Page 33 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 1

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meriting on the significance o f Jewish Book Week in a radio broadcast in
December, 1925, Edwin F. Edgett, literary critic o f the
Bos ton Transcr ip t
had the fo l low ing to say: ‘Jewish Book Week begins next Sunday. Ordinarily
these special weeks or days in the interest of one thing or another merely
arouse a temporary desire to do someth ing or other. . . . T h e principal
purpose of Jewish Book Week is to call attent ion to the large amount of
literature of and about the Jews that has accumulated and that is still
accumulating. It is perfectly true that a knowledge of the history and con-
tributions to civilization made by the Jewish peop le shou ld be a part o f the
educat ion and culture of Jew and Gent ile alike, and of course that knowledge
is largely increased by the reading of Jewish books. If Jewish Book Week
really accomplishes this, it w i l l be o f great and lasting value, but at the
same time, what its sponsors must really hope for, and what they are
working for, is to make
every
week in the year a Jewish Book Week .’ . . .
“Jewish Book Week now, in taking stock, is proud o f its growth from such
humb le beginnings . . . . It has justified its aim which was not alone to
popularize Jewish book knowledge through primary standards of interpreta-
tion to Jews, but also to emphasize to non-Jews the importance of Hebrew
and Judaic l iterature and ideals in the deve lopment o f American democracy
and world civilization. . . . Jewish Book Week is our racial Open House .”
Fanny Go ldste in ,
in the
Bos ton Jewish Advoca t e ,
June 12, 1942.
Instead of restricting itself to emphasis on Jewish books only once a year
for one week, the Na t iona l Committee for Jewish Book Week has expanded
its usefulness by issuing regular lists of new books of Jewish interest in
English, Hebrew and Yiddish. It now remains for the appropriate organs
that st imulate Jewish pub lic op in ion to respond with cooperation.
Ther e is a broad choice o f volumes from which the reader can pick,
ranging from Sholem Asch’s
Chi ldren of Ab raham
to Leo Lan ia’s
Today We
Are Brothers .
It is assumed that these lists are forwarded to all rabbis so
that congregational bu l letins may quote from them and rabbis themselves
refer to the most important volumes from their pulpits; and also that they
are distributed for post ing in community centers, Y’s and similar meet ing
places for young and adult Jews.
Buy a Jewish book a mon th
should be a m in imum slogan.
In d e p e nd e n t Jewish Press Service,
June 19, 1942.
In the American Jewish calendar, Jewish Book Week is gradually assuming
greater significance as community l ife becomes more firmly established.
Although on ly fifteen years in existence, the idea has captured the m ind of
numerous individuals and inst itut ions and is be ing more widely observed
in various towns in the land. T h e Committee in charge has recently issued
a pamph let w i th many suggestions for its proper observance.
T h e love o f books has been a characteristic of the Jewish soul throughout
the ages, and the possession of books has been the pride and glory o f many
Jewish househo lds in all times. Even the poorest home boasted of a corner
set aside for some choice volumes used for devotion or study, and these were
always tenderly handled and highly esteemed.
T o revive that fee l ing o f affection and regard for the Jewish book is the
primary aim of this comparatively new inst itut ion . It is hoped that the
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