Page 188 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 15

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On December 3, 1956, the Council convened a special conference
of lay and professional representatives of national organizations
and of publishers and book dealers, to consider ways and means of
alerting the Jewish community to Jewish literature and to stim­
ulate the reading and acquiring of books of Jewish interest. In
opening the meeting, attended by spokesmen for twenty agencies,
Rabbi Pilchik stated that the Council was interested in finding out
what is transpiring in the realm of Jewish book reading and buying,
and also how the Council on the national level could help develop
greater interest in the Jewish book and stimulate authors to write
more Jewish books.
Reports by representatives of the national organizations re­
vealed a wide range of activities which stimulate the reading and
purchasing of Jewish books. I t was suggested that, while women
are willing and eager to become self-educated, they need guidance
on what Jewish books to read and adequate facilities where they
might purchase or borrow these books conveniently. The men’s
organizations are conducting more limited activities for the promo­
tion of Jewish books, and their efforts are apparently not too
successful. I t was agreed that there is a paucity of male readers;
therefore, ways and means need to be found to cultivate a larger
male readership. I t was pointed out that study groups and courses
for adults tend to increase the reading of Jewish books. Con­
siderable interest has recently been evinced in the conduct of
Jewish book fairs.
While it was the general feeling of all present that more inten­
sive efforts are needed to encourage wider reading, the publishers
present indicated that more Jewish books are being sold than in
previous years and, indeed, are doing as well as non-Jewish books.
During the year under review, the Council made available the
following materials which were widely distributed:
Jewish Book Programs
Jewish Book Council Flyer
Jewish Book Month in Public Libraries
, by Gertrude Finkel
Bookmarks for Jewish Book Month
Jewish Book Shop>
by Isidore Cooperman
Jewish Book Festival
, English and Yiddish editions
Reading Circles fo r Women