Page 15 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 2

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Principals’ Association. About two thousand adults and children of religious
schools and Centers visited the fair, which was held in the gymnasium.
The central theme was “Books are Weapons of Democracy.” Volumes in
English, Hebrew and Yiddish were arranged on tables under the following
classifications: Stories and legends, biography, holidays and customs, sacred
books, poems and songs, history — past and present, Palestine and Zionism,
reference books, democracy and freedom. Each panel was illustrated with
large murals. There were also ceremonial objects and manuscripts on display.
Among the most popular features of the fair were an electric “matching’*
game involving the identification of famous books and authors, and a book
lending section set up by the Jewish division of the Tremont Branch of the
New York Public Library. All volumes on exhibit in this section could be
borrowed by library card holders visiting the fair.
Other activities promoted during Book Week for the benefit of various age
groups meeting at the Schiff Center, were the designing and painting of dec-
orative friezes, posters, murals, book marks, etc., by club members and re-
ligious school pupils; trips to the Jewish publishing houses and libraries of
leading Jewish institutions; a book shower and dance for the intermediate
division, in connection with which each club received several weeks in advance
a list of Jewish books needed in the Center library, and the members decided,
after some discussion, which they would prefer to read and acquire; book
quizzes for juniors, entailing the recognition of the pictures of noted Jewish
authors flashed on the screen; and a concluding adult function with dramatic
readings from Jewish literature and an address on the significance of books
in Jewish life by Dr. Bernard Heller. Plans are afoot to organize a represen-
tative neighborhood committee which will sponsor a community-wide ob-
servance this year.
5.
Enhancing Effectiveness of Book Exhibits
Displays invariably constitute an integral part of Jewish book observances.
Interesting elements are being constantly introduced to make the exhibits more
meaningful to the visitors and to further the desirable practice of building up
home collections as well as augmenting and improving Jewish institutional library
facilities. These tendencies are evident in the following reports;
(1) A special pamphlet or catalogue was issued by the Hecht Neighborhood
House of Dorchester, Mass. to help explain the significance of the 200 books
depicting the history of Jewish literature, which were on display. Jewish
records in English, Hebrew and Yiddish were also played in the course of the
exhibit.
(2) The Jewish Center of Springfield, Mass., in cooperation with the City
Library Association, exhibited Jewish books in the main and branch libraries
as well as in the Center. The displays were set up by a group of high school
girls known as the Centerettes, who made it their special project. Notices
were posted throughout the Center building, recommending that books be
purchased as Hanukkah gifts. The Center library *was also enlarged.
(3) The display of old and current Jewish books in the three languages
was supplemented at the Jewish Young Men’s and Women’s Association of
Rochester, N. Y. by an exhibit of the works and portraits of the authors
whose anniversaries were being commemorated. Atmosphere was created by
placing posters and quotations on the bulletin boards, and arranging the
Jewish books on the shelves of the reading room in such a manner as to render
them more conspicuous with the result that the circulation of Judaica was
perceptibly increased.
6.
Commemorating Anniversaries
The recommendation concerning the commemoration of outstanding anniver-
saries of literary personages which the Council has stressed is taking root. Many
organizations are making the study of the lives and characters of the noted per-
sonalities and the appraisal of their achievements against the background of
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