Page 25 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 5 (1946-1947)

Basic HTML Version

13
BLOCH — - THE YEAR ’S BOOKSHELF
Jews, in the United States; the injustice and violence they now
suffer, the hope for future true democracy and the danger if this
hope is not fulfilled.
RISE OF INTEREST IN JEWISH HISTORY
Contemporary Jewish experience is such as to make one wonder
whether it ever had its parallels in the past. The answer to the
question as to whether or not the survival of the Jewish people is
now at stake is often sought in the records of days gone by. I t is
this which continues to contribute to the constant rise of interest
in Jewish history. Although there is a steady market for the best
known and frequently reprinted works in Jewish history there
were but few contributions to the general treatment of the subject
which can be recorded in the year’s literary output. Yet one who
wishes to gain an acquaintance with the subject will do well to
turn to
The immortal people
; one hour of Jewish history by Emil
Bernhard Cohn, translated from the German by H. Goren Perel-
muter (New York, Behrman, 1945). I t is a vibrating sketch of the
long panorama of the history of the Jewish people, outlined for
an hour’s reading. I t seems tha t considerable emphasis was
placed on the need for the treatment of regional Jewish history,
for the number of publications falling within this category of
historiography which appeared during the year is indicative of a
lively interest in local Jewish history. The first volume of Ben-
jamin G. Sack’s
History of the Jews in Canada
from the earliest
beginnings to the present day (Montreal, Canadian Jewish Con-
gress, 1945) deals with Jewish experience in Canada from the
French regime to the end of the nineteenth century. A fine work,
indeed, a model work of Jewish communal history is
The rise of
the Jewish community of New York
, 1654-1860, by Dr. Hyman B.
Grinstein (Philadelphpa, Jewish Publication Society of America,
1945). I t presents a comprehensive, well documented study of the
social, religious and communal life of the Jews of New York.
Aspects of organized religious experience in New York City are
dealt with by Dr. Simon Cohen in his
Shaarey Tefilla\
a history of
its hundred years, 1845-1945 (New York, Greenberg, 1945). I t is
a well balanced account of the “West End Synagogue” in New
York City, issued in connection with its centenary commemora-
tion. A publication designed to commemorate a similar occasion
in the history of Congregation Emanu-El, New York, is the col-
lection of addresses on
Moral and spiritual foundations for the
world of tomorrow
(New York, 1945). I t includes a historical
account of Congregation Emanu-El, which published the volume.