Page 74 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 30

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J
e w i s h
B
o o k
A
n n u a l
to give the books an attractive format. For each classroom text
he provided a teacher’s guide and a pupil’s workbook. He pub­
lished a complete set of texts for the study of Hebrew. For the
purpose of teacher-training he provided syllabi based upon
the latest findings in the science of pedagogy. His curriculum
covered every phase of Jewish life. In addition to books on
Jewish history from its origin to modern times, there were books
on Jewish worship, Jewish symbols, ceremonies and holidays,
Jewish social services and social action. He published books for
the study of the Bible as literature, and of Jewish literaiure
beyond the Bible period to the latest creations of the Yiddish
writers of Eastern Europe and the Hebrew writers at work in
Zion. He pioneered in the creation and production of audio­
visual materials, especially film strips.
He insisted on the literary quality of every book that issued
from the Commission’s press. Some of these texts are now regarded
as classics. An example is
HilleTs Happy Holidays
authored
by his wife, Mamie Gamoran, which records the home holiday
adventures of their little son, Hillel, who is now Rabbi Hillel
Gamoran.
These publications proved so irresistibly attractive, that they
were used also in Conservative and Orthodox religious schools.
Indeed, their effectiveness inspired the Conservative group to
set up its own Commission on Jewish Education. It is a tribute
to Emanuel Gamoran’s work that a movement is now on foot
for cooperation between the Commissions on Jewish Education
of the United Synagogue and of the Union of American Hebrew
Congregations.
Dr. Gamoran’s successors as executive director of the Com­
mission—Rabbi Eugene B. Borowitz, Rabbi Alexander M. Schind­
ler and the present incumbent Rabbi Jack D. Spiro—built upon
the foundations established by Gamoran with their own inno­
vative and creative contributions. Rabbi Spiro edits a quarterly
vehicle for teachers entitled
Compass.
Through its pages he keeps
probing the most advanced researches into the science of educa­
tion, and applying these “avant garde” positions to the work of
the Jewish religious school. Under his direction, it is expected
that the Union will soon publish texts and materials embodying
an altogether new approach to capturing and holding the at­
tention of the pupils of the Jewish schools of America. Future
texts, deviating from academic considerations such as chrono­
logical history, will take the form of answers to the questions
children and youth themselves feel and ask.
The current catalog of publications by the Commission contains
no less than four hundred titles, with many more in process.