YEAR-BOOK (German, Jahrbuch):
By: Joseph Jacobs
An annual publication that contains not only a calendar and a review of the year, but also articles of literary interest, and communal information, being thus distinguished from the almanac, though the line of distinction can not be very sharply drawn. The earliest work of this kind seems to have been that of J. Heineman (Berlin, 1818-20), entitled "Almanach für die Israelitische Jugend." This, however, lasted only a couple of years, whereas the "Jahrbuch" of Isidore Busch was published in Vienna for six years (1842-47), with contributions from the most distinguished Jewish scholars of the time, including Zunz, Rapoport, Picciotto, Sachs, Ludwig Frankl, Kompert, and L. Löw; the latter work was followed by Wertheimer's (1854-68); and Klein's "Jahrbuch" was published in Breslau for nineteen years (1841-61). For two or three years the Institut für Förderung der Jüdischen Wissenschaft issued a year-book on Jewish history, and the Société des Etudes Juives also produced an "Annuaire" for four years after its establishment (1880-84).
A somewhat different variety of this class of publications was started by J. Jacobs in the "Jewish Year Book" (1896), which contained statistics, lists of communal institutions and of communal celebrities, a glossary, and a "Who's Who." "The American Jewish Year Book," edited by Cyrus Adler (1899 et seq.; later with Henrietta Szold), has some of these features, together with other characteristics (see Almanac). It may here be mentioned that in M. H. Myer's "Calendar and Diary," which appeared in London (1876-96), I. Zangwill produced some of his earliest sketches under the pseudonym "Baroness von S."
The Hebrew year-books deserve special mention, as in a measure they precede the rest in the twelve volumes of "Bikkure ha-'Ittim," which were published in Vienna from 1820 to 1831; these were edited chiefly by I. S. Reggio, and included many articles by Rapoport that were of great value. A kind of supplement was produced at Vienna in 1845, and two volumes of "Bikkurim" were edited by N. Keller in the same place (1864-65). Still more recently two series have appeared in Warsaw: "Ha-Asif" (1894-1903), edited by N. Sokolow; and "Aḥiasaf," begun in 1893 and still in progress. A Hebrew and Dutch "Muzen Almanak" was produced by G. Pollak at Amsterdam in 1844, but appeared only one year. The Jüdischer Verlag of Berlin issued in 1904 the first volume of a "Jüdische Almanach" that was mainly devoted to Zionistic literature, although it contained also much decorative work by E. M. Lilien. The Austrian Jewish Union produces a calendar which often includes literary matter, and which therefore comes under the year-book category (Vienna, 1892; still in progress). A somewhat curious year-book entitled "Bethlehem" was produced in Budapest in 1871, being entirely restricted to the promotion of agriculture among the Jews of Hungary; it was edited by I. Reich, andappeared for one year only. A still earlier Hungarian example was the "Jahrbuch für die Israelitischen Cultusgemeinden in Ungarn," edited by Leopold Rosenberg and published at Budapest in 1860. The Israelitisch-Ungarische Literaturgesellschaft, since its foundation in 1895, has published a year-book of literary contents. In Rumania, Julius Barasch produced a historical year-book at Bucharest, and this is still continued under the title "Anuarul Pentru Israelitzi."
- A. S. Freidus, in Bulletin of the New York Public Library, vii. 263-265, New York, 1903.