"People of the Books" Blog

Job Opportunity - AJL Development

At the direction of the AJL Board following the January 2019 mid-winter meeting, a committee was established with the charge to investigate the hiring of an Executive Director for the AJL. After much deliberation, it was decided that because fund raising needed to be our number one goal, a search for a part-time, contract Development Associate would be started.

The committee developed the following job description and request for proposal for the position. We encourage all AJL members to reach out to colleagues, friends and family who may be interested in applying for this job. Our hope is to have candidates available for interviewing at the AJL Board and Council Meetings in June.

If you have any questions regarding this matter, please contact Kathy Bloomfield at [email protected]

Committee Members:Kathy Bloomfield (Chair), Dina Herbert, Jacqueline Benefraim, Emily Bergman, Michelle Chesner, Rebecca Jefferson, Judy Weidman, Holly ZImmerman

 Association of Jewish Libraries (AJL) Development Associate


The Association of Jewish Libraries is an international professional organization that fosters access to information and research in all forms of media relating to all things Jewish. The Association promotes Jewish literacy and scholarship and provides a community for peer support and professional development.

Job Description

The AJL, an historically all-volunteer organization, is looking for a contract relationship with a part-time Development Associate. This position calls for a passionate, engaged, high-energy individual to assist the organization in its fundraising and grantsmanship efforts with the goals of increasing membership, creating a Case for Giving, and establishing an endowment that will support our ongoing projects for and with our membership.

This position will involve communications with the AJL membership along with outreach to individuals and foundations who have a desire to support our work. In addition, we are looking for someone who can research and develop partnerships with organizations that have similar visions. Finally, this individual would assist AJL leadership in developing creative initiatives and programming to provide ongoing support of our fundraising efforts.

This position reports to the AJL President and will be supported by a committee of active and engaged AJL members. There is no physical AJL office, therefore the Development Associate is contracted as a consultant and provides their own access to the space and technology necessary to perform the administrative work involved with this position.

Job Responsibilities

The AJL Development Associate will represent AJL within its membership as well as in the funder community, including with foundations, major individual donors, and corporate and other non-profit institutions. Specific responsibilities include:

  • Assist the AJL Board/Council in brainstorming and creating new methods to increase AJL membership, create a Case for Giving to AJL, and establish an endowment
  • Raise funds for AJL and regularly meet or surpass fundraising targets
  • Research potential donors to gain insight into needs, beliefs and donation habits to understand how best to represent AJL
  • Work with AJL’s Social Media team to leverage technology and social media where possible to improve AJL’s name recognition and fundraising activities
  • Build upon existing donor relationships and form new donor relationships on a regular basis and network with the funding community by attending conferences and events.
  • Develop and manage grants raised for the AJL, including monitoring project progress and reporting to the funding body
  • Travel to Mid-Winter and Annual AJL Conferences

Job Skills & Qualifications


  • Minimum of a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience
  • A passion for libraries
  • A laser focus on fundraising and the ability to start up quickly
  • Exemplary oral and written communication skills
  • Outstanding organizational abilities and attention to detail
  • At least one year of demonstrated successful, creative fundraising experience
  • Experience with Jewish institutions, libraries or non-profit associations
  • Demonstrated ability to exercise creative, independent judgment and discretion in solving problems, as well as take direction and work as part of a team
  • Flexibility, willingness to embrace new challenges, a can-do attitude and a strong work ethic


  • Master’s degree in nonprofit administration or equivalent experience
  • Two years of successful fundraising experience


As stated previously, there is no AJL office, so location is flexible


This is a time-limited, part-time, contract position. Annual compensation is $36,000. Renewal of contract tied to performance.

To Apply

Submit your proposal to [email protected] . If we are interested in interviewing you for the position, we will get back to you within a week.

Visit https://jewishlibraries.org to learn about AJL before you apply.

The Association of Jewish Libraries is an equal opportunity employer and will not discriminate against any employee or applicant on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, religion, age, sex, gender (including pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions), sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability, veteran status or any other applicable legally protected characteristics.

2018 Reference Award

The Association of Jewish Libraries encourages the publication of outstanding works of Judaica reference and
bibliography through its annual awards.

We are pleased to announce that
• The Judaica Reference Award winner for titles published in 2018 was given to Historical Atlas of Hasidism by
Marcin Wodzi?ski, with cartography by Waldemar Spallek, published by the Princeton University Press, 2018.
• An Honorable Mention was awarded to Discovering Second Temple Literature: The Scriptures and Stories That
Shaped Early Judaism by Malka Z. Simkovich, published by The Jewish Publication Society, 2018.

Cover of Discovering Second Temple Literature

Conference 2019 - Preliminary Program and Grid

Get the first look at the 2019 conference program and grid. While the program is still being tweaked, you can get an idea of the exciting sessions and speakers.

2019 Winners of the AJL Jewish Fiction Award

The Association of Jewish Libraries Announces 2019 Winners of Jewish Fiction Award

Mark Sarvas is the winner of the Association of Jewish Libraries (AJL) Jewish Fiction Award for his novel Memento Park, published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. The award includes a $1,000 cash prize as well as support to attend the 54th Annual Conference of the Association of Jewish Libraries in Woodland Hills, CA, June 17-19, 2019. Two honor books were also recognized: The Cloister by James Carroll, published by Nan Talese, an imprint of Knopf Doubleday, and The Fourth Corner of the World by Scott Nadelson, published by Engine Books. The Committee reviewed over 70 works of fiction originally written in English with significant Jewish thematic content that were published in the United States in 2018. Thanks to all those who submitted entries for consideration. The wide array of books published this year is a testament to the vibrant state of contemporary Jewish fiction.

book cover of Memento Park The protagonist in Mark Sarvas’s second novel, Memento Park, becomes aware of a valuable painting believed to have been stolen from his family in World War II. In order to recover the mysterious work, he must reconnect with his father, his family history, and his own Judaism. “Dramatically paced and laced with mordant wit, Mark Sarvas has fashioned a meditation on art, family, faith, and Jewish history in the form of a suspenseful intellectual thriller,” notes Yermiyahu Ahron Taub, Chairperson of the Award Committee.


In The Cloister, James Carroll tells the timeless love story of the discredited medieval French scholar Peter Abelard and his intellectual paramour Héloïse, and its impact on a priest and a Holocaust survivor in post-World War II Manhattan. “Assiduously researched and richly imagined, James Carroll has created a riveting glimpse into how the encounter between Christianity and Judaism many centuries ago continues to reverberate to devastating effect in more recent times,” writes Yermiyahu Ahron Taub. Cover of The Cloister


Book cover of the Fourth Corner of the World The characters in Scott Nadelson’s short story collection, The Fourth Corner of the World, abandon their lands of origin, sever their roots, and distance themselves from the people they once were. “With diverse settings and time periods - from 1920s Paris, Jewish utopian farmers in 1880s Oregon, teenage girls in 1980s New Jersey, and modern-day suburbanites – each story is fascinating and emotionally charged,” commented Rachel Kamin, a member of the Award Committee.


The AJL Jewish Fiction Award Committee members are Merrily Hart, Rachel Kamin, Clare Kinberg, Rosalind Reisner, and Yermiyahu Ahron Taub.

The Association of Jewish Libraries gratefully acknowledges the generous support of Dan Wyman Books for underwriting the Award. Submissions for the 2020 AJL Fiction Award are now being accepted. For more information, please visit https://jewishlibraries.org/AJL_Jewish_Fiction_Award.

The Association of Jewish Libraries is an all-volunteer professional organization that promotes Jewish literacy through enhancement of libraries and library resources and through leadership for the profession and practitioners of Judaica librarianship. The Association fosters access to information, learning, teaching and research relating to Jews, Judaism, the Jewish experience and Israel.

For more information, contact Yermiyahu Ahron Taub, [email protected]

Blog Tour: 2019 Sydney Taylor Book Awards

2019 Blog Tour

The Sydney Taylor Book Award will be showcasing its 2019 gold and silver medalists with a Blog Tour, February 10-14, 2019! Interviews with winning authors and illustrators will appear on a variety of Jewish and kidlit blogs. Interviews will appear on the dates below, and will remain available to read at your own convenience.

Below is the schedule for the 2019 Sydney Taylor Book Award Blog Tour. Please follow the links to visit the hosting blogs on or after their tour dates, and be sure to leave them plenty of comments!



Emily Jenkins and Paul Zelinsky, author and illustrator of All-of-a-Kind Family Hanukkah
Sydney Taylor Book Award in the Younger Readers Category
At Out of the Box at the Horn Book

Barb Rosenstock and Mary GrandPré, author and illustrator of Through the Window: Views of Marc Chagall's Life
Sydney Taylor Honor Book in the Younger Readers Category
At A Fuse #8 Production at School Library Journal


Jonathan Auxier, author of Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster
Sydney Taylor Book Award in the Older Readers Category
At The Prosen People at The Jewish Book Council

Jane Breskin Zalben and Mehrdokht Amini, author and illustrator of A Moon for Moe and Mo
Sydney Taylor Honor Book in the Younger Readers Category
At 100 Scope Notes at School Library Journal


Rachel Lynn Solomon, author of You'll Miss Me When I'm Gone
Sydney Taylor Honor Book in the Teen Readers Category
At Good Reads with Ronna

Elissa Brent Weissman, author of The Length of a String
Sydney Taylor Honor Book in the Older Readers Category
At Mr. Schu Reads

Susan Kusel & Rebecca Levitan, leadership of the Sydney Taylor Book Award Committee 
At The Children's Book Podcast

The Sydney Taylor Book Awards at ALA's Youth Media Awards
At the Association for Library Services to Children (ALSC) Blog


Vesper Stamper, author of What the Night Sings
Sydney Taylor Book Award in the Teen Readers Category
At Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast

Erica Perl, author of All Three Stooges
Sydney Taylor Honor Book in the Older Readers Category
At From the Mixed Up Files of Middle Grade Authors


Blog Tour Wrap-Up at The Whole Megillah

Reflections on the 2019 Sydney Taylor Book Awards at ALA at Susan Kusel's Blog

10th Anniversary of the Sydney Taylor Book Award Blog Tour at The Book of Life