The Seforim Sale, Back for Another Successful Year
YU students are pretty impressive. Whether they’re starting businesses, winning contests, or just following the rigorous YU class schedule, students in YU never cease to excel. One largely overlooked project that YU students undertake every year is to put together a business that involves a team of about one hundred people. This business services over ten thousand customers a year, and has inventory from over 120 suppliers. You guessed it; I’m talking about the YU Seforim Sale.
The Seforim Sale opened its doors to the public on the first of February, but behind the scenes YU students have been working on the sale for almost an entire year. The 7,892 volumes available for sale have been coming in since October. These volumes range from full sets of the Talmud, to giant books that says the word Jew 6 million times. From books on Jewish Academia, to volumes authored by Chassidishe Rebbes, the Seforim Sale has it all.
When asked about the Seforim Sale, the CEO Shalom Zharnest said “for a lot of us it is basically a full time job. We do it because it’s a lot of fun, and because it makes YU a better place.” This is a real testament to the commitment the YU student body has to spreading Jewish wisdom. The books that are displayed are chosen through a partnership that the Seforim Sale has with the RIETS staff. Books that are not up to the standards of the Yeshiva or the Seforim Sale are removed from the shelves. The remaining books are then put into their respective sections for customers to purchase.
“One of the most amazing things about the Seforim Sale is how it brings together Jews of all different backgrounds,” Zharnest said. “When one goes to the sale he will meet reform, conservative, modern, yeshivish, and even chasidish Jews coming together for the sake of learning Torah. There are very few other venues that bring American Jews together in the same way.”
Last year was an important year for the Seforim Sale, as it was the first year that the sale was profitable. This year the Seforim Sale team says that they plan to be even more profitable than last year. The team says that one of the main ways they have improved the profit-margin of the sale is by cutting down on expenses, and by making the sale more appealing to customers. This has been done through providing a very large range of books to choose from, and by redoing the sale’s website.
When one steps back and thinks that last year there were about 12,000 people who came to the safari sale, and that there is a projected 15,000 people who will come this year, one really starts to see how amazing this achievement is. There are very few operations on campus that are run by the students, for the students. The Seforim Sale is one of those operations. It should be applauded as a venue where the ingenuity and tenacity of both the male and female factions of the YU student body shines through.