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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.


You can subscribe to the AJL Podcast via iTunes or by entering into your favorite feed reader. You can also receive new posts via email. Or listen to the latest episode by phone at (651) 925-2538.


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


Author April Halprin Wayland won the 2010 Sydney Taylor Book Award in the Younger Readers category for New Year at the Pier. She had the opportunity to present her book to an appreciative audience at the 2010 Association of Jewish Libraries annual convention in Seattle, WA.

35 min 01 sec

Author Robin Friedman won the 2010 Sydney Taylor Book Award in the Older Readers category for The Importance of Wings. She had the opportunity to present her book to an appreciative audience at the 2010 Association of Jewish Libraries annual convention in Seattle, WA.

11 min 05 sec

What are teens reading these days? Are there any good YA books with Jewish content? How do I build my teen collection? How do I attract teens to my library? What do I do with them once they come? Explore the answers to these questions and more as we discuss current trends in secular and Jewish young adult literature, outreach strategies and opportunities, and ideas for cool teen programs.

Related material at and

Presented by Jenine Lillian and Rachel Kamin at the 2010 AJL Convention in Seattle, WA.

1 hr 00 min 02 sec

The presentation analyzes contemporary evangelic apocalyptic fiction with respect to the portrayal of Jews and Judaism. It examines 38 novels published in the United States between 1991 and 2009. These novels, which includes themes of Christian triumphalism, conversion to Christianity, and horrific Jewish suffering in the final days of mankind on earth, are consistent with theological principles of evangelical premillenial dispensationalism in that Jews are seen as apocalyptic agents both in suffering as well as in conversion.

Presentation by Mark Stover at he 2010 Association of Jewish Libraries convention in Seattle, WA.

1 hr 15 min 47 sec

Posted in: RAS, SSC

A discussion of the history of Jewish businessmen in the western United States beginning in the 19th century. The presenter describes how she was able to gather all of this information.

Presented by Julia Eulenberg at the 2010 Association of Jewish Libraries convention in Seattle, WA.

34 min 41 sec

Posted in: RAS, SSC

This session on the Sephardic community of Seattle focuses on what made these people come to Seattle, what they found when they arrived, the community’s first religious leaders, interaction between the two distinct Sephardic groups, and relations between Sephardim and Ashkenazim.

Presented by Cantor Isaac Azose at the 2010 Association of Jewish Libraries convention in Seattle, WA.

39 min 45 sec

Posted in: RAS, SSC

During the two World Wars, Yiddish theater in Argentina, especially Buenos Aires, constituted a major cultural practice, thanks to the high rate of Yiddish readers in the community. Buenos Aires was considered the capital of Yiddish poetry and literature, compared only to Warsaw, Moscow and New York. This session shows “the golden age” of Yiddish theater in Argentina.

Presented by Rita Saccal at the 2010 AJL Convention in Seattle, WA.

25 min 49 sec

Posted in: RAS, SSC

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

AJL’s 2011 Western Regional Conference on Jewish Literature for Children revolved around the theme of graphic litrature. The event was held April 3, 2011 at American Jewish University in Los Angeles, CA.

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.

1 hr 27 min 52 sec

In this two-part presentation, we offer a virtual tour of AJL’s online presence (including the AJL website, blog, podcast, and Facebook page as well as AJL’s Jewish ValuesFinder database). Then we move beyond AJL to explore other Jewish literary websites, blogs, and podcasts. Our emphasis is on “social media” and how we can interact with these online resources rather than being passive consumers of content.

Presented by Heidi Estrin and Diane Romm at the 2010 Association of Jewish Libraries convention in Seattle.

1 hr 10 min 40 sec

Posted in: RAS, SSC

Award-winning author Maggie Anton will speak about the research behind her best-selling Rashi’s Daughters trilogy, set in the household of the great medieval Talmud scholar who had no sons, only daughters. Among the topics she discusses: What was life like for Jewish women in 11th century France? Were Rashi’s daughters really learned? Did they really wear tefillin? Why should a 21st century Jew want to read about Rashi and his daughters anyway?

Presented by Maggie Anton at the 2010 AJL Convention in Seattle, WA.

38 min 37 sec

Posted in: SSC

With the new American Girl series, Rebecca Rubin, author Jacqueline Dembar Greene researched Ashkenazi Russian Jewish immigrant life in New York City during the early 1900s. Her picture book, The Secret Shofar of Barcelona, and her classic novels, Out of Many Waters and One Foot Ashore, draw on Sephardic history. Ms. Greene will talk about how the different historical events were turned into fiction for young readers, and how the books introduce readers to Jewish history.

Presented by Jacqueline Dembar Greene at the 2010 AJL Convention in Seattle, WA.

47 min 21 sec

Working in a Judaica library, whether in a synagogue, a day school, or a school of higher learning, requires special knowledge and skills in addition to those offered in library school. Where does one acquire those special skills in Judaica Librarianship? One would imagine in a graduate program in library science. However, such is not the case. Over the years, there have been attempts to teach a course or two in Judaica Librarianship in various library schools. Unfortunately, in every case, the course offerings did not go beyond the pilot program stage. Why? Through interviews with librarians in the field, literature review, informal discussions, and through feedback on Ha-safran (AJL’s listserv), this roundtable attempts to offer several ideas for professional development in Judaica Librarianship, as well as present a short history of Judaica Librarianship course work. We also see this as a means to stimulate interest in Judaica and Jewish libraries for our non-Jewish colleagues.

Presented by Haim Gottschalk and Nancy Poole at the 2010 Association of Jewish Libraries convention in Seattle, WA.

25 min 42 sec

Posted in: RAS, SSC

Nathan Friend, a Carbon Coach from Seattle Climate Action Now, calculates our carbon footprints and helps us put together a carbon reduction plan for home, work and on the road. Seattle Climate Action Now is a City-led effort grounded in partnerships with businesses, organizations and individuals throughout Seattle, who recognize that global warming isn’t just a problem for future generations to worry about.

Nathan Friend gave this presentation at the 2010 Association of Jewish Libraries convention in Seattle, WA.

20 min 26 sec

Posted in: RAS, SSC

Barak Gale shares some stories about Jews taking stands for the Earth and will discuss some of the profound texts in our Torah, Midrash, and Kabbalistic literature that speak to our current environmental crisis. The impacts of global warming and why wilderness preservation is critical will also be discussed. Where are we as a Torah-centered community, and what sustainable actions can we commit to in order to support our age-old yearning for tikkun olam?

Barak Gale made this presentation at the Association of Jewish Libraries 2010 convention in Seattle, WA.

36 min 26 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

Author Pnina Moed Kass lives and writes in Israel. In this presentation she provides a writer’s overview of the current literary scene in Israel and discusses books as creative reflections and expressions of the cultural life in Israel. Her talk focuses on adult books written in Hebrew and translated into English.

Pnina Moed Kass gave this presentation at the 2010 Association of Jewish Libraries convention in Seattle, WA.

43 min 31 sec

Posted in: RAS, SSC

Above: L-R Jacqueline Jules, Robin Friedman, Margarita Engle, April Halprin Wayland

Below: L-R Joan Schoettler with STMA committee chair Aileen Grossberg

The Sydney Taylor Book and Manuscript Awards are sponsored by Jo Taylor Marshall. The 2010 winners were honored at the Awards Banquet at the 45th annual AJL Convention in Seattle, WA on July 6, 2010. The winners are:

Sydney Taylor Book Award Winner for Younger Readers: New Year at the Pier: A Rosh Hashanah Story by April Halprin Wayland, with illustrations by Stéphane Jorish

Sydney Taylor Book Award Winner for Older Readers: The Importance of Wings by Robin Friedman

Sydney Taylor Book Award Winner for Teen Readers: Tropical Secrets: Holocaust Refugees in Cuba by Margarita Engle

Sydney Taylor Manuscript Award Winner: On the Run by Joan Schoettler

NOTE: Sydney Taylor Honor Award winner in the Younger Readers Category, Jacqueline Jules (Benjamin and the Silver Goblet) was present at the banquet and was also acknowledged at that time.

32 min 46 sec

As we’ve all made the transition into an increasingly digital world, we’ve developed new practice, updated some old favorites, and perhaps bid farewell to some tools and ideas we no longer find useful. Let’s spend a little while thinking about how library work has changed, how it hasn’t, and maybe what comes next.

Joseph Janes is Associate Professor at the Information School of the University of Washington. A frequent speaker in the US and abroad, he was the Founding Director of the Internet Public Library and the co-author of eight books on librarianship, technology, and their relationship, and he writes the “Internet Librarian” column for American Libraries magazine. He gave this presentation as the keynote address at the 2010 AJL Convention in Seattle, WA.

33 min 25 sec

Posted in: RAS, SSC

This session highlights ways in which Jewish children’s books and their authors and illustrators are being promoted using the Internet, and how communities of people are engaging in the conversation about Jewish literature. It will demystify social media and identify ways in which real people, particularly the Digital Natives (people that have grown up not knowing a time before the Internet) are talking, sharing, and making a difference for Judaica using the Internet. Presented by blogger, podcaster, and digital public affairs strategist Mark Blevis.

1 hr 4 min 50 sec

Posted in: RAS, SSC

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