Page 7 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 15

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INTRODUCTION
By
E
ly
E .
P i l c h i k
T
HE keynote word this year is “Encouragement.” From
various sources we hear encouraging reports about the Jewish
book in America. There seems to be a renewal of interest. Jewish
book publishers and distributors tell us that sales of Jewish books
are consistently rising. General book publishers are welcoming
manuscripts of Jewish content. Reviewers in the daily press and
in the better general periodicals are reviewing good Jewish books.
Again and again Jewish characters appear in the usual spate of
novels. There is continuous demand for first-class Jewish juveniles,
fine Jewish fiction, lucid Jewish non-fiction. The challenge for the
writer of Jewish books has never been greater. The opportunity
has never knocked louder. The hunger for the Jewish word,
thoughtfully and well said, is ravenous.
Our Jewish Book Council, we humbly think, has contributed a
little to this atmosphere of encouragement. Year after year we
have pleaded with the readers, “read” ; with the publishers, “pub­
lish” ; and with the writers “write.” This
Jewish Book Annual
records, for all to know, what is transpiring in the Jewish literary
world. Our chronicle of the printed Jewish word includes an
account of “The Fate of the Jewish Book in World War II” by
Philip Friedman, the story of “American Jewish Translations of
the Bible” by Bernard J. Bamberger, Carl Alpert’s report on
“Libraries in Israel,” a survey of “Recent Jewish Encyclopedias
and Reference Works” by Abraham Berger and Renate Kaufmann,
and “Impressions of Jewish-American Poetry” by the novelist
Charles Angoff. Here is a rich harvest of literary variety.
We called on Isaiah Trunk to prepare a memorial to that
eminent writer and scholar and laborer for the cause of the Jewish
book, Dr. Jacob Shatzky, of blessed memory.
Our brothers in the Soviet Union shall not be forgotten. Our
hope is high for their restoration to cultural freedom. Until that
day we sadly record in Yiddish, from the pen of Alexander
Pomerantz, “The Tragic Fate of Yiddish Writers in Soviet
Russia.”
This
Jewish Book Annual
continues the tradition of focusing on
notable literary anniversaries. Accordingly, G. Kressel tells us
in Hebrew, on this golden anniversary of the first workers’ news­
paper in Israel, about the half-century of
Ha-Poel Ha-Tzair.