Page 125 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 4

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Kostrinski from various Hebrew periodicals. Here are collated
the reviews of critics of the most important Hebrew books pub-
lished during the past two years. Twenty-two book reviews are
included in this article.
I. L. Peretz and Hassidism
, by S. Niger, is a thoughtful contribu-
tion to commemorate the thirtieth anniversary of the death of
the beloved Yiddish writer. According to the thesis of the author
of this essay, Peretz, though a prolific writer of Hasidic stories,
was not a Hasid and did not intend to recreate the world of the
Baal Shem Tov.
On the contrary, Hasidism was itself marked by
the inspiring influence of Peretz. For the English reader, Dr. Jacob
S. Minkin’s article on
I. L. Peretz
Poet of the Jewish Soul
(pages 80-86), while treating the subject from a different view-
point, will be most enlightening.
On the occasion of the
Twentieth Anniversary of Y IV O
— the
Yiddish Scientific Institute — Dr. Shlomo Noble contributes an
article on its founding, development, and present functions. With
the transplanting of the headquarters and personnel of YIVO from
Europe to America, new vistas have been opened up which augur
well for its future contributions to Jewish and American life.
A comprehensive and excellent survey of
Jewish Book Collec-
tions in American Libraries and Universities
is contributed by
Solomon Kerstein. This is the second and concluding part of an
article on Jewish libraries in America that was started in last
This part describes, among others, the Jewish
Division of the New York Public Library, the Department of
Hebraica in the Orientalia Division of the Library of Congress,
and the Jewish book collections of the libraries of Harvard Col-
lege, Yale University, Columbia University, and New York
M. Ravitch writes
About the Jewish Public Library in Montreal
a unique institution on the American continent. Founded in 1914
with a collection of 1,500 volumes, the library now possesses
20,000 books, including approximately 8,500 in Yiddish, 3,000 in
Hebrew, and 6,500 in English, mostly Judaica. Housed at present
in cramped quarters, the library has recently purchased a building
site where it plans to erect a modern library building that will
house at least 100,000 books, and contain lecture halls, reading
rooms and other facilities. The author of the article suggests
the possibility of the creation of similar libraries in cities with a
large Jewish population.