Page 76 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 12

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Mr. Wouk believes that he was encouraged by the
cooperation of the Board.
There has been an intensification of the Center literary program
in the past quarter of a century, touching, influencing and grow-
ing out of all phases of activities. Adult courses and group dis-
cussions on Jewish writings and exhibits of Jewish books have been
among the ways in which the program of the Center has been
furthering an interest in Jewish literature. As an aid to Center
workers in planning group and mass celebrations for the observ-
ance of the civic and Jewish holidays, plays and program bulletins
have been made available by JWB. Special program material was
also issued in connection with significant anniversaries of out-
standing Jewish authors, such as Rashi, Moses Maimonides, Mo-
ses Mendelssohn, Baruch Spinoza, Achad Ha‘Am and Isaac L.
The interest of Jewish Community Centers in Jewish books led
to widespread and wholehearted cooperation in observing Jewish
Book Week, inaugurated by Miss Fanny Goldstein of Boston, and
later expanded to Jewish Book Month, when the National Jewish
Welfare Board became the sponsor-coordinator of the Jewish Book
Council of America. This observance served as a springboard for
enriching all-year round experiences. As all-embracing commu-
nity-serving agencies the Jewish Community Centers, by provid-
ing professional skill and leadership, have helped to convert the
Jewish Book Month programs into community-wide undertakings.
The present writer, when he served as president of the Jewish
Book Council of America, succeeded in expanding the program of
this fruitful literary project by including Hebrew and Yiddish
books as well as English Judaica, and inaugurating the tri-lingual
Jewish Book Annual.
The Council, serving as a common platform,
thereby strikingly achieved unity amidst colorful diversity in the
realm of Jewish literature. This approach to the tri-lingual char-
acter of Jewish literature in America also found expression in the
variety of programs sponsored by Jewish Community Centers.
The National Jewish Welfare Board, by furnishing the major
portion of the Council’s budget as well as sustained professional
direction, has helped to revitalize and advance Jewish literary ere-
ativity through its constituent associations, conveying the message
of Jewish books to an ever-widening audience and attracting in-
creasing numbers to this literary enterprise. This fruitful relation-
ship of the Board to the Jewish Book Council of America was a
natural expression of the concern of the Jewish Community Center
movement for Jewish literature.
This brief sketch of the literary contributions of Jewish Com­