posted on September 15,
How does a children’s book writer come to write a Jewish children’s book? Chicago children’s book writers Esme Codell, Ilene Cooper, Brenda Ferber, and Esther Hershenhorn answer that very question, sharing how their mindsets, heart-sets, experiences and backgrounds helped them crate their respective award-winning books (Esme: Sydney Taylor Honor Book Vive La Paris; Ilene: National Jewish Book Award winner Jewish Holidays All Year Round; Brenda: Sydney Taylor Book Award winner Julia’s Kitchen; Esther: Sydney Taylor Book Award winner Chicken Soup by Heart).
Click for links to:
These authors gave this panel presentation at the Association of Jewish Libraries convention on July 6, 2009 in Chicago, IL.
1 hr 5 min 39 sec
posted on September 15,
In the last several years, the world of Jewish literature has flourished with the publication of many novels, short stories, and highly readable non-fiction. In this session we survey the field, looking at books by both established authors and interesting new writers. From the off-beat to the mainstream, learn where to best use your budget dollars to ensure happy reading for your library patrons.
Nancy Rivin is the library director at Temple Emanu-El in Dallas, TX. She gave this presentation at the Association of Jewish Libraries convention on July 6, 2009 in Chicago, IL.
39 min 50 sec
posted on August 06,
This session offers hands-on Active Learning library instruction lessons that can be adapted to any grade level, in any time frame, and for any learning style. Librarians are always looking for effective ways to reach students, incorporate technology, increase student learning, and find new strategies to captivate students during library instruction classes, especially when we may only have them together in a class once a week, or in some cases, only a few times each year. The lecture format alone doesn’t work, but Active Learning does!
Presented by Maureen Reister of the Ann & Nate Levine Academy in Dallas, TX.
1 hr 7 min 37 sec
posted on August 06,
“Stolen Books: The Third Reich’s Exchange Center and the Prussian State Library in the Years 1933-1945. Aspects of the supply with literature under the control of National Socialism” was the title of this Special Plenary Session, presented at the 44th annual AJL Convention in Chicago, IL, July 6, 2009. The honored presenter was Barbara Schneider-Kempf, the Director General of the Berlin State Library in Germany.
38 min 46 sec
posted on July 29,
Dr. Peter Hayes is a Professor at Northwestern University and the Theodore Zev Weiss Holocaust Educational Foundation Chair in Holocaust Studies. He was named a Charles Deering McCormick Professor of Teaching Excellence for the period 2007-2010. He has published some 60 articles in American and European journals and books; edited volumes I and III of the renowned Lessons and Legacies series that he helped found, and co-edited works on Imperial Germany, the so-called Aryanization of Jewish property during the Third Reich and The Last Expression: Art and Auschwitz. His most recent book is From Cooperation to Complicity: Degussa in the Third Reich, which appeared in both English and German in 2004, and he is at work on two further studies: Profits and Persecution: German Big Business and the Holocaust and The Failure of a Generation: German Elites and National Socialism.
Dr. Hayes gave this keynote presentation at the Association of Jewish Libraries 44th annual convention on July 5, 2009 in Chicago, IL.
43 min 23 sec
posted on July 03,
The Jewish community of northeastern Ohio, or more simply, “Jewish Cleveland,” has played an important role in the region’s development since the first group of Jews to settle in the area arrived in 1839. This presentation will offer an overview of the growth and development of the region’s Jewish community after World War II, drawing attention to the community’s response to the arrival of Holocaust survivors, the move to the eastern suburbs, the role of Jewish leaders in the civil rights movement, and the local campaign on behalf of Soviet Jewry. The aim is to present a series of questions within a presentation on the community’s development, questions which the presentation can only begin to address: How has the community’s relationship to Jews outside the US affected local leaders and organizations? Why and how did Jews move to the eastern suburbs and how has the suburbanization of the community affected their concerns? How has the Jewish community forged alliances with non-Jews, and how have conflicts with other communities been handled? How has the community remained so vibrant, in spite of increasing urban sprawl and persistent demographic challenges? Posing the questions may lead to a new awareness of this more recent period of history. Special attention will also be given to the types of resources available in the Cleveland Jewish Archives to answer these questions.
Sean Martin is Associate Curator for Jewish History in the Cleveland Jewish Archives of the Western Reserve Historical Society in Cleveland, Ohio. Martin’s academic interests focus on modern Jewish and Polish history. He has written articles and book reviews for several journals in these fields, conducted extensive research in Poland, Ukraine, and Lithuania, and given talks on the Holocaust and Jewish history in the US and Poland. He is the author of Jewish Life in Cracow 1918-1939 (Vallentine Mitchell 2004).
26 min 33 sec
posted on June 17,
Author Sonia Levitin won the 2008 Sydney Taylor Book Award in the Older Readers category for Strange Relations. She had the opportunity to present her book and its backstory to an appreciative audience at the Association of Jewish Libraries annual convention on June 24, 2008 in Cleveland, Ohio.
45 min 59 sec
posted on June 17,
Author Sarah Gershman and illustrator Kristina Swarner won the 2008 Sydney Taylor Book Award in the Younger Readers category for The Bedtime Sh’ma: A Good Night Book. They had the opportunity to present their book to an appreciative audience at the Association of Jewish Libraries annual convention on June 24, 2008 in Cleveland, Ohio.
20 min 01 sec
posted on June 17,
At each year’s AJL convention, members of the Sydney Taylor Book Award Committee participate in a panel presentation to discuss the best and worst of recent Jewish literature for children and teens. In this podcast, you can hear members Susan Berson, Kathy Bloomfield, Rachel Kamin, Kathe Pinchuck, and Nancy Rivin (referred to as Nancy Austein in the recording) sharing their delight and dismay over juvenile Judaica published during 2007. Books are discussed in rounds:
- New Editions
- Unexplored Terrain
- But Is It Jewish Enough?
- New Perspectives on the Holocaust
- Sneak Peaks
Click here for the Powerpoint slideshow/handout that accompanied the session
This presentation was given at the Association of Jewish Libraries annual convention on June 24, 2008 in Cleveland, Ohio.
1 hr 30 min 13 sec
posted on May 27,
Information about information books: do “they” pick out the pictures and write the narrative? Or do “they” write the text and find pictures to match? Find out as three recognized authors, Deborah Heiligman, Christos Nicola, and Bill Rubin, talk about the cahllenges of this genre.
Deborah Heiligman is the author of 25 books for children, including the AJL Notable books Celebrate Hanukkah, Celebrate Passover, and Celebrate Rosh Hashanah & Yom Kippur.
Christos Nicola has devoted over 30 years to the study and exploration of caves in the former Soviet Union, as well as the Caribbean, Europe, and the Americas. He is the founder of the nonprofit Ukranian American Youth Caver Exchange Foundation. His book, The Secret of Priest’s Grotto: A Holocaust Survival Story, received a 2008 Sydney Taylor Honor Award for Older Readers.
William J. Rubin is the Executive Director/COO of the Community Foundation for Jewish Education of Metropolitan Chicago and the driving force behind the graphic novel HOMELAND: An Illustrated History of the State of Israel.
They presented this session at the Celebration of Jewish Children’s Literature that was held in honor of the Sydney Taylor Book Award’s 40th anniversary, as part of the Association of Jewish Libraries annual convention, on June 25, 2008 in Cleveland, Ohio.
1 hr 10 min 52 sec
posted on May 19,
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
posted on May 13,
L-R: Deborah da Costa, Jane Breskin Zalben, Sarah Marwil Lamstein
Picture book authors Deborah da Costa, Sarah Marwil Lamstein and Jane Breskin Zalben provide insight into their creative processes. Learn about their most recent books and their upcoming projects. This panel was part of the Celebration of Jewish Children’s Literature held in honor of the 40th anniversary of the Sydney Taylor Book Award on June 25, 2008.
Among their other books, our speakers highlighted recently recognized titles. Deborah da Costa is the author of Hanukkah Moon, a 2008 AJL Notable Children’s Book. Sarah Marwil Lamstein is the author of Letter on the Wind, a 2008 Sydney Taylor Honor Book. Jane Breskin Zalben is the author of Light, a 2008 Sydney Taylor Honor Book.
54 min 52 sec
posted on May 05,
If you belong to an AJL Chapter or would like to start one in your area, this is the lecture for you. Chapter officers speak about their experiences with organization issues, leadership and succession, communication, programming and more in this lively panel discussion with Marcie Eskin, Jean Loeb Lettofsky, Yelena Luckert and Rosalind Reisner.
Marcie Eskin is the librarian at the Marshall Jewish Learning Center of the Board of Jewish Education of Metropolitan Chicago, as well as librarian at Beth Hillel Congregation’s B’nai Emunah Library in Wilmete, IL. She is past president of AJL’s Chicago Chapter.
Jean Loeb Lettofsky is director of the library at Siegal College and a past president of AJL’s Greater Cleveland Chapter. She is co-editor of Guide to Wisconsin Survivors of the Holocaust and Jewish Union List: Periodical Holdings in Greater Cleveland Jewish Libraries.
Yelena Luckert is a librarian for History, Jewish, Slavic & Women’s Studies at the University of Maryland, and the author of Soviet Jewish History, 1917-1991: An Annotated Bibliography. She is chair of AJL’s Doris Orenstein Memorial Fund.
Rosalind Reisner is the author of Jewish American Literature: A Guide to Reading Interests, winner of the 2004 AJL Judaica Reference & Bibliography Award. She is librarian at Monmouth Reform Temple in Tinton Falls, NJ, and is co-chair of AJL’s Chapter Relations Committee with Irene Seff.
Please note that Irene Seff was also scheduled to present in this session but was unavailable to participate.
49 min 36 sec
posted on April 29,
Rita Berman Frischer
It is hard to imagine the world of children’s books without Jewish women writers. In this session, Rita Berman Frischer supports what she wrote in an article published in Jewish Women in America: A Historical Encyclopedia, presenting a lively overview of Jewish women writers past and present, while noting trends and examining the contributions of specific women writers in more detail.
Rita Berman Frischer, former Director of Sinai Temple Library in West LA and Chair of the first AJL Sydney Taylor Award Committee, is a writer and reviewer of juvenile and YA literature. She has presented lectures and workshops for HUC-JIR, AJL, CAJE, and others in the US and abroad, and served as judge for numerous book awards.
25 min 20 sec
posted on April 22,
Although several comic book stories have tried to describe life in Israel (Joe Sacco’s Palestine; Peter Kuper’s Promised Land; Uri Fink’s Fink!), very few of them have been written by women and none of them have tried to show what life is like for those who work behind the scenes in the Israeli army, working desk jobs and performing menial tasks (the so-called “jobnikim”). Miriam Libicki, who spent two years as a volunteer in the Israeli army, is currently completing work on her self-published comic book series jobnik!, while also writing illustrated essays such as “Towards a Hot Jew: The Israeli Soldier as Fetish Object,” “ceasefire,” and “Jewish Memoir Goes Pow! Zap! Oy!” Miriam discusses her influences, what led her to choose comics as a format, why she started the jobnik! series, her self-publishing experience, and how her work has been received thus far in Israel and elsewhere.
Miriam Libicki was born in 1981 in Columbus, Ohio. After living in Jerusalem and Seattle, Washington, she is now based in Vancouver, BC. She completed her BFA from Emily Carr Institute in 2006. She is the creator of the comic series jobnik! and the drawn essays “Towards a Hot Jew,” “ceasefire,” and “Jewish Memoir Goes Pow! Zap! Oy!” (in The Jewish Graphic Novel, forthcoming from Rutgers University Press). See her blog at www.realgonegirl.com
23 min 45 sec
posted on April 21,
One of the most active and dynamic groups of Sephardim today are the Syrian Jews living in Brooklyn, New York. An extremely tight-knit community, they began moving from Syria at the beginning of the 20th centuray. Subjected to terrible persecution, a major wave of them came to New York in the 1920′s, and another group came when they were released by the government in the 1990′s. In New York they became a highly insular group, with a major edict that prevented almost any conversion into their community. This was intended to prevent dilution of the traditional community and has resulted in a highly homogeneous, close-knit group of jews whose numbers now exceed 75,000. Two scholars, Dr. Walter Zenner and Joseph A.D. Sutton, have carried out extensive studies of this gropu, with articles, oral histories, and other documentary evidence. The papers of both of these scholars are held in the archives of the American Sephardi Federation. In this presentation, we examine those papers and attempt to learn a little more about this fascinating group of Sephardim.
Randall Belinfante is the Librarian/Archivist of the American Sephardi Federation. Over the past seven years, he has expanded this Library/Archives from a small collection of 200 odd books and 20 boxes of papers to a collection that now exceeds 6,000 catalogued items and some 300 linear feet of archives. Randy is fascinated by all aspects of the Sephardim, with papers and articles dealing with communities from Brooklyn to Burma.
23 min 24 sec
posted on April 21,
Even Batgirl had help, but the superhero librarian survives with a small space and a staff of one. The solo librarian is alone in the trenches, balancing many responsibilities. During this session, we discuss the tricks of the trade for surviving in the library alone. We discuss how to schedule your day, week, and year, so that you do not feel overwhelmed by your responsibilities. We will also share techniques that you can take back to your library so that it can be run in a more efficient manner. The second half of the presentation will look into collection development tips such as weeding, purchasing, and electronic alternatives that enable a library with minimal space to meet the needs of its patrons.
Michal Davis has an MLS from Queens College and a Masteres in Education and Curriculum from Capella University. She is a permanently certified New York State K-6 teacher as well as a K-12 School Library Media Specialist. Michal spent two years teaching at Yeshivat Ohr Haiim before she began working for the Nassau BOCES School Library System, Library Automation and Resource Sharing division as a Program Specialist. Since leaving BOCES, she has worked at the Yeshiva University High School for Girls Library as a solo librarian for four years, and also spent a year as librarian at Shelter Rock Jewish Center. She is now librarian at Temple B’nai Sholom of Rockville Center.
1 hr 7 min 43 sec
posted on April 07,
The Once Upon a World Children’s Book Award grows and expands as it plans for its 14th award in 2009. This award has been endowed by Sonia Levitin, renowned author of children’s and young adult literature, and her family, and is administered by the Simon Wiesenthal Center and Museum of Tolerance Library and Archives. We larn from and are inspired by AJL’s Sydney Taylor Book Award. In this talk, Adaire Klein discusses the history and future plans of the award, and how others can share in bringing quality children’s literature to young readers, “building tolerance through literature.”
Adaire Klein is the founding Director of Library and Archival Services for the Simon Wiesenthal Center and Museum of Tolerance. She designed the Once Upon a World Children’s Book Award and has administered it since its inception. She gave this presentation at the Association of Jewish Libraries annual convention on June 23, 2008 in Cleveland, Ohio.
14 min 07 sec
posted on March 17,
The Klezmer Company Orchestra with author Heidi Smith Hyde
Author Heidi Smith Hyde’s picture book, Mendel’s Accordion, was named a 2008 Notable Book by the Association of Jewish Libraries. It tells a story of klezmer music, immigration, and the passing on of tradition from one generation to the next. Ms. Hyde did a live reading of Mendel’s Accordion accompanied by members of the Klezmer Company Orchestra at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida on February 25, 2009. For full information about the event and links to resources on the story, visit klez4kids.blogspot.com.
31 min 30 sec
posted on February 25,
Lisa Silverman and Talma Shultz participated in a panel discussion moderated by Adaire Klein on teaching with Holocaust books. Lisa spoke about teaching the Holocaust using picture books, and Talma spoke about the middle and high school perspective.
Adaire Klein is the founding Director of Library and Archival Services at the Simon Wiesenthal Center – Museum of Tolerance. She holds a B.A. in Hebrew Literature and a M.A. in Near Eastern and Judaic studies from Brandeis University.
Talma Shultz is an instructor and lecturer with Facing History and Ourselves, a nonprofit organization that offers teacher training programs for Middle School and High School Holocaust Education.
Lisa Silverman is the director of the Sinai Temple Blumenthal Library at Sinai Temple. She leads classes and book groups, along with organizing community programs on literature. She is the children’s editor of Jewish Book World magazine and also a reviewer of children’s literature for various other publications. She has often been a featured speaker at library conventions or literary conferences. She serves as a judge for the children’s division of the National Jewish Book Award and also for the “Once Upon a World” Book Award.
They gave this presentation at the 7th annual Association of Jewish Libraries Western Regional Conference on Jewish Literature for Children on February 1, 2009 at the Simon Wiesenthal Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles.
47 min 17 sec