Page 10 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 1

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I t is comfort ing to be able to repo r t tha t du r in g 1941-42
unusua l progress was made in the deve lopmen t of the Commit-
tee’s plans. T h e enthusiastic response of adu l t and you th groups
th roughou t the land in a r rang ing varied and at tract ive Jewish
Book Week programs, encouraged us to expand the scope of this
enterpr ise and to set u p for the first t ime cu l tu ra l divisions in
Hebrew and Yiddish. T h i s objective was a t ta ined after a series
of meetings wi th representatives of lead ing Yiddish and Heb rew
agencies.* T h e organizational struc ture of ou r Na t iona l Com-
mi t tee was considerably s t rengthened by the add i t ion of leaders
in the various fields of Jewish cu l tu ra l endeavor who have mani-
fested a deep concern in ou r project.
As a logical ou tgrow th of this new depa r tu re , the 1942 Jewish
Book Week Annua l was p lanned on a tri-lingual basis. Ed i to r ia l
committees were selected from each of the three divisions, who
assumed responsibility for the p repa ra t ion of the English,
Hebrew and Yiddish Sections. Provision was also made for
m u tua l consultation, so tha t the present volume is in t r u th the
result of a cooperative group effort. Two new projects were also
inaugu ra ted by the Na t iona l Committee, to aid in imp lemen t ing
the desirable p lan of util izing Jewish Book Week, no t as an end
in itself, bu t ra the r as a spr ingboard for mo t iva t ing sustained,
all-year-round educa t iona l programs, lead ing to the cu l t iva t ion
of ab id ing interests in Jewish life and letters. Anno ta ted lists of
new Jewish books in English, Hebrew and Yiddish, pub l ished
bo th here and abroad, have been compiled by three committees
and issued every fou r months. T h e first two compilations, cover-
ing eight months, are now available. Edi tors of Jewish news-
papers were contacted and urged to take cognizance of the
occurrence du r ing the year of ou t s tand ing anniversaries of
em inen t Jewish scholars and writers. Copies of the i r biograph ica l
outlines which had appeared in the 1941 Jewish Book Week
Manua l and feature articles in English and Yiddish app ra is ing
the life and achievements of Saadia Gaon, Peretz Smolenskin,
and Isaac L. Peretz, w r i t ten especially for the Na t iona l Com-
mi t tee by Dr. S. Bernstein, S. Niger and Dr. Solomon Grayzel,
were syndicated among the Jewish periodicals in the Un i ted
States and Canada.
T o have succeeded in b r ing ing together the m a jo r elements
in Amer ican Israel on a common p la t fo rm of interest in Jewish
books, no tw i ths tand ing the i r in te rna l differences in ou t look and
ideology and the distractions of wa r conditions, is, in my ju d g ­
*
T h e organizations that responded to the inv i tat ion o f the Na t iona l Com-
mi ttee for Jewish Book Week and participated in the de l iberat ions lead ing
to the establ ishment of the Hebrew and Yiddish Cultural Div isions are:
Arbeiter R ing , Central Library and Jewish Press Archives, Central Yiddish
Cultural Organization, Forward Association, Hebrew Pen Club , H istadru t
Ivrit, Jewish Nat iona l Workers Al l iance , Keren Hatarbut , Keren Hanoar
Haivri , Peretz Vere in, Sholem A le ichem Folks Institute , Yiddish Pen Club
and Yiddish Scientific Institute .
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