Page 102 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 6 (1947-1948)

Basic HTML Version

rabbis wrote to us requesting guidance, publications and other materials. Novem-
ber 25, 1946 was proclaimed as Jewish Book Sabbath, on which day the rabbis
devoted their sermons and other programs to Jewish books.
Jewish centers throughout the country were once again in the forefront of
agencies stimulating the community wide observance of Jewish Book Month.
The Jewish Center Division of the JWB issued special communications to center
executives urging them to conduct intensive programs in their own centers as well
as to participate actively in local community-wide functions.
The public libraries of the country participated to a gratifying extent in the
observance of Jewish Book Month. Libraries held exhibits, lectures, issued lists
of Jewish books on their shelves and in other ways cooperated most effectively in
this program. Of particular interest is the publication by the Chicago Public
Library of a printed list of Hebrew and Yiddish books recently accessed. The
Council’s pamphlet, Jewish Book Month in Public Libraries, was of considerable
value in stimulating the interest of libraries.
Both the American Association for Jewish Education and the National Council
for Jewish Education cooperated by urging local bureaus of Jewish education to
develop appropriate programs. Among those that were particularly active were
the Jewish Education Committee of New York, the Bureau of Jewish Education
of Philadelphia, Bureau of Jewish Education of Omaha, Nebraska, Philadelphia
Board of Jewish Education of Uni ted ־Synagogue of America and the Board of
Jewish Education of Chicago.
JWB-USO workers and Jewish chaplains arranged special programs for the
Jewish members of the armed forces in the United States and overseas. In far
away Korea, a Jewish Book Month bulletin was issued and books of Jewish interest
were made available for circulation. The Army and Navy Division of the National
Jewish Welfare Board coordinated its resources to intensify most effectively this
program. Special program material as well as the publications of the Council
were distributed to all Jewish chaplains and JWB-USO workers.
In connection with the celebration of Jewish Book Month in December, 1946,
an effort was made to obtain some estimate of the number of organizations that
took a part or sponsored programs. I f we are to judge by the number of places
from which returns of questionnaires as well as requests for material and informa-
tion were received, there is hardly any part of the country where Jewish Book
Month was not celebrated. This can be seen from the fact that except for the
states of Nevada, New Mexico and Wyoming, communities in all of the remaining
states took part in the celebration. In addition, there were reports of activities
received from Canada and places beyond the continent.
The record shows that more than 1300 organizations participated, including 281
synagogues, 195 libraries, 32 universities, 171 Jewish Community Centers, 240
Hebrew schools, 25 USO-JWB operations, and 385 other organizations and institu-
tions in 405 different communities spread over 45 states, Canada, South Africa,
Hawaii, and England.
Only 648 of the more than 1300 organizations reported their activities in connec-
tion with Jewish Book Month. It is learned from these reports that 529 forums and
lectures were held, not including 25 reported by USO-JWB operations, at which
the total attendance was 55,896. In addition there were 219 sermons with an
attendance of 35,000, and 217 special sessions and assemblies in Hebrew and
Sunday schools with an attendance of 23,500. Thus, combined attendance was
nearly 115,000 for more than 950 sessions.
There were 371 exhibits as follows: 160 in synagogues; 69 in Centers; 50 in
libraries; 30 by USO-JWB operations and 62 in miscellaneous organizations.