CONGRESS FOR JEWISH CULTURE, organization devoted to the promotion of secular Jewish culture and the recognition of Yiddish as an indispensable means of Jewish creative expression. Founded in New York in September 1948 at a world conference convoked by American Yiddish cultural agencies and Jewish labor organizations, and participated in by delegates from similar organizations in other lands, the Congress for Jewish Culture set for itself the following basic objectives: to preserve the continuity of Jewish cultural creativity; to foster Jewish education through Yiddish and Yiddish-Hebrew schools; to assist in the publication of literary and scholarly works in Yiddish; and to protect the cultural freedom of the Jews wherever their right to maintain and develop their own culture is threatened. The work of the congress since inception has been in line with these objectives. The congress is a loose confederation of organizations bearing the same names in different parts of the world. Among the publications that appeared from its main center in New York are a number of volumes of Yiddish poetry and fiction by writers who perished during the Nazi Holocaust or were executed in the Soviet Union; a lexicon of Yiddish literature and press; a two-volume encyclopedia of Jewish education; and a series of books containing selected works of leading Yiddish writers. It has granted a number of awards for outstanding literary accomplishments. Through its department of education, the Congress seeks to coordinate the activities of the various types of Jewish secular schools. Closely allied with the Congress, although operating independently, are the Yiddish monthly zukunft and CYCO (Central Yiddish Culture Organization). The affiliates of the Congress outside the United States, while cooperating in the activities of the main center, conduct programs of their own. Most prominent is the Congress of Jewish Culture in Argentina, which brought out a Yiddish translation of Dubnow's history of the Jewish people   and the complete history of Jewish literature by I. Zinberg. The congress has its own house in Buenos Aires. Some of the activities of the Congress were financially supported in the past by the conference on jewish material claims against germany . When funds were no longer available from that source, the congress was forced to curtail activities. (Charles Bezalel Sherman)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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