Page 224 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 16

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J
e w i s h
B
o o k
A
n n u a l
210
Execut ive Board:
Dr.
B
ernard
J . B
am berger
J
acob
L
ev in
J
acob
B
e h rm a n
Y
u del
M
ark
A
b r ah am
B
erger
Rabbi
I
s idore
S. M
ey er
Dr.
S
a m u e l
M . B
l um e n f ie l d
Dr.
J
u dah
N
a d ich
S
a m u e l
J . B
orow sky
J
u l iu s
S
chatz
Dr.
A
zr iel
E
isenberg
Mrs.
C
harle s
S
chw artz
Dr.
T
heodore
F
r ie dm a n
L
eo
W.
S
chw arz
S
a m u e l
D.
G
ershov itz
Dr.
J
u dah
J . S
h a p ir o
S
o lom o n
K
erste in
S
a n fo r d
S
olender
Rabbi
G
ilbert
K
l a pe rm a n
C
h a y a
S
urch in
L
ou is
K
r a f t
C
arl
U
r bo n t
Dr.
A
r th u r
L
elyveld
The highlight of the annual meeting was an address on “The
Impact of Israel on American Jewish Literature” by the outgoing
president, Rabbi Ely E. Pilchik, who was given a citation by the
incoming president, Dr. Steinbach, in •recognition of his outstand-
ing contribution to the program of the Council. Rabbi Pilchik
made an impassioned plea to American Jewish writers to use
the State of Israel as a theme in their writings. He said in part:
“Over there in Israel a burgeoning literature, poetry, novels,
plays, applaud the miracle of the State. An army of authors
write of their people, of their state, of their life and feelings.
“Over here it is much too early. Our best writers respond to
the lure of the ‘bitch-goddess success’ and persist in the cerebro-
genital genre she demands.
“No, with the exception of A. M. Klein, the literary reaction
here to the ten-year old miracle has until now been rather
pedestrian, journalese, ordinary penscratching rather than elo-
quent heart-throbbing . . .
“Surely the giants of American literary craftsmanship .. . will
not long ignore this most hope lifting event in the post-war
annals of twentieth century man.
“The American-Jewish writer, and I confine myself mainly to
him who writes in English so that his words reach the eyes of
the general community, has yet to find his Jewish soul. The
theme is there, a theme as seminal and as provocative as the
Civil War for the American writer . . .
“One more word in this appeal to the creators of American
Jewish literature, for this is the objective of my sketchy attempt
in this paper. Remember, you gifted, your colleague of the last
century, Herman Melville, author of the finest book in American
letters,
Moby Dick.
When he had completed that classic he was
exhausted, debilitated, seemingly spent. He tried vainly to
re-climb his creative peak in
Pierre
and in
The Confidence Man.