Page 117 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 8 (1949-1950)

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“ The Jewish School Library” by Dr. Jacob S. Golub. We revised this publication
so that it will be of use not only to Jewish schools but to Centers and Synagogues
as well.
How to Conduct a Book Review Symposium
— Suggestions for the conduct of a
book review program as well as a sample program were prepared by Dr. Mortimer
J. Cohen.
Radio Transcriptions
— Two radio transcription programs based upon the
children’s books “Habibi and Yow” and “Americans All” were prepared, by
Heidy Mayer.
Jewish Book Month was observed from November 26th to December 26th in
1948. Prior to the inauguration of the month, the Council was in communication
with national Jewish organizations, Bureaus of Jewish Education, Jewish Com-
munity Centers, and YMHAs, Hillel Foundations, Synagogues, Jewish and public
libraries, and many other associations for the purpose of stimulating their parti-
cipation. Large numbers of these organizations responded and reported their
plans to participate by arranging book exhibits, lectures, book reviews, radio
broadcasts, and other programs. The Division of Religious Activities as well as
the Armed Services Division of the National Jewish Welfare Board communicated
with chaplains and field workers both in this country and abroad, to arrange
appropriate programs for the Jewish members of the Armed Forces. JWB’s Jewish
Center Division urged its constituent members to lend their assistance in the
direction of community-wide projects.
Many of the national Jewish women’s organizations directed their local chapters
to formulate special celebrations in honor of Jewish Book Month. Among them
were the Women’s Division of the American Jewish Congress; National Council
of Jewish Women; Women’s American Ort; Women’s Branch, Union of Orthodox
Jewish Congregations of America; National Women’s League of the United Syna-
gogue of America; Hadassah; Mizrachi Women’s Organization; and the National
Federation of Temple Sisterhoods. Likewise the National Federation of Men’s
Clubs; the B ’nai B’rith, and the Labor Zionist Organization of America commu-
nicated with their local constituents to encourage their active participation.
Materials issued by the Council were distributed to all of the affiliated groups
of the World Federation of YMHAs and Jewish Community Centers. It has been
found that the Council’s program lends itself particularly well to international
participation. South Africa held an elaborate Jewish Book Festival in addition
to the publication of a Jewish Book Annual. France, Chile, and other countries
have also held Jewish book celebrations. A meeting was convened in England of
representatives of leading Jewish cultural organizations through the efforts of
Rabbi Samuel H. Gordon, general secretary o f the World Federation. As a result
of this meeting, a Jewish Book Council is now in the process of formation there.
The idea has captured the imagination of communities throughout the world and
promises to take firm root in all countries with sizeable Jewish populations.
For the past three years a statistical record of Jewish Book Month activity has
been compiled by Samuel Asofsky, JWB statistician. Since the number of returns
of questionnaires is always far from complete, it can be inferred that the statistics
presented do not provide a total picture of the wide participation in Jewish Book
Month. But they do provide a certain measure of activities as well as some indica-
tion of the growth of the program. Even with this incomplete reporting there is
evidence that Jewish Book Month activity is widespread and has been increasing.
The number of communities in which Jewish Book Month activities are held
has been increasing gradually; from 405 in 1946 it has risen to 476 in 1948. But
the number of organizations that are known to have had some kind of program
has increased very rapidly during the same period. The rise has been over 50%,
and the number o f organizations in 1948 reached nearly 2,000. While the growth