Nationwide Observance of Jewish Book Month Starts Today

The 16th annual observance of Jewish Book Month begins tomorrow, it was announced by Dr. A. Alan Steinbach, president of the Jewish Book Council of the National Jewish Welfare Board.

Community-wide Jewish Book Month events–many under the leadership of Jewish Community Centers, local Jewish book councils, and Jewish community councils–include significant exhibits of current books and rare manuscripts, book fairs, literary contests involving children of religious schools and Jewish Community Centers, Book Sabbath programs and authors’ receptions. Also slated are book dramatizations, book reviews, panel discussions and radio and television events.

Jewish Book Month will also be marked at many military posts in the U. S. and overseas, and in veterans hospitals. Large numbers of books of Jewish interest are being shipped to military posts and veterans hospitals in honor of the Month. The books will serve to start a Jewish library at these facilities or augment the existing stocks of Jewish books on the shelves of Jewish chaplains’ libraries.

In calling on Jewish organizations to take part in Jewish Book Month, Dr Steinbach said that more than 1,000 Jewish organizations are planning to participate. “As we renew our friendships,” he said, “with such literary notables as Sholom Aleichem, Peretz, Bialik, Maimonides, Halevi, Spinoza or Rabbenu Gershom, our minds are improved, our insights sharpened and our hearts made purer.”

The Jewish Book Month will note the anniversaries of the births and deaths of a number of Jewish scholars, historians, poets, rabbis, philosophers and teachers. Among those to be honored are the noted Hebrew poet, Hayim Nahman Bialik, on the 25th anniversary of his death; Rabbenu Gershom, medieval scholar, who was born 1,000 years ago; Judah Abravanel, Iberian philosopher, born in 1459; and Isaac Baer Levinson, grammarian and savant who died a century ago.

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