler to Convention-- a prayer to recite upon arriving safely.
David Elazar and Ya'akov Aronson were also very helpful in making suggestions about how to organize a group in Israel. Many thanks to everyone who met with me and offered me their hospitality and time and ideas. I hope to explore this in more detail when we all meet at Convention.