Page 408 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 25

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cohesion resulting from the participation of disparate cultural
and religious groups in a common effort which makes for unity
amidst diversity,” Dr. A. Alan Steinbach wrote in his “Introduc-
tion” to volume 23 of the
Jewish Book Annual.
“This points up
the basic oneness which should be the lodestar of Jewish culture.
Divisions and differences in philosophies, in ideologies, and in
language exist among us. This is inevitable and indeed desirable
since most of the national Jewish cultural organizations are repre-
sented on our roster. But whatever divergencies prevail are
neutralized through emphasis on the fundamental values Jews
cherish as vital to the preservation of our cultural heritage.
Such a policy contributes to Jewish solidarity, a pressing desid-
eratum in contemporary Jewish life. This solidarity is, however,
not to be equated with cultural uniformity. The unity envisioned
here is the multi-threaded tapestry woven on the loom of Jewish
cultural pluralism. ”
This pattern inspired the organization of the National Jewish
Music Council. When it came into existence, it followed the
basic methods employed successfully by the Jewish Book Coun-
cil. The same is true of the Jewish book efforts in countries
abroad.
The Council has always striven to be non-partisan within or-
ganized Jewish life and to serve all groups. It has not inhibited
contributors to its periodicals from expressing their individual
viewpoints. It has conscientiously endeavored to cooperate with
other organizations and to avoid duplication of activities. Hence
this report is, in a broad sense, an accounting of what organized
Jewish life in America has done to bring the Jewish book closer
to the Jewish people.
Any appraisal of the accomplishments recorded in this report
must acknowledge that the past twenty-five years have been but
a beginning in the implementation of the Council’s aims. There
still remains much to do. There are unfortunately still millions
of Jews in the United States to whom the Jewish literary heritage
remains a closed book. We need to rededicate ourselves and our
efforts to unlock for them the rich storehouse of Jewish literature.
When the Council decided to observe its silver anniversary it
stated that its objective would be to solicit greater participation
in its program. To achieve this end, it will present awards for
program ideas to encourage the reading of books of Jewish inter-
est. Hopefully this project will uncover new ways to awaken those
American Jews who have not yet seen the radiance and the beauty
in the colorful and variegated garden of Jewish books.
Born in the dark, dismal days of the European
Hurban ,
the
Jewish Book Council of America has ever been mindful of the
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