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The Book of Life is an interview-format podcast about Jewish kidlit, mostly, with occasional coverage of YA/adult books, music, film and web,  established in December 2005. Host Heidi Rabinowitz is a Judaica librarian at Congregation B'nai Israel of Boca Raton, FL, and the podcast reveals the backstory of materials that might be found in a synagogue library like Heidi's. As director of the Feldman Children's Library at B'nai Israel, Heidi focuses on material aimed at youth, but the podcast does cover a range of subject matter for all ages. If you are a creator of Jewish books, music, film, or web content, please see our submission guidelines.

Mar 18, 2021

Linda Elovitz Marshall was excited to get her COVID-19 shot, and back in the day she was glad to be vaccinated for polio too. That gratitude led her to create the picture book biography The Polio Pioneer: Dr. Jonas Salk and the Polio Vaccine illustrated by Lisa Anchin, a 2020 Sydney Taylor Notable Book. 

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Mar 7, 2021

My good friend Susan Kusel has been on the podcast before, to talk about The Sydney Taylor Shmooze,  and to announce the Sydney Taylor Book Award winners in 2018 and 2019. She also appeared in Beyond the Holocaust and Holidays, a 2019 episode about the Highlights Foundation's writing symposium, and in the 2020...


Feb 16, 2021

Aviva Brown is the author of Ezra's BIG Shabbat Question and Not Now, Mara! These picture books portray Jewish children of color without making a big deal about it, something we don't see often enough in kidlit. Listen to Aviva as she talks about her inspiration, about self publishing, and about winning Mother of the...


Jan 25, 2021

Rebecca Levitan is the chair of the Sydney Taylor Book Award committee of the Association of Jewish Libraries. She joined us to discuss the 2021 winners of the award, which annually recognizes the best Jewish literature for children and teens. 

AJL is an affiliate of the American Library Association, so the Sydney...


Jan 2, 2021

The Sydney Taylor Shmooze is a mock book award blog that reviews Jewish children's and teen literature and invites readers to vote for the titles that they think will win the Sydney Taylor Book Award. In the last episode of The Book of Life, I spoke with my fellow admins of The Shmooze, Susan Kusel and Chava Pinchuck,...