Page 236 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 23

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J
e w i s h
B
o o k
A
n n u a l
2 3 0
the Council, held on Wednesday, May 19, 1965, in the Assembly
Hall of Temple Emanu-El in New York City. The chairman
of the Annual Meeting Committee, Dr. Judah Nadich, introduced
the program.
Dr. Gilbert Klaperman, the Council’s president, in his open-
ing address, said in part: “The Jewish Book Council, which is
sponsored by the National Jewish Welfare Board, is dedicated
to the encouragement of the writing, the distribution and the
reading of Jewish books.
“It is significant that we should be concerned tonight with
books, the
sefer,
even while we are in the midst of
sefirah.
For
the counting of
sefirah
commemorates that period in Jewish
life when our people counted with breathless anticipation every
day which brought them closer to receiving the Book at Mt.
Sinai. This Book remained with us an inspiration for life—
‘and thou shalt live by it’—and even as a companion in death,
for so many of our martyrs in ancient Israel when under Roman
occupation were burned to death enwrapped in the parchment.
“And even though the Book was burned, its spirit lived on.
The parchment was consumed but the letters soared free heaven-
ward and regrouped and rearranged themselves to descend to
generation after generation in new form and new life as trans-
mitters of our great heritage. Even the ancient kings of Israel
were committed to preserve the Book. When appointed by
his people, among the king’s many obligations was to have
two copies of the Book, one to rest in his library, the other
to accompany him wherever he went.
“This is the objective we hope to achieve in the Jewish
Book Council. We are devoted to the expansion of Jewish
libraries in every Jewish institution, center and synagogue.
And we will acknowledge tonight those which have conformed
to the criteria that satisfy our standards. We are also com-
mitted to the encouragement of the use of books in the Jew-
ish street. Tonight we make our annual awards for distinguished
books in special categories published during the last year. Thus
we accord material recognition to deserving authors and place
their works before the public.”
Greetings were extended by Mrs. Florence G. Heller, presi-
dent of the National Jewish Welfare Board. Among her remarks,
Mrs. Heller stated: “These are the years when all Jewish
organizational energies must concentrate on giving a solid
foundation to Jewish life. The Jewish Book Council is unique-
ly devoted to bolstering the sense of Jewish living in America.
From being important, it has become essential. Jewish Com-
munity Centers, synagogues and Jewish schools rely on the
stimulation and materials of the Council more than ever before.