Page 399 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 25

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This affords an excellent opportunity to call significant Jewish
books to the attention of these molders of book reading trends.
Indeed, the Council's display is the first exposure to Judaica of
many of the librarians, especially those from small communities.
In addition to selected Jewish books that are exhibited, a sub-
stantial supply of booklists and other literature issued by the
Council is distributed gratis.
While the Council assumes responsibility for the exhibit and
bears the cost, the Jewish Community Center in each convention
city usually handles the local arrangements and provides knowl-
edgeable persons, such as Jewish librarians and educators, to man
the booth. These people answer questions and give information
on any number of subjects related not only to Judaica but to
other aspects of Jewish cultural life. Many inquiries are referred
to the Council’s office for fuller replies. It is not an overstatement
that these exhibits represent a real potential influence on hun-
dreds of non-Jewish librarians who in turn can be helpful in the
wider reading of books of Jewish interest.
To encourage American Jews to set up home libraries, the
Council in 1952 created a portable exhibit of 95 basic Jewish
books and nine panels of photographs of contemporary Jewish
authors and of masters of modern Jewish literature. The books,
enclosed in two bookcases, were selected by a committee of the
Council “as suggestions for the beginnings of a Jewish home
library.” To supplement a book exhibit arranged in a local com-
munity, the Council prepared an exhibit consisting of photo-
graphic reproductions of seven of the panels in the portable
exhibit.
In 1952, on the occasion of the centennial of the birth of
Isaac Loeb Peretz, the Council arranged two portable exhibits
of
Illustra tions to the Folktales of Peretz
by Yossel Bergner and
another exhibit based on Peretz’s story,
The Transm igration of
a M e lody ,
with woodcut illustrations by A. Kolnick and an Eng-
lish translation by Maurice Samuel. Each of the exhibits was
accompanied by a selection of books on and by Peretz in Eng-
lish, Hebrew and Yiddish. For a number of years, the Council
made available an exhibit of Jewish bookplates.
Jewish Book Annual
The twenty-five volumes of the
Jewish Book Annua l
bear elo-
quent testimony to the vitality of American Jewish literature.
They are the most complete record of Jewish book production
in this country during the past quarter century; at the same
time they give a broad spectrum of the literary creativity of Jewish