Jewish Book Month
Jewish Book Month traces its origins to Fanny Goldstein’s 1920s creation of Jewish Book Week. In 1925, Jewish communities across the country adopted the week-long celebration, timing the events to coincide with Shavuot. In 1940, the event was shifted to the month before Hanukkah, when it is still observed today.
Excitement and enthusiasm built for the numerous activities planned across the country, and in 1943 Jewish Book Week was extended to Jewish Book Month. One year later, Fanny Goldstein’s National Committee for Jewish Book Week was transformed into the Jewish Book Council. Each year, a unique poster was created in honor of the month-long joyful celebration of Jewish literature. See below for select past JBM posters.
Additionally, the JBC Network grew out of this national desire to bring authors and literature to widespread communities. Today, the JBC Network has roughly 120 member organizations across North America and provides over 250 authors with a platform for sharing their books each year. JBC Network arranges over 1,300 programs a year, both virtually and in-person, for our member sites, with wide-ranging and engaging programming.
Historically, Jewish Book Month has been celebrated with rich and nuanced activities and events. See below for a peek at what’s been done! Write us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org — we’d love to hear and see what your community has done to celebrate Jewish literature throughout the years!
- Jewish Writers’ Conference falls during during JBM
- JBC created unique bookmarks for each month
- The 30 Days 30 Authors series featured an author video for each day of JBM, you can find past videos on our website!
- Each year our annual literary journal, Paper Brigade, is published during Jewish Book Month
- Current and past JBM posters can be purchased on our website here.
- In 2023, JBC and The Betsy Writers Room are thrilled to announce our inaugural writer’s residency contest. Answer the form here and be entered to win a writer’s residency at the storied Betsy Hotel.
If you are a programmer at a Jewish institution interested in hosting a Jewish book festival or events during Jewish Book Month, consider joining the JBC Network, a program that connects communities with over 250 Jewish-interest authors each year
Below are several additional program suggestions for Jewish Book Month:
- A community read
- A read-a-thon
- Create a bulletin board dedicated to Jewish Book Month
- Hold a Jewish cookbook demonstration
- Display a table of Jewish books in your library
- Send out a bookmark template to your community, and have members create a Jewish Book Month bookmark
- If you are a school librarian or English teacher, ask your students, “What does reading Jewish mean to you?” and put their answers on display for the school to see
- If you are a school librarian or English teacher, have students put together a book report on a Jewish author