Page 129 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 25

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109
P o s t a l —
JWB ’s
R o l e i n C u l t u r a l L i f e
JWB Lecture Bureau has been the medium through which mod-
ern
maggidim
have been introduced to American Jewry. Through
its effort there has grown up a fraternity of virtuosos—writers,
scholars, teachers, rabbis, historians, philosophers and sociolo-
gists—who elucidate Jewish problems on lecture platforms around
the country. This fraternity also includes a growing number of
performing artists in music, drama and the dance who utilize the
arts for interpreting Jewish culture.
The world’s largest non-profit and non-denominational Jewish
lecture and concert agency, the JWB Lecture Bureau has brought
rich and varied Jewish cultural programs to a substantial segment
of American Jewry. Thousands of lectures, forums, institutes,
panel discussions, seminars, debates, symposia and study courses
had their origin in the planning and resourcefulness of the JWB
Lecture Bureau. Equally large numbers of concerts, recitals,
dramatic presentations, art displays and travelling exhibits were
arranged through this unique enricher of Jewish cultural life.
Experimenting consistently with new types of programs and
services and testing novel techniques of presentation, the JWB
Lecture Bureau encouraged new talent by showcase auditions
and developed packaged programs that brought Jewish artists
and lecturers to communities far from the mainstream of Jewish
life. Many important personalities from abroad were introduced
to American Jewish audiences through the JWB Lecture Bureau.
Herschel Bernardi, star of “Fiddler on the Roof,” Norman
Atkins, the operatic singer, and Sam Levenson, are among the
well-known Jewish artists who made their debut under the aus-
pices of the JWB Lecture Bureau.
An important force for the revival of interest in the Yiddish
theatre, the JWB agency arranged a national tour of the Broad-
way company of “The World of Sholom Aleichem,” and pro-
moted the widespread observance of the centennial of Isaac Loeb
Peretz.
The catalogues, annotated bibliographies and directories of
lecturers, performing artists, films and dramatic scripts published
by the JWB Bureau have become veritable invitations to Jewish
culture in literature, music, art, drama, dance, contemporary
Jewish affairs, and Jewish history.
Travelling exhibits of Jewish art developed and booked by
the JWB Lecture Bureau, including reproductions of works that
are integral elements of Jewish Community Center buildings,
have become effective stimuli to Jewish cultural activity. These
mobile displays included original oil paintings by Jewish artists,
collections of religious objects stolen by the Nazis from syna-
gogues they pillaged and destroyed in Europe, documents of