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Dr. S. Felix Mendelsohn Suggests “jewish Book Week”

April 14, 1927
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

(Communication to the Editor)


We Jews are known as the People of the Book. We have given to the world its greatest book, the Bible, and the genius of our people has always expressed itself in the writing of and love for books. In the Ghetto a Jewish home without a collection of representative books was unthinkable. In our day and in this country, however, we seem to be losing our traditional attachment to the printed word. There are Jewish homes where even the Bible and a set of prayer books are not to be found.

Judaism is a philosophy of learning and knowledge. No one can get to understand and appreciate the Jew and his faith without careful and devoted study. If Judaism in this country no longer has a strong hold upon the masses of our people it is primarily due to the fact that we do not any more cherish sacred feelings about books. Let us, however, be frank enough to admit that our spiritual leaders are, at least to some extent, to be blamed for this state of affairs. We have preached and appealed to our people in behalf of anything and everything but we have neglected to popularize the Jewish book. There was a time when the complaint was made that we do not have a Jewish literature in the English language, but this complaint no longer holds true today. Good books in English are published annually but they enjoy a poor circulation and they are not read.

The Protestant churches of America have a certain week in the year which is known as Religious Book Week. I believe that we can well follow their example and observe a Jewish Book Week. It seems to me that the week following Lag B’Omer, which is known as “Scholars’ Festival”, would be a very fitting occasion for Jewish Book Week. Let the Rabbis of America devote their sermons on the Sabbath following Lag B’Omer, which falls this year on May 20, to the Jewish book. Let them on this Sabbath point out the historic role of the book in Judaism and urge the people to continue to buy and read good Jewish books. Because of the proximity of Lag B’Omer to confirmation Rabbis could also urge Jewish parents to buy Jewish books as gifts for confirmants.

I sincerely hope that my suggestion will appeal to the rabbinate of the country.

RABBI S. FELIX MENDELSOHN, Temple Beth Israel. Chicago, Ill., Apr. 11, 1927.

Chosen as the most representative woman student of New York University from the standpoint of scholarship, personality and extra-curricular activities, Miss Anne Petluck of 1360 Washington Avenue, the Bronx, a junior, was crowned “Miss N. Y. U.” at the Spring Fete of Washington Square College in the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel.

She was selected from twenty-one candidates by a committee on which the faculty was represented by Mrs. Dorothy Donald. Dr. Charlotte Pekary, Prof. Alexander Baltzlyz and Prof. Andre Beaumont.

Miss Petluck is an honor student, a member of the varsity hockey and debating teams, executive member of her class and the first year class Law School. She belongs to the Alpha Epsilon Phi Sorority.

She was crowned “Miss N. Y. U.” by Harold B. Clemenke, chairman of the Fete Committee, who presented a loving cup to her.

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