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Founded in 1888, the JPS‘s purpose was the “publication and dissemination of literature, scientific and religious works, and also the giving of instruction in the practices of the Jewish religion, history and literature.” Its first publication was an Outline of Jewish History; in 1890, its first popular success, Israel Zangwill‘s Children of the Ghetto, appeared in 1892. The next year, plans for a new translation of the Bible began, a task not completed until 1917. Another translation of the books of theĀ Bible was released in the 1960’s. Beginning in 1899, the JPS published the American Jewish Yearbook, now prepared by the American Jewish Committee with the JPS collaborating in its distribution. Several important series have been published by the JPS. These include the Schiff Memorial Library of Jewish Classics; a Historical Jewish Communities series; a series of commentaries on the Bible; and a series of children’s books. Among the Editors of the JPS have been Henrietta Szold, Solomon Graysel, Chaim Potok, Maier Deshell, and Ellen Frankel.

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