Page 128 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 25

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poses of the Jewish Community Center. Adopted in 1948, this
credo of Center work declared unequivocally that Jewish con-
tent is fundamental to the Center’s program. This historic docu-
ment became one of the earliest landmarks of the postwar Jewish
resurgence in the United States and set the stage for the emergence
of the Center as a unique force in American Jewish life. I t also
became JWB’s blueprint for imaginative and resourceful leader-
ship in shaping the direction and character of the Center.
Reflecting the multi-hued and pluralistic Jewish community
that began to take shape after World War II, the Center became
an ideal vehicle for the dissemination and propagation of Jew-
ish culture by providing opportunities for multiple choices,
encouraging an emerging consensus and generating new think-
ing. The natural and imaginative leadership of Centers in devising
Jewish cultural programs for the entire community, contributed
signally to the postwar Jewish revival when every aspect of Jew-
ish life acquired new interest, support and status. During the
memorable era in Jewish history that began in 1947, the Centers
hummed with debate, discussion and activity on the great issues
and problems of Jewish life at home and abroad. In taking ad-
vantage of these exciting opportunities to deepen the substance
and quality of its Jewish activity, the Center was strongly sup-
ported and complemented by JWB’s cultural undertakings.
Early in 1948, JWB gave new impetus to Jewish cultural pro-
gramming when it became the sponsor of the American Jewish
Historical Society. During the several years of this relationship,
JWB began converting the AJHS’ rich documentary and pic-
torial collections into programmatic resources that made possible
the interpretation of the story of American Jewry to wider audi-
ences. American Jewish History Week, now an annual event,
was launched during the years JWB sponsored the AJHS.
The JWB Lecture Bureau
A primary factor in the extraordinary intensification of Jewish
cultural programs conducted in hundreds of communities has
been the JWB Lecture Bureau. Twenty years ago Dr. Oscar I.
Janowsky, director of the JWB Survey, said that this Bureau
was performing “a vital and tangible” service both to Centers and
to the Jewish community as a whole in stimulating Jewish cul-
tural activity and in enlarging the community’s intellectual
resources.
Unmatched as a repository of tested Jewish cultural and artistic
programs and as a unique cooperative service committed to ele-
vating the level and quality of Jewish cultural programs, the