Page 130 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 25

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American Jewish history, replicas of prints of 40 original works
on the theme of the Hebrew Bible and post-biblical Jewish life
and Israeli postage stamps. An experimental program of lectures
by experts on the visual arts and Jewish life was also undertaken
with the publication of an annotated guide to lecturers in this
A recent study indicated that the number of Center forums and
lectures devoted to Jewish literature and art had increased by
more than one-third in the last decade. The proportion dealing
with religion, Jewish customs and culture and problems of Ameri-
can Jewry, as well as the number of classes on Jewish subjects,
doubled as part of the growing role of Centers in providing in-
formal Jewish education for various segments of the community.
A similar increase was recorded in the number of Centers in-
volved in total planning of adult Jewish cultural programs.
The emergence of Jewish literature and the Jewish performing,
graphic and plastic arts as major emphases in Center program-
ming for its own members and for large segments of the total
Jewish community, was a tribute to the consistent efforts of the
Jewish Book Council of America (JBC)* and of the National
Jewish Music Council. Resources made available by JWB through
the two Councils and the professional guidance of specialists on
the staffs of Centers and JWB generated wide interest and par-
ticipation in all the Jewish cultural arts.
Jewish Book Council of America
The only agency in American Jewish life exclusively devoted
to furthering interest in and appreciation of Jewish literature
in English, Hebrew and Yiddish, the Jewish Book Council
represents a cross section of those forces in American Jewry con-
cerned with giving impetus to Jewish literary striving.
Since 1944 the Jewish Book Council of America has been offi-
dally sponsored by JWB. JWB sponsorship was selected because
of its wide constituency, impartiality in denominational loyalties
and equal concern with Jewish literature in English, Hebrew and
Yiddish. The JBC functions autonomously but it is an integral part
of JWB’s total cultural services to the Jewish community. In its
sponsorship of the JBC, JWB has been mindful not only of the
needs of its affiliated Centers but of the entire Jewish community.
One of the important forces providing substance for Jewish
cultural programming is the annual Jewish Book Month which
* A fuller account of the Jewish Book Council of America will be found in
this volume.