Conference: 2019 Conference Proceedings

Los Angeles, CA (Woodland Hills)

Proceedings

Rabbi Rachel Adler PhD, Ellenson Professor of Jewish Religious Thought, Professor of Modern Jewish Thought at the HUC-JIR/Los Angeles, whose Engendering Judaism (1999) earned her the distinction of being the first female theologian to win the National Jewish Book Award in Jewish Thought, has a new book coming out. Tales of the Holy Mysticat (2019, Banot Press) began as a series of Facebook posts about Adler’s cat, intended as a creative way to share additional teachings with her students outside of the classroom. These posts garnered a following.

After reading Chaim Potok’s The Chosen and its sequel The Promise, Anton discovered Davita’s Harp, Potok’s novel with a female protagonist. Anton noted that the girl goes to school with The Chosen’s hero and, believing this was a “Chekov’s gun,” she waited for the book where they’d reconnect. But Potok died in 2002. Anton, a novelist and feminist Talmud student, revisited his duology. To say his female characters got short shrift is putting it mildly. The protagonists’ mothers didn’t even have names.

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In 2014, Dr. Mark Kligman was hired as the first Mickey Katz Endowed Chair in Jewish Music at UCLA. This has attracted students to UCLA as a center for Jewish music scholarship. The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music received a gift to establish the Lowell Milken Fund for American Jewish Music in order to give attention to American Jewish music as an area of research and study. The UCLA Libraries are coordinating with the archive and across units to develop a shared collection development plan, programming and research.

In 2016, the National Endowment for the Humanities granted Columbia University Libraries funding to digitize and make available c.140,000 pages of field notes from the Language and Culture Atlas of Ashkenazic Jewry. The two-year project involved extensive collaboration, both within and outside the university, and required new ideas and strategies for digitizing a large quantity of archival materials for patron use. This talk will discuss some of the strategies, challenges, and creative thinking and work that was required to take the idea into reality.

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Podcast live shows are all the rage these days! In this session, join host Heidi Rabinowitz as she creates a podcast episode for The Book of Life before your very eyes. Guest Joni Sussman of Kar-Ben Publishing and author/illustrator Barney Saltzberg will discuss how they decide on an "art profile" for picture books - i.e. whether to use humans or animals, the ethnic diversity of the characters, any special needs portrayed, etc. Audience participation will be encouraged.

At the 2012 AJL Conference, Annette identified and discussed children’s books with significant Jewish content among winners of the two most important U.S. awards for translated books for youth, the Mildred L. Batchelder Award and the Outstanding International Books List. In the last few years there has been increased activity in publishing and promoting translations, including the appearance of the Global Literature in Libraries Initiative (GLLI), a group of translators, librarians, teachers, etc.

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During her semester-long sabbatical in Israel, Rachel visited several archives and research, public, and special libraries, mostly for research and study purposes, but also just for fun. In this presentation, she will share her experiences as a library user in both famed and obscure, regional libraries where she made discoveries of all sorts.

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In June 2019, Anne Frank would have been 90 years old. Anne and her family’s hiding place, now a museum, is still one of the top attractions in Amsterdam today. At the same time, studies show that fifty percent of millennials in the United States don’t know what Auschwitz was, and twenty percent can’t tell you what the Holocaust was. As a result, Anne Frank House is producing literature and educational support materials to help young people make connections between the past and the present, to make what seems like distant history feel relevant to their lives and their current experiences.

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The Hebrew book of Psalms (Tehillim) has been translated and transformed to become an integral part of Jewish and Christian worship throughout the centuries. This presentation explores the history of the use of Psalms in liturgy. It will be illustrated by examples of worship books from the collections of the Lowy-Winkler Family Rare Book Center. It will also include musical examples.

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Dr. Ari Babaknia will speak about his four-volume book in Persian on the Holocaust and its impact on Iranian's awareness and sensitivity to this human tragedy, specifically on non-Jews.

Home taping couldn't kill music when there were halakhic warnings on the insert. As audio cassettes are making a comeback, the Recorded Sound Archive at FAU is preserving and cataloging recordings found nowhere else, unearthing hidden gems not available in other formats. Orthodox pop parodies, Israeli pre-Eurovision Contest collections and cantorial rarities are among the highlights presented by Daniel Scheide in his inimitable style.

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Chronograms are often used as a dating method for classical Hebrew books. They are constructed from a phrase or biblical verse which yields a numerical value when the letters are added up. They are meant to yield a year, but often, also give another message. They often reveal the author’s name, messianic hope, or a quotation from the Bible that is relevant to the topic of the book. The mathematics are not always so easy to compute: sometimes the cataloger has to count only certain letters, and sometimes s/he has to know which ones to subtract.

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Learn how to choose, order, and display a variety of wonderful archival photo collections to your community, offered for free from Tel Aviv’s Diaspora Museum, Beit HaTfutsot.

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Over the years, Sheryl had been letting the library’s collection of Esther scrolls and posters sit around in the hopes that they would catalog themselves or that she would wake up one day with the ability to identify the provenance of each piece in these collections. Eventually she decided that it was better to catalog them poorly, than to have them on a shelf uncataloged. Sheryl will go over the minimal requirements for cataloging scrolls and her adventures in describing the posters.

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This illustrated lecture will provide an overview of archival collections and manuscripts held by Yeshiva University Library's Special Collections relating to German, Hungarian and American genealogical primary research sources, dating primarily from the mid-eighteenth through the early twentieth centuries. The lecture will also include background information on the collections as well as specific examples of items in the collections. There will be a brief explanation of how to locate genealogical resources in the Yeshiva University’s online catalog and archival finding aids.

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This year is the 500th anniversary of a publication of very unique and interesting book, Alpha Betah of Ben Sira. The book was published for the first time in Constantinople in 1519. It became very popular and was published many times in the 16th century. The book, which caused disagreement in the Middle Ages, is representative of what today we would call Pulp Fiction or low-quality literature. Yoram will discuss the importance of the book and more importantly, the social-historical context that caused this book to be published.

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Attractive bulletin boards and student art projects give the library visibility along with disseminating Jewish knowledge. This presentation will show how to navigate the website, Pinterest, to locate assorted ideas and projects.

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With her distinctive voice and style, the Yiddish actress, singer, and lyricist Jennie Goldstein (1896-1961) performed, recorded and published dozens of songs during her nearly sixty-year career. Goldstein's musical output reflects the multiple roles she played, on and off-stage, and the changing cultural landscape of (Yiddish) America. What research methods can we use to discover musical (and other) sources from Goldstein's work?

Dr. Lou Shub was the first director of the library at the University of Judaism in Los Angeles, CA. He was also a pioneer in Judaica librarianship in Southern California. This presentation will present the life of Dr. Lou Shub and highlight his accomplishments in developing the collection at the University of Judaism (now American Jewish University) and his contributions to librarianship in general.

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Representatives from the Israel and Judaica Section of the Library of Congress will discuss a variety of acquisitions and cataloging matters, including new and recent classification numbers and subject headings, highlights of IJ Section cataloging practice, developments in serials cataloging and processing, and general Library of Congress news.

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Over 100 works of fiction with Jewish content are published each year by mainstream, Jewish and small, independent presses. So many books, so little time! How do we sift through the good, the great and the not-so-great? How can reading books with Jewish characters and themes help educate, enlighten and inspire us? What are the new trends in the Jewish publishing world? Explore the latest and greatest in Jewish fiction for adult readers with the members of the AJL Fiction Award Committee and come prepared to share some of your favorite new titles.

In pre-World War II Kaunas, Abba Balosher (1869-1944), an intellectual and a scholar, managed a private library and distributed books in eight languages. He kept contacts with many book dealers and publishing houses overseas which make his library unique and expendable. The spirit of Balosher’s library has matched the sense of the independent Lithuanian democratic society – intellectual and open-minded, not limited by languages and geographical borders.

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Vienna University Library owns a collection of roughly 1,200 Old Hebrew prints, produced and circulated all over Europe over a period of more than 400 years, starting with the late fifteenth century. All of them have comprehensive bibliographic and item records in ALMA, which are in the process of being incorporated into “Footprints,” a database on Jewish book history managed at Columbia University. Using showcase examples from the Vienna collection, this talk will address the subject of early modern academic collection building in the fields of Hebrew, the Bible and Judaism.

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By the end of the 19th century, the title of greatest library in Eastern Europe, in terms of size, rarities, of both books and manuscripts was that of Moses Areyeh Löeb Friedland (1826-1899). According to some, his collection was even ranked in the same class as that of the Bodleian. The library included three hundred volumes of manuscripts (including a few on parchment), thirty-two incunabula, and 10,000 volumes printed mostly in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

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It is an established fact in the literary world that Americans just aren’t that motivated to read fiction in translation. Only three percent of all books published in the United States each year are in translation, but the small number of books being translated from Hebrew has been steadily increasing. Rachel will discuss some of these new books that are now available to those of us who are not quite fluent enough to read them in their original Hebrew, as well as trends in Israeli literature and books written in English by native Hebrew speakers.

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Many of the material that document the lives of Jewish communities in the US and abroad are not found in academic libraries or mainstream archival repositories, but in community, synagogue and personal archives. These community-based archives have often little to no inventories or finding aids and are curated with severely restricted budgets and staff. The result is that they remain invisible and their full potential is not taken advantage of.

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The JDC Archives is an unparalleled repository of modern Jewish history. Its vast holdings document JDC’s global humanitarian mission, activities, and partnerships from World War I to the present and are a unique window into Jewish communal relief, development, migration, and resettlement in the 20th and 21st centuries in over 90 countries. The JDC Archives is a treasure trove for those researching their Jewish family history and for students of Jewish history.

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Vilnius Jewish Public Library is in the process of structuring and presenting private libraries of distinguished book donators. In this way, not only VJP library’s collection is being expanded, but the memory and character of some prominent personalities is saved and reflected.
This presentation will focus on three personalities who contributed to the collection.

This presentation will focus on graphic novels and comic books with characters who are identifiably Jewish. Mr. Lieberman will discuss how Haredi and other such groups utilize comic books and graphic novels to impart religious and moral lessons, as well as providing an alternative to secular comic books and culture. With the recent passing of Stan Lee, co-creator of many of the most well-known superheroes and superhero teams for Marvel Comics, there has been an increased focus on the history and use of graphic novels and comics in the general culture.

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In August 2018, Dr. Parviz Lalazari donated two volumes of early Tanach (Hebrew Bible) printings to the library of Yeshiva University. One was a volume from a Tanach printed in Venice in 1524 by Daniel Bomberg (1483-1553) and the other was a volume from an Amsterdam publication by Moses Frankfurter (1672-1762). Beginning with just these two volumes, YU proceeded to locate other uncatalogued volumes so complete sets could be made. YU now has three Bomberg printings: 1524, 1546, and 1547.

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A son of Sephardic parents from Jerusalem, the author, journalist and scholar Victor Haim Perera (1934-2003), was born in Guatemala City and moved to New York at the age of twelve. He graduated from Brooklyn College and subsequently received a master’s degree in English literature from the University of Michigan. After that, he moved to California to teach literature, writing and journalism at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and later at the Berkeley campus. Perera’s writings focused on Sephardic Jewry and on Latin America (particularly the Maya Indians).

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The committee will discuss favorite Jewish children’s books as seen from the award submissions and give a behind-the-scenes look at how the award winners are selected.

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The 2019 award winning authors and illustrators will present their books. This award is given each year in three categories: Younger readers (birth to grade 3), Older readers (grades 4 – 8) and Teen readers (grades 9 – 12) for books that exemplify the highest literary standards while authentically portraying the Jewish experience. Winner, Honor, and Notable books are given in each category.

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Nowadays, when many Jewish book collections and libraries from the interwar period no longer exist, printed catalogues are the only remaining sources which enable us to reconstruct their contents and make it possible to study reading preferences of their founders, owners and users. In her presentation, Monika will analyze the content of a few survived printed catalogues of Jewish public libraries in Poland and present the literary offer they had for a Jewish reader.

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In the middle of the 1930s in independent Lithuania, representatives of Lithuanian and Jewish intelligentsia and professionals began to develop mutual interest and initiated a number of common educational and cultural projects. This process was brutally terminated by the Holocaust, and its documentation and representations are rare and precious. This paper will present main tendencies of those intercultural contacts as they are seen through documents from Lithuania’s depositories.

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Rock out with the National Library of Israel (NLI) and our new music streaming application, Shiri. Or browse our catalog from anywhere in the world and click on our links for instant free access to tens of thousands of Judaic resources, both old and new. NLI has been celebrating 450 years of the Hebrew book and has teamed up with a variety of organizations within Israel and abroad to increase public access to our collections and to catalog exciting new collections.

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The Feuchtwanger Memorial Library (FML) at USC has a long history and documents the legacy of novelist Lion Feuchtwanger and other Jewish and German-speaking exiles in Los Angeles. The collection is not only heavily used by local and international researchers, but has also seen a steady increase in its use by students, thanks to newly developed instruction and outreach efforts.

Mr. Sapozhnikov will discuss the complexities of translating a soon to be published English translation of a book that includes 23 pedestrian routes around the city of Vilnius and its suburbs tracing the often-tragic history of local Jewish community. These challenges are comparable to many of the issues librarians face when cataloging resources in multiple languages.

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Discussed during this talk will be two relatively new Israeli novels, portraying female Talmudic characters:
• Yochi Brandes's Ha-Pardes Shel Akiva (translated into English as: The Orchard)
• Ruhama Weiss's Yalta (currently in the process of being translated into English)

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We live in an often disturbing and frightening world - one where natural disasters, bullying, violence, and intolerance seem to be all around us. Ms. Tanenbaum will use the traditional Jewish concept of Tikkun Olam to highlight recent releases, particularly picture books, which focus on social justice issues, encouraging kindness and creating a better world. She will describe how she put these ideas into practice through a social justice book club for families.

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The purpose of the David Labkovski Project is to educate through the art of David Labkovski. By engaging viewers with his paintings and sketches, students learn lessons of life, survival, tolerance, acceptance, and the importance of bearing witness to history. Ms. Raikin will provide examples of how Holocaust materials, either those of David Labkovski, or items already in Judaica libraries, can be used to inspire middle and high school students to produce their own works of art or creative writing to then share with their local community or online.

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Vilna – known as the Jerusalem of Lithuania – had a strong cultural tradition before the Shoah that flourished even after the Vilna Ghetto was established in 1941. One of the most important cultural institutions in the Ghetto was the Vilna Ghetto Library. In many ways, The Vilna Ghetto was unique – it was the only ghetto with a central, officially sanctioned library that functioned during the Shoah.

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Despite its complexity, the ongoing Arab-Israeli conflict is a surprisingly popular theme in contemporary children’s fiction and fictionalized memoirs. This presentation will focus on books written in English by American, Canadian and British authors, as well as on translations from Hebrew and from bilingual Arabic-Hebrew picture books from Israel. It will examine this literature from both political and literary perspectives, comparing how authors from different interest groups present the history and lives of Jews and Arabs in Israel and the West Bank.

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In this hands-on demo, Sandra will show conference attendees the USC Shoah Foundation’s Visual History Archive database which contains more than 50,000 testimonies of survivors of the Holocaust and other genocides. She will also demonstrate how the database is accessed by ProQuest subscribers at academic institutions worldwide and the special research features of that interface.

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The 50,000-plus audiovisual testimonies in the USC Shoah Foundation Visual History Archive each have significant metadata, but it is organized in ways unique to the Institute and not compatible with Library of Congress standards. When tasked with creating library records for the archive, the challenge was to not only map the individualized data behind each testimony to MARC, but - since viewing each testimony for content would be impossible - to come up with uniform subject headings and summaries that could be used across experience groups.

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Sefaria is deeply committed to the democratization of Jewish knowledge and helping individuals access Jewish resources in order to help promote Jewish literacy. The digitized texts and links are equally beloved by teachers and librarians in Jewish supplemental and day schools, and those engaged in text-centered Jewish digital humanities projects.

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You may have heard about those "twitter bots" that are to blame for sowing discord and false information during the 2016 election. They're small automated programs that usually spam users or scrape data from pages, and engage in other nefarious activities. But did you know that there are many creative bots that help contribute to the broader culture of the internet, digital humanities, and yes, even Jewish librarianship?

Since its very beginning, Yad Vashem has been collecting documentation about the Holocaust from various sources and in a variety of topics, original or copy. A main goal has been the documentation and commemoration of the individual victims, "unto every person there is a name", as embodied in the Central Database of Shoah Victims' Names.

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In recent years, the responsibility for maintaining Holocaust collections has shifted from survivors themselves to the librarians and archivists who preserve their stories. As the post-survivor era draws near, how do we continue to maintain user interest in Holocaust collections? This session proposes that wider communities must have a stake in the collections that until now have been supported and donated by Holocaust survivors.

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Szeged is the third biggest city in Hungary and was a focal point of Neolog Judaism. The archive’s spectrum contains official and private documents from a time span of two hundred years.

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This presentation introduces the Cummings Collection of Judaica and Hebraica, part of the UCLA libraries, and the current project to digitize its particularly damaged and fragile volumes. The history of the collection, as well as some facts/figures about the collection and the digitization project will be discussed. The digitization decision tree and workflow will also be shared, followed by the decision to upload to the Hathi Trust and technical requirements for working with them.

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This presentation will provide an overview of the Sephardic Archive Initiative at UCLA, with an aim of introducing this project to a wider audience of Judaica librarians and exploring issues related to university, library and community relationships. It also seeks to provide insight into the unique challenges and opportunities around collecting and accessing Sephardic materials.

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Faculty from California State University Northridge (CSUN) will discuss the methods and assignments employed to teach a diverse group of undergraduate students to develop information literacy skills while gaining a basic understanding of Judaic and Jewish literacy through their enrollment in a popular general education Jewish studies course.

This session will address how ancient Jewish documents that have been discovered in the Cairo Genizah, in Greek Orthodox monasteries, and in the Judean desert's Dead Sea caves can be accessed and utilized in the teaching of Jewish history and literature. These documents have only recently been (or are in the process of being) digitized, and with this new accessibility, students can gain a deeper appreciation for how early Jewish literature was written, transmitted, and preserved. This session will also suggest ways in which Malka Z.

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The Margaret Herrick Library is a world-renowned, non-circulating reference and research collection devoted to the history and development of the motion picture as an art form and an industry. Established in 1928 and now located in Beverly Hills, the library is open to the public and used year-round by students, scholars, historians and industry professionals. This presentation will highlight its collections and databases.

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When Kaunas in 1919 became the provisional capital of the newly established Lithuanian state, Kaunas Jewish Community took an active part in the development of social, cultural, educational and political life. This year, during the cataloging work at the National Library, a collection of manuscripts, notes and letters which belonged to Ester Eliashev - literary critic, journalist and teacher – was discovered.

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During the course of cataloging work at Towson University, Chaim discovered a volume of Sod ha-Shem, a manual for a mohel (ritual circumciser) printed in Amsterdam in 1744. Appended to the leaves is a complete log of the mohel Noteh Grümbach's travels beginning in 1818 in Hesse and Bavaria and environs and continuing with his relocation to Baltimore in 1853. The historical record presented by the writing in this volume is wide-ranging and significant. This presentation will detail events in Grümbach’s life and situate his work in the broader context of 19th century American history.

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Most library users are looking to find content. However, Hillel often uses Judaica collections superficially, examining how the books look and feel. By doing so, he can gain inspiration for his work as a visual artist, as well as develop a deeper understanding of how Jews throughout history have thought about their place in the cultures they inhabited. Paying close attention to aesthetics - including typography, illustration, and overall design - we can discover historic trends in taste and style.

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The answer is with a lot of humor, flexibility, creativity, and a willingness to try some unorthodox methods.

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Students need to be proficient with digital devices, and they are. An all-digital approach often leads to superficial learning. Discover research-based strategies to strengthen students' information literacy by combining digital information and tools with that which needs no recharging--the human hand!

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Learn about resources that can enhance both Jewish education and entertainment requests by your library patrons.

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We will review scholarly research demonstrating the nexus between library services and academic achievement. Examples of successful collaborations between educators and librarians in secular and non-secular educational institutions will be demonstrated. We will provide reasons why it is crucial that educational institutions commit to high levels of funding for library spaces, library staff and library materials.

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This presentation is of two digital humanities projects aimed at reconstructing aspects of Catalano-Aragonese Jewish literature. The first one deals with the relation teacher-student among Catalan rabbis and the visualization of clusters and schools of thought. The second one

Through an ever-expanding series of collaborations with community partners throughout Los Angeles, the UCLA Alan D. Leve Center for Jewish Studies is creating a multimedia archive and a series of digital exhibitions called “Mapping Jewish Los Angeles” (http://mappingjewishla.org). The aim of the project is to “map” the diverse cultural and social histories of Jews in Los Angeles from the mid-19th century through the present.

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Librarians know that children’s books can also be used to teach important values to adults. Examples of books that can be used to teach both parents and children about treating people equally will be shared.

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