Page 59 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 45

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SARNA/THE JEWISH PUBLICATION SOCIETY
5 1
cent “Index Volume,” the history did more than any previous
publication to establish the Society’s reputation as a publisher of
first rank.13 Besides Graetz, there were also many additional tri­
umphs during the Society’s first quarter century: Israel Zang-
will’s
Children of the Ghetto
; the founding of the
American Jewish
Year Book',
Helena Frank’s translations from Yiddish literature;
Solomon Schechter’s
Studies inJudaism
; Louis Ginzberg’s
Legends
of theJews;
and Ahad Ha’am’s
Selected Essays.
Other triumphs —
including Simon Dubnow’s
History of theJews in Russia and Poland',
the 1917 Bible translation; and the Schiff Library ofJewish Class­
ics — lay just a few years ahead.14
ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION
On April 5th and 6th, 1913, to celebrate the twenty-fifth anni­
versary of its founding, the Society staged a gala ceremony in
Philadelphia that attracted nationwide attention. Many of its
former authors gathered for a special evening in their honor,
leaders of the Society delivered major addresses, and a banquet
for three hundred and fifty people took place at the Mercantile
Club with Mayer Sulzberger serving as toastmaster. Nahum
Sokolow, Herman Struck, Moses Hyamson, and Aaron Aaronson
represented Eastern Europe, Western Europe, England and
Palestine respectively at this event, and a diverse group of nota­
bles from across the country attended as well. All of the great Jew­
ish cultural institutions, foreign and domestic, sent messages,
many of them filled with praise for what the Society, Henrietta
Szold specifically, and American Jewry generally, had accom­
plished.15
The ceremony symbolized in its own way what the Society had
come to stand for: unity of American Jews, centrality of Ameri­
can Jewry, perpetuation of Jewish culture in America and
beyond. With twenty-five years behind it, and many significant
projects in the works, the Society, notwithstanding evident prob­
lems, could take pride in its accomplishments. No Jewish publica-
13 Solomon Grayzel, “Graetz’s
History
in America,” in Guido Kisch (ed.),
The
Breslau Seminary
(Tuebingen, 1963), pp. 223-237.
14 Bloch,
Of Making Many Books
contains a full list of the Society’s volumes to
1952; for an evaluation
s ee AJYB
15 (1913-14), p. 122.
15 The proceedings are printed in
AJYB
15(1913-14), pp. 25-187, and were also
published separately.