Association of Jewish Libraries Serves Up Authors at Sheraton Chicago on July 7(Chicago – May 20, 2009) Teachers, librarians, educators and booklovers are invited to attend a gala Jewish Author Luncheon on Tuesday, July 7, 2009 at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel and Towers at 12:00 noon. The event will feature over thirty-five authors and illustrators who create books for adults and children. A book signing and reception will follow the luncheon, which is being held in conjunction with the annual Association of Jewish Libraries (AJL) national convention.During the luncheon and reception, authors and illustrators will circulate among the attendees to highlight their works, ranging from children’s picture books, adult fiction and non-fiction, poetry, and short stories to cookbooks and scholarly works.

Several of these authors will also present sessions during the AJL convention. On Monday, July 6, Esme Codell (Vive La Paris, Hanukkah Shmanukkah), Ilene Cooper (Sam I Am, Jewish Holidays All Year Round), Brenda Ferber (Jemma Hartman, Camper Extraordinaire, Julia’s Kitchen), and Esther Hershenhorn (Chicken Soup By Heart) will explore “Writing the Jewish Children’s Book” and Simone Elkeles (Perfect Chemistry, How to Ruin My Teenage Life) will discuss “Bat Mitzvah & Beyond: Jewish Girls Coming of Age in Fiction.” On Tuesday, July 7, Peter Ascoli will speak about his book about his grandfather, Julius Rosenwald: The Man Who Built Sears, Roebuck and Advanced the Cause of Black Education in the American South.Local authors will be joined by authors and illustrators from across the United States and Israel. Richard Michelson (Northampton, Massachusetts) and Raul Colon (New City, New York), author and illustrator of As Good As Anybody: Martin Luther King, Jr. and Abraham Joshua Heschel’s Amazing March Toward Freedom, the 2009 Sydney Taylor Book Award Winner for Younger Reader, Aranka Siegal (Williams Island, Florida), author of Memories of Babi, the 2009 Sydney Taylor Honor Award Winner for Older Readers, and Anna Levine (Jerusalem, Israel), author of Freefall, the 2009 Sydney Taylor Honor Award Winner for Teen Readers, will all present during sessions on Tuesday, July 7 and will also be recognized during the awards banquet on Tuesday evening.

Pearl Sofaer (San Francisco, California), author of Baghdad to Bombay: In the Kitchens of My Cousins, will speak about the gems of Mizrahi liturgy on Monday, July 6.”The AJL convention will draw over 200 Judaica librarians from synagogues, day schools, community centers, seminaries, universities, and research institutions from across North America and around the world,” explains Rachel Kamin, a member of the local planning committee and chair of the Jewish Author Luncheon. “We want to showcase and celebrate the wealth of Jewish literary talent in the metropolitan Chicago community during the convention.”Tickets for the Jewish Author Luncheon and Reception are available for $75.00 and include an elegant kosher meal and delicious dessert reception. Copies of the participating authors’ works will be available for sale. To purchase tickets, or for more information about the Association of Jewish Libraries and its Chicago convention, contact Marcie Eskin or (847) 676-1480, or visit

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