Jews have a special relationship with books, and the Haggadah has been translated more widely, and reprinted more often, than any other Jewish book. It is not a work of history or philosophy, not a prayer book, user’s manual, timeline, poem or palimpsest – and yet it is all these things.Jonathan Safran Foer
Jewish people have had a long, ancient history of a culture that’s uniquely their own. However, while the usual holidays exist, such as the most famous Hannukka, for those on the outside of the community, unless you know someone who is Jewish, learning about what their lives are like can be difficult. Jewish Book Week is known as one of the best times to do so.
History of Jewish Book Week
Jewish Book Week is organized by the Jewish Book Council, a registered charity dating back to 1925. The Jewish Book Council is considered to be one of the oldest organization serving the Jewish community in the United States and the United Kingdom.
The organization began around the same time as the holiday, when Fanny Goldstein, a librarian at the Boston Public Library set up an exhibit for Judaic books and called the event Jewish Book Week. Many people in the Jewish community adopted the event two years later.
For the first fifteen years of its success, it coincided with the holiday of Shavuot, traditionally regarded as a scholars’ festival. In 1943, the holiday helped form the Jewish Book Council, where the organization can now serve the Jewish community on a much broader scale.
Today, Jewish Book Week is celebrated in many places all over the United States, but the most popular event surprisingly takes place in the United Kingdom. Every year, the Jewish Book Week festival brings together writers and speakers that specialize in history, journalism, philosophy, science, art, music, poetry and fiction.
It features Jewish writers that open up discussions about the pressing issues in today’s world and gives the community the opportunity to learn about and celebrate the Jewish community.
How to Celebrate Jewish Book Week
Participate in any local Jewish Book Week near you. Take the time out to learn about many of the Jewish authors and speakers at your local event, learn about their history and take the time to appreciate what it means to be Jewish, whether you are Jewish or not.
If you’re looking for a larger event to attend, take the time to buy a plane ticket and travel to London, where the largest Jewish Book Week festival takes place yearly. Share the holiday on social media using the hashtag #JewishBookWeek and let your friends know about this amazing holiday.