Page 40 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 5 (1946-1947)

Basic HTML Version

of Hebrew printing
by Aaron Freimann with a foreword by Joshua
Bloch (New York, 1946).
A miscellaneous variety of other publications of Jewish interest
presents several striking titles which are of more or less durable
value because of the wealth of information they convey. There is
the first volume of
The Jewish people; past and present
, (New York,
Central Yiddish Culture Organization, 1946) which contains
monographs on anthropology, archaeology, Jewish history, the
origin and development of the Jewish religion, its philosophy,
mysticism and Kabbalah, etc., as well as Jewish statistics, eco-
nomic development and migration movement. Much of the ma-
terial incorporated in the volume is derived from the three volumes
on the Jews issued in 1939-40 as pa r t of the general Yiddish
encyclopedia. A timely and appropriate publication is
־Delano Roosevelt
, the tribute of the synagogue compiled by Rabbi
Max Kleiman, with a foreword by the Rev. Dr. Stephen S. Wise
(New York, Bloch, 1946). I t includes tributes and eulogies by
lay leaders and rabbis of the American Jewish community, edi-
torials on Roosevelt from American Jewish periodicals, memorial
prayers and a section containing some of the late President’s
communications and utterances on occasions of Jewish interest.
This rapid survey of a year’s output of American Jewish litera-
ture does not indicate sufficiently the trend of Jewish thought and
feeling as they find expression through letters. “Ours is a genera-
tion,” says an American literary critic, “ that*is surfeited with
facts and starved for vision” . . . . How true this is of our own
generation of Jews! A change, the signs of which are already evi-
dent, has recently touched all aspects of Jewish literature. Its
effects will deepen and widen. I t will, in course of time, sweep
away the mood of negation which, for several decades, dominated
American Jewish literature. The at t itude of mind which pro-
duced the cynical wise-cracking type of writing in which charac-
ters lived without values and without pride was, for a while,
replaced by a questing attitude. I t is now being followed by ex-
pressions of a more definite commitment to belief of one sort or
another. I t is certainly tending to strengthen Jewish consciousness
and to give Jewish literature a more secure place in Jewish life.