Dina RosenfeldDina Rosenfeld
Editor-in-chief, Hachai Publishing
Author: The Very Best Place for a Penny
A Tree Full of Mitzvos
Labels for Laibel, On the Ball
All About Us
A Chanukah Story for Night Number Three
The Very Best Book
A Little Boy Named Avram
Kind Little Rivka
Dovid the Little Shepherd

Dina (Devorah Leah) Rosenfeld was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She is the daughter of Emil and Rita Herman who imbued her with a love of good books and encouraged her writing from a very early age. Dina attended the Yeshiva Achei Tmimim through high school and continued her Jewish studies in New York at Beth Rivka Teachers' Seminary.

The author's first books were born of necessity. As a preschool Hebrew teacher, she simply could not find age-appropriate, full color picture books for her 4-year-old students and decided to create children's stories of her own.

The Very Best Place for a Penny and A Tree Full of Mitzvos were her first manuscripts to be accepted for publication thanks to the involvement of her husband, Shimon Aron Rosenfeld.

Dina went on to write numerous children's books. Modern-day stories such as Labels for Laibel, On the Ball, All About Us, A Chanukah Story for Night Number Three, and The Very Best Book published by Hachai Publishing are some beloved favorites.

Her tales from Biblical sources, such as A Little Boy Named Avram, Kind Little Rivka and Dovid the Little Shepherd are used by teachers and parents to bring Torah heroes and heroines alive for the very youngest children.

Mrs. Rosenfeld's books offer a variety of styles and sizes. She has collaborated with nine different artists and writes both in rhyme and in prose.

In addition to her own writing, Dina edits children's books and oversees their production from first draft through the final layout stage.

Due to the popularity of her work, certain titles have been translated into Portuguese, Russian, German and Italian. The author is gratified that her books are read and enjoyed in homes and classrooms around the world.

Dina Rosenfeld, a member of the Lubavitcher community lives in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, NY with her family.

nodel.jpg (9229 bytes)Norman Nodel
Labels for Laibel
Hot on The Trail
Peanut Butter and Jelly for Shabbos
On The Ball
What Will The World Be Like?
The Rambam
Moral or Less (and workbook)
Na'ar Hayisi
Yitzy and the G.O.L.O.M.
The Lopsided Yarmulke
The Story Hour Vol. 1 and 2
The Wise Little Judge
The Three Gifts

Jewish children lost a dear friend on February 25, 2000, with the demise of  Norman (Nochem Yeshaya) Nodel, noted artist and illustrator of children's books and magazines.

The son of an Orthodox Rabbi, Mr. Nodel began his illustrious career as a field artist in the army, drawing military maps during World War II. Serving with the United States forces in Europe, he won medals for his courage, and helped in the liberation of Europe from German fascism.

After the war, he pursued a successful career as an artist in a variety of styles, notably illustrating the famous Classics Illustrated series in the '50s, and working on a number of projects for large publishing companies.

During the last twelve years of his life, Mr. Nodel devoted a major amount of his time and energy to illustrating books and magazines specifically for Jewish children, which gave him great pleasure and satisfaction.

Mr. Nodel began working in the Jewish market in 1988, when he started illustrating for Tzivos Hashem and The Moshiach Times. After completing the popular "Labels for Laibel" for Hachai Publishing, Norman's talent was quickly recognized and in great demand by almost every major Judaica publisher:

His talent literally "cornered the market," to the extent that there can hardly be an affiliated Jewish child today who is not familiar with his work. One might well say that Mr. Nodel raised and educated in his own way, a whole generation of Jewish children, with his work appearing virtually all over the world, in America, Europe, Israel, Russia, Australia, and South America. He was a truly special person, whose gentle wit and elegant charm are reflected in the graceful strokes of his drawings. In all his work, one sees the same qualities of modesty, pride in being Jewish, and warmth and affection for others, together with a unique elegance of style, integrity, and even a nobility of character.

He was a living example of derech eretz and respect for others. He treated everyone who came to him as if they were the only one he worked for, and as a result, everyone felt that he belonged solely to them.

He loved to joke around, and always liked to have the last pun. And his gentle wit showed in his artwork too, such as in the "What's wrong with this?" picture, that shows a goat eating a succa, and a fish taking a casual stroll with an upside down cane.

Mr. Nodel worked to the last day of his life, and despite crippling arthritis, he never complained, but rather always put himself out to meet deadlines for all those who counted on him.

"I've never let you down," he would say to clients who were worried about a deadline. And he never did.

He will be sorely missed by family, friends, and scores of clients who all became his friends, and Jewish children everywhere.

Rifka FriedmanRifka Friedman
Author / Illustrator: The Yarmulke, Kippah, Coppel Book

Rifka Friedman was born and raised in the Bronx. She received her undergraduate and masters degree in art education in New York City, and went on to study drawing and painting at the Ecole des Beaux Arts Fontainebleau in France. The illustrator credits her parents and the Bais Chana Institute in Minnesota for imbuing her with a love of Judaism. For over a decade "Morah Rifka," as she is known, has taught preschool at the Lubavitch Cheder in Minnesota. This is her first book for children.

Marci StillermanMarci Stillerman
Author: Nine Spoons

Marci Stillerman was born in Chicago just as Hitler began to cast his dark shadow. Eventually, nearly every member of the families of both her parents perished in the Holocaust. After acquiring a BA in English and American literature and a MA in Journalism, Marci spent the following years raising a family. Recently she has achieved great success with her writing. Her work has appeared in Highlights, Cricket, Shofar and other children's publications. In 1992, she won the Educational Press Assn. of America Distinguished Achievement Award for Excellence in Educational Journalism. Nine Spoons is her first book for children. The author lives in California with her husband.

Perren (Pesach) GerberPerren (Pesach) Gerber
Illustrator: Nine Spoons

Perren (Pesach) Gerber attended the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts after high school and the School of Visual Arts in New York City after his time in the Service. He has worked as an engineer, draftsman, cartoonist, illustrator, exhibit/display designer and manufacturer, commercial sculptor and collectible designer- artist. Presently, he produces sculpture, drawings and paintings for the four art galleries around the country that represent him. To illustrate Nine Spoons, the artist envisioned the lights as faith burning through the darkness of time.

Mr. Gerber has a son living in Boulder, Colorado, a daughter living in Chicago, and a stepdaughter in Austin, Texas. The artist lives in Grayson, Georgia with his wife.

Ruby Grossblatt
Author: Who's that Sleeping on my Sofabed?

Who's that Sleeping on my Sofabed? is Ruby Grossblatt's second book for children.

Ruby, a grandmother, earned her BS from Towson State University. She taught, elementary and middle grade, English for twenty years. Ruby currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her family.

Sarah Kranz
Illustrator: Who's that Sleeping on my Sofabed?

Sarah Kranz studied at the Instituto Europeo di Designe in Milan, Italy at the Bezalel School in Jerusalem. She has been freelancing for clients in both Europe and the United States for the last two years. Sarah currently resides in Jerusalem with her husband.

Rocel SandmanRochel Sandman
Author: As Big as an Egg

Rochel Sandman was bom in Tashkent, then USSR, now Uzbekistan, after World War II. Rochel and her family went through various Displaced Persons camps throughout Europe and came to the USA when she was four years old. The extended Deitsch Family lived near each other in a small Connecticut town. Bubbe Hinda and Zayde Mendel lived in the apartment above her family while Rochel attended elementary school.

The entire extended Deitsch Family moved to larger communities which had Yeshivas and Day Schools to make certain that the children would get religious education. Rochel's parents moved to a larger city in Connecticut while the rest of the family moved to Brooklyn.

Rochel lived with Bubbe Hinda and Zayde Mendel in Brooklyn when she went to a Yeshiva High School. Bubbe Hinda and Rochel were very close and she would tell her stories about her experiences many evenings.

Soon after Rochel's marriage, Rochel and her husband moved back to Connecticut where she now lives with some of her children. (Others are learning in other communities) After the birth of her first child, Rochel majored in English at a local university.

During the years her children were in preschool Rochel wrote newspaper articles and newsletters for several non-profit organizations. Rochel also followed the examples of her parents and grandparents by being a volunteer for many Jewish charitable and service organizations. Rochel takes most pride in her involvement with the Mikva, in being a founder and an active member of the Women's Chevera Kaddisha, and in founding (and until recently, directing) a Shabbos Food distribution group.

After her youngest child started elementary school Rochel began to cut back on volunteer work. Rochel is now gathering and writing family stories (Many originally told to her by Her Bubbe Hinda) for her children and grandchildren to know.

Joy WiederJoy Nelkin Wieder
Author: The Great Potato Plan

As a child, Joy often heard the tales of her family's heroic efforts to come to the United States. She is thrilled and proud to present their story in The Great Potato Plan. Joy graduated with honors from The School of Fine Arts of Washington in St. Louis and moved to New England. After the birth of her first child, she launched a successful design business, while working toward publication of her first children's book. The Great Potato Plan is her second book for children.

Joy lives in suburban Boston along with her husband and three children.

chanaChana Zakashanskaya - Zverev
Illustrator: As Big as an Egg

Chana Zakashanskaya - Zverev, a young award winning illustrator, was born in Kiev, Ukraine. She graduated from the University of Fine Arts in Kiev with a Master's Degree in graphics and illustration. Chana lives in Brooklyn, NY with her husband Steve and son Sammy.

Dvora Waysman
Author: My Jewish Days of the Week

Dvora Waysman was born in Melbourne, Australia and came to Israel in 1971 with her husband and four children, now parents themselves of 17 beautiful "sabras". She lives in Jerusalem and is the author of many Jewish books for teen and adult readers. Dvora was the recipient of the For Jerusalem citation for her fiction, poems and features about the city; and the Seeff Award for Best Foreign Correspondent. She is syndicated in 27 newspapers abroad, and has been teaching Creative Writing and Journalism for 28 years. My Jewish Days of the Week is her first picture book published by Hachai Publishing.

Melanie Schmidt
Artist : My Jewish Days of the Week

Melanie Schmidt was born in Romania in 1921. From her early childhood, she showed a remarkable talent for painting and took private art lessons all through high school and beyond. After graduating from the University of Bucharest Art Institute, Melanie held a variety of jobs in her field. She painted hundreds of book cover designs and illustrations for publishing houses throughout Bucharest. She branched out in the business world, designing packaging, labels, posters, and advertisements. After moving to Israel in 1983, Melanie expanded her design work to include trademarks, logos, calendars, and medals, winning several prizes for excellence. Now Melanie focuses primarily on her fine art, producing landscapes, portraits and still life pieces in both watercolor and oil. 

Ellen Emerman
Author: Is It Shabbos Yet? and Just Right

Ellen Emerman has a bachelor's degree in child development from the Ohio State University and a Masters from the University of North Texas. Ellen has worked as both a preschool teacher and a children's librarian in a Jewish day school in Dallas. She inherited her love of reading and writing from her parents who surrounded their children with books. Originally from Columbus, Ohio, Ellen now lives in Chicago, Illinois with her husband and five daughters.

Tova Leff
Artist: Is It Shabbos Yet?, Messes of Dresses, A Very Special Gift, Special Days are Wonderful and Fit For a Princess

Tova Leff began her career as an artist while still in high school. After intensive training to specialize in airbrush illustration, she opened her own art studio in Lakewood, New Jersey. Tova currently resided in Lakewood, New Jersey with her husband and children.

Leah Perl Shollar
Author: A Thread of Kindness, The Key Under the Pillow

Originally from Palo Alto, California, Leah Perl is a graduate of Beth Jacob of Denver, and now lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with her husband and children. Leah Perl teaches Jewish history and Chumash at a Jewish high school, as well as classes for adults on Women and Judaism. Leah Perl is an Agency for Jewish Learning Fellow and is pursuing a Masters of Science in Education. Writing is her creative outlet. Her first book for Hachai, A Thread of Kindness, was a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award, a Storytelling World Awards ‘Honor Book’, and an Association of Jewish Libraries ‘Notable Book’. In addition to her work with Hachai, Leah Perl has also written for Bread and Fire, an anthology on Jewish womanhood (to be published by Rivkah Slonim), as well as pieces for Babybug and Cricket Magazines.

Shoshana Mekibel
Artist: A Thread of Kindness

Shoshana Mekibel studied art in her native Kiev, Ukraine, where both her father and brother were accomplished artists. Now living in Brooklyn, Shoshana is a full time mother to her wonderful family. She painstakingly worked on A Thread of Kindness in her spare time.

Ruth Finkelstein
Author: Big Like Me!

For many years, Ruth Finkelstein's poetry for Jewish children was featured in Olomeinu Magazine. A compilation of ten years of this work has been issued in book form. During the course of her career, Mrs. Finkelstein has also worked as a magazine editor and written several children's picture books on Jewish topics. Big Like Me is her first book published by Hachai. The author, a great grandmother, lives with her husband in Lakewood, N.J. 

Esther Touson
Artist: Big Like Me!

Esther Touson was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where she studied in the National Academy of Fine Arts with prominent local artists. Since 1978, Esther has been living in Israel with her family where she has continued her career. She works mostly with oil and crayons, specializing in large family portraits and landscapes of Israel which incorporate traditional Jewish elements. Esther teaches art at various levels and has participated in a number of exhibitions of Israeli religious artists. Her creations are part of private collections in New York, Israel, Argentina, Italy, London and Australia.

Rochel Groner Vorst 
Author: The Sukkah that I Built

Rochel Groner Vorst was raised in Charlotte, NC, where from a very young age she assisted her parents in their work of imparting a love of Judaism to others. Rochel attended the Yeshiva High School in Pittsburgh where she won a citywide Holocaust poetry contest. She then went on to study in The Lubavitch Teacher's Seminary of UK, and began her career as a kindergarten teacher in the Charlotte Jewish Day School. Rochel temporarily lives in the Crown Heights community of Brooklyn with her husband Menachem, waiting to fulfill their life-long dream of moving to a community to help strengthen Judaism. This is Rochel's first book for children.

Elizabeth Victor-Elsby
Artist: The Sukkah that I Built

Elizabeth Victor-Elsby moved to Israel at age 20 from Houston, Texas and served in the IDF as a graphic designer. In 1991, she graduated Bezalael Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem, a week before her eldest daughter was born. Liz has worked as a book and magazine illustrator, a computer game designer, and a courtroom artist. She lives with her second husband in Jerusalem, along with her two daughters from her first marriage, Eden and Iris Fainberg, and two very noisy budgies.



Patti Argoff
Artist: When the World Was Quiet
Braid the Challah
I am a Torah
What Do I Say?
Happy Birthday To Me
Thank You for Everything

Patti Argoff received a BFA from The School of Visual Arts in 1981, but actually was drawing long before that- she was drawing before she could talk. At least that's what her mother claims. Patti works in traditional watercolor on paper. Her paintings of animals, subjects in historical costume, kids and family situations have a lively animated quality, while paying close attention to detail and often with a wink of humor.

When she's not drawing and painting, Patti enjoys working in stained glass and is involved in fostering and re-homing stray or abandoned Chihuahuas. She also teaches a class in painting in watercolors for adults through a local high school's continuing education program.

Patti has illustrated numerous books, the most recent being Miller the Green Caterpillar (2004 River Road Press), Happy Birthday To Me (2006 Hachai Publishing) and What Else Do I Say? (2007 Hachai Publishing).


Risa Rotman
Author: Dov's Mitzvah, Fit For a Princess

Born in the small Canadian city of Windsor, Ontario, Risa Rotman moved to Toronto for high school, and then attended seminary in Jerusalem. Her writing has been featured in various Jewish publications, including Hamodia, Bina, and Horizons Magazine. For the past twenty-one years, the author has lived and raised her family in Jerusalem.  Dov's Mitzvah is her first book for children

Sterna Citron
Author: Why the Baal Shem Tov Laughed, Zushe's Find, Hirsh's Secret, The Shepherd Boy Who Loved G-d, Shlomo's Little Joke

Sterna Citron, who grew up hearing Chassidic stories such as Shlomo’s Little Joke from her illustrious father Rabbi Eli Chaim Carlebach a”h, now lives in Los Angeles, California, where she publishes an international magazine for Jewish teenage girls called Shoshanim. She is the author of Why the Ba’al Shem Tov Laughed; 52 Stories About our Great Chassidic Rabbis as well as of three Kerem Books for children called Hirsh’s Secret, Zushe’s Find, and The Shepherd Boy Who Loved G-d. This book is her fourth picture book in the Kerem series.


Igor Eydel
Artist: Shlomo's Little Joke

Illustrating from the time he was 15, Igor Eydel studied privately under Nahum Ostashinsky in Kiev (Ukraine) and later attended the Art Institutes of Kiev and of St. Petersburg (Russia). In 1992 Mr. Eydel immigrated to the United States where he created stained glass windows for two Los Angeles synagogues and designed the bimah, aaron kodesh, and mechitzah for a third. His illustrations for the Kerem Children's books were inspired by the text of the stories as well as by Marc Chagall’s illustrative techniques.


Bracha Goetz
Author: The Invisible Book

Bracha Goetz graduated from Harvard University, attended the Medical College of Virginia, and went on to study at Ohr Someyach Women's Division in Jerusalem. She is the author of several children's books, an editor of books for women, a frequently published poet, and the Mentoring Coordinator of the Jewish Big Brother and Big Sister League in Baltimore.

To arrange for Bracha Goetz to do delightful presentations of her children's books and poetry, please contact her at bgoetzster@gmail.com.

Chani Altein
Author: Rina's Rainy Day; The Aleph Bais Trip

Chani Altein was born and raised in New Haven, Connecticut, and it has always been her dream to write books! Rina’s Rainy Day is her third published work;
she is also the author of three young adult novels, The Gift of Friendship, Puzzle Pieces, and the soon to be released, Shining Star.
Chani currently lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with her husband and three children.

Avi Katz
Artist: Waiting Wall

Avi Katz was born in Philadelphia in 1949. He studied at UC Berkeley and immigrated to Israel in 1970, where he has lived and worked ever since. The artist
graduated from Bezalel in Fine Arts, and became a member of Agudat Hatzayarim (Artists' Guild), AKI (Israel Caricaturists' Guild), Illustrators' Association,
and Association of Science Fiction Artists.

The illustrator of over 100 books, Avi has produced impressive body of award-winning work. Seven of his books received the Ze'ev Prize, and four are
IBBY-Andersen honor winners. The Waiting Wall is his first book for Hachai Publishing.

Leah Braunstein Levy
Author: Waiting Wall

Leah Braunstein Levy has been writing and editing ever since she learned to read. After graduating from Bais Yaakov, Leah received her B.A. from Touro College, and has worked as a copyeditor for, among others, Random House Publishing Company. Her previous work has appeared in several publications, including Highlights for Children. She has also worked as a freelance editor for some fascinating Torah scholars. The Waiting Wall is her first book for children.

Doba Rivka Weber
Author: Dear Tree

Doba Rivka Weber is a proud mother of five beautiful children, director of a Hebrew School, and preschool teacher. The author resides in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where she and her husband serve as Chabad emmisaries for the local Israeli community.

Phyliss Saroff
Artist: Dear Tree

Phyllis Saroff received her BFA degree from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1983. She works from Annapolis, Maryland as a freelance illustrator specializing in natural science and children’s illustrations. Her work has appeared in books and magazines, and her paintings of wildlife are used in outdoor displays in wildlife management areas across the country.
Dear Tree is her first book for Hachai Publishing.