By: Yonatan Kurz  | 

Seforim Sale to Return in February After COVID Cancelation Last Year

After being canceled last year due to COVID-19 safety concerns, the 2022 Seforim Sale — North America’s largest Jewish book sale held annually at Yeshiva University — will be taking place Feb. 6-24 in Belfer Hall’s Weissberg Commons.

The sale will require both proof of vaccination at the door as well as masking throughout the duration of the sale, and capacity in Weissberg Commons will be cut to 70%. According to Seforim Sale CEO Eli Seidman (SSSB ‘23), this will likely mean fewer employees on hand than in the past to allow for more customers, but there will still be enough employees to keep the sale going with full customer service.

“We came to a final decision that worked for everyone including the COVID Team and the administration and medical director,” Seidman told The Commentator. 

The Seforim Sale’s online store will be running as usual despite concerns regarding international supply chain and shipping issues that have arisen amidst the pandemic this past year

Still, despite the current plans, Seidman acknowledged that nothing is guaranteed. “Everything is subject to change,” he said. “[I]f the world changes, we change, and if YU closes down and there are no students on campus, then there won’t be any students to run it, but right now we’re fully planning ahead.” 

The previous Seforim Sale in 2020 generated about $740,000 in revenue and sold over 28,000 books with roughly 89% of the sales coming from in-person purchases and the remainder through sales online, according to Hudi Rosenfeld (SSSB ‘21), the 2019-20 CEO of the Seforim Sale. 

The sale, established in 1964, is entirely run by students of YU and draws around 15,000 customers yearly,  with the profits going toward “YU Student Life initiatives,” according to the sale’s website.

Seforim Sale workers are excited for the sale’s returns after last year’s cancellation. “It provides a unique experience for students to share their passion for seforim with the broader community,” Rafi Kapitanker (SSSB ‘22), a floor manager, said. “This unique experience also requires us to utilize the lessons which are taught in our classes and grants us the opportunity to apply our knowledge to a real business endeavor. I’m looking forward to welcoming everyone on February 6th!”

Chief Operating Officer Ari Hagler (YC ‘22) agreed. “After an off-year because of the pandemic, everyone here is working really hard to make this an amazing Seforim Sale — we have all the newest titles and anything else you could be looking for,” he said. “We’re really excited.”

Photo Caption: 2022 Seforim Sale in the early stages of assembly

Photo Credit: Yeshiva University