Page 400 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 25

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J
e w i s h
B
o o k
A
n n u a l
380
communities in Israel and in other lands. Thus, the maintenance
of the literary history of American Jewry, one of the primary
aims of the
Annua l,
is being achieved.
The
Annua l
also purports to serve as a guide in the selection
of books and to stimulate the commemoration of literary anni-
versaries. From numerous reports received by the Council it may
be deduced that these aims are also being realized. We may in-
deed claim that the modest purpose set forth by Dr. Solomon
Grayzel in the “Preface” to volume 1 has been more than fulfilled:
“By means of this, our first printed
Annua l,
following the issu-
ance in past years of mimeographed manuals, we do not expect
to revolutionize the reading tastes of the Jewish public. We do,
however, hope that we are herewith initiating a movement which,
in the course of time, will have an effect on the intellectual
interests of American Jewry.”
The publication of the first volume (entitled
Jewish Book
Week Annual,
1942) and the second (1943) volume of the
Jew-
ish Book Annual
was largely due to the initiative and efforts of
Dr. Mordecai Soltes, even though not officially one of the editors.
Aiming to establish a trilingual pattern for the Council he be-
lieved it could be best exemplified by a volume in English, He-
brew and Yiddish. He enlisted leaders of the Hebrew and Yiddish
cultural movements to participate and thus the trilingual char-
acter of the
Annual
was established. It has since been main-
tained throughout the twenty-five published volumes. In the first
three volumes a separate editorial committee functioned for
each lingual section. In 1945, however, the three committees were
merged into an editorial advisory board to allow for joint plan-
ning of the entire contents. A further step toward greater integra-
tion was taken with volume 11: the trilingual character was
retained but the languages were no longer in different compart-
ments; they were interwoven in sequence according to subject
matter. While the major portion of the book is now in English,
a substantial number of the English articles deal with Hebrew
and Yiddish literature, and some articles, which the editors feel
can best be treated in Hebrew or Yiddish, are published in these
languages. The bibliographies appear in the three languages,
with English translations of most of the items. Even a cursory
examination of the “Cumulative Title and Author Index” in
this volume will reveal the wealth of subject matter treated over
the years.
A number of volumes carried special features. The 1950 issue
was devoted to a survey of fifty years of American Jewish literary
efforts. Ludwig Lewisohn, Daniel Persky and Jacob Shatzky sum-
marized and evaluated this literature in articles written, respec-
tively, in English, Hebrew and Yiddish. On the occasion of the
commemoration of the American Jewish tercentenary in 1954,