Page 220 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 16

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Zara, Shlomo Katz, Zelda Popkin, Millard Lampell, Sydney
Taylor, IVlorris Epstein and Louis Falstein.
What meaning does the Conference have for the Jewish Book
Council? The Council has long ceased to be concerned merely
with the dissemination of Jewish books. I t is now equally zealous
in encouraging the creation of Jewish books. I t believes, in the
words of its past president, Rabbi Ely E. Pilchik, that “the
Jewish literary genius has yet to flower in this happiest of lands.
We observe the first buds of that efflorescence. We are dedicated
to an indefatigable cultivation of this soil and the encouragement
of its tillers.”
In this effort we need the talented and creative writers who
attended the Conference, even those with non-conformist ideas.
As Dr. Sol Liptzin of City Collge put it, by encouraging and
inspiring Jewish writers, they in turn will “make a genuine
contribution towards stemming the further deterioration of
Jewish life. They can reverse the tide. They can ultimately
effect a rejuvenation in America paralleling the present rebirth
in Israel.”
While Jewish writers have their responsibilities, those devolving
upon the Jewish public are even greater. For, unless a reading
audience is available, there is not much purpose in the creation
of new literary works. It was therefore gratifying to see the
widespread interest the Conference evoked in the American
Jewish community. Leaders of Jewish Community Centers, who
this year have taken giant steps in encouraging Jewish literary
creativity through sponsorship of a variety of writing contests,
were also represented, as were national organizations.
It is with these spokesmen of organized Jewish life that the
Jewish Book Council of America will need to be concerned in
its intensified efforts to bring the Jewish book through them
to the masses of the Jewish people.
In cooperation with the American Committee for Israel’s Tenth
Anniversary Celebration, the Jewish Book Council issued two
new booklists:
Selected Books on Israel,
by Sylvia Landress
Books on Israel for Children
The Council also continued to make available the following
materials which were widely distributed:
Jewish Book Programs
Jewish Book Council Flyer
Jewish Book Mon th in Publ ic Libraries,
by Gertrude Finkel