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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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Entries for 'israel'

The National Library of Israel (NLI) continues to make major progress towards its goal of being a modern national library for both the State of Israel and the Jewish people. During the past year, the library has introduced a new user interface to its bibliographic records, enabled multi-alphabet searching (both persons and subjects), as well as preparing for the changes in national bibliographic standards related to RDA. The library has created and staffed a department of educational services which offers many options to all levels of users, from school children to researchers. Construction f the new building, on a site opposite the Knesset, will begin soon. On the international scene, the Library is taking an active part in the Europeana digital initiative and planning a cooperative project of scanning Hebrew manuscripts worldwide. This session presents these and additional ongoing and planned projects.

Presented by Marina Goldsmith and Elhanan Adler at the 2013 AJL Conference in Houston, TX.


Posted in: RAS
One of the most popular and most influential children's adventure books in Irael in the 1950s and 1960s was HaSaMBaH (an acronym for Havurat Sod Muhlat Be-HeHlet/The Gang of the Ultimate Secret), authored by Igal Mosehnzon. Led by a teenager named Yaron Zehavi and his aide Tamar, this group of teenage boys and girls set out to secretly assist the adults intent on ousting the British and on setting up the modern State of Israel. While promoting values such as courage, camaraderie, and freedom, the series also dealt with political ideologies, gender equality, and ethnic diversity. This presentation illuminates the creative modes of delivering societal norms and political ideologies in pre-State Israel and the lasting impact of the series as evident in its recent revival in Israel.

Presented by Yaffa Weisman at the 2011 AJL Convention in Monteral, Quebec.

27 min 19 sec

Posted in: RAS, SSC
The National Library of Israel (formerly the Jewish National and University Library within the Hebrew University) became a fully independent "community interest company" in January 2011. The transition from a university library to a National Library demanded certain organizational changes, including the creation of a technical services branch. This paper presents current and planned policy changes and new and continuing projects emanating from this branch. Amongst them is a new policy concerning Hebrew personal and place names, the transition from an in-house Dewey based classified catalog to LC subject headings, use of LC classification for shelving some special collections, various retrospective conversion projects, and a major effort to clear out the Library's cataloging backlog.

Presented by Marina Goldsmith at the 2011 AJL Convention in Montreal, Quebec.

39 min 57 sec

Posted in: RAS
The National Library of Israel (NLI) has traditionally provided subject access to its mostly closed stack collection via a classified catalog based on the Dewey Decimal and Universal Decimal systems, with special expansions for Judaica, Israelitica and Islamic studies, and with additional keywords. This unique system was very difficult to understand (particularly by remote users of the catalog) and expensive to maintain. In early 2010, the NLI decided to adopt English language subject headings based on the Library of Congress subject heading list with some adaptations in Judaica and Israeli topics. IN a period of one year, almost 1 million records were enriched with subject headings. This paper presents the unique problems of an Israeli library adopting LCSH and the experience of the NLI in making such a major change in a very short period of time.

Presented by Elhanan Adler at the 2011 AJL Convention in Montreal, Quebec.

36 min 44 sec

Posted in: RAS

Presented by Dov haCohen of the Ben Tzvi Institute at the AJL Regional Conference on November 3, 2010 at the National Library of Israel in Jerusalem.

45 min

Tags: Israel
Posted in: RAS

Presented by Yitzhak Yudelov, retired Director of the Institute for Hebrew Bibliography at the National Library of Israel, at the AJL Regional Conference, November 3, 2010, at the National Library of Israel in Jerusalem.

51 min 50 sec

Posted in: RAS

A two-part presentation by Zvi Bernhardt.

1. Yad Vashem Reference and Information Services: On Integrating “Corporate Cutlures” in a Reference Setting

Ten years ago, Yad Vashem combined the reference service units of its library, archive, photo archive, and Hall of Names. This decision stemmed from its commitment to consumer based reference service and a belief that in the digital era, library and archive service are converging. The presentation describes the difficulties in combining the “Corporate Cultures” of the various departments, including the resistance of some staff and administration to the change. It describes the mode of work of the staff and how its self-perception has evolved to mesh more closely with the needs of the public.

2. Yad Vashem Online and Offline

The Yad Vashem Internet presence now includes a wealth of resources, including the Database of Shoah Victims’ Names, photo archive, library catalog, Shoah Resource Center, most of the scholarly articles published by Yad Vashem, and dozens of stories of Righteous among the Nations. Many of the online databases use special thesauri developed in Yad Vashem that allow a user to search any version of a place or personal name and get the same results, even if the names have no phonetic connection (for exampe: Pressburg and Bratislava). In addition, Yad Vashem provides online services to assist the pbulic, including basic research in its collections that are not online, for genealogical and schoarly research, and the Yad Vashem Bar/Bat Mitzvah “twinning” program.

Presented by Zvi Bernhardt at the 2010 Association of Jewish Libraries convention in Seattle, WA.

1 hr 24 min 33 sec

Posted in: RAS

The National Library of Israel is currently going through a renewal process. This lecture describes the stages of this renewal and how we expect to see the NLI in 2020.

Presented by Dr. Aviad Stollman at the 2010 AJL Convention in Seattle, WA.

29 min 50 sec

Posted in: RAS

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

Forty librarians from all over the country gathered at the National Library of Israel on 28 April, 2010 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.

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.

This presentation is in Hebrew.

Posted in: RAS

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

This talk was presented by Shmuel Har Noy, Administrative Director of  the National Library of Israel, at the AJL Regional conference at Bar Ilan University on November 5, 2009. The talk is presented in Hebrew.

34 min 13 sec

Tags: Israel
Posted in: RAS

This talk was presented by Professor Elhanan Adler, Deputy Director for Information Technology of the National Library of Israel at the AJL Regional conference at Bar Ilan University on November 5, 2009. The talk is presented in Hebrew.

44 min 04 sec

Posted in: RAS

This presentation discusses the state of the Hebrew language in Israeli society as a reflection of contemporary societal trends. New words, idioms, slang and cultural allusions will be demonstrated through recent dictionaries, media publications and literary texts.

Yaffa Weisman of the Frances-Henry Library at HUC-JIR in Los Angeles gave this presentation at the Association of Jewish Libraries convention on July 6, 2009 in Chicago, Illinois.

Click for the text and the Powerpoint of this presentation.

36 min 44 sec

Posted in: RAS

Rachel Leket-Mor

The current demand for appropriate entertaining titles in the Haredi community in Israel is reflected, among other things, in the growing movie industry led by Haredi producers and directors. This interesting sub-genre of popular Israeli cinema, consisting of male-only actors, is intended for the whole family. Therefore, not only these movies are approved as “G-rated” by rabbis, they are also sold in a CD-Rom format, since in many Haredi households computers are welcome as a work tool, while DVD players are not allowed for religious reasons. Main themes of this genre include, quite surprisingly, quite a lot of military stories (some of them describing adventures of Israeli Mossad agents), comedies, contemporary dramas with Haredi happy endings, Hassidic tales, historical documentaries, as well as “women movies” with moving stories and heartbreaking endings. This presentation discusses the significance of such movies in academic collections as authentic portrayals of Haredi culture in Israel

Rachel Leket-Mor has worked as a Hebrew editor with Israel publishers. She is Bibliographer of Religion, Philosophy, and Jewish Studies at Arizona State University. She gave this presentation at the Association of Jewish Libraries annual convention on June 23, 2008 in Cleveland, Ohio.

24 min 32 sec

Posted in: RAS

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 in: RAS, SSC

Though the American comic book format has only been around for 75 years, every decade since 1933 has seen examples of stories taking place in Israel or using Israeli characters. There have been over a dozen examples since 2000 (and the decade’s not over yet!). This presentation showcases the variety and types of such representation. These include superhero stories, humor cartoons, first-person travelogues, “comics journalism,” biographies, wordless collages, graphic histories and graphic fiction. Though comics are still often seen as irrelevant and catering to a niche market, this presentation should demonstrate that there are notable exceptions, which make it worthwhile to be aware of what is being published and what those publications are trying to say.

An online handout which includes the visual elements of this presentation may be found at israelincomics.blogspot.com.

Steve Bergson is research administrator for the UJA Federation of Greater Toronto, and he blogs about Jewish comics at jewishcomics.blogspot.com. He gave this presentation at the Association of Jewish Libraries annual convention on June 23, 2008 in Cleveland, Ohio.

32 min 44 sec