Association of Jewish Libraries
Western Regional Conference
350 Years and Counting…
Hosted by Sinai Temple and AJLSC
Monday, November 10, 2003
8:30 – 9:00 - Registration and Coffee
9:00 – 9:10 - Greetings and Introduction
9:10 – 10:40 - AMERICAN JEWS: IMAGING A DUAL IDENTITY:
From the founding of the United States, Jews have maintained the ideology that one can be a good American and a good Jew. Just as Jewish art has historically mirrored the cultural environment in which it was created, both in style and symbol, there are myriad examples representing the Jewish experience in America which demonstrate American Jewish patriotism. This slide illustrated talk surveys the quest of American Jews to create a dual identity by using such symbols as the flag, the Statue of Liberty, and the Liberty Bell on objects ranging from prayers for Presidents, to Hanukkah lamps, to organizational logos, and even advertisements for kosher products.
Dr. Grace Cohen Grossman is Senior Curator for Judaica and Americana at the Skirball Museum where she has worked since 1983. Formerly she worked at the Spertus Museum in Chicago. For nearly thirty years, she was also associated with the Smithsonian Institution researching their collection of Judaica. Trained as an art historian with an MA from Columbia University, she received a doctorate in Jewish Cultural History from Hebrew Union College. Her publications include: Jewish Art; Judaica at the Smithsonian: Cultural Politics as Cultural Model; and most recently Jewish Museums of the World.
10:45 –12:15 COLONIAL ROOTS READ: BOOKS ARE REVOLUTIONARY!
Celebrate the 350th anniversary of Jewish settlement in the US by reviewing colonial American Jewish history. I'll focus on dynamic personalities, dramatic events and famous synagogues from 1654 to the early 1800's. Entice your students through a reading contest with prizes. I'll share the nuts and bolts of my library program: the conception, preparation, content, rules, publicity and track record of my 2003-2004 bribe-to-read. Prove to your patrons that Books Are Revolutionary!Rediscover adventurous Jews in the Colonial Roots Read.
Ellen G. Cole, Library Educator of the Levine Library of Temple Isaiah in Los Angeles, is a well known reviewer of Jewish books for children and adults. Ellen is serving her second term as president of her chapter, AJLSC, the Association of Jewish Libraries of Southern California, and is the recipient of their 2001 Dorothy Schroeder Award for outstanding service to the field of Judaic Librarianship. She is the current co-editor of the Children's Section of the AJL Newsletter, a past chairperson of the Sydney Taylor Book Awards and a speaker on children's books and creating home Jewish libraries for LA's Jewish Community Library. Ellen will teach adult education courses on Jewish Colonial history at her synagogue to Celebrate 350.Ellen received her MA from the Johns Hopkins Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, her BA from Goucher College, and her library training from HUC in LA.
12:15 – 1:15 - Lunch
1:15 – 2:45 - SAVING MONTICELLO: THE LEVY FAMILY'S EPIC QUEST TO RESCUE THE HOUSE THAT JEFFERSON BUILT:
This is the remarkable story of Commodore Uriah Phillips Levy and his nephew, Jefferson Levy, and how they saved Thomas Jefferson's home from ruin and held on to it for 89 years--longer than it was in the hands of the Jefferson's themselves. This presentation was originally delivered as part of her class entitled "Behind the Headlines--A Look at American Jewish History Through Non-Fiction Books."
Lisa Silverman is the director of the Sinai Temple Blumenthal Library in Los Angeles. She is chair of the Sydney Taylor Poster Committee of the Association of Jewish Libraries and has served as a Vice President of Association of Jewish Libraries of Southern California. She is a noted book reviewer of children's literature and currently serves as a judge for two national book awards.
2:50 – 4:20 - JEWISH EDUCATION IN AMERICA:
Dr. Graff will present an overview of the history of Jewish education in America from its earliest days to the present. He will show the ways Jewish education has changed over the years.
Dr. Gil Graff is the Executive Director of the Bureau of Jewish Education in Los Angeles. His area of specialization is history of education.
4:25 – 4:30 - Concluding Remarks