Page 170 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 39

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THEODORE WIENER
Jewish Literary Anniversaries
1982
T
h is
y e a r
w e
focus on the commemorative dates of Jewish libra­
rians and bibliophiles. Outstanding among these is Moritz
Steinschneider, the pioneer of modern Jewish bibliography. He
not only prepared the catalogue of Hebrew books in the Bodleian
Library at Oxford and described several of the major Hebrew
manuscript collections in European libraries, but he also contrib­
uted to our knowledge of medieval Jewish literature. Especially
did he point to the service rendered by medieval Hebrew scholars
as translators who transmitted the culture of antiquity to their
time in Arabic and Hebrew renderings. In his spirit labored Israel
Schapiro and Joshua Bloch, who guided two of the most impor­
tant public book collections in this country in their formative
years. Solomon Zalman Halberstam and David Jacob Simonsen
were bibliophiles whose affection for the Hebrew book led them
to acquire large and valuable libraries, which now have become
part of major Jewish collections.
Max Lilienthal, Lewis N. Dembitz, and Emanuel Schreiber
were early leaders of American Judaism. They found worthy
successors in Abraham Cronbach, Horace M. Kallen, Israel Bet-
tan, Solomon B. Freehof, Ben Zion Bokser, and Pinkhos Chur-
gin.
Among Yiddish writers in this country we recall Sholem Asch,
Morris Winchevsky, and Zishe Weinper. A pioneer in the field of
Yiddish literature in South America has been Samuel Rollansky.
Isaac Satanow, Wolf Heidenheim, and Hayyim Coeslin repre­
sent the transition period of the early Haskalah in western
Europe.
They all have served us well bringing us literary enjoyment and
an appreciation of our past.