Jewish Book Council Staff
Naomi Firestone-Teeter - Executive Director
Originally from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Naomi joined the JBC staff in 2006. She graduated from Emory University with degrees in English and Art History and, in addition, studied at University College London. Naomi has served as the founding editor of the JBC website and blog and managing editor of Jewish Book World. In addition, she has overseen JBC's digital initiatives, and also developed the JBC's Visiting Scribe series and Unpacking the Book: Jewish Writers in Conversation.
Carolyn Starman Hessel - Director of the Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature | Executive Director Emerita
Carolyn joined the Jewish Book Council in 1994, when the JBC, originally created in 1941, became an independent organization. Since then she has been named to the Forward 50 five times for her work in Jewish literature. In 1999, she founded the JBC Network, a popular program that sends authors on Jewish book programs around the country.
Miri Pomerantz Dauber - Book Club Director
Miri joined the JBC team in Winter, 2004 upon graduating from Brandeis University. Originally from Philadelphia, she has lived and studied in Israel and London. Prior to working with JBC, she interned for the Jewish Publication Society. After seven years as the director of the JBC Network program, Miri has shifted her focus to book clubs, working to develop resources to better serve book club readers.Carol Kaufman - Editorial Director
Carol joined the JBC as the editor of Jewish Book World in 2003, shortly after her son’s bar mitzvah. Before having a family she held positions as an editor and copywriter and is the author of two books on tennis and other racquet sports. She is a native New Yorker and a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania with a BA and MA in English.
Suzanne Swift - Director of JBC Network
Suzanne joined the staff of the Jewish Book Council as the director of the JBC Network in August 2013. Prior to that she was the program director at Valley of the Sun JCC and the director of adult service and cultural arts for seven years. Suzanne also owned a children’s book and toy store in the Dallas area, and was the book vendor for many Jewish book fairs and schools in the community. She has a degree in Art with a minor in both Psychology and Education and certifications in both Jewish Education and Jewish Family Education and is currently enrolled at Spertus Institute of Judaic Studies and working on double Master’s Degree in Jewish Education and Jewish Studies.
Joyce Lit - JBC Network Associate
Joyce Lit joined the JBC staff in 2005 after working in the JCC field in Texas for over 25 years. She held positions in Houston, San Antonio and Austin in the Cultural Arts departments teaching theater and dramatic arts classes, directing Performing Arts Camp and was a book fair coordinator. A graduate of Arizona State University with a BA in Theater, Joyce finally gets to use her training in Readers Theater to prepare authors for the Meet the Author JBC Network events.
Nat Bernstein - Contributing Editor | Manager of Digital Content & Partnerships
Nat is an F'07 graduate of Hampshire College and a former Fellow at the American Hebrew Academy in Greensboro, North Carolina. Read Nat's reviews and essays for Jewish Book Council here.
Evie Saphire-Bernstein - Program Manager, JBC Network and National Jewish Book Awards
Becca Kantor - Managing Editor
Becca Kantor received her B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and her M.A. in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. She has lived in Estonia, England, and Germany.
Stefanie Shulman - Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature Associate Director
Stefanie joined the Sami Rohr staff in March 2017. Previously she was Engage Life Director for Atria Senior Living in Manahattan and Long Island, developing programs and special events for senior residents. She served as Director of Cultural Arts at Sid Jacobson JCC, East Hills for over 9 years where she ran the Book & Author Program, the Jewish Film Festival and Spotlight Speaker series. She is a native New Yorker and has a BA in Communications & Political Science from Queens College, CUNY.
Michal Hoschander Malen - Children's and Young Adult Editor
Michal Hoschander Malen is the editor of Jewish Book Council's young adult and children's book reviews. She has lectured on a variety of topics relating to children and books and her greatest joy is reading to her grandchildren on both sides of the ocean. Michal lives in Great Neck, NY and Efrat, Israel.