Page 14 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 34

Basic HTML Version

4
JEWISH BOOK ANNUAL
Central to the Yiddish revival are a Yiddish grammar for col­
lege and university use, written in Israel by the late Yudel Mark,
and
Groyser Verterbukh fun der Yidisher Shprakh,
the 13-volume
“Great Dictionary of the Yiddish Language,” of which Dr. Mark
was editor in chief until his death in 1975. Thus far four volumes
have been completed, all dealing with the letter
aleph.
Happily,
this encyclopedic project of listing some 200,000 Yiddish words
is continuing. A grant of $75,000 was received by the Institute
of Yiddish Lexicology at the City College of New York from the
National Endowment for the Humanities to further the work
on the “Great Dictionary.” At the same time, an additional
$149,000 was offered by the National Endowment if half that
sum is matched by private contributions.
A final word should be added here. Four high schools in
metropolitan New York offered Yiddish courses. A growing num­
ber of congregations, including Reform temples, have included
one or more courses in Yiddish in their adult study programs.
Finally, what may surprise many, the Reform Central Conference
of American Rabbis has included in its new beautiful Passover
Haggadah—which reads from right to left—a deeply moving Yid­
dish poem by Samuel Halkin, “1959, Russia” (pp. 46-48).
I l l
Sorrowfully, during the past year it was our sad duty to add
the names of four cherished colleagues to our necrology list:
Louis Kraft, Yudel Mark, Harry Schneiderman, and Rabbi I.
Edward Kiev—a poignant reminder of the poet’s monition,
“Death in the innermost chamber waits,/Of what avail if we
bar the gates?”
Louis Kraft was closely identified with the Jewish Book Coun­
cil for many years, and served on its Executive Board. In 1938-
1947 he occupied the top executive post of JWB, and in 1947 he
helped establish the World Federation of YMHAs and Jewish
Community Centers. In 1953 he was named by the Conference
on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany and the Joint Dis­
tribution Committee to direct the planning of reconstruction and
development of the surviving Jewish communities in Europe. In
1951 Mr. Kraft was the first recipient of JWB’s Frank L. Weil
Award for notable contributions to the Jewish Community Cen­