Page 52 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 6 (1947-1948)

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and fo r the Jewish people
. . . by the R ev . 'D r. Julian Morgenstern
(Cincinnati, 1946), the retiring president of the Hebrew Union
College offers some pertinent observations on Reconstructionism
in American Jewish life. To facilitate the dissemination of sound
knowledge of the teachings and practices of Orthodox Judaism,
the Spero Foundation made it possible for the Agudath Israel
Youth Council of America to issue an interesting group of
Pocket Books.
They are modest publications, but rich in content.
This survey of a year’s rich ou tpu t of American publications of
Jewish interest in no small measure attests to the fact th a t Jewish
books are now being written, published, bought and read in this
country more abundantly than ever before. Moreover, the Ameri-
can Jewish books of recent years a ttes t in addition to the fact
th a t there is a noticeable steady improvement in the quality of
American Jewish literary output. The growth has been accom-
plished by an increasing realization, within and without the
Jewish community, th a t like the power and influence of our
country itse lf— of its government, its people, its ideals and the
political, economical and social system which embodies these
ideals and which have tremendously increased in the world at
large — so, too, have the ideas of Judaism become, perhaps, the
paramount factor in the world-wide work and influence of its
teachings. The Jewish message, therefore, in so far as it can be
carried to those who are interested in it by and through books,
in all departments of literature, has now entered a veritable new
epoch of significance and importance, which is vitally connected
with our destiny and with the pa r t Judaism is to play in the
destiny of mankind. Increasingly it becomes more apparent th a t
in our time the library of Jewish literature grows, not only in the
number of its volumes and in the number of its readers in every
age level of readership, but increases also in quality, in spiritual
vision and in passionate purpose. I t is rich enough to yield a
balanced literary diet for every reader who seeks knowledge and
inspiration from worth-while books.
So rich is the year’s output of Jewish books as to make it pos-
sible for every reader to gain from them the exhilaration of reading
genuinely delightful works, many of which are of permanent liter-
ary merit. Among these books one can find a relatively sufficient
number of titles good enough to meet the critical standards of
interest, entertainment, enjoyment without resorting to sensa-.
tionalism. Yes, they are the books which every member in a
Jewish household can read — books to be read with pleasure,
remembered and discussed with delight, and retained in one’s
home library with pride.