Page 77 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 30

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F r a m — L i t e r a r y C o n t r i b u t i o n s o f t h e
UAHC 67
conduct, individual and social. In view of this ideological back­
ground of Reform Judaism, it was to be expected that the educa­
tional arm of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations
would pioneer in the teaching of social action. Dr. Gamoran had
produced several texts which explored the value of
tzedakah
or
“charity” in Jewish life. The pupil was introduced to the philan­
thropic agencies of the Jewish community, the homes for the aged,
the children’s service bureaus, the family service bureaus, the
Jewish community centers, and the immigration services. Ex­
amples are:
Dorothy and David Explore Jewish Life,
by Michael
Conovitz, and
The Stream of Jewish Life,
by Dorothy Alofsin.
Important as these are, they are not the fullest implementation
of the prophetic spirit which is best expressed by the word
tzedek,
“justice.” With the organization of the UAHC’s Commission on
Social Action, its energetic director, Albert Vorspan, sensed the
need for teaching our children to involve themselves in social
action. He produced a provocative text for youth entitled
Jewish
Values and Social Crisis,
which analyzes the social problems of
our time and stimulates the student to seek personal involvement
in the advancement of human goals. It is a loose-leaf text, so that
chapters on new problems can be added. Among the themes dealt
with are: War and Peace, Poverty, Prejudice and Civil Rights.
In the same vein, Rabbi Henry Cohen has authored a special
text entitled
Justice, Justice: A Jewish View of the Black Revolu­
tion.
Realizing that the ideals of social justice and the motiva­
tion for social action should be implanted early in the lives of
Jewish children, Albert Vorspan has produced an experimental
volume for the intermediate grades, entitled
To Do Justly: A
Junior Casebook for Social Action.
Among these four hundred titles are books, kits and other
colorful equipment for teaching children of all ages beginning
with the cradle roll and the nursery. The Commission catalogue
which describes them all makes fascinating reading. Among the
authors who have lent their talents to writing for the religious
school are Lillian S. Freehof, who interprets Jewish lore and
legend; Helen Fine, whose stories of Jewish children’s camp life
exude both literary charm and moral guidance; Beth R. Hol-
lender, whose
Bible Stories for Little Children
has been reissued
by the Methodist Church, and Sophia N. Cedarbaum, whose
eight little books on the festivals are the delight of the kinder­
garten set.
As for adult education, the Commission has specialized in
publishing books on the Bible and on Jewish history. Several
commentaries on individual books of the Bible are now on the
list. In process is a notable enterprise,
The Torah Commentary,