Page 176 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 41

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his fondness for stamp-collecting in his
The History o f Israel’s Post­
age Stamps,
which was the first authoritative and au then tic volume
fully devoted to tha t subject. He pointed ou t tha t the postage
stamps o f Israel offer the oppo rtun ity to study the lives o f great
Jewish scholars and idealists who influenced the course o f Jewish
history as well as the birth and development o f the Jewish state.
He b rough t joy to ten o f thousands o f American Jewish boys
with his best selling book,
TheJew in American Sports,
and tha t gave
him a double measure o f satisfaction. For he loved ch ildren o f all
ages and sports always constituted a special area o f his interest.
Early in his career he was a sports writer and sports columnist for
the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. Ano ther one o f his sports books
for young readers, published in the series o f Covenant Books o f
the Jewish Publication Society, is
Fighter from Whitechapel: The
Story o f Daniel Mendoza.
For o lder aficionados o f the manly sport
o f fisticuffs he published an anthology,
The World’s Greatest Boxing
the first ever compiled o f grea t boxing fiction.
Ribalow’s last book,
The Tie That Binds,
is in the mainstream o f
his writing — American Jewish literature. It consists o f his con­
versations with nine writers whom he respected for th e ir creative
talent and adm ired for the ir identification as Jews. Each faced
and tried to resolve the conflict between modernism o r secular
humanism and traditionalism, the Jewish historical experience.
T h e ir names are luminous — Chaim Grade, Charles Angoff,
Meyer Levin, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Jack Ansell, Chaim Potok,
Susan Fromberg Schaeffer, Robert Kotlowitz, and Hugh
Nissenson. In prepa ra tion for his exhaustive interviews with each
o f these au tho rs Ribalow would make certain tha t he had read all
the writer’s work and then carefully construct a series o f probing
questions based upon that writing so as to elicit the most reliable
information available on the problems and attitudes o f contem ­
porary Jewish writers. T he conversations are, therefo re ,
stimulating and significant and o f prime importance to the stu­
den t o f American Jewish literature.
Apart from his books Ribalow was the au tho r o f a chap te r on
Jewish litera tu re in
The Jewish People: Past and Present
and a con­
tribu to r to the
Encyclopaedia Judaica
and the
Junior Jewish Encyclo­
He served as managing ed ito r o f
Congress Weekly,