The Commentator
Volume 63 Issue 7




SOY Seforim Sale to Proceed as Scheduled Despite Administrative Hindrances

By Commentator Staff

After many months of hard work by the brains and brawn of the operation, the Student Organization of Yeshiva's annual Seforim (book) Sale promises to be the greatest ever. Despite this year's rendition of the usual administrative hindrances and obstacles, preparations for the sale have progressed rather smoothly. The sale is scheduled to run from February 7th to the 21st.

The SOY Seforim Sale has long been regarded as a YU student tradition and in the past decade has become known as a major service to the Jewish community at large.

The sale, which in past years has attracted over 11,000 people, provides one of the most abundant selections of Judaic texts and Jewish literature under one roof. All selections are offered at steeply discounted prices. Thousands of books in English and Hebrew on Jewish law, Jewish history, Bible, Jewish philosophy, Tannaic and Amoraic literature, reference and translations, as well as the latest in Hasidic music and Judaica software are all available in the otherwise nearly unused room 502 in Belfer Hall.

Thousands of dollars netted by SOY from the sale are divided among various charitable organizations, extending the mitzvah of harbotzas Torah (dissemination of Torah) to one of tzedakah (charity).

This year, the SOY Seforim Sale is using one computer program, written from scratch by a group of students, which is specifically geared towards the needs of the sale. Technical advances should allow this Seforim Sale to run more smoothly than in the past.

Computer Science majors Ben Sandler and Mendy Berkowitz began programming last July by consulting many past Seforim Sale staffers. After weeks of brainstorming, programming, and usability testing, Sandler and Berkowitz put together their own software package. It has proved effective and easy to use. According to Berkowitz, who is also the President of the YU Computer Science Club, "a major accomplishment like this is totally impossible without the efforts of everyone involved with the programming."

The Sale is being run by SOY VP for Business Chaim Loike and Amichai Erdfarb. They are assisted by Jeff Weiss, the computer team, Seforim Sale veteran Ephraim Shapiro, and many students who have contributed hundreds of hours ordering, indexing, schlepping, labeling, and arranging.

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