Page 47 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 28

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I S R A E L I P E R I O D I C A L S —A R E V I E W
OF T HE C O N T E M P O R A R Y S C E N E
he visitor to a newsstand or bookstore in Israel cannot
help but marvel at the display of scores of Israeli period-
icals for sale to the public. Yet little does he realize that these
many periodicals represent but a fraction of the total peri-
odical literature currently being produced in Israel. Periodicals,
by their very nature, are ephemeral and defy statistical account-
ing. New ones are always appearing, old ones disappearing.
Nevertheless, it would be a reasonably accurate estimate that
there are well over a thousand periodicals being published in
Israel today. These periodicals are a reflection of all aspects
Periodicals are not a new phenomenon in Israel. Even in
the last years of Turkish rule in Palestine, a number of period*
icals appeared. The first newspapers,
Ha-Levanon
and
Hava-
tselet,
which appeared in 1863, resembled monthly periodicals
more than newspapers, and only with the development of Eliezer
Ben-Yehuda’s
Ha-Tsevi
into a daily newspaper in 1908 did the
newspaper emerge clearly distinct from other periodicals. Period-
icals devoted to various areas of rabbinic literature were among
the first to appear:
Ha-Misderonah
in 1885,
Torah mi-Tsiyon
in 1887, and
Ha-Measef
in 1896. The Second Aliyah, with its
labor-oriented, intellectual and politically mature inmigrants,
gave rise to labor-oriented political periodicals—
Ha-Poel ha-
Tsa’ir
in 1907 and
Ha-Ahdut
in 1910—as well as two literary
journals—
H a -Om er
in 1907 and
Moledet
in 1911. The develop-
ment of Palestinian Jewish life called into being periodicals
to deal with various aspects of the economy and culture:
Ha-
Ikar,
an agricultural journal, in 1893;
Ha-Hinukh,
published
by the Palestine Teachers Association from 1911 on;
Zikhronot,
proceedings of the Jewish Medical Society in Palestine, in 1912
(from 1919 on, under its present title,
Ha-Refuah
); and
’Olam
Katan,
a children’s journal, in 1893. A scholarly periodical press
was also established with the publication in 1882 of A. M.
Luncz’ annual
Yerushalayim,
which contained research on all
aspects of Palestine in general and on its Jewish population in
particular. Mention should also be made of Luncz’ other annual
Luah Erets YIsrael,
an almanac which contained both “prac־
tical” information on Palestine as well as a “literary” section
B
y
C
h a r le s
B
erl in
of Israeli life and culture.
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