KAR-BEN/LERNER, U.S. publisher. Kar-Ben Publishing, a division of Lerner Publishing Group, is the largest publisher of Jewish children's books in North America. Founded in 1975 by Judyth Groner and Madeline Wikler, the imprint's first title was a self-published children's Haggadah, which had more than 2 million copies in print in the early 21st century. Over the next 27 years the company published more than 200 books for children and their families, the creative work of 60 authors and illustrators. In 2003, Groner and Wikler received the Sydney Taylor Body of Work Award from the Association of Jewish Libraries in recognition of their contribution to Jewish children's literature by creating Kar-Ben.
Kar-Ben's titles include such subjects as Jewish holidays, Bible, crafts, cooking, folktales, Holocaust, life-cycle events, and contemporary stories. Kar-Ben, which was purchased by Lerner Publishing Group in 2001, publishes 12–15 new titles a year, and celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2005.
Established in 1959, Lerner Publishing Group is based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. With more than 2,500 titles in print, Lerner Publishing Group is one of the largest independent educational children's book publishers in North America. Its titles include biographies, social studies, science, geography, sports, picture books, activity books, multicultural issues, and fiction. Company founder Harry J. Lerner also helped establish the Minnesota Book Publishers' Roundtable, the Minnesota Center for Book Arts, and the Jewish Historical Society of the Upper Midwest. He served as chief executive officer of Lerner Publishing Group; his son, Adam Lerner, became publisher and president.