Present: Kathleen Clotfelter, Robin Coller, Barbara Cooper, Loreli Ennis, Robert Ennis, Heidi Estrin, Etta Gold, Joanne Jaffe, Sue Kirshner, Arlene Robert, Sara Schandelson, Schlomit Schwarzer, Walter Spielman, Amy Weishaus, Marci Wiseman, Jane Zalben, Steve Zalben.
Lunch was held in Temple Dor Dorim's lovely rotunda, where we were able to view a display of original art by our featured speaker, Jane Breskin Zalben.
Heidi Estrin called the meeting to order at 12:30pm.
Heidi introduced a new resource available from AJL, The 'All-of-a-Kind Family' Companion. This is a reader's guide to Sydney Taylor's most famous book, created in celebration of the author's 100th birthday, and the 350th anniversary of Jewish settlement in America. It is available as a PDF at www.jewishlibraries.org.
Amy Weishaus introduced us to her book gift basket business, Basket o' Books and More. She showed us the various literary baskets she creates, and explained her new fundraising relationship with Congregation B'nai Israel. Members were invited to take information for their own personal ordering, or for fundraisers.
Our featured speaker was author/illustrator Jane Breskin Zalben. She has written numerous Jewish and secular children's books, and illustrated most of her own work. She does finely detailed work with a hair-thin paintbrush, and often uses gold in her paintings. She spoke about the creation of her Jewish chararcters Beni the bear and Pearl the lamb. She also spoke about her book Let There Be Light, which was written in response to 9/11. It is a collection of peaceful sayings and prayers from various cultures, illustrated in a more surreal style than her usual work. She is planning a sequal called Paths to Peace. She and her husband Steve showed us their new joint book, Saturday Night at the Beastro, a funny book about monstrous creatures dining out on disgusting foods. They showed us many original pieces of artwork from this book. Jane also showed us Baby Babka the Gorgeous Genius, which is based on her own family memories.
At the end of the meeting, Heidi reviewed a few new books that she suggests as worthwhile purchases. They are:
What You Will See Inside a Synagogue by Rabbi Lawrence A. Hoffman & Dr. Ron Wolfson (Jewish Lights, 2004)
My Guardian Angel by Sylvia Weil (Arthur A. Levine/Scholastic, 2004)
The meeting was adjourned at 2:00pm.