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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.

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


SSC

Once upon a time there were librarians who could really make Jewish stories come alive for the yeladim (children) in their libraries; they could “lift the story off the page.” They could read books as well as tell stories with skill, passion and joy, making children want to read and learn MORE. This workshop, presented by storyteller Susan Stone, has the happy ending of bringing these joyful skills to your own library!

1 hr 10 min 16 sec

Presented at the 2009 Association of Jewish Libraries convention in Chicago, IL by Anna Levine, author of numerous Jewish books for children and teens, including the 2009 Sydney Taylor Honor Book for Teen Readers, Freefall, and the 2009 Notable Book for Younger Readers, Jodie’s Hanukkah Dig.

44 min 47 sec

The Sydney Taylor Book Award is presented annually to outstanding books for children and teens that authentically portray the Jewish experience. The award memorializes Sydney Taylor, author of the classic All-of-a-Kind Family series.

April Halprin Wayland and Stephane Jorisch, author and illustrator of New Year at the Pier: A Rosh Hashanah Story, Robin Friedman, author of The Importance of Wings, and Margarita Engle, author of Tropical Secrets: Holocaust Refugees in Cuba, are the 2010 winners of the prestigious Sydney Taylor Book Award.

The winners were revealed at the 2010 council meeting of the Association of Jewish Libraries in January, 2010 in Manhattan, NY. Awards chair Kathe Pinchuck made the official announcement, and then shared her thoughts on this year’s winners.

Click here for the press release about the 2010 winners.

Click here for the complete list of 2010 awards, honors, and notable books.

17 min 02 sec

Tags: Awards

This session included two sections.

The Power of the Buzz: Libraries and Word of Mouth Marketing, presented by Peggy Barber of Library Communication Strategies and Judy Hoffman, Marketing Specialist at North Suburban Library System.

Learn how to harness the power of personal communication to raise your library’s profile to new heights. The tols for success won’t cost you a dime: a good plan, responsive customer service and simple well-crafted messages.

From Wish List to Reality: Preparations for Library Fundraising, presented by Barbara Kemmis of the American Theological Library Association and Lorraine H. Olley of the Univeristy of Saint Mary of the Lake

Librarians almost always have a longer list of projects to fun, as well as collections and other things to buy, than annual budgets can cover. Participants will learn the skills and processes necessary to move from wish lists to securing special funds.

This session was presented at the 2009  Association of Jewish Libraries convention in Chicago, IL.

1 hr 6 min 47 sec

Posted in: SSC

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, Barbara Bietz, Kathy Bloomfield, Debbie Colodny, Rachel Kamin, and Kathe Pinchuck sharing their delight and dismay over juvenile Judaica published during 2008, reviewed while seeking the winners of the 2009 Sydney Taylor Book Award.

This panel was presented at the 2009 Association of Jewish Libraries convention in Chicago, IL.

1 hr 33 min 02 sec

Author Richard Michelson and illustrator Raul Colon won the 2009 Sydney Taylor Book Award in the Younger Readers category for As Good As Anybody: Martin Luther King and Abraham Joshua Heschel’s Amazing March Toward Freedom. They had the opportunity to present their book to an appreciative audience at the Association of Jewish Libraries annual convention on July 7, 2009 in Chicago, IL.

46 min 30 sec

Author Karen Hesse won the 2009 Sydney Taylor Book Award in the Older Readers category for Brooklyn Bridge. She had the opportunity to present her book to an appreciative audience at the Association of Jewish Libraries annual convention on July 7, 2009 in Chicago, IL.

29 min 10 sec

Judaism has a built-in mechanism for coming-of-age, but are there ways that contemporary books for middle and high school readers deal with Jewish girls’ development in addition to or beyond the Bat Mitzvah ceremony? How has the Bat Mitzvah been positively and negatively portrayed in recent books? What are the pressures that Jewish tweens, teens, and young women face and how does the current body of literature address or contribute to the conflicting messages about beauty, body image, and self-esteem that are prevalent in our society?

June Cummins is an Associate Professor in the Department of English and Comparative Literature at San Diego State University, where she specializes in children’s literature and Jewish-American Literature. She gave this presentation at the 2009 Association of Jewish Libraries convention in Chicago.

32 min 20 sec

Followers of children’s literature have recently witnessed an unusual amount of illustrated books about the Holocaust being published. Along with the many narratives and memoirs for older readers, there is a large subgroup of supposedly simple picture books that are being offered to a younger crowd. After taking a look at almost everything about the Holocaust published in picture book format, one could come to the conclusion that children these days are seemingly prepared to absorb much of the horrors of 20th century at a tender age. Clearly this subject cannot be hidden from children who hear references to it often, but perhaps the bibliography discussed in this presentation will be of some assistance to teachers, librarians and booksellers who are at a loss as to which of thses pictrue books are most appropriate for various age groups, grades 4 through high school.

Presented by Lisa Silverman of Sinai Temple in Los Angeles.

Click here for Lisa’s bibliography of books mentioned in the presentation.

Click here for Lisa’s article in School Library Journal, “Bearing Witness Through Picture Books” March 2007.

1 hr 7 min 10 sec

How do librarians enhance the level of collaboration with classroom teachers? Deborah Lazar and Pam Strom believe the core of collaboration is the development of relationships. They will talk about the theory and practice of collaboration and offer suggesions on how to develop relationships with the teachers in your building. They will also share examples of successful collaborative projects in which they and other New Trier High School librarians have partnered (including the incorporation of Web 2.0 tools across the curriculum).

Deborah Lazar and Pam Strom are librarians at New Trier High School in Northfield, IL. They gave this presentation at the Association of Jewish Libraries convention in Chicago, IL on July 6, 2009.

45 min 24 sec

Posted in: SSC

4-authorsHow 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

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.

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39 min 50 sec

Posted in: SSC

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 in: SSC

“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 in: RAS, SSC

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 in: RAS, SSC

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 in: RAS, SSC

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

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

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?
  • Contemporary
  • New Perspectives on the Holocaust
  • Hot/Not
  • 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

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


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