Page 17 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 2

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To encourage individuals to familiarize themselves with the titles, authors, and
contents of the most important and popular Jewish books, various games, quizzes
and contests have been devised. Among those conducted with some degree of
success in connection with the 1942 observances of Jewish Book Week, were:
(1) An Essay Contest sponsored by the Jewish Community Center Associ-
ation of Kansas City, Mo. in cooperation with the local public library. It
was open to young people between the ages of 12 and 19 who were expected
to write on the subject, “The Jewish Book (or Character in a Book) that
I Like Best.”
(2) “Information Please” and “Quiz Kids” projects, under the joint auspices
of the Young Judaeans and YM-WHA of St. Louis, Mo., with a board of
experts. Book chats, readings and a dramatic recital rounded out the events
of the week. A selected lists of Jewish books in the “Y” library was also
distributed. These were correlated with the competitive projects.
(3) The Talmud Torah and Community Center of Malden, Mass. continued
its practice of conducting an annual Children’s Jewish Book Review Tourna-
ment which attracted over 200 contestants. It was sponsored jointly with
the Faulkner Branch of the Malden Public Library and extended over a period
of three weeks. Each participant was required to submit basic data regarding
the book reviewed and to indicate what part he liked best and why. The
children were free to write their reviews in English, Hebrew or Yiddish.
Prizes were awarded at a special assembly to the winners in the following age
groups: 8-10; 11-12; 13-14. At this gathering, held during the Hanukah
Festival, the prize reviews were read and the awards were made by a com-
mittee among whom were the public branch librarian and the principal of the
local Junior High School.
(4) Arts and crafts groups in the schools affiliated with the Bureau of Jewish
Education of Cleveland were encouraged to draw original picture puzzles
based upon titles of Jewish books, book markers, and posters. At the Jacob
H. Schiff Center of the Bronx, New York, the best original posters prepared
by the children were prominently displayed throughout the Jewish Book
Week, and elicited very favorable comment. The themes for the drawings
were statements on the significant role of books by Jewish sages, related
Biblical quotations, titles of popular Jewish classics and the most important
works of the authors whose outstanding anniversaries were being commemo-
I t may be feasible from the educational point of view to con-
duct next year a series of regional contests and a final national
tournament among the various age groups, for the purpose of ob-
taining appropriate designs for the Jewish Book Month Poster,
the cover of the Annual and book mark. The plans for such a
proposed competitive undertaking will have to be carefully
evolved, to make certain that the primary objective, — stimula-
tion of interest in Jewish books, — will receive major emphasis.
Frank expressions of views concerning the desirability of this
proposal will be welcome. Readers are also urged to send the
Jewish Book Council of America reports on all book programs
conducted during the Book Month as well as throughout the
year. Information regarding distinctive approaches employed,
unusual experiences or unique variations of projects recom-
mended, will be highly appreciated.
I t is anticipated that resourceful leadership will avail itself of
every opportunity to convert these fruitful projects into genuinely
creative and enriching cultural enterprises.
Jewish Book Contests
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