Page 156 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 41

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National Council o f Art and Culture, which wished to find the
means for in troduc ing foreign readers to the best o f Hebrew lit­
era tu re . T he decision to establish the Institute fo r T ransla tion
was formally registered with app rop r ia te authorities on April 19,
1962, with the declared object o f “translating the best o f Hebrew
literature in all its forms into foreign languages . . . and engaging
in the publication o f translated works and the ir distribution
among Jewish and non-Jewish readers, as a con tribu tion to Israeli
and Zionist education among world Jewry on the one hand , and
the fostering o f cultural ties with the world at large, on the o the r .”
T he Institute, established as a government corporation , op e r ­
ates th rough a board o f eleven members, represen ting the Minis­
try o f Education and Culture, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs,
the World Zionist Organization, and the Hebrew Writers Associa­
tion. An executive council, chosen from among the board
members, is in charge o f runn ing affairs, while the Institu te’s
direc tor is answerable to the board as a whole. T he Institute is
advised by a four-member panel o f writers, literary critics and
scholars, appo in ted for a two-year term , and charged with giving
expert opinion and counsel to the Institu te’s directors.
T he Institu te’s primary concern is to acquaint foreign readers,
and above all foreign publishers, with contemporary Hebrew
writing. T he Institute operates on a limited budget, the major
share o f which is carried by the Ministry o f Education and
Culture, with the rem a inder coming from the Ministry for For­
eign Affairs and the World Zionist Organization. Countries with
much larger populations than Israel’s four million, and speaking
languages more common than Hebrew, devote considerable
effo rt and financial means to the translation o f the ir literature
into the languages o f the major civilizations. Since all that is
involved in the translation o f literary works and the ir p resen ta­
tion to publishers abroad dem ands a large initial investment, the
Institute constantly endeavors to augm en t the financial resources
at its disposal.
During the two decades o f its existence, some forty volumes
have appeared th rough the In s titu te’s initiative and d irec t finan­
cial sponsorship, in cooperation with local and foreign publish­
ers. These forty volumes include anthologies o f poetry, fiction