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The first The Whole Megillah Seminar on Jewish Story, co-sponsored by the Association of Jewish Libraries, is planned for Sunday, May 18, 2014 at Temple Emanu-El in New York City, and you are invited! The full-day event features several panels:


  • Peninnah Schram, Storyteller, Professor of Speech and Drama, Yeshiva University’s Stern College
  • Samuel Norich, Publisher, The Jewish Daily Forward

Children’s books:

  • Deborah Heiligman, author of Intentions, winner of the 2013 Sydney Taylor Book Award for Teen Readers
  • Susan Lynn Meyer, author of Black Radishes, a 2011 Sydney Taylor Honor recipient for Older Readers
  • Rebecca Short, Assistant Editor, Delacorte Press/Random House
  • April Halprin Wayland, author of New Year at the Pier, a 2010 Sydney Taylor Book Award Winner for Younger Readers.


  • Ellen Cassedy, author of We Are Here, winner of the Grub Street National Book Prize for Nonfiction
  • Joy Ladin, author of Through The Door of Life: A Jewish Journey Between the Genders, 2012 National Jewish Book Award finalist
  • Nancy K. Miller, author of What They Saved: Pieces of a Jewish Past and other memoirs
  • Tahneer Oksman, Jewish women in comics


  • Michal Mahgerefteh, Editor, Poetica Magazine
  • Joy Ladin
  • Elana Bell, author of Eyes, Stones, winner of the 2011 Walt Whitman Award


Special Features:

On Monday, May 19, interested attendees are welcome to visit the Jewish Museum for special events:

  • A special docent-led tour of the museum
  • A hands-on writing session, inspired by the museum’s art

An extra $35 fee applies.

Cost of Seminar: $125, includes kosher lunch - temporarily reduced to $99!

For more information and to register, please contact barbarakrasner(at)att(dot)net

The application form for AJL 2014 Conference Stipends has been posted on the AJL website(, under Member Resources.

Applications should be completed and sent to Lenore Bell at, by March 21, 2014.

Please note that those eligible and seeking to apply for Littauer Foundation stipends are asked to submit their applications by February 28, 2014. This earlier deadline will help us to secure this important funding source before other stipend funds are allocated.

Additional information about application requirements appear on the form. If you have any questions, please contact Lenore Bell or Rachel Glasser.

Please note that the application form is found in the members-only region of the website. If you require a log-in, please contact Webmaster Nancy Sack ( or VP for Membership Sheryl Stahl (

We look forward to seeing as many members as possible in Las Vegas for the 2014 AJL Conference!


Lenore Bell (
Rachel Glasser (
AJL Conference Stipends Committee

Posted in: Conferences

The Association of Jewish Libraries is pleased to announce the Groner-Wikler Scholarship of $1,000 for attendance at the AJL Annual Conference. The annual scholarship is funded by Kar-Ben Publishing in honor of founding publishers Judye Groner and Madeline Wikler, who retired in December.


The Groner-Wikler Scholarship will be awarded annually to an AJL member who demonstrates dedication to Jewish children's literature and library services. Candidates should have an active involvement in the Judaic library profession or related fields; demonstrate strong advocacy for library and literary services to children and youth; be a positive role model to colleagues and the wider community; and should exhibit innovative approaches to Jewish children's literature or library services.  Extra consideration is given to applicants who are seen as promising new movers and shakers in the field of Jewish children’s literature and services.


Candidates may self-nominate, or be nominated by others. The nominator does not have to be a member of AJL, but the nominee must be a current AJL member. Nomination forms may be found at

The deadline for application is March 7, 2014. The winner will receive $1,000 to assist with the expense of attending the 49th Annual Association of Jewish Libraries Conference in Las Vegas, NV, June 22-25, 2014.


For more information, please contact Amalia Warshenbrot, President of AJL’s Synagogues, Schools and Centers Division at or 704-365-3313.


The 48th Annual Association of Jewish Libraries Conference in Houston, Texas starts in one week! I am looking forward to seeing many of you there, but I hope that those who can't join us in person will keep an eye on Facebook for the duration of the conference (June 16-19). We'll be posting photos and status updates live from Houston to

If you are not a Facebook user, don't worry! You don't have to sign up or log in to view AJL's Facebook page! Just go to and you'll see everything we post!

If you ARE a Facebook user, please click Like on AJL's page if you haven't already. This will allow you to receive our posts in your news feed, and it will mean you can post comments on our photos and status updates! We would LOVE to hear from you, so please do add your "likes" and comments once we start posting from the conference!

To those who will be in Houston - I'd be happy to have additional volunteers help Facebook the conference! If you're interested, send a friend request to Heidi Rabinowitz Estrin (if we're not FB friends already) and message me to let me know you'd like to be part of the fun!

See you all soon in Houston and on Facebook!
Heidi Rabinowitz Estrin
Association of Jewish Libraries
Posted in: Conferences

Get Your Copy!

48th Annual Association of Jewish Libraries Conference

June 16-19, 2013

Houston, TX



Posted in: Conferences

For the Record:

48th Annual Association of Jewish Libraries Conference

June 16-19, 2013

Houston, TX

Posted in: Conferences

A Cordial Invitation 

The Association of Jewish Libraries (AJL), the Catholic Library Association (CLA) and the American Theological Library Association (ATLA) present:


Sunday, June 30, from 4:00-6:00 p.m.

For ATLA, AJL, and CLA members and friends. Light, kosher refreshments will be served.

Venue: St. James Common
Episcopal Diocese of Chicago
65 East Huron
Chicago, IL 60611

Please RSVP no later than June 25, 2013 to:
Rick Rybak, / 312.775.9435

A printable PDF, including a map and directions, is available here.

48th Annual Association of Jewish Libraries Conference

June 16-19, 2013

Houston, TX

Posted in: Conferences

48th Annual Association of Jewish Libraries Conference

June 16-19, 2013

Houston, TX

Posted in: Conferences


48th Annual Association of Jewish Libraries Conference

June 16-19, 2013

Houston, TX

Posted in: Conferences

48th Annual Association of Jewish Libraries Conference

June 16-19, 2013

Houston, TX

Posted in: Conferences
48th Annual Association of Jewish Libraries Conference
June 16-19, 2013
Houston, TX

Posted in: Conferences

48th Annual Association of Jewish Libraries Conference
June 16-19, 2013
Houston, TX

Posted in: Conferences
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.

Sydney Taylor Book Award Committee member Barbara Krasner has created an expert-packed workshop to guide Jewish children's writers in new directions with guest faculty and AJL member Linda Silver, author of Best Jewish Books for Children and Teens, to help. The workshop will take place at the homeplace of the Founders of Highlights for Children near Honesdale, Pennsylvania, May 15-18, 2011.

Additional guest faculty includes Margery Cuyler, publisher, Marshall Cavendish Children’s Books and its new Jewish imprint, Shofar Books; Ruth Katcher, Egmont editor-at-large; Natalie Blitt, expert on Jewish children’s literature and former program director and book selection committee chair, The PJ Library; Debra Hess, Senior Editor, Highlights for Children; and Laurel Snyder, author of Baxter, the Pig Who Wanted to Be Kosher and Penny Dreadful.

Find complete information at

10:00AM to 3:00PM - SUNDAY, APRIL 3, 2011

Featured Speakers:

Sid Jacobson was editor in chief at Harvey Comics, where he created Richie Rich, and was the executive editor at Marvel Comics. His collaborations with illustrator Ernie Colon include the fascinating 9/11 Report: A Graphic Adaptation, and the new illustrated biography of Anne Frank entitled, Anne Frank: The Anne Frank House Authorized Graphic Biography.

William J. Rubin is the executive editor of Nachshon Press and the chief architect of the National Jewish Book Award winner, Homeland: The Illustrated History of the State of Israel.

Barry Deutsch is the 2011 Sydney Taylor Award winner for Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword.

Anastasia Betts is a well-known education professional with an expertise in graphic literature.

10:00 AM Registration and Bagels
10:30 AM Questions and Answers about graphic literature with authors Sid Jacobson, Barry Deutsch and William Rubin
12:00 PM Buffet Lunch with special presentation by Sydney Taylor Award winner Barry Deutsch
1:15 PM History of graphic literature for children with Anastasia Betts
2:30 PM Literature marketplace and autographing by local children's literature authors

Manuscript consultations available

Conference will be held at American Jewish University,
15600 Mulholland Dr., Los Angeles, CA

Sponsored by Sinai Temple Blumenthal Library, Association of Jewish Libraries, AJLSC, and American Jewish University

For reservations and information call Susan Dubin at (818) 886-6415, or send email to Lisa Silverman, lsilverman at sinaitemple dot org.

Registration: $55 (includes lunch); $45 for AJL members, and $45 for a manuscript consult.

Ellen Tilman, Director of Library Services at Meyers Library, Reform Congregation Keneseth Israel?, attended the recent Jewish Childrens' Writers & Illustrators Conferences and offers this summary of her experiences and impressions.

A Library Person’s View of The Jewish Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Conference

By Ellen Tilman

I attended the Jewish Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Conference in New York City this past November out of curiosity as a Jewish Children’s book person. I knew no one at the conference. I was looking for a children’s author to do a program in my congregational library and have always considered writing a children’s book. For me, the conference was a success. I left with a stack of business cards, names of potential speakers, a list of possible books to purchase for my library and helpful advice on becoming a professional writer.

I heard about the conference from the Jewish Book Council and on Barbara Krasner’s Blog: The Whole Megillah.  I find her book reviews on Jewish children’s books to be very helpful in making library selections. She did a yeoman’s job organizing this event. Every minute was scheduled with presentations from editors, agents, and authors. There was an extended lunch hour to permit networking among participants.

Aileen Grossberg and Kathe Pinchuck represented AJL and discussed the Sydney Taylor Manuscript Competition and the Sydney Taylor Book Awards. The participants I met were either published authors or individuals looking for publishers. Several had books that were scheduled for publication this spring.

Stephanie Lurie, an editor at Disney-Hyperion,talked about the 3 H’s of Jewish children’s books: Holidays; History; and Holocaust. She shared titles of her favorite Jewish Children’s books. As a library person, I found her discussion of the types of books being published at mass market publishers, such as Disney-Hyperion, to be upsetting. They are interested in books with a universal appeal, that can be shared with the family, have positive role models, subtle values, leave the world a better place, etc. Fantasy and Science Fiction titles are in high demand. This would seem to severely limit books on Jewish themes.

Mark Levine, the Executive Editor at Behrman House shared the innovative new directions for this publisher. They are interested in “Digital Interactive Books.” As I understood his description, the reader will help develop the story line and will participate as a character. These books will be multi-sensory with audio and video components. The author and reader will have a shared communal experience. They are also exploring “Trans-Media Story Telling.” He described this as a multi-platform approach to publishing with books, on-line features, and the ability to be interactive with games, etc. I am not sure how this type of publishing would relate to a congregational library, but I am certainly eager to learn more.

Judye Groner, Editorial Director of Kar -Ben Publishers, said that they are publishing books featuring new Jewish traditions (such as Tashlich or Rosh Hodesh); American Jewish history, and today’s kids. An unusual feature of this conference was the opportunity for authors and illustrators to arrange individual consultations with publishers. Other speakers discussed the Agent-Author Relationship and marketing secrets. Unfortunately, I had to leave before the final speaker and Question and Answer Panel in order to catch my bus back to Philadelphia.

My “follow-up” list includes researching these titles for possible inclusion in our collection: “Jumping Jenny” by Ellen Bari (Kar-Ben); “Noah’s Swim-A-Thon” by Ann Koffsky (URJ); “The Life and Opinions of Amy Finewitz” by Laura Toffler-Corrie (Roaring Brook), and “Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword” by Barry Deutsch. I enjoyed this Conference and would encourage other AJL members to attend in the future.