Page 187 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 15

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manship of Dr. Philip Seman, at all the Jewish Community Centers
and at the major libraries, colleges, and museums in the Greater
Los Angeles area. Presentation of a collection of Jewish books by
the committee to Ft. MacArthur headquarters in Los Angeles was
a highlight of the observance.
Despite war and threats of war, the vitality of Jewish literary
life in Israel was brought impressively to the fore in a talk given
in connection with the annual meeting of the city-wide Cleveland
Jewish Book Council. A dramatic reading by the Jewish Com­
munity Center’s drama unit served to dramatize the talk on Israeli
literature by Rabbi Jacob Kabakoff, dean of the Institute of
Jewish Studies.
Miss Fanny Goldstein, Curator of Judaica of the Boston Public
Library, spearheaded numerous activities in her community,
including radio programs, and receptions to authors.
Jewish chaplains, USO-JWB workers and JWB Armed Services
Committees took part in Jewish Book Month, which was observed
at many military posts in the U. S. and overseas. GIs engaged in a
lively book discussion at the JWB Servicemen’s Center in Kaisers­
lautern, Germany, where a panel of Jewish chaplains discussed the
Judaism in the Modern Age
, by Robert Gordis. USO-JWB
worker Leon Laitman joined Chaplain Herman Dicker in staging
Jewish Book Week in Tokyo, and in stimulating observances at
military posts throughout Japan. At Ft. Lewis, Washington, books
from the private collection of Jewish Chaplain Norman Twersky
were set up in the post chapel. Titled
Jewish Books Through the
, the collection was viewed by large numbers of Jewish GIs.
Numerous local chapters of national Jewish organizations affili­
ated with the Council, dedicated meetings and arranged special
programs to mark Jewish Book Month. Rabbis in Synagogues
preached sermons on Jewish books and teachers in religious schools
encouraged the reading of juvenile volumes. As usual, many
public libraries arranged fitting exhibits.
A new trend was discernible, namely, an impressive number of
community-sponsored Jewish book fairs with large attendances
and substantial sales of books.
Through this broad gamut of activities, of which only a few
examples have been here noted, the Jewish Book Council of
America, as coordinator of Jewish Book Month, aims “ to extend
the circle of readers of Jewish books, to revive the traditional zeal
for Jewish knowledge, to foster the practice of augmenting the
libraries of Synagogues, Jewish Community Centers and other
Jewish institutions, and to promote interfaith understanding
through books of Jewish interest.”