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KarBen Award

The KarBen Award recognizes individuals that have made a significant contribution in one or more of the areas listed below. Extra consideration is given to applicants who are considered promising new movers and shakers in the field of Jewish children’s literature and services. The award consists of a scholarship that covers conference attendance.

  • Active involvement in the Judaic library profession or related fields promoting Jewish children’s literacy
  • Strong advocacy for library/literacy services to children and youth
  • Positive role model to colleagues and the wider community
  • Innovative approaches to Jewish children’s literature or library services

This scholarship was established in January, 2014. AJL Council voted to establish a committee to manage the KarBen Scholarship, made up of the SSC president and vice president, the children’s book editor(s) of AJL Reviews, and the previous year’s winner of the scholarship. The scholarship was founded by Publisher Joni Sussman as a way to honor Kar-Ben Publishing’s founders Judye Groner and Madeline Wikler upon their their retirement.

KarBen Scholarship Recipients:

2014: Barbara Krasner (author, teacher, creator of the blog The Whole Megillah | The Writer’s Resource for Jewish Story)

2015: Jill Ratzan (Princeton Reconstructionist Synagogue/String of Pearls, Princeton, NJ)

2016: Rena Citrin (Bernard Zell Anshe Emet Day School, Chicago, IL)

2017: Annette Goldsmith (Sephardic Temple Tifereth Israel, Los Angeles, CA)

2018: No award

2019: Denise Blumenfeld (Instituto Alberto Einstein day school, Panama City, FL)

2020: Heidi Rabinowitz (podcaster at The Book of Life, Co-admin of The Sydney Taylor Shmooze and the Jewish Kidlit Mavens)