Jewish Book Council

Variant names
Establishment 1944
Active 1967
Active 1998

History notes:

The Jewish Book Council, founded in 1944, is an organization encouraging and contributing to Jewish literature. The Council's origins date back to 1925, when Fanny Goldstein, a librarian at the West End Branch of the Boston Public Library, set up an exhibit of Judaic books as a focus of what she called Jewish Book Week. In 1927, with the assistance of Rabbi S. Felix Mendelsohn of Chicago, Jewish communities around the country adopted the event.

Jewish Book Week proved so successful that in 1940 the National Committee for Jewish Book Week was founded, with Fanny Goldstein as its chairperson. Dr. Mordecai Soltes succeeded her one-year later. Representatives of major American Jewish organizations served on this committee, as did groups interested in promulgating Yiddish and Hebrew literature.

Jewish Book Week activities proliferated and were extended to a one-month period in 1943. At the same time, the National Committee for Jewish Book Week became the Jewish Book Council, reflecting its broader scope. In March of the following year, the National Jewish Welfare Board, which would ultimately become the Jewish Community Centers Association, entered into an agreement with the Book Council to become its official sponsor and coordinating organization, providing financial support and organizational assistance. On January 1, 1994, the Jewish Book Council became an autonomous organization.


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  • Books
  • Jewish literature


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