Association of Jewish Libraries of Southern California (AJLSC) is a chapter of The Association of Jewish Libraries, Inc. (AJL), an international corporation. This professional group fosters access to information and research in all forms of media relating to all things Jewish. The Association promotes Jewish literacy and scholarship and provides a community for peer support and professional development.
The mission of AJLSC is to foster the growth and development of Jewish libraries by:
• exchanging ideas on ways and means of solving specific library problems;
• raising standards for Jewish libraries and librarians by encouraging and supporting education for Jewish librarianship.
In addition, AJLSC seeks to promote knowledge of Judaic literature and sources of information among the general public.
In 2006, AJLSC was incorporated as a California public benefit, nonprofit corporation. Its governing body is the AJLSC Council, composed of nine members of the Board of Directors, serving two-year terms, who elect its Officers and Advisory Committee members, in accordance with its Bylaws. AJLSC has been granted tax exempt status by the Internal Revenue Service and the California Franchise Tax Board.
The following have served as Presidents of AJLSC:
Ellen Cole (2013 – Present)
Judy Cohn (2006 – 2012)
Haim Gottschalk (2005 – 2006)
Ellen Cole (2001 – 2005)
Judy Katz (1999 – 2001)
Ronda Rose (1996- 1999)
Rachel Glasser (1993 – 1996)
Susan Dubin (1989 – 1993)
Fran Shuster (1985 – 1989)
Rita Frischer (1981 – 1985)
Marjorie Gersh (1979 – 1981)
Adaire Klein (1975 – 1979)
Barbara Leff (1973 – 1975)
Grace Friedman (1971 – 1973)
Betty Sheffner (1970 – 1971)
Diane Weinstein (1969 – 1970)
Leah Rubin (1968 – 1969)
Dorothy Schroeder (1966 -1968)
About AJLSC Members
AJLSC Members who are AJL Past-Presidents and serve on the AJL Past-Presidents Council:
Susan Dubin – AJL President, 2008-2010
Ronda Rose – AJL President, 2004-2006
Barbara Y. Leff – AJL President, 1980-1982
Harvey Horowitz – AJL President, 1978-1980
AJLSC Members who won AJL Awards
AJL Fanny Goldstein Merit Award – named for the librarian, social activist, and founder of National Jewish Book Month, this award is bestowed in recognition of loyal and ongoing contributions to the Association and to the profession of Jewish librarianship.
AJLSC awardees: Ronda Rose (2010), Fred Isaac (2008), Ellen G. Cole (2007), Susan Dubin (2001), Adaire J. Klein (1994), Barbara Y. Leff(1992).
AJL Life Membership Award – granted in recognition of outstanding leadership and professional contributions to the Association and to the profession of Jewish librarianship.
AJLSC awardees: Rita C. Frischer (2000), Barbara Y. Leff (1994).
Local AJLSC Libraries awarded AJL Accreditation Certificates
Advanced Level Judaica Library Accreditation:
2012 (renewal) — Corwin Library, Temple Israel of Hollywood, Hollywood, CA — Melissa Sloan, Librarian.
2012 (renewal) — Lainer Library, Abraham Joshua Heschel Day School, Northridge, CA — Cara Sagal, Librarian.
2011 (renewal) — Blumenthal Library, Sinai Temple, Los Angeles, CA — Lisa Silverman, Library Director.
2011 (renewal) — Sheila Sporn Library, ValleyBeth Shalom Synagogue, Encino, CA — Helene Gersuk, Librarian.
2007 — Weber Library, Adat Ari El, Valley Village, CA — Lesley Alexander-Roxas, Day School Librarian; and Grace Friedman, Religious School Librarian.
2004 — Lainer Library, Rabbi Jacob Pressman Academy, Los Angeles, CA — Arna Schwartz, Librarian.
Basic Level Judaica Library Accreditation:
2013 (renewal) — Dr. Eugene B. Levine Memorial Library, Temple Isaiah, Los Angeles, CA — Ellen Cole, Librarian
2011 — Rabbi Harvey B. Franklin Library, Temple Israel, Long Beach, CA — Joan P. Leb, Librarian
2008 — YULA Girls High School, Los Angeles, CA — Rayna Clark, Head Librarian.
AJLSC Members — In Memoriam (see: “memoriam-Rev.php”>
Michael Masliah z”l ( – 2016) — AJLSC Liaison to the Los Angeles County Library; Librarian at the Culver City Public Library.
Judy Cohn, z”l (1936-2015) — AJLSC President (2006-2012), Librarian at Granada Hills Charter High School; and Substitute Librarian at Los Angeles Public Library.
Grace Friedman, z”l (1916-2012) — an AJLSC Founding Member; AJLSC President (1971-73); Religious School Librarian at Adat Ari El; President of Friends of Fairfax Branch of Los Angeles Public Library.
Nettie Frishman, z”l (1913-2005) — Los Angeles Public Library; also an AJL Sydney Taylor Award Committee Friend.
Dorothy Schroeder, z”l ( -1987) — a Founder and First President of AJLSC. (See Dorothy Schroeder Memorial Fund)
Mae Weine, z”l (1912-2004) — an AJL and AJLSC Founder.
About Our History
A brief history of AJLSC, gleaned from records and recollections:
In 1965, Mae Weine, then national President of the Association of Jewish Libraries (AJL), visited her sister, librarian Grace Friedman, in Los Angeles. At that time, Dorothy Schroeder, a professional librarian working at Wilshire Boulevard Temple, was giving library lessons to volunteers who were trying to create and develop Judaica libraries at their synagogues and schools. These lessons were sponsored by the College of Jewish Studies and the Bureau of Jewish Education. Mae encouraged Dorothy to contact synagogues for the purpose of starting a regional AJL chapter. Twenty-five people came to that first meeting from throughout Southern California — Los Angeles to San Diego. The chapter — Association of Jewish Libraries of Southern California — began officially in 1966, and Dorothy Schroeder was elected its first president. Presidents who followed are listed above. For more of our earlier history, see Dorothy Schroeder Memorial Fund for the Enhancement of Judaica Librarianship. Recent history includes hosting AJL conventions, filing for incorporation, and adopting a new Bylaws (dated July 27, 2006), to replace our previous Constitution(ratified May 23, 2002).
About Our Logo
Amy Goldenberg, librarian, artist, and AJLSC member, has graciously designed a beautiful papercut art piece for AJLSC to use as its logo. To quote Amy: “The central idea for the logo came from looking at the title pages of old Hebrew texts, which frequently have images of arches or gateways on them. Since our Association serves Southern California, the trunks of palm trees, a common Southern California sight, are used as pillars. As an organization of libraries and librarians, both print and electronic forms of information storage and retrieval are represented in the arch.”
The AJLSC logo is copyright by the artist, Amy Goldenberg. Its unauthorized use, in print or electronic form, is strictly prohibited.