Friday, August 08, 2008

Meeting Minutes: April 28, 2003

Kvell & Tell Conference, Congregation B'nai Israel, Boca Raton

Present: Linda Anton, Helen Beloff, Kathleen Clotfelter, Robin Coller, Muriel Efron, Lorelei Ennis, Robert Ennis, Heidi Estrin, Sylvia Firschein, Etta Gold, Phyllis Gutmann, Minerva Katz, Sue Kirshner, Linda Kruger, Heather Miller, Peter Pollock, Sheree Pollock, Arthur Quinn, Toby Rossner, Rabbi Tobias Rothenberg, Barbara Samuels, Stephanie Schoenberger, Sara Shandelsohn, Edith Sherman, Alice Shook, Kathy Slutsky, Walter Spielman, Abby Weingarten, Ruth Weiner, Sheila Weinstein, Marci Wiseman, Lee Wixman

Heidi Estrin called the meeting to order at 10:10am. AJL Chapters Coordinator Toby Rossner, who flew in from Rhode Island, spoke about membership in the national association. Heidi welcomed everyone and announced the agenda for the day.

The meeting began with the theme "Kvell and Tell" as various members and guests shared ideas for library service and operations.

  • Linda Anton of JBI (Jewish Braille Institute) in West Palm Beach spoke about the talking book library for the visually impaired. JBI is international in scope. Working with the Library of Congress, they provide books on tape through the mail for visually impaired people.
  • Alice Shook of Temple Israel, West Palm Beach, told us about the talking book club she is starting at her library with Linda Anton's help.
  • Heather Miller from Sarasota, FL told us of The Astronauts Memorial Foundation program where educators can receive technology training. More information can be found on the website at
  • Toby Rossner discussed her chapter's activities in publicity of the library and programs for library users. In particular, she told us of ways to use the free materials from the Jewish Women's Archive for a hands-on workshop, and of a lesson/exhibit using picture books as primary source materials. For more information, write to Toby at LI>Etta Gold (Temple Beth Am, Miami) spoke about the various editions of the Haggadah in her library which are all unique but also based on the same text. She spoke of ways to compare and contrast them with students. She pointed out that English has changed a lot in the last few hundred years (using an example from Shakespeare), but that the Hebrew in a centuries-old Hagaddah is perfectly readable to today's students.
  • Barbara Samuels (Hillel Day School, North Miami Beach) discussed her efforts to encourage students to be more active in reading through two book clubs: The S.T.A.R. (Students Teach And Read) Club in which older kids read with younger kids, and the Harry Potter Club, in which readers do activities related to the Harry Potter books.
  • Helen Beloff (Jacobson Sinai Academy) shared a Jewish Journal article that showed how her library hosted an international fair arranged by children who brought typical foods, books and maps unique to various nations with a focus on Israel. Both the program and the publicity were good examples for the rest of us.
  • Marci Wiseman (CAJE-Miami) spoke about a teen reading program which she had helped develop while in Baltimore which encourages teens and parents to discuss issues in books which they read together. The program is called Sulam Salon, and there is another version available for Grades 3-6. The program materials are available for purchase; contact Marci at for more information.
  • Sylvia Firschein of Sarasota discussed her library's Jewish film program aimed at drawing more people into the library, and also described the double-card check-out system that they use on Shabbat when they cannot write (it's a Conservative temple).
  • Linda Kruger of Naples spoke of her growing congregation and the needs of the library. She volunteers in Naples and is also a professional rare books librarian/cataloger for a private collection in Aventura.
  • Bob and Lorelei Ennis from Temple Dor Dorim in Weston introduced themselves. They are just beginning a library at Dor Dorim and are glad to find AJL! Lorelei used to run a children's book store in Miami.
  • Lee Wixman (Temple Emanu-El, Palm Beach) spoke of the "Hooked on Fiction" session that he and Irene did at the AJL Convention in Washington DC in 2000.
  • Heidi Estrin (Congregation B'nai Israel, Boca Raton) described a program in which each graduating Pre-K child at the temple's preschool is given a hardback Jewish book as a gift from the library and the school. She also showed an example of "Miss Heidi's Hightlights" - a sheet of book recommendations that she does each month for the school's Scholastic Book Club, to help parents in their purchasing decisions and to gain exposure for the library.

    Heidi announced that the meeting dates for next season are open for members to host and that she should be contacted to make those arrangements.

    The meeting adjourned at 12:30pm, and members drove to FAU for a tour of the Molly S. Fraiburg Judaica Collection at the Wimberley Library.

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