Jewish Book Month
Jewish Book Month is an annual event on the American Jewish calendar dedicated to the celebration of Jewish books. It is observed during the month proceeding Hanukkah, thus the exact date changes from year to year.
During Jewish Book Month, as well as throughout the year, the Jewish Book Council serves as the coordinating agency for promoting Jewish books nationwide. As part of the Jewish Book Month celebration, the Council prepares educational and promotional materials, commissions a color poster featuring the original work of a noted artist, and designs and disseminates bookmarks with lists of recommended books for adults and children from the past year. Jewish Book Council also advises local communities on exhibits, book fairs, book clubs, author speaking tours and literary programs.
In 1925, Fanny Goldstein, a librarian at the West End Branch of the Boston Public Library, set up an exhibit of Judaic books and used it as a focus of what she called Jewish Book Week. In 1927, the event was adopted by communities around the country. During its first fifteen years, the annual date of the program coincided with the holiday of Lag B'Omer or Shavuot, regarded as a scholars' festivals. In 1940, the event was moved to the pre-Hanukkah, so as to promote books of Jewish content as Hanukkah gifts. This timetable remains in place to this day. Jewish Book Week became so popular and so filled with activities that it was extended to a one-month period in 1943.