Page 78 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 20

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J
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is kind and I cannot tell you how happy I am tha t I could make
i t this year again. One doctor told me they’d have to take me
back in a box. Well, he has a surprise coming.”
Nobody who wrote about Jewish-American life, especially
about Jewish life in Boston, ever had a better promoter, in the
best sense of the word, than Fanny Goldstein. She badgered the
Boston dailies to have the books reviewed, and arranged for
interviews over the radio and in the daily press. And if one of
her “foster children” was plann ing a trip to Europe, as I can
personally testify, she at once air-mailed literally dozens of letters
to her many acquaintances, both Jewish and non-Jewish, in
England, in Ireland and on the Continent.
She left a manuscript which, at the time of her death, she was
trying to place with a publisher. I t is a history of the West
Church, where the West End Branch L ibrary used to be housed.
She was excited about it when I last saw her, about two months
before she died. What I saw of it was valuable as local Boston
history and also as a chapter in the history of Boston Jewry. One
hopes it will be published.
Pioneer of Valuable Work
Miss Goldstein did considerable writing of her own, especially
in the four years between her retirement and death. She wrote
articles and book ׳ reviews. She worked on an autobiography.
She had no exaggerated notion of these writings. She was prouder
of her efforts to make the life of the Jewish-American writer a
b it easier, and to make the American world at large, including
American Jews, realize better the power and the glory of the
Jewish book. Her “foster children,” of whom I am happy to
count myself one, will never forget what she did for us. Fu tu re
historians of Jewish-American literature will appreciate better
than do her contemporaries what fine and valuable work—some
of it of a pioneering na tu re—she did to lift the status of the book
among the People of the Book.