Monday, September 24, 2012

South Florida Chapter Member Takes Post as AJL President

This letter originally appeared at


On June 20, 2012 at our annual conference in beautiful Pasadena, CA, I was installed as the 26th President of the Association of Jewish Libraries. I am honored to have the opportunity to serve as President for an organization comprised of professional and intelligent people, who are so passionate about their field.

My own journey with AJL began when I moved from the youth services department of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh to take over the Feldman Children's Library at Congregation B'nai Israel of Boca Raton, a large Reform synagogue in South Florida. I was immediately drafted to help with the 1999 AJL Convention in Boca Raton. Having been thrown into the deep end, I quickly got to know the people and the organization. I've stayed involved ever since, serving as President of the South Florida AJL Chapter, and as Chair of the Mentoring Committee, the Sydney Taylor Book Award Committee, and the PR Committee.

During my two years as Vice President/President-Elect under President Jim Rosenbloom, I've been impressed by his leadership and heartened by the dedication shown by so many members of AJL who serve in so many ways. We are a completely volunteer-run organization, and we rely on each and every one of you! Whether you serve on a committee, help with conference arrangements, share your knowledge on Hasafran, or spread the word about issues in Judaic librarianship via social media, your actions add to AJL's vitality! I hope this tradition continues, and I call on all of you who wish to contribute to the strength and growth of AJL to contact me and join the conversation in any capacity and expertise you can offer!

To that end, our new Vice President/President-Elect, Yaffa Weisman, will be leading a Strategic Planning effort to help AJL adapt to the changes going on in our profession and our world. We will be depending on your participation and feedback to guide us in this process.

Thanks to Past President Jim Rosenbloom, the AJL Council, and to all of you for your support. I look forward to my time as your President!

Heidi Rabinowitz Estrin
President, Association of Jewish Libraries

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