Page 80 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 50

Basic HTML Version

72
JEWISH BOOK ANNUAL
the Jewish Division of the New York Public Library acquires
materials which are of special interest to academicians.
With regards to statistical date, the 49 volumes of JBA list
approximately 10,000 volumes of non-fiction. An additional
1,000 volumes are described in the listings of fiction. Commenc­
ing with volume 36 (1978-79), non-fiction is further subdivided
for reasons of classification efficiency into the following areas:
art and literature; Bible studies; history and biography; Israel
and Zionism; religion and philosophy; social studies. The “mis­
cellaneous” rubric includes titles which do not fit into any of
the above categories.
Further study highlights the fact that history and biography
predominate in scholarly studies, especially in the period fol­
lowing World War II. This applies to general works, as well
as chronological studies of local communities and local archives.
Obviously, this development reflects a sense of ethno-national
self-awareness. Works dealing with the onslaught of Nazism on
European Jewry belong under this rubric, e.g. (in alphabetical
order): Yitzhak Arad’s
Belzec, Sobibor and Treblinka: The Operation
R einhard t Death Camps,
B loom ing ton , IN , 1987; Lucy
Dawidowicz’s
The War Against the Jews,
New York, 1975; Raul
Hilberg’s
The Destruction of European Jews,
Chicago, 1985. Some
Yizkor books, which are usually in Yiddish or Hebrew, include
sections in English, presumably for second generation survivors
of the Holocaust.
GROWTH AREAS
The numbers of titles on religion and philosophy also indicate
heightened self-awareness. The same may be said about Bible
studies. Social studies attract limited attention of researchers
interested in community endeavor. Jewish poetry and other
genres of Jewish art are last on the list. Works on Jewish law
(halakhah)
have only in recent years become a subject of public
interest due to the phenomenal development of Orthodox J u ­
daism.
The articles in JBA represent a wide variety of viewpoints
concerning religious and national identity. It may be assumed
that readers who consult this material search for substantive
information to clarify their own personal status. The adjective
“substantive” is used in this case to comprise many diverse el­