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Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Kathe Pinchuck, Chair
Sydney Taylor Book Award Committee

The Sydney Taylor Book Award Committee appointed three new members. Their four-year terms will begin in January 2010. The committee benefits from the diverse membership of AJL, and with the unique talents and experience of the incoming members, we are confident the high standards of the committee will continue.

Debbie Feder is the Director of the Library Resource Center at Ida Crown Jewish Academy in Chicago. An active member of the Chicago AJL Chapter, Debbie holds a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education and earned her MLS from Dominican University. Debbie, who also worked at the Skokie Public Library, is a lover of children’s literature, first enthralled by All-of-a-Kind-Family.

Aimee Lurie comes to the committee with experience in a variety of Jewish libraries, including the Temple-Tifereth Israel, the Fairmount Temple and the Agnon School, as well as public libraries. Amy has reviewed books for the AJL Newsletter and VOYA and feels that “reviewing books is every librarian’s professional responsibility and it has always played a critical role in my personal professional development. Not only does it play an invaluable role in collection development, I have found it is the best way to keep your finger on the pulse of publishing trends.” Aimee is active in the Cleveland chapter of AJL and holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Ohio State and an MLS from Kent State University.

Nancy Silverrod is a librarian at San Francisco Public Library. Nancy graduated summa cum laude from Eastern Michigan University and earned her MILS at the University of Michigan. Nancy states that “My reading over the years led me to a deeper connection and involvement with Judaism, and the opportunity to recommend high quality books to interested readers is one of the things I most enjoy about my work” – a great combination.

Barbara Bietz of Oak Park, California will assume the chairmanship. She is the author of Like a Maccabee (Yaldah Publishing, 2006). As a freelance writer, her work has appeared in numerous publications, and she is a frequent reviewer for Jewish Book World and the AJL Newsletter.

The 2009-2010 Sydney Taylor Book Award Committee will also include Debbie Colodny (Libertyville, Illinois), Rita Soltan (West Bloomfield, Michigan); Kathe Pinchuck (Clifton, New Jersey), past chair; and Rachel Kamin (Chicago, Illinois), compiler. Heidi Estrin (Boca Raton, Florida) will assist the committee as AJL Public Relations Liason.

Tremendous Harkaras Hatov (appreciation) to Susan Berson (Denver, Colorado and Kathy Bloomfield (Wellesley, Massachusetts) who have served their four-year terms on the committee with distinction.