Page 9 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 27

Basic HTML Version

— I
vival.” Reduced to a pragmatic postulate, Ahad Ha-Am referred to
books, books, books—and this is the principal concern of the Jewish
Book Council of America. Basic, therefore, to this volume of the
Jewish Book Annual are the seven bibliographies which form a
compendium of the Jewish literary harvest gleaned during the
past year: American Jewish Non-Fiction Books, American Jewish
Fiction Books, American Jewish Juvenile Books, American Hebrew
Books, Yiddish Books, Anglo-Jewish Books, and Selected Books of
Israel. These are the systole and diastole of the Jewish heart, the
literary fructification of the Jewish psyche.
During the past dozen or more years, the editors have invoked
a pattern of continuity in dealing with specialized categories. For
example, four successive Annuals discussed, respectively, “Yiddish
Drama, A Century’s Survey”; “The Yiddish Press, A Century's
Survey”; “Yiddish Lyrics, A Century's Survey,” and “Yiddish Fic­
tion, A Century’s Survey.”
Shimeon Brisman’s “The Jewish Studies Collection at UCLA”
is a further implementation of this pattern. Beginning with an
initial paper in volume 15 of the Jewish Book Annual on “Libraries
in Israel,” subsequent Annuals presented illuminating essays on
the following: “On Community Libraries” (tracing back to “a
library, a collection of archives at least, in the celebrated First
Temple at Jerusalem”) , Vol. 18; “The Hebrew Union College
Library,” Vol. 21; “The Library of the Jewish Theological Semi­
nary of America,” Vol. 22; “The Mendel Gottesman Library of
Yeshiva University,” Vol. 23; “The Jewish Division of the New
York Public Library,” Vol. 24; “The Library of the Dropsie Col­
lege,” Vol. 25; “The YIVO Library,” Vol. 26.
In addition to Shimeon Brisman’s article in this volume on the
UCLA Jewish Studies Collection, there is an article by Dr. Charles
Berlin, of Harvard College Library, on “The Israel PL-480 Pro­
gram.” Dr. Berlin describes a program unique in the annals of
Judaic librarianship. “Within the framework of the Public Law-480
Program, the United States Government has been supplying some
twenty-five American research libraries with a copy of virtually
every book and periodical published currently in the State of
Israel.” According to the Saturday Review of April 12, 1969,
“Israel has the highest per capita book production in the world”;
therefore, the Israel PL-480 Program serves as a catalyst in the
dissemination of numerous books and journals of Jewish interest.
A glance at the table of contents will reveal a congeries of ad­
ditional articles which, we trust, will interest the general reader as
well as the librarian. Exigency of space limits a profounder and
more scholarly approach to some of the subjects in this volume.
However, it is the editors’ fervent hope that readers will be en­