Page 77 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 12

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SOLTES----LITERARY CONTRIBUTIONS OF CENTERS
71
munity Centers, Young Men’s and Young Women’s Hebrew As-
sociations, and their national association, the National Jewish
Welfare Board, might be summarized by quoting the following
testimonial to the Board presented by the Jewish Book Council of
America on the centennial of the Center movement:
“The National Jewish Welfare Board is observing the Centen-
nial of the Jewish Community Center Movement which was
founded in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1854. A direct outgrowth of
the Young Men’s Hebrew Literary Associations that were in
existence in the middle of the nineteenth century, the Center
Movement and the National Jewish Welfare Board continued the
literary tradition. In many early YMHA’s, the librarian was the
first professional employed and throughout these one hundred
years, YMHA’s, YWHA’s, and Jewish Community Centers have
effectively shown an abiding interest in Jewish literary activities,
such as establishing libraries, providing platforms for Jewish au-
thors, and participating in Jewish book programs. They have thus
served to enrich Jewish cultural life in America, especially under
the stimulation and guidance of the National Jewish Welfare
Board, the national association of Jewish Community Centers.
“This year also marks the tenth anniversary of the assumption
by the National Jewish Welfare Board of the sponsorship of the
Jewish Book Council of America which has entailed providing the
means for the enhancement of the cultural resources of the Ameri-
can Jewish community.
“In this Centennial year, the National Committee of the Jewish
Book Council of America, at its Annual Meeting on May 26,1954,
salutes the Jewish Community Centers of the nation and the
National Jewish Welfare Board. It furthermore extends to its
sponsor this expression of its warm appreciation of the invaluable
auspices and services which it made available and which have
served to strengthen and develop the best in Jewish life.”