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Entries for 'marie'

Things have been a little slow over the summer, so I have to apologize for the lack of blog posts lately. I promise we're going to have some great content for you very soon. In the mean time here's our roundup of great finds on the web for the week.

From Stephen's Lighthouse, Another Great Library Video, from the University of Bergen in Norway.

A report from the Jewish Women's Archive on their 2010 Institute for Educators.

The Most Interesting Reaction to my NewCAJE Workshop, from OnLion/Behrman House.

Summer Nostalgia, from the Jewish Publication Society.

Summer Reading: Jewish Bestsellers on Amazon, from the Jewish Literary Review.

Got a link you'd like to share? Email me at mcloutier at Have a great week.

Posted by Marie.

We have a bunch of great links to share this week!

Book Recommendation Services, about online readers' advisory sources, from the great Stephen's Lighthouse blog. What are your favorite online resources for RA?

Connecting Kids to Character, from OnLion.

Social Media: Fad or Friend? from the AJL's Greater Cleveland Chapter blog. This is such an important topic for all libraries and librarians.

News Update from ALA's Washington Office: 'Topic du Jour? Access' (aka A Busy Time in DC), from ResourceShelf.

ebrary Adds 400 Titles to Public Library Complete, from Points of Reference.

Posted by Marie.
Posted in: Link Round-Up
We skipped our weekly link roundup last week because we had the Jewish Book Carnival but we're back today with some great things to share.

Why the Next Big Pop Culture Wave After Cupcakes Might be Libraries, from

ALA Virtual Conference: Top 10 Trends in Academic Librarianship, from Blogomancy.

Rabbi Harvey Interviews Gary Shteyngart, at

The New Era of Israeli Literature, from

Jamie Keiles: Teens Writing About Teens, from the Jewish Womens' Archive.

Legal Research Guide: Israel, from the Library of Congress.

Special Treasures from the JTS Library.

PLA offers free library advocacy training, from ALA.

Harvey Pekar Dies, from

Art for Peace: A Poet's Voyage to Israel, from

Oldest Written Document Ever Found in Jerusalem, from

I am actively seeking new blogs to add to the feedreader. If you know of an interesting, well-written blog that's updated regularly focusing on librarianship and/or Jewish books and publishing, please email me at mcloutier at In particular I'm looking for blogs on academic librarianship.
Posted in: Link Round-Up
The Jewish Book Carnival is your chance to participate in People of the Books.

The Carnival was started by Heidi Estrin and me, to promote blogs that cover Jewish books. It's an effort to build community, so that blog writers and readers can share posts on Jewish books. We'll read each others' blogs, support each other and promote each other- and Jewish books-  throughout the blogosphere.

Every month on the 15th, someone will host the roundup; this month (and next month) it will be here on the AJL blog. After that, we'd love to know if you would be interested in hosting the carnival on your blog!

The Jewish Book Carnival has a GoodReads page; we'd love for you to join, to keep up with Carnival news, join in our discussions and share what you're reading and writing about.

We are also running a poll to choose a name for the Carnival; the voting is open until August 31.

In the mean time, let's go with the inaugural edition of the Jewish Book Carnival.

From Steve Bergson, From Cyberspace to the Printed Page, from his Jewish Comics blog.

From Barbara Bietz, a post from her blog on Laurel Snyder and her new book, Baxter The Pig Who Wanted to be Kosher.

From Erika Dreifus, on the Fiction Writers Review blog: a review of Sarah/Sara by Jacob Paul.

Erika also sent us From My Bookshelf: Prisoners: A Muslim and A Jew Across the Middle East Divide.

The Jewish Book Council blog contributed Writing a Book Like Coney Island, a guest post by author Joshua Cohen, author of Witz.

The Jewish Women's Archive blog Jewesses with Attitude contributed their Summer Reading List.

From the Jew Wishes book blog, a review of Mr. Rosenbaum Dreams in English, by Natasha Solomons.

From Ann D. Koffsky, Lifeguarding and Illustration.

From Barbara Krasner, a review of Lost, by Jacqueline Davies, and a review of Emma's Poem, by Linda Glaser. Both are from the excellent Whole Megillah blog on children's literature.

From Sylvia Rouss, Once Upon A Time There Was a Little Rescue Dog.

Please visit and bookmark all these great blogs. Thanks to those who participated, and if you're a blogger who'd like to participate next month, please feel free to email me at mcloutier at Happy reading!
Here's this week's collection of links on Jewish books, reading, libraries and more.

Red, White and Kosher, from the Schocken Books blog.

In case you missed it at the convention, here's a link to the 2010 AJL Convention: AJL and Social Media presentation.

From the Jewish Book Council, PBS' Religion and Ethics Weekly featuring Debra Band and Pamela Greenberg.

From the Jerusalem Post, Taglit celebrates 10 years, a quarter million participants.

Anthony Julius and anti-Semitism in England, from the Jewish Literary Review.

Got something to share? Send me an email at mcloutier at Have a great week.
Posted in: Link Round-Up
The following is a summary of the AJL's Facebook feed from yesterday's convention proceedings.

  • Feinstein lecture. One of our resident librarian-scholars, Yossi Galron, gave the lecture Monday night. Dressed in a tie! He led us through the history of Jewish bibliography. I would like to have seen of his own online bio-bibliography, but he modestly left it out.

  • April Wayland Halpern tells the group about writing New Year's on the Pier.

  • April Wayland Halpern reads us her story.

  • When they say "the STBA committee tells all" they mean "all" The committee gleefully recounted the arguements they had, especially when trying to decide if a book is "Jewish" sfs

  • Margarita Engle tells about writing Tropical Secrets.

  • On the left, Margarita Engle's parents still married 62 years later. On the right, Margarita visiting her Cuban family's farm on land purchased with gold from a pirate ancestor.

  • My eyes are starting to cross a bit at the RDA talk. I'm trying to remember what RDA stands for ... Really Detailed something? lots of small changes to our cataloging practices. Adam Schiff is doing a great job zipping through slides and explaining the changes from AACR2. His presentation is at

  • New Sydney Taylor Award Committee members, Aimee Lurie and Debbie Feder, prepare to deliver their 2011 Sneak Peak presentations.

  • Heidi Estrin, Lisa Silverman, Ellen Cole and Kathe Pinchuck begin their discussion of Children's Book Reviewing.

  • The AJL's pre-Award Banquet reception.

  • Dr. Geoffrey Megargee, accepts the Judaica Reference Award.

  • April Wayland Halprin, author of New Year at the Pier, accepts the Sydney Taylor Book Award for Young Readers.

  • Robin Friedman accepts the Sydney Taylor Book Award for Older Readers.

  • Margarita Engle accepts the Sydney Taylor Book Award for Teen Readers.

  • Joan Schoettler accepts the Sydney Taylor Manuscript Award.

  • The Seattle Committee says thank you and goodbye...

Stay up to date even faster by friending AJL on its Facebook page.

Posted in: Convention
The following is taken from AJL's Facebook feed. Friend us on Facebook to stay up to the minute.

  • 17 photos from Sunday, the first day of the 45th Annual Conference of the Association of Jewish Libraries

  • I'm sitting at the awesome Seattle Public Library listening to a Reader's advisory talk by David Wright. The speaker got a big round of applause when our moderator, Diann Romm mentioned that he reads and speaks on NPR's All Things Considered. sfs.

  • David spoke about the difference between Readers Advisory and reference work. In reference, the patron know what subject she/he is looking for. For fiction, they're looking for other "appeal characteristics" such as the genre, the type of ending (happy, sad, open-ended), the tone, the age of the characters, setting, a......nd many others. He showed several libraries services and blogs that help people find new authors or title. Check out or

  • Kathy Bloomfield is starting off her library management workshop with relevant comparisons to classic Jewish children's books. She's using And Shira Imagined to talk about planning.

  • David Gilner introduces Laurel Wolfson for the AJL Life Membership Award.

  • Laurel Wolfson accepts the AJL Life Membership Award.

  • Enid Sperber lights up the room as she promotes chapters around the country.

  • Yelena Luckert welcomed AJL first time attendees. What brave souls!

  • Hazzan Isaac Azose led us in a beautiful Sephardic version of the Birkat ha-mazon

  • Sarah Barnard and Shuli Berger presented the library school scholarship to Haim Gottschalk (former conference chair in Phoenix) The other recipient Rachel Isaac-Menard couldn't make it to the convention. sfs

  • Heidi Rabinowitz explores Facebook and other Social Media with Jewish librarians in Seattle.

  • Tina Weiss gave a talk on the use of mobile devices in the library. I'm taking notes on how to enhance, or rather simplify our library homepage and catalog. She advised taking out the graphics and any java scripts.I'm adding this to my "to-do" list once I get home. Oh the joy (sincere) and joy (light sarcasm) of learning... from my colleagues. sfs

  • After Tina spoke, Daniel Horowitz spoke about the genealogy program People can use their free download to create their family trees and then upload them to Bet Ha-tefutsot.

  • View 7 new photos

Come back tomorrow for more updates, or visit our Facebook page for up to the minute news.
Posted in: Convention
Let's see what's new in the world of Jewish books, blogs, libraries and more this week.

From the Jewish Book Council blog, Allegra Goodman on Writing "Jewish" Fiction.

From ResourceShelf, JSTOR Involved as Israel Prepares to Open First Digital Archive of Hebrew Academic Journals.

From the Jewish Publication Society, Making the Cut.

Erika Dreifus of My Machberet talks up the new YIVO Online Encyclopedia of Jews in Eastern Europe.

As always if you have feedback or suggestions please either comment below or email me at mcloutier at and have a great Fourth of July weekend.
Posted in: Link Round-Up
From time to time we here at AJL are contacted for review and interview opportunities for new or soon-to-be-released books. Whenever a new stack of books comes across my desk, I'd like to share them with you.
First up is Remedies, Kate Ledger's novel published in hardcover by Amy Einhorn Books: Simon and Emily Bear look like a couple who have it all. Simon is a respected doctor, while Emily shines professionally as a partner in a premier public relations firm. They have a beautiful house in Baltimore and a healthy daughter. But their marriage is scarred by old, hidden wounds. Even as Simon tends his patients' ills, and Emily spins away her clients' mistakes, they can't seem to do the same for themselves or their relationship....In a debut novel on apar with today's top women writers, Remedies explores the extradorinarily compliecated facets of pain, in the nerves of the body and the longings of the heart.

Based upon Availability is Alix Strauss's new book, out now in paperback from HarperCollins: From the very first page of this stunning novel, readers are drawn into the lives of eight seemingly ordinary women who pass through Manhattan's swanky Four Seasons Hotel. While offering sanctuary to some, solace to others, the hotel captures their darkest moments as they grapple with family, sex, power, love, and death.

Stay tuned for an interview with Strauss, coming soon to the AJL blog.

M.L. Malcolm's new novel, Heart of Lies, is also out now in paperback from HarperCollins: Leo Hoffman was born with a gift for languages. When his dreams for the future are destroyed by World War I, the dashing young Hungarian attempts to use his rare talent to reubild his life, only to find himself inadvertently embroiled in an international counterfeiting scheme. Suddenly Leo is wanted across the European continent for a host of crimes, including murder...An epic tale of intrigue, passion, an adventure.

Finally, coming October 26 from Random House is Avi Steinberg's memoir Running the Books: Avi Steinberg is stumped. After defecting from his yeshiva to Harvard, he has only a senior thesis essay on Bugs Bunny to show for his effort. While his friends and classmates advance in the world, he remains stuck at a crossroads, unable to meet the lofty expectations of his Orthodox Jewish upbringing. And his romantic existence as a freelance obituary writer just isn't cutting it. Seeking direction- and dental insurance- Steinberg takes a job as a librarian in a tough Boston prison.

Please feel free to contact me with feedback or other ideas at mcloutier at
The Champion of Children: The Story of Janusz Korczak, by Tomek Bogacki. Published 2009 by FSG Kids' Books. Hardcover.

The Champion of Children: The Story of Janusz Korczak is alternately moving, sad and hopeful. Janusz Korczak, doctor, writer, activist and advocate for children, was born Henryk Goldzmit in 1878 in Poland. Although his own family was well-off, even as a child he felt a great deal of compassion and concern for those, especially children, without his comforts. He fantasized about sweeping in on a white horse to rescue poor children, and when he grew up he became a doctor and founded an orphanage for poor children where they would receive basic care. Importantly, they would also learn to take care of each other- and to care for each other. Over time he started another orphanage and even a newspaper run by the children.

When Polish Jews were forced into the Krochmalna Street ghetto, Korczak tried to maintain a sense of routine and safety for the children by organizing life the best he could and looking for anything and anyone to help them. Ultimately Korczak and his children perished in the Holocaust, but he left behind a legacy of hope and purpose in helping other and following one's dreams.

The book itself is beautifully illustrated and sweetly and simply told and shows how one person can make a difference in the lives of so many, simply by doing what is right. It's a wonderful book to share with children and adults.

Nonfiction Monday is a moving meme headquartered at Picture Book of the Day and hosted this week at Bookish Blather.
Maybe it's the early summer air, or ALA on the horizon, but there's lots going on on the web in the way of Jewish books, libraries and the like this week.

ResourceShelf directs our attention to a New Report from ACRL: Futures Thinking for Academic Librarians and to a panel from Toronto about the future of publishing and ebooks.

The Yiddish Book Center published a book club guide for Friendly Fire: A Duet, by A.B. Yehoshua, translated by Stuart Schoffman.

Erika Dreifus's book blog My Machberet published a guest post by Barbara Krasner entitled Writing Jewish-themed Children's Books: A Conference Dispatch including a mention of AJL librarian Lisa Silverman.

OCLC announced Three Gateway milestone records entered in May, one by the Society for the Preservation of Hebrew Books.

Jewish Delis: The History of the Nosh comes to us from the Jewish Publication Society's blog.

The Jewish Quarterly announced the winner of the 2010 Wingate Prize, the so-called "Jewish Booker," to My Happiness Bears No Relation to Happiness, by Adina Hoffman.

The New Yorker did a Q&A with Nicole Krauss, author of The History of Love and more, in its 20 under 40 series.

Tablet published Reflections on a Book Paradise, about the sale of the Politics & Prose bookstore in Washington, D.C., and why it's a Jewish story.

As always I welcome feedback and suggestions for next week's roundup at mcloutier at Have a great week and if you're on your way to ALA, enjoy!
Posted in: Link Round-Up
Today I have the privilege of sharing an interview I recently conducted with author Carla Jablonski, who's written many books for teens and young adults. You can visit her website and find out more about her and her books at Her first graphic novel, Resistance: Book 1, has recently been published by First Second. What follows is a conversation we had about this book, which focuses on the French resistance to Nazi occupation during World War II and in particular about the efforts of a French family to save French Jews.

  1. The narrative, while fictional, is based in historical fact and makes reference to several historical events and circumstances. The Velodrome d'Hiver roundup, the use the Paris sewers as hiding places and the significant presence of French Jews in the Resistance are all alluded to, and although it's not named explicitly, Paul and Marie's efforts to help Henri recall the activities of the Oeuvre de secours aux enfants (Children's Relief Efforts or OSE). When you were researching all this for the book, did you learn anything that surprised you about the Resistance or about France during the war, or anything else?

So much! As an American, what I learned in school was primarily about the American entrance into the war, or very specifically about the Jewish experience. I really didn’t know all that much about what it must have been like for ordinary French people during the war, their daily life, their struggles, and -- especially -- the ways life, although altered, still went on.

I admit I was shocked by the wide-spread and deep strain of anti-Semitism in France, resulting in an overwhelming amount of denunciations. I was also surprised by -- and then used as part of the story -- all of the conflicts within the Resistance itself.

The role of luck and coincidence in many of the successful -- or tragic -- events of the Resistance also was quite startling.

And of course, all the research got me asking the question: “What would I do if my country were occupied?”

  1. What was it about the Resistance that intrigued you? Why is it an important subject to learn about in the context of Holocaust studies for children?

The passion and commitment of people who became part of the Resistance was very compelling to me. How people made choices, what they were willing to risk, and conversely, what lines they weren’t willing to cross were all elements I wanted to explore. Also, the struggle for victory against enormous odds while suffering terrible difficulties is both dramatic and inspiring. I also find the idea of secrets a very appealing subject for fiction-- keeping them, having them, and the danger of them -- particularly as an element in a book for early teens.

For all those same reasons that I was drawn to the Resistance is why I think it’s an important subject for children to learn about. Children often feel helpless in the face of conflicts created by adults. These people took action -- in spite of so much being against them and the dire consequences of failure. Doing the right thing, even if that makes you the minority, is also an important lesson. Discovering that people can all want to do the right thing, yet not agree on how to go about it is also an important topic that can be discussed via the Resistance.

  1. One thing I enjoyed about the book from a reader's perspective was the way you built the suspense slowly and tell the story unflinchingly, sparing neither the horror nor trauma of war. Was it challenging to present these things in a way that's appropriate for children? What audience did you envision as you were writing?

I’ve written a lot for kids and teens, so I actually didn’t find that difficult. I guess I’ve somehow internalized those limits and so the story unfolds in an age-appropriate way without my consciously having to police it!

I think the ideal reader for this is probably about thirteen, though I hope it will appeal to those older (like Sylvie and Jacques) and to those who are younger, like Marie.

  1. What themes or ideas were you trying to illustrate with the choices you made about how to tell the story?

I purposely chose to have three children at different ages so that I could explore the impact of the war at different levels of maturity. Because it’s a graphic novel, I decided to make Paul an artist to really exploit the visual medium. I came up with ideas for his drawings in his sketchbook to reveal what he’s feeling but wouldn’t feel comfortable expressing another way -- while also providing a believable skill that would make him valuable to the Resistance. It was also really important to me to not just be historically accurate (while also being entertaining) but to allow the kids to really be kids -- not little superheroes or overly noble. I worked hard on the dialogue so that it would have the feel of real conversation.

  1. This book is titled Resistance Book 1, suggesting that there may be a Book 2 in the works. Is there? What's it going to be about?

Actually there are two more! It’s a trilogy, following Marie, Paul, and Sylvie through to the liberation of Paris. Each book is set one year apart, and as the kids get older and more deeply involved, the conflicts get more intense and the stakes get higher. Their roles in the Resistance change, they uncover more secrets about people they know, and their relationships change -- with friends, with other Resistance members, with Germans, and even with each other -- sometimes quite dramatically!

Carla, thank you so much for taking the time to talk to AJL and best of luck with the trilogy!
For all those who will be attending the American Library Association Annual Conference in Washington, DC from next Thursday June 24-Tuesday, June 29, 2010 ­

You are very cordially invited to attend any or all of the following ALA Jewish Information Committee and AJL-related events (AJL is now an affiliate of ALA):

Sunday, June 27th: 1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Washington Convention Center -147A
Judith Schaefer's 59-minute film, "So Long Are You Young: Samuel Ullman's Poems and Passion," tells the remarkable story of the serendipitous international influence of one poem. This inspiring
documentary highlights Ullman's life (1840-1924), community humanitarian work, and personal courage as an immigrant Jew in Birmingham, Alabama, and how his philosophy came to influence General Douglas MacArthur, postwar Japanese society, and world leaders like Robert and Ted Kennedy.  Ullman biographer and historian Margaret Armbrester will facilitate audience discussion following the screening.

Monday, June 29th: 1:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Washington Convention Center -147A
Overview of two millennia-long Jewish community in Romania including the Holocaust, Communist, and post-Communist periods; immigration and history of Jews in the USA and Canada; Romanian Holocaust survivors and righteous Gentiles; biographical sketches of noted Romanian Jews; library materials on North American Romanian Jewry including Multicultural Review; and a discussion of the publication, The Romanian Jews in America and Canada (1850-2010) are the main components of this program.  Speakers: Lyn Miller-Lachman, Multicultural Review, Editor-in-Chief; Vladimir Wertsman, EMIERT Publishing and Multicultural Materials Committee, Chair.

Monday, June 29th: 4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Washington Convention Center -147A
Jewish Information Committee Meeting.
Please join us to discuss Jewish-related activities in ALA; to talk about how AJL's recent affiliation with ALA will impact the JIC; and to help us plan for the future in relation to programming at ALA's
upcoming Annual Conferences in New Orleans, June 23–28, 2011; Anaheim, CA: June 21–26, 2012; Chicago, June 27- July 2, 2013; and Las Vegas, June 26-July 1, 2014.  Full listing of upcoming ALA Midwinter Meetings and Annual (summer) Conferences through June 2017 can be found at

Monday, June 29th: 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Eli's Restaurant
Kosher* dinner at popular Dupont Circle restaurant where we can continue the discussion in more relaxed surroundings and unwind from the intense activity of the world's oldest and largest professional
library association conference.  This is the same heymish/homey place we dined in 2007 as then co-ordinated by JIC immediate Past Chair Ellen Zyroff and current AJL/ALA Co-Liaison.

Directions, menus, and more information at

*Eli's menu and facility are strictly kosher under the supervision of the Vaad Harabanim of Greater Washington

****PLEASE NOTE: If you are certain that you will be joining us for
dinner, please let me know as soon as possible, but no later than
next Wednesday, June 24th to insure your reservation by contacting me
directly (off list) at ****
Whether you're registered for the entire conference, a single day's full participation, or exhibits only, please come by the ALA Affiliates Exhibit Booth # 2533 in the Washington Convention Center, 801 Mount Vernon Place NW, Washington, D.C. 20001, and say hello at the following times:

Sunday, June 27 from 4:00-5:00 p.m.
Monday, June 28 from 9:00-11:00 a.m.

Or volunteer to staff the booth for AJL at another time (please contact me for details).

Exhibit Hours:
Friday, June 25 -- Exhibits ribbon cutting 5:15 pm; Exhibits will open at 5:30 pm
Saturday, June 26 9:00am-5:00pm
Sunday, June 27 9:00am-5:00pm
Monday, June 28 9:00am-4:00pm

Hope to see you in Washington, DC at ALA and in Seattle, Washington State at AJL (July 4-7)!

Elliot H. Gertel
Irving M. Hermelin Curator of Judaica
Association of Jewish Libraries/American Library Association Co-Liaison
Chair, ALA EMIERT Jewish Information Committee
The University of Michigan
Near East Division, Area Programs
111-C Hatcher Graduate Library North
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-1190

Posted in: Uncategorized
Here are some great links about Jewish books, libraries and more that have hit the web this week.

Two great posts from the Jewish Publication Society blog- a summer reading roundup and a post on Online Jewish Ethics Resources.

Safranim's blog has launched. It's in Hebrew and covers Jewish libraries and books.

Yesterday posted A Very Jewish Bloomsday: everything you need to know for today.

ResourceShelf posted a great article for ebook patrons on sending full text ebooks directly to a Kindle.

An article on Translated Poetry by Avron Sutkever in Hayden's Ferry Review was posted by Erika at the My Machberet book blog.

Great Authors on the Big Jewcy appears at the Jewish Book Council blog.

Q&A with Miryam Kabakov: Editor of Anthology on Orthodox Lesbians is at the Jewish Womens' Archive Jewesses with Attitude blog.

Inter-Religious Dialogue posted their review of the new online YIVO Encyclopedia of Jews in Eastern Europe.

Have feedback? A link  you'd like to share? Please email me at mcloutier at Have a great week!
Posted in: Link Round-Up
First Second, a comics imprint part of Macmillan, has two graphic novels out now that may be of interest to Judaic libraries that collect for children.

[caption id="attachment_313" align="alignleft" width="140" caption="City of Spies, by Susan Kim & Laurence Klavan. Artwork by Pascal Dizin"][/caption]

City of Spies, by Susan Kim and Laurence Klavan, with artwork by Pascal Dizin. ISBN 978-1-59643-262-8.

In the comics Evelyn draws in secret, the heroic Zirconium Man and his loyal sidekick Scooter always beat the bad guys and save the day. But quiet, lonely Evelyn never imagined she could be a hero, too.

So Evelyn can hardly believe it when she and her new friend Tony uncover a deadly plot being carried out by Nazi spies, right in their neighborhood. Together, the two pals set out to save the day- and help win the war!

[caption id="attachment_314" align="alignright" width="140" caption="Resistance Book 1, by Carla Jablonski and Leland Purvis"][/caption]

Resistance Book 1, by Carla Jablonski and Leland Purvis. ISBN 978-1-59643-291-8.

World War II is raging across Europe, but life goes on in the small French village where Paul Tessier lives. With his father being held as a prisoner of war by the German army, it's up to Paul to be the man of the house. Paul has more to worry about than just his own family: his best friend, Henri Levy, is Jewish. When Henri's parents vanish, Paul and his sister Marie construct a plan to hide Henri from the Germans.

But soon their secret leaks the Resistance! This organization of loyal French women and men fights against the German occupiers in any way they can. Now Paul, Marie, and Henri are about to become the Resistance's youngest recruits.

Stay tuned to the AJL blog for an interview with Carla Jablonski, coming soon!
Posted in: Children's Books
Here are some great articles, book reviews and news on Jewish books, publishing and libraries this week.

Book review: The Making of a Reform Jewish Cantor at the Indiana University Press blog.

Lemon Cake Rising at

Library Blog Awards Announced at Points of Reference. Maybe AJL next year?

Not Your Father's Fiction Guide, a review of American Jewish Fiction, by Sanford Pinsker at

Happy 122nd Birthday, JPS! at

Israeli author scoops German literary peace prize, at

The Skala Yizkor Book at

Got a link you'd like to share? Email me at mcloutier at and I'll take a look.
Posted in: Uncategorized
This news item came to our attention thanks to Ya'akov Aronson.

Spring Study Day

Forty librarians from all over the country gathered at the National Library of Israel on 28 April to participate in the Spring Study Day of the Judaica Librarians' Group.  The event took place in the newly renovated lecture hall of the National Library's Music and Sound Archives Collection.

At a brief business meeting held before the lectures Haim Levi of the Hebrew Cataloging Department of the National Library of Israel (NLI) was chosen to serve as Chairman of the group.  The existing Steering
Committee of six members from five institutions will continue to assist the new Chairman.  It was also decided to hold the study days semiannually.

Opening the program was Gil Weissblei, Director of the Chaim Hazaz archive at NLI.  He talked about the ethical dilemma confronting an archivist when having to deal with an archive whose owner requested that all his papers be destroyed but his executor decided that the material was of such importance that it should be preserved.  Examples were drawn from the conflicts that arose concerning the archives of Chaim Hazaz and Franz Kafka.

Arnon Hershkovitz, Founder of the Internet Forum Family Roots, discussed resources for genealogical research available on the Internet as well in printed format.

Project Europeana Judaica, a part of the larger Europeana project to create a multi-lingual online collection of millions of digitized items from European museums, libraries, and archives, was described
by the Director of the Israeli section of the project, Dov Weiner. The Israel National Library has recently joined the project and will provide important items for the collection.

Closing the day Dr. Gila Flam, Director of the National Library's Music and Sound Archives Collection, discussed the unique challenges encountered in digitizing a music collection of over 30,000 hours recorded in many different formats over more than half a century.

Got an event or group you'd like us to know about? Send an email to mcloutier at Thanks!
Posted in: Events
The Man Who Flies with Birds, by Carole Garbuny Vogel and Yossi Leshem. Published 2009 by Kar-Ben Publishing. Hardcover.

Today's Nonfiction Monday features Carole Garbuny Vogel and Yossi Leshem's wonderful book, The Man Who Flies with Birds. The Man Who Flies with Birds is a profile of Yossi Leshem, an internationally recognized bird expert who has spent much of his life researching bird-migration problems over Israel so as to prevent injuries and deaths to both birds and humans by reducing the number and frequency of "bird strikes"- incidences where a bird or group of bird strikes a man-made aircraft, which causes numerous accidents every year.

As it happens, Israel is an important part of worldwide bird migration and studying this problem has lead to a greater understanding of bird behavior. This detailed, beautifully written book gives an impressive overview of many elements of the problem- everything from the physics of bird flight to the effects of thermals, or so-called "elevators of the sky" on birds' flight paths and migratory habits.

One of Leshem's main goals has been to increase awareness of bird conservation and protection, as well as to save human lives. The success of his work has depended on cooperation from neighboring countries and now several countries in the region are in the early stages of building a regional warning system to alert each other of bird migrations and possible problems for aircraft.

The Man Who Flies with Birds is a wonderful book to share with children. Illustrated throughout with photographs as well as scientific illustrations, its complex information is accessible and easy to read. It's a fascinating, informative story of one man's work to make the skies a little safer and children will learn a little science along with a good message about caring for nature.

Nonfiction Monday is a moving meme headquartered at Picture Book of the Day and hosted this week at Charlotte's Library.
Here are some great links from this past week on Jewish books, libraries and learning.

Podcasts: Exclusive Lectures! Three Scholars and Jewish American Women in History, from the Lilith blog. interviews Aharon Appelfeld, from the Schocken Books blog.

The Model of a Modern Major Novelist, a profile of Joseph Skibell at the Jewish Book Council blog.

When the Hurricane Came to New Orleans, the latest post on The Book of Life podcast/blog.
Rosenbloom is the incoming AJL President and will take up his duties on July 1, 2010.

I am the Judaica Librarian at Brandeis University, where I have worked since 1976.  I am responsible for all subjects taught in the Near Eastern and Judaic Studies Dept., as well as Classics and Religion.  I am part of the Special Collections Dept., and recently mounted an exhibit from the collection of Prof. Benjamin Ravid on his father Simon Rawidowicz.  I also serve as a "lead" for the humanities librarians.  In AJL I was vice-president, and am currently president of the RAS Division.  I have also served on the RAS awards committee for a number of years, and I chair the RAS Digitization Committee.

Over the last couple of years, many of our AJL members have proposed and then implemented ways in which we can make the wider Jewish community aware of the  importance of our organization in the training and support of Judaica librarians in all  Jewish educational, social and religious organizations, as well in academic settings.  Increased visibility on the web, an improved website and a major increase in public relations outreach are only a few of the recent areas in which we have made major strides.  I look forward to supporting all outreach efforts.

We also need to make ourselves an important part of the professional lives of all those interested in Judaica librarianship.  I recently went as AJL representative to a major technology and library conference in Tel Aviv.  I met with a number of people there, as well as with librarians at the National Library and Yad Vashem, as well as  some professors to discuss ways in which librarians from Israel, America, Europe and other areas can coordinate efforts.  We can exchange ideas, and perhaps participate in projects together, especially in the realm of digitization.  We  have already been asked to contribute metadata for  a project called Judaica Europeana.
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