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Judaic Audio Lectures, Panel Discussions, Author Talks, Workshops & More

The AJL Podcast brings you the best talks on Jewish literature and the Jewish library world, with respected experts and popular authors. Please check back periodically, as new lectures will be added to the series.


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Use the links on the left to select a category of interest or to use our index.

Entries for 'Publishing'

Author Linda Glaser enjoys demystifying the writing process almost as much as she enjoys writing. She talks about her first drafts, revisions, rejections, and behind-the-scenes secrets along with some things you may be surprised to know about creating a book.

Presented by Linda Glaser at the 2013 AJL Conference in Houston, TX.

The Posen Library is collecting more than 3,000 years of Jewish cultural artifacts, texts, and paintings, selected by more than 120 internationally recognized scholars. One volume, covering the contemporary period, was published in 2012. This presentation discusses the philosophies, choices, and overviews of the forthcoming volumes. Attention is given to how librarians and teachers might make use of both the paper editions and the planned digital site.

Presented by Joyce Rappaport at the 2013 AJL Conference in Houston, TX.

Posted in: RAS, SSC

Which children's books with significant Jewish content are among the winners of the two most important US awards for translated books? Goldsmith describes the Mildred L. Batchelder Award and the Outstanding International Books (OIB) List, analyzes editors' decision-making processes and discusses the modest number of winners with Jewish content. Findings from her dissertation research outlines editors' motivations for and barriers to publishing translations, as well as editors' awareness of helpful resources that are available to them.

Presented by Annette Goldsmith at the 2012 AJL Conference in Pasadena, CA.

42 min 13 sec

A book's cover is often the first thing one notices about a book when skimming a catalog or browsing in a bookstore. Although they help form an initial impression about the book, covers are seldom mentioned in book reviews or recognized through awards. This session aims to bring attention to the art and skill of book cover design by highlighting both effective and problematic Judaica book covers using a variety of examples, formats, and genres (picture books, graphic novels, fiction, biography, and history).

For images of the book covers discussed in this presentation, please visit jewishbookcovers.blogspot.com.

Presented by Steven M. Bergson at the 2011 AJL Convention in Montreal, Quebec.

30 min 42 sec

Posted in: RAS, SSC
The colophon is a section of text found at the end of manuscripts and early printed books. It often includes the date of completion of the work, the place where it was written, the name of the copyist, the source of funding, the cost of the composition, personal experiences, poetry, etc. This paper presents the history of the colophon in Hebrew manuscripts, the historical record contained in them and its importance to the history of the Jewish book. It also uses examples of colophons from the Columbia University Hebrew Manuscript collection. In addition, the paper describes the role of the colophon in Hebrew Manuscript Cataloging.

Presented by Yoram Bitton at the 2011 AJL Convention in Montreal, Quebec.

29 min 34 sec

Posted in: RAS

Yiddish and Hebrew books were published in Winnipeg beginning in at least 1910 and reaching a peak in the 1940′s. We discuss the history of these books and their authors, as well as their connection to Jewish life in Winnipeg.

Presented by Faith Jones at the 2010 AJL Convention in Seattle, WA.

28 min 08 sec

Posted in: RAS, SSC

Talk about niche! The newest kid on the literary journal block, Drash: Northwest Mosaic, tilts towards Northwest and Jewish themes. Yet, its particular bent has intrigued a growing international audience of readers and submitters, building a community of diverse religions, locations, and literary styles. Who starts a literary journal in these perilous publishing times and is this good for the Jews? Drash editor Wendy Marcus holds forth about the first three years of this literary start-up, and how and why Drash readings are life-affirming experiences, cultivating readers and writers, and providing connection in these troubled, overly technological times.

Presented by Wendy Marcus, Tom Buchanan, Michael Schein, and Mary Paynter Sherwin at the 2010 Association of Jewish Libraries convention in Seattle, WA.

39 min 11 sec

Posted in: SSC

This session included two sections by two speakers.

Groshn-bibliotek – Popular Reading of Polish Jews in the 1930′s, presented by Lyudmila Sholokhova of the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research

Groshn-bibliotek (Penny-Library) is a series of over 200 popular biographies and other historical brochures that were published in Yiddish in Warsaw during the years 1930-1936. It includes essays about outstanding personalities, Jewish and non-Jewish, stories on major events in world history with special attention to famous Jewish individuals, and stories about the recent Russian revolution and its protagonists. Groshn-bibliotek was a Bundist edition. Its aim was to educate the Yiddish reading masses about Jewish and world history. Most secular Jews in pre-WWII Poland did not have formal high school education, but many were self educated through avid reading. The series reflects the high intellectual interests and the broad outlook of its authors and editors.

Yiddish Publishing in Argentina presented by Rita Saccal of the Seminario Rabinicio Latinoamericano “Marshall T. Meyer”

Rita Saccal focuses on the “Golden Age” of Yiddish literature in Argentina. She presents a very brief introduction to Yiddish literature inthe colonies, continuing witht he period between the late 19th centuray to the late 1950′s, when Argentina, or better said Buenos Aires, was considered the capital of Yiddish poetry and literature, compared only to Varshaw, Moskow and New York.

This session was presented at the 2009 Association of Jewish Libraries convention in Chicago, IL.

1 hr 2 min 10 sec

Posted in: RAS

This panel presentation on the history, current trends, and hope for the future of Jewish children’s literature was the opening session at the Sydney Taylor Book Award’s 40th anniversary celebration, held at the Association of Jewish Libraries convention on June 25, 2008. Panelists included Evelyn Freeman, Rita Soltan, and Joni Sussman, and the session was chaired by Rachel Kamin and moderated by Heidi Estrin.

Dr. Evelyn B. Freeman is the Dean and Director of the Ohio State University at Mansfield and a Professor in the College of Education and Human Ecology. She is also President of the Children’s Literature Assembly of the National Council of Teachers of English.

Rita Soltan has been a public librarian in New York and Michigan for over 30 years. She regularly reviews children’s books for major publications including School Library Journal, Horn Book, and Kirkus. She is the author of several books from Libraries Unlimited on reading clubs and summer reading.

Joni Sussman is Publisher at Kar-Ben Publishing, a division of Lerner Publishing Group.

1 hr 4 min 39 sec

Rachel Leket-Mor

Hebrew printing in America was initiated as early as 1735 and encompassed a variety of genres, including literature for children. Unsurprisingly, major cities with big Jewish populations, such as New York City, Philadelphia or Cleveland, were fundamental in the intellectual and financial efforts involved in this activity, serving as urban magnets for authors, educators and publishers. Memphis, Tennessee was not one of these cultural centers. In fact, not even one single Hebrew book is known to have been published there at least until 1926, the last year reviewed in the most comprehensive research on this topic. In 1945, however, a Hebrew book series for children was published in Memphis by the Shainberg Library Foundation. This presentation features the series, as this unconventional project in the history of the Hebrew book may shed light on the mainstream Hebrew movement in America, its leaders and politics. Aspects of book production, Jewish publishing history, Hebrew literature and education in America, as well as children’s literature, are discussed.

Rachel Leket-Mor has worked as a Hebrew editor with Israel publishers. She is Bibliographer of Religion, Philosophy, and Jewish Studies at Arizona State University. She gave this presentation at the Association of Jewish Libraries annual convention on June 24, 2008 in Cleveland, Ohio.

32 min 10 sec

Posted in: RAS

Dina Rosenfeld, Hara Person & Claudia Valas

Representatives from URJ Press, Hachai Publishing, and EKS Publishing discuss each publisher’s unique approach to Jewish children’s literature. Topics include a brief history of each house, some classics, and current trends. They gave this presentation at the Association of Jewish Libraries’ Celebration of Jewish Children’s Literature, in honor of the Sydney Taylor Book Award’s 40th Anniversary, held on June 25, 2008 in Cleveland, Ohio.

Rabbi Hara E. Person was the Editor-in-Chief of URJ Press at the time of this panel, but is now the Publisher and Director of Press at CCAR

Dina Rosenfeld is the Editor-in-Chief at Hachai Publishing and has written 18 children’s books of her own.

Claudia Valas is the President of EKS Publishing, a company created for the development of Hebrew educational matierals.

76 min 0 sec

Dr. Ellen Frankel

Dr. Ellen Frankel is the Editor in Chief and CEO of the Jewish Publication Society. This podcast records the keynote address she gave at the Association of Jewish Libraries annual convention on June 22, 2008 in Cleveland, Ohio.

44 min 38 sec

Posted in: RAS, SSC