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AJL’s Divisions – RAS (Research, Archives, and Special Collections) and SSCPL (Schools, Synagogues, Centers and Public Libraries) – allow members to identify and network with colleagues in similar positions who share their professional interests. Each Division manages committees and book awards of interest to its members and organizes pertinent round table discussions, appropriate AJL Presents events and relevant sessions at the annual conference.

There is no requirement to select a Division when you become a member of AJL. Every AJL member is welcome to take an interest in any committee, conference session, book award team or any facet of the organization, regardless of division.  In fact, many committees require representation from both divisions.

Each Division is overseen by an elected President and Vice President who sit on the AJL Board and report to the AJL President. These elected officers hold a two-year term that may be repeated. 

For questions about the AJL Divisions, please contact:
General member questions:

RAS - Research Libraries, Archives, and Special Collections

AJL’s RAS (Research Libraries, Archives, and Special Collections) Division serves academic and scholarly libraries, archives, and special collections in Judaic institutions, and Judaic collections in non-Judaic institutions.

Some of the projects undertaken by RAS include:

  • Judaica Librarianship, AJL’s peer-reviewed journal which is the only English language scholarly journal in its field.
  • The Cataloging Committee, an influential body dealing with issues affecting Hebraica and Judaica cataloging policies. Committee members often consult with the Library of Congress and other national bodies to help create new cataloging policies.
  • The Reference and Bibliography Awards. These awards represent the best in the fields of Judaica reference and bibliography.

SSCPL - Schools, Synagogues, Centers, and Public Libraries

The SSCPL (Schools, Synagogues, Centers, and Public Libraries) Division serves synagogue libraries of all denominations, libraries in Jewish day schools and Hebrew schools, Jewish community center libraries, and libraries serving other Jewish organizations (for example, a Federation library or a museum library,) and public libraries with Jewish collections, serving Jewish populations, or interested in Judaica in any way.

Some of the projects undertaken by SSCPL include: 

  • The Library Management Resources section, which provides many helpful tips on establishing and managing libraries of all types.
  • The Jewish ValuesFinder, a database that helps users choose and evaluate titles for children and teens.
  • The Bibliography Bank, providing a wealth of tailored lists for acquisitions, book discussions, and subject research.
  • The Accreditation Committee, which offers certification to qualifying SSCPL libraries.
  • The Sydney Taylor Book Awards Committee, which recognizes the best in children’s and teen literature of Jewish interest each year.
  • The Sydney Taylor Manuscript Award Committee, which provides recognition for outstanding Jewish juvenile unpublished manuscripts.