Page 390 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 25

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e w i s h
o o k
n n u a l
cil we can provide an additional and essential service to our
constituent Centers and through our Centers we can provide the
Council with the finest possible medium for reaching every age
group in Jewish communities.”
A year later in a letter to Dr. Soltes, dated February 5, 1945,
Louis Kraft, executive director of JWB, wrote: “The successful
beginning made with the Jewish Book Council is leading the way
to similar projects in the other arts. Already a tentative commit-
tee has been organized to initiate a Jewish Music Council . . . I
look forward to the continued development of this entire pro-
The now famous JWB Survey of 1947, conducted by Dr. Oscar
I. Janowsky, indicated a deep appreciation of the work of the
Council and recommended that JWB should continue to sponsor
and extend its activities and that similar councils in other cultural
areas should be formed.
Jewish Book Month
Dr. Solomon Grayzel in an article entitled “Literary Self- Dedi-
cation” wrote: “Begun modestly as Jewish Book Week and trans-
formed more recently into Jewish Book Month, the idea of devot-
ing a period of time to the dramatization of Jewish book-reading
has met with general acclaim and numerous adherents beyond
the hopes of its originators. The idea acquired permanency
through the foundation of the Jewish Book Council which has
the adherence of almost every Jewish organization in the coun-
try. It gained nationwide sponsorship by becoming an integral
part of the National Jewish Welfare Board. I t won a place for
itself in every Jewish community. The youngest among Jewish
observances in the country, Jewish Book Month may yet become
one of the most popular. The only explanation for the enthusiasm
with which it has been received is that the idea of encouraging
the reading of Jewish books answers to a deeply felt need in
American Jewish life.”
Dr. Grayzel’s prophecy has been vindicated; Jewish Book Month
has become a recognized observance in the American Jewish
calendar. Indeed, when in 1944 the National Jewish Welfare
Board became the sponsor of the Council and made available its
rich resources, there was an immediate marked development of
Jewish Book Month. A major factor has been the warm coopera-
tion of the national Jewish organizations affiliated with the Coun-
cil. Through special communications, program aids, articles in
their organs and other media, they stimulated their local branches
throughout the country to conduct fitting programs for their
own membership and to participate in community-wide cele-