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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.

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,...

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