Page 138 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 20

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JEWISH LITERARY ANNIVERSARIES , 1963
B
y
T
heodore
W
ie n e r
T
HIS year marks the seventy-fifth anniversary of the founding
of the Jewish Publication Society of America. Through its
varied program of scholarly and popular books, from critical
editions of medieval texts with careful translation and notes in
the Schiff Library of Jewish Classics, to popular histories, works
of fiction and books for juveniles, the Society has appealed to
every segment of the Jewish reading public. Its Bible translation,
used as the standard version by English speaking Jews during
the past generation, is now being succeeded by a new translation
under the same auspices.
The United Synagogue of America, another institution vital
to American Jewish life and stimulating its literary interest, can
look back on half a century of service to our community. Its
Commission on Jewish Education has not only developed text-
books for Conservative synagogues, but has extended its influence
over a much wider sphere of Jewry. Its attractive Hebrew primers
as well as its English books on Jewish history and religion have
enriched our literature in this area, affording the teacher a
wider choice of materials than were heretofore available.
Two other organizations, although no longer in existence,
exerted considerable influence in their day and paved the way
for a better future. The Society for the Promotion of Haskalah
(Enlightenment) among the Jews in Russia did a great deal to
westernize Russian Jewry while at the same time strengthening
their loyalty to the past. Their descendants in America and in
Israel are the indirect beneficiaries of this endeavor.
The Intercollegiate Menorah Association was responsible for
the first quality Jewish literary magazine in this country. I t was
also the forerunner of the Hillel Foundations.
Chronological List
Without exact date: Abraham Jacob Adler, Judah Steinberg,
Menachem Zalman Wolfovsky.
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