Page 394 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 25

Basic HTML Version

J
e w i s h
B
o o k
A
n n u a l
374
observing Jewish Book Month,” Chaplain Hochman said. “You
have an opportunity for an historic act. I would suggest that the
Council sponsoring the observance and the Jewish seminaries
begin gathering books to present to the Jewish community in
Rome to replace those that Hitler looted. This act would tell
Hitler that all his efforts to destroy the books were of no avail.”
While this call was receiving serious consideration, it was soon
found that not only the synagogue library in Rome but hundreds
of other Jewish libraries in Europe would require assistance to an
extent far greater than was within the Council’s limited resources.
Moreover, by 1945 many national Jewish organizations had under-
taken the task of assembling Jewish books for shipment abroad
to devastated libraries. Recognizing the need to ascertain the
extent of this project and the importance of making it known to
the entire American Jewish community, the Council appointed a
Committee on Books for Devastated and Other Libraries Abroad,
headed by Dr. Isidore S. Meyer. The committee assembled the
available information on what Jewish agencies were doing in the
collection of books and funds for reconstruction of European
Jewish libraries and disseminated it to parties desiring to be help-
ful with a view to coordination of efforts and avoidance of duplica-
tion.
The Council’s affiliation with JWB and with the World Fed-
eration of YMHAs and Jewish Community Centers, afforded it
further opportunity to assist many Jewish communities abroad.
As a result of the Council’s sponsorship and guidance, Jewish
Book Month is now being observed in Latin American countries,
in Europe, in Australia and in South Africa. The Council’s pub-
lications, including
El Mes D e l L ib ro Judio ,
a Spanish translation
of
Jewish Book Programs,
have been made available to Jewish
organizations overseas and, in some instances, have been trans-
lated and/or reprinted. For its 1948 Jewish Book Festival, the
South African Jewish Board of Deputies published
Books and
Writers
and surpassed the Council’s
Annual
by using four lan-
guages—English, Hebrew, Yiddish and Afrikaans. In 1949 a Jew-
ish Book Council was organized in England, representating some
of the leading British Jewish agencies.
The Council maintains regular correspondence with many Jew-
ish communities abroad. It has arranged meetings with some of
their leaders visiting the United States, and its executive secre-
tary visited communities overseas.
In 1962 an Israeli branch of the Council was organized under
the leadership of Dr. Sol Liptzin. It purposed to develop greater
awareness and appreciation of English Judaica and Hebrew and
Yiddish books published in America through reviews in the press
and the dissemination of information by other channels. The