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May 20, 1955 - Image 4

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1955-05-20

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THE JEWIA-I NEWS

Fertile Planting Area

Incorporating the Detroit Jewish Chronicl e commencing with issue of July 20, 1951

Mernber American Association of English-Jewish Newspapers, Michigan Press Association, National Editorial Association
Published every Friday by The Jewish News Publishing Co, 17100 West Seven Mile Road, Detroit 35, Mich., VE. 8-9364
eubseription $4 a year. Foreign $5.
Entered as second class matter Aug. 6, 1942, at Post Office, Detroit, Mich., under Act of March 3. 1879

PHILIP "SLOMOVITZ
Editor and Publisher

VOL. XXVII, No. 11

SIDNEY SHMARAK
Advertising Manager

FRANK SIMONS
City Editor

Page Four

May 20, 1955

Sabbath Scriptural Selections

This Sabbath. the twenty-ninth day of lyar, 5 715, the following Scriptural selections ?pill be
read in our synagogues:
Pentateuchal portion, Num. 1:1-4:20. Prophetical portion. I Sam. 20:18-42.

Licht Benshen, Friday, May 20, 7:31 p.m.

Rosh Hodesh Sivan Scriptural selection, Sunday, Num. 28:1-15.

Licht Benshen, Thursday, April

26, Erev Shevuot, 7:37 p.m.

Our Youth and Their Jewishness

We are approaching the season of grad-
uations, consecrations and confirmations and
should begin to think again of future plan-
ning for our young people, of their place in
our community, of their attitudes towards
our communal programming.
There is justifiable concern over the in-'
difference which has marked such attitudes
in recent years. We may have been totally
blind to reality in believing that only our
youth have become indifferent to our com-
munal - life when, as a matter of fact, a cal-
loused adult - population, whose maturity
should have caused many of our people to
become more fully - integrated in our com-
munity's efforts, is responsible for inactivity
that is reflected in the ranks of the young.
Nevertheless, it is impossible to absolve
youth from responsibility to its Jewish hell-
tag-e.

*

A short time ago, Associate Professor of
English Charles I. Glicksberg, of Brooklyn
College, in a provocative article, • "College
Youth and the Future of Judaism," in the
well-edited and scholarly quarterly, "Juda-
isin," published by the American Jewish Con-
gress, asserted that "there is no need for
alarm" in considering the problem of youth
and their Jewish interests. He charged that
those who are "emotionally upset by the
alleged immorality or irresponsibility of the
young are making a bad mistake—a• mistake
born of poor judgment and lack of faith. It
is evident they have little confidence in the
spiritual conscientiousness, the intellectual
seriousness, the moral earnestness of the
younger generation of Jews in college."
So far, so good. We have pleaded in these
columns on numerous occasions for under-
standing of our youth and for recognition of
the problems that beset them in an age of
universal military service. But fears are not
allayed but increased upon reading this con-
clusion 'r ea c h e d by Prof. GliCksberg:
"Though -the young in college feel a deep
sense of solidarity with their own people, it
is, in large part, a solidarity forged in the
fires of suffering, cemented by the experience
of homelessness and anti-Semitic persecution,
driven home by the psychology of alienation.
It is not a religious bond and it cannot be that
in the old sense."
*
*
*
It would be well to examine what is meant
by bonds "in the • old sense." For several
decades the question was debated whether
Disraeli, who was baptised on the eve of his
Ear Mitzvah by a father who carried a
grudge against his congregation, should be
listed as a Jew. Benjamin Disraeli himself
took greater pride in his Jewish heritage
than his father Isaac D'Israeli. We . have
accepted him and have been proud of his
attainments. But, if we continue to ac-
cept a viewpoint that the "religiouss bond" is
not necessary for the forging of solidarity,
what will be left of us? As human .beings,
and as Jews, we rejoice in our kinship with
the Zangvvills, the Einsteins, the Salks,
the Frankfurters, the • Menuhins and the
Gabrilowitsches and all who have
made lasting contribution's to human develop-.
ment. But what would happen to Jewry if
the acts of geniuses were to encourage all
our young people to feel that the religious
ties are less important than the cementing of
common bonds encouraged by anti-Semitism,
and if, thereby, intermarriage were to be-
come an accepted and a common practice?
What has happened to the offspring of
Einstein whose first marriage was outside
.the Jewish .fold? The glory of Einstein for
Jewry has died with Einstein. What happens
tc all other strayers from the fold? Even a
Christian can fight anti,Semitism, and Prof.
Glicksberg tells us that the only issue on
which Jewish college Youth "are strongly
united is that of anti-Semitism."
While aligning ourselves with those who
have faith in the - ultimate emergence of a
Jewishly-loyal youth, we must reject any
suggestion that . such loyalty can possibly be.
divorced from our faith and that it can flour-

ish only because of the threats from anti-
Semitism. Without the traditional and the
religious bonds, we are not secure.
*
*
*
We must return to Prof. Glicksberg for
an interesting occurrence that is applicable
to our discussion:

"No modern. Jewish educator has ever de-
manded that Jewish college youth confine
themselves within a cultural ghetto.
ob-
jection is to the frank disvaluation of all
all things
Jewish and to the exaltation of whatever is
not Jewish.. Any cultural contribution stamped
with the label Jewish or Hebrew is immediately
suspect. One Hebrew writer brought up his
daughter to love the Jewish cultural heritage;
she accompanied him on his trip to Palestine,
and she studied Hebrew with enthusiasm.
When she enrolled in Brandeis University, he
hoped that the congenial intellectual atmos-
phere there would stimulate her interest in
Judaism and deepen her love for all things
Jewish. Unfortunately, the daughter now. in-
sists on rejecting all that the father believes
in. Though he has published a number of ex-
cellent works in Hebrew, she never mentions
them to her friends. What is the remedy?
What is the emotionally disturbed father to
do? He cannot win her back by angry rebukes.
He must be patient, with the patience born of
wise understanding. There is no need for
alarm. It takes a long time for the young to
grow up and revolt. When these young men
and women in college come of age, they will
settle down as Jews to a life of communal re-
sponsibility, eager, like their fathers before
them, to preserve and perpetuate the spiritual
treasury and cultural wealth of their people."

We welcome the illustration of what has
happened, and can happen again, to children
of very cultured Jewish parents, and we con-
cur in the admonition that we must be pa-
tient. But a responsible community Must
study the problem with the aim of solving it,
not by sacrificing heritage--L-and our heritage
must include the spiritual and prophetic as
well as cultural and civic-protective elements.
Furthermore, we can not limit our think-
ing to the straying youth alone, in the hope
that they will return to the fold of their
fathers "to preserve and perpetuate the spir-
itual treasury and cultural wealth of their
people." If they are to return to spiritual
wealth, we must retain such treasures among
the elders; and if the youth have nothing to
return to, then, once again, there is the
danger of total 'Jewish disintegration. In our
planning, account must be taken not alone
of the children but also of the parents.
*
*
*
Our youth may even now be more loyal
to its heritage than we realize. Yet the col-
lege youth respond only in limited numbers
to the appeals of the Hillel Foundations. Our
youth movements have weakened. The post-
Bar Mitzvah, post-consecration and post-
confirmation classes are infinitesimal and
Jewish studies have declined. Later, when
they approach their thirties, our young peo-
ple accept positions of leadership in
fund-raising. Then they become like their
elders: more effective as campaigners for
philanthropic causes than as culturists.
Therein, perhaps, lies the root of the prob-
lem we are troubled with. And if we know
the cause, perhaps we can find the cure.
There must be a realization that the vital
fund-raising campaigns are not the be-all-
and-end-all of Jewish living. They are ur-
gently needed for the support of all that is
holy and dear in Jewish life. But these ef-
forts can be made easier, fund-raising can
become less difficult, when the needs are
Fully understood. An understanding of these
needs calls for knowledge of our position as
Jews, an acquaintance with our history, our
being rooted in Jewish traditional living —
and that includes the synagogue.
We may not have offered a solution, but
we are pursuing the discussion of a problem:
the problem of youth which, we are con-
- vinced, is linked with the problems of their
parents. Once we have strengthened our en-
tire community's cultural position we may
find a lessening of the.problem of youth's de-
clining interest in Jewish life.

-aa

JER
L
-
News Note: A survey shows that, suspicions of "foreigners" and
having little contact with Jews, farm dwellers are prone to myths
and old wives' tales and are yielding to anti-Semitic propaganda,

`Land and People of Israel ' :
Self-Imposed Challenge'

.

!

Re-published in a revised edition as part of the Lippincott
"Portraits of the Nations Series," "The Land and People of Israel,*
by Gail Hoffman, is a charming and inspiring book.
The author, a native Philadelphian, who first visited Palestine
in 1925, returned to the Holy Land in 1935 and lived there for 10
years. She went back again to modern Israel and now is a com-
petent and authoritative lecturer and writer on the new state, its
people, its climatic and geographic status and conditions, its prob-
lems, its growth, its progress and fascinations.
This able writer tells her story well. She has captured the
spirit of the new land and knows its people. She knows the
Israelis—Jews, Moslems, Christians—and writes about all of them.
Few volumes of its type describe the Arabs, their habits and their
approaches to their new conditions under Israeli rule as well as
Gail Hoffman.
For an informative text on the ways of Israel's life and oil
the Arabs' adjustments to modernity and to Israel, young and old
readers, searchers for truth, should turn to Miss Hoffman's book.
She deals with the prosperity of the new land with expertness.
She describes the Israeli adventure as an unfinished drama, as a
"self-imposed" challenge, and declares that "it is the determina-
tion to hold the gates of the land wide open to every Jew who
seeks entry."
The 45 illustrations and the map and the index will be found
helpful. "The Land and People of Israel" is a valuable addition
to the Israeli book-shelf.

B . G. R. Says

There is Another Jewish Laurence

This man spells his name somewhat differently and is also
different in several other respects from the man we dealt with
in a previous column, and who once upon a time rendered some aid
to the Zionist cause. William L. Laurence, the Science Editor of
the New York Times, now comes into special prominence as the
exponent .and interpreter of the late Dr.- Albert L. Einstein who •
has revolutionized the knowledge and thought of modern times.
Laurence has previously displayed his special gifts as the popu-
larizer and exponent of the new science of nuclear power, and his
exposition of the Hiroshima explosion remains a classic.
Laurence is one of our very own in more senses than one. He
has helped-in technical and scientific activities in behalf of Israel
and has in different ways manifested his interest in Judaism,
Jewish life and Jewish literature. He is a felloW Litwak and I
would like to think that that explains his personal charm, his
geniality and sense of humor. We have had some pleasant
personal contacts, but I never asked him where he got his name
because he then - would have asked me where I.got mine and the
truth of the matter would go back to a long, involved and perhaps
inevitable process of Americanization, assimilation and similar
motives which may in these times receive excessive acceleration.
Laurence has his disciples and followers, and one of them
who has attracted considerable attention lately is another fellow-,
Jew by the name of Albert Q. Maisel, who has for a number of
years appeared in different magazines with articles on involved
scientific subjects, and now comes forward for the first time with an
essay on a Jewish question. He has written a comprehensive
and sympathetic sketch of American Jewry for the April numbei
oi Reader's Digest, and the article is called "The Jews Among Us."
Now .who is Albert Q. Maisel? The. answer will "come easily if
you will remember a friendly and genial bookseller and publishet
who for many years carried on his business on the lower East
Side. Max N. Maisel's bookstore, first on East Broadway, was
gathering place for intellectuals for half a century. What. is more
important was that Maisel distributed good Jewish books in
Yiddish and English in many thousands of copies and his influa
ence was undoubtedly felt in many communities throughout our
land. If a pour writer or student came and needed the books, but
had no money, he got the books anyway. For Maisel had a passion
for fine literature and a burning desire to have all readers and
students share his intellectual pleasures. Maisel belonged to an
extreme radical group of intellectuals, but as his interests were
chiefly literary and cultural he never became involved in too
intense controversies. He is a person of fine charm, intense devo-
tion and unparalleled integrity. The publication of books involved
him in difficulties and losses and subsequently he carried heavy
burdens to entirely redeem himself from debt. He has now retired
from active duty and his helpful services will long be missed by
many book-lovers. Albert Q. is of course a son of Max N. Maisel,
and outside of the younger man's own achievements, the merits
of his honored father are bound to r01OPTIO. to hisstanding and
',a:Bernard
position in life.

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