Page 96 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 3

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The history of the seventy-five years of the Yiddish press is given
by J. Chaikin in an exhaustive article, the dominant idea of which
is that the Yiddish press in America, though it has reached tre-
mendous development and has become a great power, has lacked
a conscious aim and an ideal as a press. The beginnings were slight,
but with the large wave of immigration in the 90’s, the press began
to flourish, reaching its peak between 1900 and 1914. The press
has always been the subject of an intense strife between a tendency
to vulgarization and sensationalism on the one hand, and more
refined and esthetic demands on the other.
M. Starkman’s source material of the history of the Yiddish
press in America complements Chaikin’s essay. M. Hezkuni
gives some samples of the curious style used by the early Yiddish
newspapers and of their characteristic ideas.
S. Niger develops the thesis quoting as support I. L. Peretz,
Chaim Zhitlovsky and Ber Borochow that the tales of the Chas-
sidim, developing story telling to an art in the 18th and 19th
centuries, must be viewed as the forerunner, if not the actual
beginning of modern Yiddish literature.
On the occasion of the 500th anniversary of the death of Joseph
Albo, the Spanish preacher and philosopher, Dr. Jacob S. Minkin
contributes a study of the man, his times and his work. Minkin’s
article, which also appears in the English section, was translated
by M. Halberstein.
Dr. Jacob Shatzky discusses Elias Cherikower, (1881-1943),
Isaac Shipper (1884-1943) and Meir Balaban (1877-1943).
Cherikover’s field was the history of social movements including
the labor movement among the Jews; Schipper’s the economic
history of the Jews, and Balaban’s the Jews of Poland.
Solomon Kerstein contributes a comprehensive and excellent
survey of Jewish libraries and book collections in America. Due
to lack of space the second part of the article will appear in next
year’s Annual. A bibliography on Yiddish juvenile literature,
prepared by Yudel Mark, will be of especial interest to parents,
teachers and leaders.
A review of the output of Yiddish books from January, 1943
to June, 1944 by M. Kligsberg, is a valuable contribution to this
section. Dr. Simon Federbusch’s article on the restoration of
Jewish libraries in Europe, appears in this as well as in the Hebrew
section.