Page 47 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 3

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of the books which have lately engaged the attention of our readers.
However, before I depart from the subject of literature of immedi-
ate popular information, I would like to mention
The Vocabulary
of ,Jewish Life
, by Rabbi Abraham M. Heller, which was published
by the Hebrew Publishing Company in 1942. This is a splendid
means of initiating the uninformed into the terms, conceptions,
practices, customs and ceremonies of Jewish life. The volumes
should be spread most widely in connection with all educational
enterprises.
The first author or editor here mentioned was Dr. Janowsky,
of City College of New York, who came to me very early in his
career to ask for material on the questions of Jewish minorities
which he had chosen as his doctorate thesis for Columbia Univer-
sity. I opened to him all the files of the American Jewish Congress
and the records of our labors at the Peace Conference of Versailles
and he worked in the office of this organization for a number of
months, so that
The Jews and the Rights of Minorities
was practi-
cally created on our premises. Dr. Janowsky who has since become
both professor and author of a number of volumes, has emerged
as an expert or
mumchon
on minorities. Thanks to that curious
general indifference or lack of knowledge characteristic of this age
of specialization, he has been adopted as the one man to write and
lecture on minorities, just as elsewhere Clifton Fadiman is the
only man to talk or write about books.
Another distinguished writer whom I recall from still earlier
days is Ludwig Lewisohn. We met him when we first came to
New York. He then moved in a circle which included Israel
Davidson, later of the Jewish Theological Seminary, Sam Weiss and
Maurice Stern who subsequently made their mark as artists, and
Frederic Michell, a scholarly merchant who came here from Alsatia
and wrote beautiful poetry in German. At a somewhat later
period Lewisohn did some work for
Collier s Weekly
, and he then
informed me that the editors of that magazine thought well of
some article I had submitted to them. They did not think well
enough of the article to accept it, but it was good news anyway,
and I felt grateful for the inside tip which proved to be more useful
later on.
Some years after that, around 1923, I tried to induce Mr.
Lewisohn to come to a luncheon of American newspapermen and
writers for Nahum Sokolow which gathering, sponsored by the
publishers of the Yiddish dailies, attracted a very distinguished
company — with the late Adolph S. Ochs, Arthur Brisbane, Dr.
Glenn Frank, and Heywood Broun, scheduled as speakers. Joseph
Barondess, acting as toastmaster in behalf of the committee, had
by a curious
lapsus lingo
introduced the celebrated columnist
as Hyman Brown and gave the latter a chance for humorous play
with the idea of being adopted as a member of the fold. Mr. Lew-
isohn, already on the safe side of the stream and busy writing a new
book, said over the telephone that he could not break up the day’s
work to go to a luncheon, the name of the guest of honor apparently
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