Page 9 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 54

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Philip E.
Two y ea r s a go
, as the Jewish Book Coun­
cil was going through a period of re-organization, it was suggested
at a meeting of the Executive Board that the appropriate time had
arrived to compile a volume of “The Best of the
Jew ish BookAnnu­
1971-1996,” to complement the volume
Essays in Jew ish Book-
, published in 1971 by the Jewish Book Council of America
through Ktav Publishing House. This volume included selections
from the first twenty-five volumes of the
Jew ish Book Annual.
One major objection raised by the prospect of another antholo­
gy was that many librarians, educators, rabbis and lay persons who
love Jewish books would miss our annual bibliographies. Conse­
quently the
Jew ish BookAnnual's
Editorial Advisory Board decided
to try to dance at two weddings: To provide the bibliographies
upon which so many rely as well as pull together a selection of ar­
ticles from the past. The members of the Board were polled for
their selections, and there were some surprises. Four articles were
specifically recommended by several members: Ephraim Kanarfo-
gel’s article on Nahmanides, Marcia Posner’s article on children’s
literature, Rochelle Furstenberg’s article on the image of women
in Israeli literature, and Barry Holtz’s article on a lifetime plan of
reading. We asked Dr. Holtz if he would be willing to supplement
his earlier piece with suggestions from the plethora ofmaterial that
has appeared in the decade since his article’s appearance.
Much has appeared on the impact of the Holocaust on Jewish
life and letters. Three significant essays on this topic were selected
for inclusion: Ruth Wisse’s article on the ghetto poems of A. Sutz-
kever, Joseph Lowin on Primo Levi’s unorthodox Judaism, and
David Mirsky’s article on the abuse of the Holocaust in literature.