Page 59 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 10 (1951-1952)

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In August, 1950, efforts were begun to stimulate interest and
participation in the tenth annual observance of Jewish Book
Month, scheduled for November 3rd to December 3rd. Letters
were sent to public libraries, Jewish libraries, veterans’ hospital
libraries, national Jewish organizations, Bureaus of Jewish Edu-
cation, members of the National Council for Jewish Education,
Jewish and general book publishers, Jewish Community Centers
and YMHAs, Hillel Foundations, and branches of Young Israel.
The Division of Religious Activities and the Armed Services
Division of the National Jewish Welfare Board issued commu-
nications urging participation in the Month to chaplains and
field workers, respectively. The Synagogue Council of America,
over the signature of its president, Dr. Bernard J. Bamberger,
sent a letter to 1700 rabbis. With the cooperation of the Jewish
Education Committee of New York, letters were sent to about
600 Jewish schools in the metropolitan area. The response to
the initial but limited stimulation of the Council was most grati-
fying. From press clippings, reports and orders for materials, we
have been able to estimate both the intensive and extensive
participation in the widespread activities of Jewish Book Month
throughout the country.
Jewish Community Centers, in cooperation with libraries, syna-
gogues, youth and community councils and bureaus of Jewish
education joined in the celebration of Jewish Book Month. In-
eluded among the activities were exhibits, lectures, forums, teen-
age book events, Yiddish nights, Israeli programs, book fairs,
story hours, anniversary celebrations, symposia, and radio and
television programs. Also sponsored were library dedications,
Jewish book festivals in the home, plays and pageants, author-
meets-the-critic events, book reviews and contests for children.
Synagogues affiliated with the Synagogue Council of America set
aside December 2nd as Jewish Book Sabbath.
Major Jewish libraries throughout the country — along with
hundreds of public and college libraries — sponsored exhibits
featuring rare books and manuscripts of the past along with re-
cently published works, including those from Israel. In New York
City, outstanding exhibits were on view at the Hebrew Union
College-Jewish Institute of Religion, Jewish Culture Founda-
tion, Jewish Education Committee, Jewish Museum, Jewish Theo-
logical Seminary, American Jewish Historical Society, Yeshiva
University, and the Zionist Archives and Library. A display
centering around the theme “Current Jewish Literature” was
seen at the Brooklyn Public Library.