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Entries for 'Heidi Estrin'

In January 2012, Aimee Lurie will be the new committee chair of the Sydney Taylor Book Award Committee. Aimee has over ten years experience as a librarian working with children and young adults in northeast Ohio. Currently, she is the librarian at The Anne Frank Library in for The Agnon School, a community day school in Beachwood, Ohio that serves children from preschool through 8th grade.   Aimee is active in the Association of Jewish Libraries Greater Cleveland Chapter and reviews books for the AJL national newsletter.  

New committee member include Charna Gross and Diane Rauchwerger. Charna has been a teacher since 1975, and a school librarian since 2000. A Los Angeles native, Charna is currently the school librarian at Sinai Akiba Academy. She has lived on three continents and speaks English, French and Spanish.  

Diane has been the librarian for Congregation Beth Am, Los Altos Hills, CA from 1990 to the present. She is the author of the Dinosaur series published by Kar-Ben Publishing (Dinosaur on Shabbat, Dinosaur on Hanukkah and Dinosaur on Passover.  Dinosaur Goes to Israel will be out this spring).

The committee is excited to welcome Diane and Charna!  

Other members of the committee include Debbie Feder, Barbara Krasner, Nancy Silverrod, Barbara Bietz (Past President) and Kathe Pinchuck (Compiler). The committee sends a hearty thank you to Heidi Estrin, Rachel Kamin, and Rita Soltan who completed their service this year.    
The Association of Jewish Libraries and Ben Yehuda Press are pleased to announce the joint publication of The Association of Jewish Libraries Guide to Yiddish Short Stories by Bennett Muraskin. This is the first such cooperative publishing effort between the two organizations, both of whom are strong advocates for Judaic literature.  

The Guide to Yiddish Short Stories is a gateway into the rich world of Yiddish literature that began in the 19th century. It provides an annotated summary of more than 130 stories available in English translation, from the classics of Sholem Aleichem and Mendele Moycher Sforim to those written by Holocaust survivors in post-war America. For each story there is a bibliographical listing of where it can be found, both in English and the original Yiddish.  

Arranged topically, the Guide can help readers or educators select stories centered around themes including: Jewish holidays, questioning God's justice, the struggle of workers, ethics and piety, life in the shtetl, the curse of poverty, moral choices, anti-Semitism, parents and children, marriage, and spirituality. The Guide further provides biographical sketches of the 43 authors whose works are featured in this volume.  

Author Benett Muraskin is the adult education director of the Jewish Cultural School and Society in West Orange, NJ. He is the author of Let Justice Well Up Like Water: Progressive Jews from Hillel to Helen Suzman (2004), Humanist Readings in Jewish Folklore (2001), a co-author of Celebrating Jewish Holidays: An Introduction for Secular Jewish Families and Their Communities (2002) along with Lawrence Schofer and Judith Seid. He contributed a chapter on “Jewish Secularism” to Peace, Justice and Jews: Reclaiming Our Tradition, edited by Murray Polner and Stefan Merken (2007). He is a columnist for Jewish Currents and Outlook (Canada) and a regular contributor to Humanistic Judaism. His articles have also appeared in Israel Horizons.  

“Bennett Muraskin’s book fills a niche that has been missing in the Yiddish community. An excellent resource for teachers, program directors and students of Yiddish literature,” says Philip Kutner, past vice president, International Association of Yiddish Clubs.  

The Association of Jewish Libraries Guide to Yiddish Short Stories is available for $14.95 on the Ben Yehuda Press Web site at and at other online retailers.  
Posted in: Announcements

AJL members are an erudite bunch. Just this week, three articles have been published in various journals representing the expertise of AJL librarians.

Rachel Leket-Mor, President of AJL's RAS Division and Jewish Studies Librarian at Arizona State University Libraries, manages an enormous collection of Israeli chapbooks called IsraPulp. A detailed and enthusiastic article about the collection appears in ASU News at, and there is an associated podcast interview with Leket-Mor at

Kathe Pinchuck, AJL's Development Chair and Secretary of the SSC Division, has authored an article in NewCAJE's online journal The Jewish Educator. "Rosh Pina: The Judaica Librarian as Cornerstone of Lifelong Jewish Learning," is the lead article in the journal's Fall 2011 issue and can be downloaded as a PDF at

Heidi Estrin, AJL's Vice-President/President-Elect, has contributed an article to School Library Journal's "Focus On" column. She was invited to write about celebrations and festivals, and created a recommended reading list on Jewish and other observances called "A Calendar of Holidays." The article can be seen in School Library Journal's print magazine as well as online at

Jewish Book Month is an annual event dedicated to the celebration of Jewish books. It is observed during the month before Hanukkah.

The Southern California Chapter is pleased to announce the publication of its new downloadable bibliographies for Jewish Book Month 2011. We encourage you to download, print, and distribute as many as you would like. We have included recently published, recommended books of Jewish interest for both children and adults. The adults brochure also contains new DVDs. The chapter is willing to mail brochures to anyone interested. For more information, please contact Lisa Silverman

Posted in: Announcements
AJL News and Reviews are published quarterly online by the Association of Jewish Libraries to inform members about Association activities and issues related to Judaica libraries, and to provide professional book reviews on Judaic titles. 

The November/December issues of the News and the Reviews are now available online. Go to and click on "News" or "Reviews" for November/December 2011 to open each PDF publication.
The host of this month's Jewish Book Carnival is Leah Berkenwald over at Jewesses With Attitude, the blog of the Jewish Women's Archive. Thanks very much to Leah and JWA for hosting and to all the many bloggers who contributed links to make this a successful Carnival. 

Visit to find all the links. You'll find lots of fascinating interviews, book recommendations, reviews, and book-related ponderings.

Feel free to share the links and to leave comments for the bloggers. We'll see you again next month for another Jewish Book Carnival!

The host of this month's Jewish Book Carnival is Amy Meltzer over at Homeshuling. Thanks very much to Amy for hosting and to all the many bloggers who contributed links to make this a successful Carnival.

Visit to find all the links. You'll see book reviews, interviews, musings and ponderings, and even a holiday coloring page!

Feel free to share the links and to leave comments for the bloggers. We'll see you again next month for another Jewish Book Carnival!
Two positions on the Sydney Taylor Book Award Committee will be available beginning January 1, 2012. Applicants should be members of AJL, familiar with the scope of Judaic children's literature, experienced in writing critical reviews, willing and able to read and review over 120 books during the course of a year, and able to meet deadlines. Committee members are expected to attend annual conventions and to participate in committee-sponsored events, including speaking at the Committee's annual presentation. The term of membership on the Committee is four years. Each committee member typically receives more than $2,000 in books for review each year, which may be kept for personal use or added to the member's library. Membership on the Sydney Taylor Book Award Committee is both fun and intellectually challenging, but it also requires a substantial commitment in terms of time and energy. Members must be able to submit reviews electronically and correspond with other committee members through regular e-mail.

To apply, send a letter indicating the reasons for your interest, a resume, and several examples of your recent reviews of Jewish children's books to Barbara Bietz, Committee Chair, at Applications will be accepted through October 30, 2011.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions.

Best, Barbara

Barbara Bietz
Chair, Sydney Taylor Book Award Committee
Association of Jewish Libraries
The September/Octorber issues of AJL News and AJL Reviews are now ready for viewing online at .

Please remember that the deadline for submitting information to the next issues (Nov/Dec) is October 15, 2011.

With best wishes for Shana Tova,

Uri Kolodney

AJL News / AJL Reviews editor-in-chief  

The 13th Annual Jewish Children's Book Writers & Illustrators Conference will be on Sunday, November 20, 2011 from 9 am until 5 pm. This year's conference will be held at Temple Emanu-El on Manhattan's Upper East Side.

The program includes AJL representatives who will speak about the Sydney Taylor Book Award and Manuscript Award.

Registration for this conference is now open! Visit for more information and to sign up.
September Jewish Book Carnival
forwordsbooks, a blog by AJL member Kathy Bloomfield, is thrilled to be hosting this month’s Jewish Book Carnival, a gathering of blogs about Jewish books and other happenings in the Jewish world sponsored by AJL.  Please visit this month’s carnival participants and comment on their web sites making sure you tell them you saw their post at the September Jewish Book Carnival!

You can find the September Jewish Book Carnival at

Happy Reading!

The 2011 Reference Award from AJL was presented to The Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World, published by Brill. Edited by Dr. Norman Stillman of the University of Oklahoma, this 5-volume encyclopedia is the first English-language reference that deals with a part of Jewish history that is obscure and inaccessible for many readers. The Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World opens a new window into this world and will inevitably generate more research and interest in the field. An online version is currently available as well. More information on the Encyclopedia can be found at

Now The Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World has won the 2011 Wheatley Medal from the Society of Indexers. The announcement on their web site states: 

"At the Society of Indexers annual conference at Keele University, the Society’s President, Professor John Sutherland, presented the Wheatley Medal for 2011 to a team of indexers from the Netherlands, Caroline Diepeveen, Pierke Bosschieter and Jacqueline Pitchford-Belder, for their index to The Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World (edited by N. Stillman and published by Brill in 2010). According to the chair of the judging panel, Professor Cathy Shrank of Sheffield University, this was an exceptional index and a most deserving winner. ‘The size of the task (indexing a five-volume work) was immense in itself, and indexing an encyclopaedia (which is itself a kind of index) requires something different from indexing other works. In this case, this difficult task was accomplished with scholarly authority.’ They singled out the scrupulous editing for particular praise. ‘None of us found any clues to the fact that this index was compiled by a team. The overall editing [by Caroline Diepeveen] must have been very thoroughly done – no mean feat in an index of this size. In short, the panel was deeply impressed.’"

For more information about the Wheatley Medal or for biographical information on the indexers of the winning title, visit
Posted in: Awards
Author Eric Kimmel has recently published a new children’s story entitled Joseph and the Sabbath Fish. AJL member Lisa Silverman compares his version to the beloved Marilyn Hirsh book, Joseph Who Loved the Sabbath, in this article from the Jewish Journal of Los Angeles.
The Association of Jewish Libraries (AJL) will hold the 47th Annual Convention in Los Angeles, California June 17-20, 2012. Librarians, archivists, scholars, educators, authors and others will meet to share their interest in Judaica librarianship and related topics. AJL is soliciting proposals for papers and presentations on aspects of Judaica librarianship as it pertains to libraries, archives, museums, schools, synagogues and related institutions. Past topics have included literature and other resources, collection management, programming, reader advisory services, special and rare collections, cataloging and classification, digital and electronic resources, technology and local Jewish history.

Submissions should include the following:

Presenter's name, address, affiliation, telephone and email contacts.
Brief biography
Title of proposed presentation
Summary of proposal
Specific technology or equipment requirements, if any

All submissions must be received by November 30, 2011.

Please submit proposals by email to:

or by mail to:

Sharon Benamou
UCLA Library Cataloging & Metadata Center
11020 Kinross Ave. Box 957230
Los Angeles, CA 90095-7230

Proposals will be reviewed by the Program Planning Committee, which is composed of national and local AJL members. Notification will be made in January, 2012.

The Jewish Book Carnival is a monthly event where bloggers who blog about Jewish books can meet, read, and comment on each others’ posts. The posts are hosted on one of the participant’s sites on the 15th of each month.

For the month of July, 2011, our host is author Ann Koffsky, who blogs at She's got a great round-up of posts from all over the blogosphere. You'll find author interviews, book reviews, and philosophical ponderings. To Ann's adorable embarrassment, two bloggers even submitted links to interviews with her, about her fun new picture book Noah's Swim-a-thon.

Enjoy the July Jewish Book Carnival at
Gathering Sparks by Howard Schwartz, illustrated by Kristina Swarner is the 2011 Sydney Taylor Book Award Winner for Younger Readers. Howard joined us in Montreal and wanted to share his article about the 16th Century teaching of Tikkun Olam that inspired the book. Let's all gather sparks together!

You can read Howard's article in Tikkun Magazine at
Did you present at the 2011 AJLConvention in Montreal? Would you like your work to be included in the published proceedings that are available on AJL's website?

Please consider sharing your paper with those who were unable to attend your session. For submission guidelines and examples from previous years go to

Thanks and looking forward to hearing from you!

Jasmin Nof
Proceedings Chair
The Israel branch of AJL, formally called Judaica Librarians' Group (Israel), issues a publication entitled Alon from time to time. The publication gives librarians an opportunity to describe briefly some interesting item they have come across in the course of their work. Articles are accepted in all languages and should be directed to the publication's editor, Rabbi Avishai Elboim, Director of the Rambam Library in Tel Aviv (rambaml1 at gmail dot com).

All the issues of the Alon are available at So far only articles in Hebrew have been submitted but articles in any other language are welcome. A notice that a new issue has been posted to the Internet is sent to a couple of hundred Israeli librarians who are registered with the Judaica Librarians' Group. The audience is librarians working in the field of Judaica. Anyone can subscribe, just like anyone can subscribe to AJL's listserv, haSafran.  On the left hand side of the webpage, toward the bottom, is a link to the signup form.

We look forward to receiving your articles!
Posted in: Call For Papers
SOARING SOCIAL SKILLS THIS SUMMER with NATE and DARIM ONLINE, a 6-part webinar for Jewish organizations and educators on social media, begins today! The first session, "Congregational Education in a Networked World: Aligning Goals & Strategy," runs 1-2pm Eastern / 10-11am Pacific time on July 5. Sessions will be held weekly through August 9, 2011. Sessions will be recorded so that participants can view them at a later time. Registration for the entire series is $150.

Register at

Inspired after the great conference in Montreal? Disappointed that you didn’t have a chance to go? Want to get more involved in AJL? AJL Reviews is looking for new reviewers (or former reviewers who haven't participated in a while) for the adult reviews section. If you are interested, please send a brief writing sample to Merrily Hart (merrilyhart at gmail dot com) We are looking forward to hearing from you and working with you.

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