Page 105 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 7 (1948-1949)

Basic HTML Version

JACOBS----JEWISH LITERARY LABOR
93
Frederick de Sola Mendes as the other members of the Editorial
Committee. I t became apparent, in 1901, that the procedure
would indefinitely delay the project. The death of Doctor Jastrow
in 1903 led to the formation of a new committee under the chair-
manship of Dr. Solomon Schechter. This committe, however, soon
found that the method adopted was too complex, and that it was
impossible to accomplish by correspondence the extensive work
required.
In 1908, The Jewish Publication Society of America and the
Central Conference of American Rabbis reached an agreement to
cooperate in the preparation of the new translation. The old plan
was now abandoned in favor of a new plan whereby all the work
would be done jointly by a Board of Editors. Such a Board was
constituted; it was composed of Dr. Solomon Schechter, Dr. Cyrus
Adler and Dr. Joseph Jacobs, representing The Jewish Publication
Society of America, and Dr. Kaufmann Kohler, Dr. David
Philipson and Dr. Samuel Schulman, representing the Central
Conference of American Rabbis. By common agreement, Prof.
Max L. Margolis was chosen as the seventh member, to be the
Editor-in-Chief of the work and Secretary to the Editorial Board
of which Dr. Cyrus Adler was elected Chairman. Incidentally, the
Board contained an equal representation of the Jewish Theological
Seminary, the Hebrew Union College, and the Dropsie College for
Hebrew and Cognate Learning. For one year, Prof. Israel Fried-
laender acted as a member of the Board instead of Dr. Schechter.
Through the generosity of Mr. Jacob H. Schiff, who in 1908
presented the sum of $50,000.00 to the Society to enable it to
carry out this project, the translation was finally completed. The
last meeting of the Board of Editors of the Bible was held in
November, 1915, and closed with a prayer of thanks to God that
the great task was finished and that the group which, for seven
years, had toiled together, was intact. On January 30, 1917, the
Bible was formally published, both in America and in Great
Britain. In consideration of his interest in the work and his
beneficence which made it possible, the Society presented the first
copy of the Bible, printed on India paper, elegantly bound and
suitably inscribed, to Mr. Jacob H. Schiflf, at the memorable dinner
given at the Hotel Astor in New York City on January 22, 1917.
Twenty-two printings attest to the popularity of the Society’s
translation, and over 400,000 copies have already been printed.
An abridgment of the Bible, edited by Emily Solis-Cohen, Jr.,
was published in 1931. The publication of this volume was made
possible by the Hebrew Sunday School Society of Philadelphia,
which was represented on the Committee with which Miss Solis-
Cohen worked.