Page 220 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 19

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O B S E RVANC E IN 1 9 6 0
S am u e l A s o f s k y
HE observance of Jewish Book Month during 1960, measured
by the number of participating communities and organiza­
tions, was at least as widespread as in 1954, when a similar survey
was made. Incomplete returns from a smaller sample in I960
showed participation by 707 organizations in 349 communities.
Numerically, synagogues were most conspicuous, followed by
Jewish Community Centers and libraries.
An aggregate of 1,147 programs was listed. Sermons made up
20% of this total, book fairs 16%, forums and lectures 14%. It is
estimated that these programs included more than 3,000 sessions,
with an attendance of 238,000. More sessions were held in con­
nection with book fairs—over 22% of the total—than with any
other type of program. Classroom discussion was a close second,
comprising 19% of all sessions. The largest attendance, 25% of the
total for all activities, was recorded for the book fair; the least,
4%, for group discussion.
Jewish Community Centers, averaging seven sessions per Center,
were most active in promoting the observance of Jewish Book
Month. The next highest average, 4.5 sessions per unit, was
recorded for synagogues.
Over 56% of the individual organizations reported the pub­
licizing of Jewish Book Month through one or more of the
following media: the local press, the organization paper, the local
radio station, the TV station. In most instances the first two
were employed. In this respect, Jewish Community Centers and
synagogues were considerably more active than the other groups.
Participating Communities and Organizations
The 349 communities and 707 organizations adverted to above
represent minimum numbers. They are derived from incomplete
returns of a request for information regarding activities in
connection with the program carried out, and also from a record
of organizations that requested materials relating to Jewish Book
Month. It may be inferred that the actual numbers were con­
siderably larger, although these cannot be estimated.