Page 389 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 25

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Previously the members of the National Committee consisted
of sundry prominent Jewish individuals, but in 1942 it was
decided to “limit membership to representatives of cultural or-
ganizations whose work is national in scope, as well as heads of
national Jewish bodies that include the promotion of Jewish
cultural activities in their programs." Included also were mem-
bers-at-large selected from among the outstanding Jewish authors,
librarians and other persons prominent in the field of Jewish
culture, and representatives of the Hebrew and Yiddish organi-
zations. This membership pattern is, by and large, still in effect
Thus the Committee became more truly representative of the
major elements in the cultural life of American Jewry. This
structure was inherited by the Jewish Book Council of America
when it became the successor in 1943 to the National Committee
for Jewish Book Week.
Relationship with National Jewish Welfare Board
The National Jewish Welfare Board [-JWB] has maintained
a continuing interest in the Jewish Book Council of America
since its inception. As indicated above, it supported the observ-
ance of Jewish Book Week for many years. In February, 1942,
the Council’s predecessor adopted a resolution which read, in
part: “The National Committee for Jewish Book Week realizes
that if it had not been for the assistance extended by the National
Jewish Welfare Board, the work of the Committee would not
have been as extensive and as useful as it has been universally
recognized as having been during the celebration of Jewish Book
Week in November last. In conveying its thanks, the National
Committee expresses the hope that it will continue to enjoy the
cooperation of the National Jewish Welfare Board.”
This hope was fully realized in 1944 when an agreement was
entered into between the two organizations whereby JWB as-
sumed a continuing obligation to serve as sponsor-coordinator of
the Council. JWB undertook to furnish sustained professional
guidance in furthering the programs to be undertaken by the
Council; a separate office with the usual appurtenances; steno-
graphic and clerical service; administrative overhead including
telephone, postage, stationery, printing, and costs of some proj-
ects. I t was also the stated policy of JWB to maintain the au-
tonomous existence of the Council. In the first public announce-
ment of this arrangement Frank L. Weil, the then JWB president,
stated: “As the national association of Jewish Community Centers
and YM & YWHAs, JWB has a definite interest in all programs
pertaining to Jewish culture . . . Through the Jewish Book Coun­