Jew­ish Book Month

His­to­ry

Jew­ish Book Month traces its ori­gins to Fan­ny Gold­stein’s 1920s cre­ation of Jew­ish Book Week. In 1927, 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 info@​jewishbooks.​org — we’d love to hear and see what your com­mu­ni­ty has done to cel­e­brate Jew­ish lit­er­a­ture through­out the years!

From 2008 JBM Poster

Resources

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
  • Dis­play a table of Jew­ish books in your library

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