Hebrew writers association jubilee

  • Issue: April 1974
  • Designer: A. Gad / A. Shevo
  • Stamp size: 25.7 x 40 mm
  • Sheet of 15 stamps Tabs: 5
  • Printers: Government Printers
  • Method of printing: Photogravure

The Association of Hebrew Writers in Israel was founded in Tel Aviv, 50 years ago, at the first Writers' Conference which took place in that young Jewish city, under the chairmanship of Nahum Sokolov.

The newly-founded Association declared as its principal aims "The development of Hebrew literature and the protection of the spiritual and material needs of those working in the field of literature".

The Association was guided throughout its existence by a devotion to the vision of the establishment of a Jewish state and support of the State of Israel, and it was this principle which directed its mode of work.

The Association intensified its activities following the immigration of Ch. N. Bialik and a group of Russian writers. Bialik himself led the campaign, participated in the literary life of the country and played an active part in the various projects aimed at raising the prestige of literature and its practitioners. He became Chairman of the Association and founded "Moznayim" the Association's Journal which appears to this very day, which in spite of changes in editorship and policy over the years, has continued to serve as a platform for the various groups within the Association. The Association continued to take care of the essential needs of literature and its practitioners: a number of series of books were published; funds were set up to provide aid to writers, and in a number of instances the Association even made efforts to procure work for those of its members in need of such help; it cooperated with the publishers in drawing up fair scales of remuneration for the work of writing and translating; literary anthologies were published - conferences and assemblies were held; a rest home for authors was built in Zikhron Ya'aqov and a house purchased at Nehora in the Lakhish area in the very heart of the newly-settled region.

Following the establishment of the State, the mass immigration and growth of the country's population and the accession of new members to the ranks of the Association, there was an expansion in the scope of the Association's activities and close contact was established with such state and public bodies as the Ministry of Education and Culture, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Jewish Agency, the Histadrut, the Tel Aviv Municipality, and many more.

The Association sponsors a number of very important projects: - the "Mekor" series of books for the encouragement of original writing - under this imprint are published six volumes a year in the field of poetry, literature, novels, literary criticism and ideas; the "Nefesh" series of books intended to memorialise deceased writers through publishing their works for the first time or by reprinting them; the regular publication of collections of "Chosen Popular Literature" which consist of a series of popular editions of collected literature, each book being devoted to a particular writer and containing a representative selection of his work; "Collected Israel Authors" published annually in a large edition which includes a very wide range of works. In 1951 the Association set up a bibliographical institute "Genazim" which serves as a most important source of information for researchers in the field of modern Hebrew literature, particularly schoolchildren and students. The Association is represented among the prizewinners of most of the country's literary prizes and its members serve as judges on the respective committees. The "Fund for the Encouragement of Original Writing", to which part of the Association's budget is allocated, assists a number of authors each year to get away from their regular work and devote themselves to completing some literary work. The Association was also the sponsor of "The Prime Minister's Prize Fund for Creative Work" which has been in existence for a number of years. The Association hosts famous writers from abroad - both Jews and non-Jews. The Association's membership today numbers some 300 writers. Recently, attempts were made to attract immigrant-writers and a resolution was passed authorizing the Association to accept as members immigrant-writers who write in languages other than Hebrew. The Association even established "Shvut" - an enterprise for translating the works of immigrant-writers into Hebrew in order to bring them into contact with Hebrew readers and so help their spiritual absorption into the life of the country.

The Association's biennial Conferences held on the intermediate days of the Passover festival, serve as an important platform for airing the problems of Hebrew literature and for discussion and argument between the different generations, and trends of which the Association's membership is composed. These Conferences, which are attended by representatives of State and public institutions, discuss the problems of literature and its practitioners, and each Conference is an outstanding event in the spiritual life of Israel. This year, the Association of Hebrew Writers in Israel will celebrate its 50th anniversary. The Writers' House which bears the name of the poet Shaul Tchernikhovsky houses the Association offices, the editorial offices of "Moznayim", the "Genazim" Institute, a clubroom, a cafeteria and a large conference and meeting hall. The Tchernikhovsky museum which is also to be found in the building bearing his name, excels in the richness of its exhibits illustrating the author's life and work.

The Association plays an active role in the "Institute for the Translation of Hebrew Works into Foreign Languages" and has a representative on the Board of Management. In Jerusalem and Haifa which boast a large number of writers, the Association operates branches which foster cultural and literary activities though the holding of symposiums and the publishing of the "Jerusalem" and "Carmelit" literary annuals. It should be mentioned that the Association assists its members, whether individuals or groups, in various fields - the publication of their works, employment, publication of literary journals, negotiations with publishers both in Israel and abroad, etc.

The Association of Hebrew Writers in Israel makes an important contribution to the strengthening of Hebrew literature and the development of the country's cultural life.

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Hebrew writers association jubilee