Committees

The Association of Jewish Libraries has a variety of committees that provide service to the membership and to the field of Judaica librarianship. Some committees advertise openings as they occur; others may be joined at any time. For more information about the work of any committee, or to enquire about getting involved, contact the listed committee chair.

Accreditation Committee

The charge of the Accreditation Committee is to: 1) design accreditation instruments for Synagogue, School and Center Division libraries; 2) review completed accreditation forms and award Basic and Advanced Status to those libraries who qualify; 3) advise and mentor libraries who request help reaching accreditation status; and 4) publicize the accreditation process in appropriate venues and publications.

Chair

Rachail Kurtz
Yeshivah of Flatbush High School
Brooklyn , NY
(718) 252-3642

e-mail: rkurtz@flatbush.org

 

Conference Committee, Central

The National Convention Committee serves to advise, support, and assist the local convention chairs in planning and presenting the annual AJL National Conference. The committee also encourages and fosters an interest in presenting Regional Conferences to address the professional needs of members who cannot attend National Convention and to attract librarians who may not be familiar with AJL. 

Chair

James P Rosenbloom
Brandeis University
Sharon , MA
(781) 784-3743

e-mail: rosenbloom@brandeis.edu

 

Conference Committee, Local

The Local Convention Committee plans and coordinates all aspects of the annual convention, including: working with the national chair to locate a hotel, arranging for meals and entertainment, planning the programming, soliciting vendors for the book fair, recruiting volunteers, and coordinating with national committees—everything necessary for those attending to have an enlightening, educational, and enriching experience during the convention. 

Chair

James P Rosenbloom
Brandeis University
Sharon , MA
(781) 784-3743

e-mail: rosenbloom@brandeis.edu

 

Conference Stipend Committee

The Conference Stipends Committee reviews applications requesting financial support to attend the annual conference. The Committee awards stipends comprised of Judy R. Cohn, EBSCO, and Littauer Grant funds on the basis of eligibility criteria described under Conference Stipends and Scholarships.

Chair

Lenore M. Bell
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Falls Church , VA
(703) 615-0559

e-mail: lbell@ushmm.org

 

Librarianship and Education Committee

The Librarianship and Education Committee develops and promotes specialized courses (online and/or in person) for individuals interested in Judaica librarianship, both those in library school and those seeking continuing education.

 

International Liaison

The charge of the International Liaison is to organize a panel or panels at international conferences that have a library or Jewish studies component. The committee makes contact with appropriate organizations sponsoring the conference and arranges sponsorship or joint sponsorship of one or more panels devoted to Judaica librarianship. The committee then solicits papers and decides on which papers to accept. The panel is then organized and the information is forwarded to the sponsoring organization. The committee maintains contact with the participants, and publicizes the event.

 

Member Merit Awards

AJL presents a member annually with either the Life Membership Award or the Fanny Goldstein Merit Award. This committee selects deserving AJL members for recognition.

Chair

Aaron Taub
Library of Congress
Washington , DC
(202) 269-1067

e-mail: atau@loc.gov

 

Member Relations Committee

The Member Relations Committee seeks to strengthen AJL by relationship-building and community-building among the membership. Member Relations also oversees AJL’s Mentoring program. 

Chair


Heidi Rabinowitz
Congregation Bnai Israel



e-mail: heidi@cbiboca.org

 

News & Reviews Committee

AJL publishes a quarterly online journal sharing organizational news and reviews of new Judaic books and other materials. A general editor oversees operations, assisted by review editors for adult and children’s materials. A large cadre of volunteer reviewers provides content, and members are welcome to submit articles in consultation with the general editor.

Chair

Uri Kolodney
University of Texas at Austin

512-495-4399

e-mail: kolodney@austin.utexas.edu

 

Public Relations Committee

The Public Relations Committee's charge is to publicize the work of AJL via traditional and social media, assist committees in sharing their news, and assist AJL with networking and outreach efforts.

Chair


Aviva Adler
North Shore Hebrew Academy
Holliswood , NY
718-896-3171

e-mail: aviva28@gmail.com

 

Publications Committee

The Publications Committee oversees the distribution of AJL publications including monographs. It also seeks to publish new materials of interest to AJL members.

Chair


Laura Schutzman
Hebrew Academy of Nassau County
Kew Gardens Hills , NY
(410) 967-5531

e-mail: laura.schutzman@gmail.com

 

Reference and Bibliography Award Committee

The seven-member Reference and Bibliography Award Committee is charged with annually selecting the winners of the Reference and Bibliography Award. The committee is chaired by the vice-president of the RAS Division. Committee members review and evaluate books submitted by publishers for the awards. Members of the committee must be members of AJL National and have expertise in Judaica reference sources and writing reviews. The committee hosts the winners at the convention banquet where awards are presented. 

Chair

Rachel Simon
Princeton University

(609) 683-5209

e-mail: rsimon@princeton.edu

 

RAS Cataloging Committee

The charge of the RAS Cataloging Committee is to act as a liaison with the Policy and Standards Division of the Library of Congress on issues affecting Judaica cataloging including subject problems raised by RAS Division members, and suggest possible solutions; and to educate members as to new policies or procedures affecting Judaica cataloging in the form of workshops at AJL conventions and/or a cataloging column in one of the AJL publications. Committee members maintain a wiki containing meeting agendas and minutes as well as notifications of changes in romanization. 

Chair

Geraldine Dickel
Yale University
New Haven , CT
203-671-6891

e-mail: geraldine.dickel@yale.edu

 

Scholarship Committee

The Scholarship Committee is responsible for sending announcements of the AJL scholarship competition to all accredited American and Canadian library schools; selecting the winner(s); publicizing the fund via the AJL News and announcing donations in the newsletter; sending notes of acknowledgement to those in whose honor, or family of those in whose memory, donations are made. 

 

Sydney Taylor Book Award Committee

The six-member Sydney Taylor Book Award Committee is charged with annually selecting the winners of the Sydney Taylor Book Award and with implementing the process by which the winners are selected, publicized, and presented. Committee members review and evaluate books submitted by publishers for the award. Usually two are selected—one for older readers and one for younger readers. In addition, several books are chosen for honors in each age category. The committee compiles an annual list of notable children's books of Jewish content, a bookmark listing all of the winners, and a collection of all of the committee's reviews written within the year. It also presents a program at the annual AJL convention and hosts the winners at the convention banquet where awards are presented. Members of the committee must be members of AJL National and must have broad knowledge of Judaic children's literature as well as experience in writing evaluative reviews. They are expected to meet deadlines and to participate in annual conventions. A committee term lasts for four years.

Chair

Ellen Tilman
Reform Congregation Keneseth Israel



e-mail: etilman@kenesethisrael.org

 

Sydney Taylor Manuscript Competition Committee

The six-member Sydney Taylor Manuscript Competition Committee is charged with annually selecting the winners of the Sydney Taylor Manuscript Award and with implementing the process by which the winners are selected, publicized, and presented. Committee members review and evaluate manuscripts submitted by authors for the award. The members read the submitted manuscripts, after the committee chair has determined that they meet the basic criteria of the competition, such as length, age appropriateness, content, etc. Each member votes on whether or not they feel the manuscript is a contender (the committee chair votes only in the case of a tie). If at least 2 members agree that it is a possible contender, those are submitted to everyone at the end for the final vote. The manuscripts are sent around to the committee members as soon as they are received so that the evaluations begin immediately. An effort is made to have a committee that is geographically and philosophically diverse to reflect the makeup of AJL. 

Chair

Fan & Hyman Jacobs Library
Oheb Shalom Congregation
South Orange , NJ
973-762-7067

e-mail: library@ohebshalom.org