Page 383 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 25

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363
W
inners
of
1966 L
iterary
A
wards
“D or holekh v ’dor ba—
generations come and go. How long is
it since Meyer Levin held us spellbound with the
O ld Bunch?
Long enough for that generation to follow his muse, born full-
grown with that landmark in American literature, through
Citi-
zens, In Search, Compulsion, Eva, Th e Fanatic,
and
Th e Strong-
hold.
“And always, like a golden thread running through his life and
works, is an attachment to the land of Israel. He could have said
with Yehudah Halevi, ‘I am in the West, but my heart is in
the East.' It was a love affair that always waxed and never waned,
that was ever at the flood and never ebbed. And we were the
beneficiaries—of the moving film
My Father’s House,
of the por-
trayal of the Warsaw to Haifa underground exodus depicted in
The Illegals.
Now that he has brought us up with his honest,
searching and virile renderings of our tormented times, he has
turned his attention to the younger generation once again.
“The Story of Israel
makes us realize that most juvenile books
about the Jewish State seem to be just that, books written by
talented youngsters for their peers. Worse, they are often con-
descending, and not infrequently researched by sedentary travelers
to no more distant a bourne than a library.
“Not so Meyer Levin's book. Here are the raw ingredients of
modern history: David Green (later Ben-Gurion) aching to leave
Plonsk; Chaim Weizmann imperiously summoned before Winston
Churchill, the First Lord of the Admirality, during World War I.
History’s headlines come alive in
The Story of Israel,
but even
more important are the warmth and the glow that establish a
heart-to-heart relationship between our young author and his
young reader.
“Neither the world at large nor the Jewish audience has been
as responsive to Meyer Levin as he has deserved. Rugged candor
and bulldog tenacity do not always win people and influence
friends. But the Jewish Book Council doubly deserves applause,
for it has honored Meyer Levin for two years in succession—last
May for his novel
The Stronghold
and tonight for
The Story of
Israel.
It is my distinct pleasure to acclaim on your behalf a man
for all seasons—Meyer Levin.”
Frank and Ethel S. Cohen Award
The recipient of the Frank and Ethel S. Cohen Award for a
book on Jewish thought, Dr. Nahum M. Sarna, was selected by
the following judges: Abraham Berger, chief, Jewish Division,
New York Public Library; Dr. Sidney B. Hoenig, professor at the
Yeshiva University; Dr. Eugene B. Borowitz, professor at the