Page 120 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 28

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Award for his “Distinguished Contribution to American Jew-
ish Culture." This placed him in the cultural fraternity of
eminent previous winners: Dr. Mordecai M. Kaplan, Maurice
Samuel, Dr. Oscar I. Janowsky, Dr. Salo W. Baron, Dr. Jacob
R. Marcus and Dr. Ernest Bloch. The citation and the attrac-
tive bronze medallion presented to Grayzel by JWB testified
eloquently that the little immigrant boy who had timorously
entered P.S. 84 in Brownsville in 1908 had risen to a lofty plateau
in the pyramid of scholarship and erudition.
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J
e w i s h
B
o o k
A
n n u a l
IV
The year 1942 was epochal in the history of Jewish culture
in America. Under the sponsorship of the National Committee
for Jewish Book Week, the trilingual
Jewish Book Week An-
nual,
containing essays, papers and bibliographies in English,
Yiddish and Hebrew, came into being. Dr. Grayzel was the editor
of this first printed volume which, under the slightly altered
title
Jewish Book Annual,
has reached volume 28 with the
current issue. Grayzel voiced this prophecy in his Preface:
“. . . 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 interest of American Jewry.” His
prophecy has been vindicated, due in large measure to his
zealous guidance as editor of the
Annual
from 1943 to 1945,
and as a member of the Editorial Advisory Board since 1962.
Dr. Grayzel played a prominent role in the establishment
of the Jewish Book Council of America in 1942, during the
tragic Nazi holocaust that brought death to numerous illus-
trious European Jewish scholars and wanton destruction of
priceless Jewish libraries and book collections. Succeeding the
late Dr. Mordecai Soltes, Grayzel served as the Council presi-
dent from 1945 to 1950. He was also the initiator of
In Jewish
Bookland,
whose first issue appeared in March, 1945, and
served as editor from 1950 to 1962. Too, he was a steadfast
and stalwart collaborator in organizing Jewish Book Month,
a recognized observance not only in the American Jewish cal-
endar, but also in Israel (with its branch of the Jewish Book
Council under the leadership of Sol Liptzin) and in other dis-
tant Jewish communities. Dr. Grayzel's indefatigable labors,
wise leadership and inspiring example are deeply engraved
upon all the projects described above.