Page 167 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 39

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STOW / SOLOMON GRAYZEL
161
its centrality in the administration of the College. It was, however,
in 1939 that Grayzel became a full-time servant of the community.
In that year he joined Isaac Husik as an editorial assistant at the
Jewish Publication Society. But Husik died shortly after, and
Grayzel was immediately promoted to the post of the Society’s
editor, a post he was to retain until 1966, a full twenty-seven years.
During this time, he also served as president of the Jewish Book
Council and was closely linked with the
Jewish BookAnnual
from its
initial appearance in 1942.
There is perhaps no way to measure the service rendered by
Dr. Grayzel to the entire English reading Jewish public through
his work at the JPS. It is literally impossible to have a library of
Jewish scholarly works produced in the past forty years that does
not contain books issued by the JPS. Even more important,
through such outstanding joint publication ventures as Salo Ba­
ron’s
Social and Religious History of theJews
, which bears the imprint
of both the Columbia University Press and JPS, books of endur­
ing worth were made both accessible and affordable to a wide
audience. And books that otherwise would have been purchased
by only a scholarly readership now found their way into numer­
ous private libraries. In addition, there were the significant trans­
lation projects, most notably Yitzhak Baer’s
History of the Jews in
Christian Spain.
For Baer was induced to make additions and to
update the work which, in Hebrew, had first appeared a number
of years earlier. But no project overshadows the new translation
of the Bible, an undertaking which pooled the collective resources
of the greatest contemporary Bible scholars and demanded the
kind of firm but reserved guidance and direction which Grayzel
was so unusually equipped to give. Dr. Grayzel made this Bible
project into one of the pillars of his life, participating and attend­
ing the meetings of the translation committee until just a few
months before his death, long after he had left JPS itself.
The JPS also published Grayzel’s own
History of theJews
(1947,
revised 1968). Dr. Grayzel was undoubtedly motivated to pro­
duce this volume through his experiences in meeting the needs of
the broader public at JPS. But, so too, as he once wrote in a private
correspondence to one of his nephews, his
History
was written in
order to stimulate Jewish youth to develop an appreciation of the
Jewish past and a pride in its achievements. Indeed, in 1947, a
modern Jewish educational system had onlyjust begun to flourish