"People of the Books" Blog

AJL Statement on Violence

The Association of Jewish Libraries (AJL) condemns the hatred, violence, and systemic racism infecting our nation that led to the horrifying death of George Floyd at the hands of police just a few days ago. As the leading authority on Judaic librarianship, we stand for learning and understanding; more importantly, we stand for justice (tzedek) and the protection of human life (pikuach nefesh). In solidarity with the Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA), we pledge to engage with our friends in the Black community, to work for the repair of the world (tikkun olam).

As a number of Black Jews explain on the Jewish Telegraphic Agency website, the work of anti-racism is exhausting, and people of all races and backgrounds need to step up, speak out, and take action. The Ethics of Our Fathers (Mishna Avot 2:21) famously says, "You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to desist from it." AJL, together with everyone who craves a just world, will continue to work toward justice for all.

2020 Digital Conference - Update 5/27/2020


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Join the Association of Jewish Libraries Sunday, June 28 - Thursday, July 2, 2020 for the AJL 2020 Digital Conference. Sessions will take place between 11:00am-3:30pm EDT with additional programming in the evenings. All sessions will take place on Zoom and will provide participants with the opportunity to hear from outstanding scholars and award-winning authors, as well as witness our leadership transition, receive updates from our divisions, pay tribute to our Fanny Goldstein Awardee and honor all of our book award winners.  In addition, there will be optional “open rooms” for everyone to see and chat with each other. Click here to view the preliminary program. Full abstracts and presenter bios will be available soon.


The registration fee for members and library school students is $36 for the entire digital conference! We welcome non-members to register for $136 but we encourage you to join AJL to benefit from the member rate.


And did we mention the swag? Visit our store on Zazzle, to purchase your conference t-shirt, pens, notebooks and more!

Until we “meet” in June, stay safe, stay connected, and we will see you soon at the AJL 2020 Digital Conference!

Chag Sameach – Wishing you a warm, wonderful & joyous Shavuot!


Dina Herbert, AJL President, Kathy Bloomfield, AJL President-Elect, and the AJL 2020 Digital Conference Planning Team

Staying Connected: AJL's Digital Conference 2020

AJL Digital Conference 2020

We are excited to share great news about our annual conference!  Please mark your calendars for Sunday, June 28 through Thursday, July 2, 2020 to attend Staying Connected: AJL’s Digital Conference 2020.  

Of course, we do not expect you to sit in front of your computers for 5 days straight! The conference will offer approximately 4 hours of programming each day - the  opportunity to hear from outstanding scholars and award-winning authors, as well as witness our leadership transition,  receive updates from our divisions, pay tribute to  our Fanny Goldstein Awardee and honor all of our book award winners.  In addition, there will be optional evening activities and “open rooms” for everyone to see and chat with each other. 

The conference app we will be using is called "Socio."  Socio is easy to use, and you may have already used it, or something like it, at other conferences and events. We will be providing instructions on how to set up your Socio account and how to view all the conference information using either your smart phone (after downloading the app) or your computer.  Socio will replace the program book that we provided in the past. It will be loaded with all the information you will need to attend the virtual conference.

Additional information about our conference – sessions, times, speakers, etc. – can be found on the AJL website at https://jewishlibraries.org/meetinginfo.php.  The registration fee for members is $36. We welcome non-members to register for $136 but encourage them to join AJL to benefit from the member rate. 

And did we mention the swag? Visit https://www.zazzle.com/store/jewishlibraries/products, our store on Zazzle to purchase your conference T-Shirt, pens, notebooks and more! 

Until we “meet” in June, stay safe, stay connected, and we will see you soon at AJL’s Digital Conference 2020!

Dina Herbert, AJL President & Kathy Bloomfield, AJL President-Elect

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY: Co-editor,  Children's and Teen Literature

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY: Co-editor,  Children's and Teen Literature , AJL News and Reviews 

Reports to Editor-in-Chief


The AJL Newsletter was published in print until December 2010. As of January 2011, that publication was split into two separate electronic publications (in PDF format) – AJL News and AJL Reviews. All correspondence and production of the News and Reviews sections are done electronically. The News and Reviews staff consists of adult literature co-editors (2), children and teen literature co-editors (2), advertising manager, layout editor, and the editor-in-chief.


  • Recruit reviewers and assign books for review
  • Distribute review copies and guidelines to reviewers by mail
  • Receives contributions to Reviews and edits the text for grammar, style, and space
  • Edit reviews and prepare manuscript for publication
  • Correspond as needed with publishers to request review copies
  • Correspond as needed with reviewers and authors
  • Maintain a database of titles and reviewers, as well as files of other necessary records
  • Send printed reviews to publishers
  • Work closely with editor-in-chief
  • Co-editors must have an extensive knowledge of the literature reviewed in the section they edit, excellent command of written and spoken English; knowledge of written English style; familiarity with the conventions of editing and proofreading; ability to use word processing, database management, and e-mail programs; ability to meet deadlines; and good interpersonal skills
 For more information, please contact Sally Stieglitz, AJL News and Reviews, Editor-in-Chief, at [email protected] 


Sally Stieglitz
Editor-in-Chief, AJL News and Reviews
Association of Jewish Libraries 

2019 Reference and Bibliography Awards

2019 Reference and Bibliography Awards

The Association of Jewish Libraries Judaica Reference and Bibliography Awards Committee would like to announce this year's awards, given to works published during 2019. Awards are as follows:

Bibliography award:

Gross, William, Orly Tzion, and Falk Wiesemann, eds. Catalog of Catalogs: A Bibliography of Temporary Exhibition Catalogs Since 1876 that Contain Items of Judaica. Leiden; Boston: Brill, 2019.

Reference award:

Sienna, Noam, and Judith Plaskow.A Rainbow Thread: An Anthology of Queer Jewish Texts from the First Century to 1969. Philadelphia, PA: Print-O-Craft Press, 2019.

Honorary mention (Reference):

Tapper, Aaron Hahn, and Mira Sucharov, eds.Social Justice and Israel/Palestine: Foundational and Contemporary Debates. Toronto; Buffalo: University of Toronto Press, Higher Education Division, 2019.

Lifetime achievement award:

Singerman, Robert.Judaica Americana: A Bibliography of Publications to 1900. New York: Greenwood Press, 1990. Electronic edition: 2019.

Please see our press release for more information.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank committee members Haim Gottschalk, Anne Knafl, Gabriel Mordoch, and David Levy, who have worked tirelessly to put together a worthy list of candidate works and review the finalists.

We would also like to recognize and thank Dr. Greta Silver of New York (Reference Award) and Mr. Eric Kline of Santa Monica (Bibliography Award) for their commitment and continuing support of these awards.


Amalia S. Levi
AJL Reference and Bibliography Committee Chair