(Courtesy of YU) This year’s annual Yeshiva University Seforim Sale will take place February 4-25, in Belfer Hall on the Wilf Campus. The sale, which is managed entirely by YU students, offers discounted rates on over 6,500 unique book titles. Categories include traditional Jewish texts and commentaries, Jewish thought, cookbooks, children’s books and an array of other titles that appeal to a wide spectrum of readers. Based on previous years’ participation, organizers expect the sale will draw 15,000 visitors. Known as the largest Jewish book sale in North America, last year the Seforim Sale generated $750,000 in revenue, with all profits going towards student life programming.
Student staff manage all the operations of the sale, including planning and promotion, ordering and setting up merchandise and sales transactions. The sale boasts a 100-person team, with 65 of them serving as salespeople to answer questions on the floor and with others working on the marketing, finance and accounting teams. Participating students are afforded the opportunity to gain exposure to real-world business and experience in their major without the significant time commitment that is required of full-time employees. The interview process for those interested is rigorous, but those who make the cut are compensated with practical experience—as well as Seforim Sale gift cards, an employee discount and a sweatshirt.
“The Seforim Sale provides our students hands-on experience, in real time, on how to run a business,” said Michael Straus, interim dean of the Sy Syms School of Business. “They have the opportunity to practice every aspect of what they learn in class, from marketing, finance, accounting, data analytics and leadership skills, to purchasing, negotiation skills and more.”
In recent years, the sale has seen an uptick in original events programming as a means to diversify its offerings and boost attendance. This year, programming includes several lectures and book signings, a panel discussion sponsored by YUConnects and several presentations by local rabbinic leaders, including Rabbi Menachem Penner, The Max and Marion Grill Dean of Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary; Jewish studies instructor Rabbi Lawrence Hajioff; and Rabbi Gil Student, who will be discussing the halachic implications of social media.
According to Aaron Ishida ’18YC, Seforim Sale CEO, “What is important at the end of the day for both YU and the Seforim Sale is not how much money we make but rather how much Torah we can spread to our fellow Jews.”
Those who cannot attend the sale can take advantage of the great prices and vast catalog selection by ordering online on the Seforim Sale’s website, www.theseforimsale.com. Visit the site for a complete listing of dates and times, as well as to purchase gift certificates, view the online catalog or learn more about scheduled events.