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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.

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,...


Jan 2, 2021

The Sydney Taylor Shmooze is a mock award blog created in Spring 2020 by Susan Kusel, Chava Pinchuck, and me, in order to encourage discussion of Jewish children's and teen literature eligible for the Sydney Taylor Book Award. In this podcast episode, Susan and Chava join me to talk about how it's going and about how...


Dec 18, 2020

In December 2020, the world received a wondrous Hanukkah gift: Daveed Diggs’ “Puppy for Hanukkah” video. I see Puppy for Hanukkah as an excellent model for creating terrific Jewish children’s literature!

Read full essay at


Dec 6, 2020

Theodor Bikel, of blessed memory, was an Austrian-American actor, folk singer, musician, composer, unionist and political activist.

Journalist Aimee Ginsburg Bikel is the wife of the late Theodore Bikel, and she brought to life Theo's story, City of Light.


Nov 9, 2020

Anya and the Dragon is Sofiya Pasternak's debut, a middle grade Jewish historical fantasy novel. It was recognized by a 2020 Sydney Taylor Honor Award. It will be joined on November 10, 2020 by a sequel, Anya and the Nightingale. Join me for a fascinating conversation with Sofiya about the history behind the fantasy.