Page 13 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 2

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of youth and adults, sessions of clubs and religious school classes,
assuming the form of book exchanges and reviews, book showers,
teas and recitals, games and pastimes, symposia, dramatizations
and panel discussions. Among those sponsored in the past two
years which have not yet been recorded in our annual publica-
tions, the following merit special attention:
Radio Programs
A round table discussion of significant Jewish books by contemporary authors,
broadcast over Station WHN Saturday evening, November 21st, served to usher
in the 1942 observance of Jewish Book Week in New York City. Participating
in this radio program were: Mrs. David de Sola Pool, president of Hadassah;
Dr. Bernard Heller, author of
Odyssey of a Faith;
Rabbi Louis M. Levitsky,
president of the Rabbinical Assembly of America; and Harry Schneiderman,
editor of the
American Jewish Year Book
, who acted as moderator.
Aside from the above, reports received from different parts of the country in-
dicate that the radio has been utilized advantageously to publicize local Jewish
book observances. With the setting aside this year of an entire month (November
20th to December 19th, 1943) wider latitude is afforded to plan more elaborate
programs. An outline of suggested radio projects for Jewish Book Month was
prepared for the Jewish Book Council of America by Max Ehrlich of the American
Jewish Committee. In it he describes eight types: (1) a straight talk on Jewish
literature, (2) a symposium or participating program, (3) a round table forum,
(4) a combined literary and musical program, (5) a discussion of current Jewish
books sponsored by the local library authorities, (6) a Jewish book review,
(7) an interview program, (8) an interfaith literary program.
A copy of Mr. Ehrlich’s statement, as well as of the radio script used in the
round table discussion over WHN, will be forwarded, upon request. They will
prove helpful when approaching program directors of local radio stations to
arrange for “spot” announcements and reviews as well as in preparing the script
for a broadcast to be devoted entirely to a discussion of Jewish books.
Tri-Lingual Pattern
Reflecting the tri-lingual character of Jewish literature in the United States,
book programs are being sponsored jointly with the representatives of the Hebrew
and Yiddish literary groups. This is true particularly in cities where community-
wide celebrations are arranged. Thus, the main program at the Jewish Com-
munity Center of Detroit, featured a panel discussion of Jewish books in English,
Hebrew and Yiddish. Outstanding among the displays arranged in various in-
stitutions was a picturesque exhibit in the lobby and library of Congregation
Shaaray Zedek, of current books, the works of the literary figures whose anni-
versaries were being observed, children’s volumes, ceremonial articles and Pales-
tine art objects.
The initial observance in the history of Los Angeles Jewry included appraisals
of current Jewish books by Peretz Hirschbein, Irving Fineman, Lawrence Lipton,
H. Rosenblatt, Hebrew writer, and Elijah Avin, head of the Hebrew and Yiddish
division at the Los Angeles Public Library.
Direction Sheets by National Bodies
Various media have been employed by national bodies to bring Jewish book
observances to the attention of their constituent societies. The Pioneer Women’s
Organization for Palestine and Young Judaea distributed the Jewish Book Annual,
as did the Jewish Welfare Board which sent copies to all the Jewish Chaplains
and JWB workers, and featured a section entitled “Jewish Book Programs
Throughout the Year” in one of the issues of
Program Aids.
The educational
committees of all Hadassah chapters received mimeographed direction sheets,
prepared by Mrs. Emanuel Neumann, in which the significance of Jewish Book
Week was set forth to motivate the conduct of book programs, and information
was conveyed concerning the literary anniversaries of the year and projects
suitable for adults.