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Committees

We Invite You to Serve AJL on a Committee

AJL is a vibrant volunteer-run non-profit organization that relies on its members’ energy and enthusiasm. We have a variety of committees that provide service to the membership and to the field of Judaica librarianship. Some committees advertise openings as they occur; others may be joined at any time. For more information about the work of any committee, or to enquire about getting involved, contact the listed committee chair.

The Association of Jewish Libraries’ SSCPL Division offers certificates of Basic and Advanced Accreditation to member libraries that qualify. Accreditation is encouraged to help libraries achieve a high professional level of service in accordance with AJL Guidelines.

Contact Chair: Shaindy Kurzmann

The Conference Support Committee reviews applications requesting financial support to attend the annual conference. The Committee awards funds comprised of Judy R. Cohn, EBSCO, and Littauer Grant funds.

Contact Chair: Lenore Bell

The Groner-Wikler Award recognizes AJL members who have made a significant contribution to the field of Jewish children’s literacy and librarianship. This is a cash award that assists winners with conference expenses.

Contact Chair: Sean Boyle

Each spring and fall, AJL selects Holiday Highlights, a list of juvenile Jewish holiday books that exemplify the highest standards of authentic Jewish representation and holiday spirit in both writing and illustration.

Contact Chair: Heidi Rabinowitz

The AJL Jewish Fiction Award was established in 2017 with generous underwriting from Dan Wyman Books. All works of fiction with significant Jewish thematic content written in English–novels, short story and flash fiction collections–by a single author published and available for purchase in the United States during the award year are eligible for the award. 

Contact Chair: Laura Schutzman

The Librarianship and Education Committee develops and promotes specialized courses (online and/or in person) for individuals interested in Judaica librarianship, both those in library school and those seeking continuing education.

Contact Chair: Haim Gottschalk

AJL presents a member annually with the Fanny Goldstein Merit Award, named for the librarian, social activist and founder of National Jewish Book Month. It is bestowed in recognition of loyal and ongoing contributions to the Association and to the profession of Jewish librarianship.

CONTACT CHAIR

The Member Relations Committee seeks to strengthen AJL by relationship-building and community-building among the membership. Member Relations oversees AJL’s Mentoring program and online Roundtable series.

Contact Chair: Heidi Rabinowitz

AJL publishes a quarterly online journal, AJL News & Reviews, sharing organizational news and reviews of new Judaic books and other materials. A team of editors and a large cadre of volunteer reviewers provides content, and members are welcome to submit articles in consultation with the general editor.

Contact Chair: Sally Stiegletz

The Publications Committee oversees the creation and distribution of AJL publications such as AJL News & Reviews and our scholarly journal, Judaica Librarianship. It also seeks to publish new materials of interest to AJL members.

Contact Chair: Laura Schutzman

The Public Relations/Communications Committee oversees the dissemination of PR materials and coordinates with the individuals who manage AJL’s website and social media accounts.

Contact Chair: Paula Breger

The RAS Cataloging Committee educates members on new policies or procedures affecting Judaica cataloging and metadata and acts as a liaison with the Policy and Standards Division (PSD) of the Library of Congress on issues affecting Judaica cataloging, including subject problems raised by RAS Division members.

Contact Chair: Neil Frau-Cortes

AJL’s RAS Division recognizes the best reference books and bibliographies each year, to encourage increased publication of outstanding materials. The AJL Judaica Reference Award is funded by Dr. Greta Silver of New York, and the AJL Judaica Bibliography Award is funded by Eric Chaim Kline of Los Angeles.

Contact Chair: Anna Levia

The Student Scholarship Committee provides general and conference scholarships to outstanding MLIS Students who demonstrate interest in Judaic Librarianship.

Contact Chair: Tina Weiss

The Sydney Taylor Book Award committee recognizes the best Jewish children’s literature each year in the categories of Picture Books, Middle Grade, and Young Adult. The award is funded by Jo Taylor Marshall, daughter of Sydney Taylor.

Contact Martha Simpson

The Sydney Taylor Manuscript Award committee judges unpublished Jewish manuscripts for middle grade readers, to encourage authors to create their best work and to encourage publishers to accept well-written manuscripts. The award is funded by Jo Taylor Marshall, daughter of Sydney Taylor.

Contact Chair: Aileen Grossberg