Page 85 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 47

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SINGERMAN / ALMANACS AND LITERARY ANNUALS IN JEWISH LITERATURE
7 7
One of the more enduring almanacs, one spanning the nine­
teenth and twentieth centuries, is Gershom Bader’s
Yudishe folks-
kalender
(Lemberg, 1895-1911), appearing in seventeen volumes
and significant for its expression of Zionist ambitions and lit­
erary creativity in the Galician milieu. In addition to contribu­
tions of Ahad Ha-Am, Mendele, Peretz, Sokolov, Birnbaum,
and Yehoash, its section of useful data would surely be of in­
terest to the historian of Galician Jewry. Appearing in volume
15, corresponding to 1909/10, for instance, are directories of
Jewish lawyers, doctors, and communal officials in Lemberg,
Krakow, and the remainder of Galicia, at the time a part of
the Austro-Hungarian empire. In Russia, the
Luekh kadimah
(Vil­
na, 1911-12) provides a wealth of data, statistics, institutional
directories, biographies, and chronologies for Jews in the czarist
empire on the eve of the Great War. In Poland, the Bundist
Arbeter luekh
(Lodz, 1920-26) is perhaps the most famous of the
Jewish socialist-labor almanacs; the surviving volumes give tes­
timony to a proud proletarian movement with wide appeal in
pre-Holocaust Europe.
Two of the more prominent American almanacs of the late
nineteenth century are the
American Jews’Annual
(1884-97), ini­
tiated in Cincinnati by Isaac Mayer Wise’s son, George, and
the
Illustrated Hebrew Almanac,
founded by Louis Schnabel in
1878 and published through 1893 when volume 16 appeared.
Alexander Harkavy’s
Amerikanisher folks-kalender
(New York,
1894-99), despite a bewildering number of minor title changes,
is of special interest as a social portrait of Americanization d u r­
ing the mass immigration era. The calendar for 1899/1900, now
called
Der yidish-amerikanisher folks-kalendar
=
The Jewish-
American People’s Calendar,
provides a fascinating array of pic­
torial advertisements for Jewish-owned firms and shops catering
to a Jewish clientele on the Lower East Side and the Bowery;
a name index to the advertisers adds a sense of posterity to
this small booklet. O ther sections explain to the greenhorn the
municipal organization of New York City into boroughs; here
too, one can learn the state mottos and the process for electing
the president of the United States. B. Gorin’s review, in Yiddish,
of Leo Wiener’s classic
History of Yiddish Literature
(New York,
1899) appears here, as does a poem, in English, by J. Bovshover,
“The Poet’s Walk.” The customary review of the past year places
the almanac in a larger historical context at century’s end: Cuba