at Acco in Honor
of Harry Schumer
On the Record
Over 1,000 persons, members
Editor, Seven Arts Feature Syndicate
of Histadrut, their families,
and American tourists, attended Harry Golden .
I have just finished reading Harry Golden's "For 2c Plain"
of the new (World Publishing Company), and I was sorry that I did not
Histadrut Cen- read his first book, "Only in America," more carefully. For here
ter in Acco, is a miracle, not of writing, but of receptivity.
In essence, both books are short essays, or editorials, on
the aid of the almost every facet of American life today. Harry Golden is a
American His- thinking man with a felecitous means of expression, facile. i di-
tadrut Cam- rect, brief, seeded with meaning, satire, humor and radiance.
paign - in He is by no means what we could call a literary figure, a fine
honor of writer, a creator of metaphors or limner of scenes. He conjures
Harry Schu- up ideas, stories, but is lacking in ability to paint scene or cli-
mer, promi- mate. As often, for instance, as he writes about the East Side.
nent commu- what emerges is a story, an incident, an anecdote, a remem-
nal worker brance and a nostalgic recollection, but not a total impression
Schumer and honorary that depends for its effect on the locale. Most of the East Side
chairman of the Histadrut stories he tells could very well stand up if you placed them in
campaign in Detroit.
a different framework, another background. Others, however,
The celebration on July 28 such as the masterful story "The Miracle of Goerick Street,"
opened by Lipa Yacobi, former
secretary of the Histadrut Coun- would suffer immeasurably if told against a different canvas.
There are many fine stories about Jews and the East Side
cil of Acco, included greetings
from Avraham Shoshani, pre- in the book, some scintillating, but they are seemingly lacking
sent council secretary; I. Rap- in purpose other than story telling. It would be difficult for
haelowitz, acting Mayor of the one who hasn't resided in the area to form a composite picture
city; M. Shaban, representative of the East Side from Golden's stories and anecdotes. But if
of the Arab Workers of Acco; only story telling was his purpose—and that is wholly legitimate
—he has succeeded admirably.
and I. Bezalely, representing the
Golden, in one of his stories, limns the intellectual variety
Isaac Hamlin, director of the of the East Side as "without parallel in our country's history."
American Histadrut Center in Yet that very "intellectual vitality" is staringly missing from his
Israel, who extended greetings pages. Possibly Golden did not absorb that facet and the explan-
on behalf of the American cam- ation could be found in the fact—as he admits—that he did not
paign. paid tribute to Schumer's pay attention to Jewish history until the advent of Hitler, when
"devoted service to the cause he went at it with the fanaticism of convert.
of Israel and the Histadrut for
The East Side of Golden's days was mine too. We may even
the past 25 years." Movsas Gol- have met somewhere along the common path. Yet my impression
doftas spoke for the Farband of the East Side is not of a ghetto but of -a miracle, a burgeon-
City Committee of Detroit, and ing, of a transplanting of values, of intellectual energy, of
Saul Schumer, of Chicago, spoke artistic striving, of a groping to new heights and original ex-
on behalf of his brother, Harry, pression. I was too young to partake in the intellectual wave
and unveiled the plaque at the that was sweeping over the East Side when I was a youngster.
Center. His wife cut the ribbon But it has left an indelible mark. East Broadway, for instance,
opening the doors of the build- was more than a gathering place for intellectuals or a boy-
meet-girl arena. It was a crucible where values were examined
The new center consists of an and forged. How could one who has lived on the East Side
assembly hall and 15 depart- forget the flourishing Yiddish press of the time? I remember,
mental offices which accomo- as a boy playing in Seward Park, seeing hundreds of men,
date the growing labor popula- shaven and bearded, and sheiteled women, too, waiting impa-
tion of Acco.
tiently for the newspaper vendors on Rutgers Square around
the fountain. What they sought was not only news but wider
and the fine, and at times perhaps incomprehensible
Mischa Elman Last information
word the literary men were bringing to them through the pages
Charter Member of of the newspapers. No limning of the East Side is complete
if it does not include the creative activity that was going on
London B. B. Lodge in
its Yiddish world and the colorful cafe houses that were
WASHINGTON—A l i ttle-
the gathering places of Jewish poets, novelists, artists and
known footnote to the history
intellectuals. Nor is the picture complete if it does not deline-
of Bnai Brith in England was
ate the yeshivoth, hadorim, talmud torahs, synagogues, has-
unfolded this week.
Violin virtuoso Mischa Elman sidle shtiblach, the array of book stores that dotted the streets,
is the only living charter mem- the famed ice cream parlors where Jewish young gathered, the .
ber of the first Bnai Brith meeting halls, the landsmanschaft congregations, the educational
lodge founded 50 years ago in institutions and the rest of the paraphernalia that was instru-
London. He joined when he was mental in cementing Jewish roots in a new soil.
This is a story that needs telling, not by historians nor
17 years old and already world-
sociologists, but by good story tellers possessed of literary fl air
famous for his skill.
Elman, who now lives in New h and deep perception. Golden hints at many of these things, but
York, congratulated the lodge w e does not achieve the purpose, primarily, perhaps. because that
as not his objective. The East Side is only part of is story
on its golden jubilee year, say-
ing he took pride in member- —and a good one it has been. If his objective was limited. the
ship in an organization "whose sage of Charlotte, as Golden is now widely known throughout
precepts are as close to my our land, has at least opened the way to a new and wider limn-
heart as are those of Bnai ing of that most colorful of corners in Jewish life.
These critical words are not intended to detract from the
value of Golden's books, for they are verily golden books. I
wholly endorse all the superlatives that have been heaped upon
him by non-Jewish reviewers with one exception — he is not
another Sholem .Aleichem.
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Whatever the literary value of Golden's two books, one
thing is certain — they have evoked an avalanche of good will
toward Jews in all corners of our land. And for this,
Golden will be remembered.
Ampal to Issue New Debentures in U. S.
NEW YORK (JTA)—Ampal-
American Israel Corporation—
the largest group of American
private investors in Israel agri-
cultural and industrial projects,
filed a registration statement
with the Securities and Ex-
change Commission this week
for a five per cent five-year
sinking fund debenture, and for
a six percent ten-year sinking
fund debenture. Both issues
total six million dollars.
The Israel Development Cor-
poration, a regulated invest-
ment company affiliated with
Ampal, is also planning to in-
crease its capitalization from
12 to 20 million dollars. The
new capital derived from the
sale of these securities will be
invested by the group in di-
verse industrial projects. pri-
marily in the manufacture of
glass, plywood, industrial cer-
amics, steel and pipes. Addi-
tional investments in oil ex-
ploration and in the new 257
mile oil pipeline are being
contemplated by the group.
During the first six months
of 1959, Ampal executed new
loans and investments for close
to $ 20 , 0 00,000—compared with
about $ 17 ,000,000—during the
same period of the preceding
year. The Ampal group's total
outstanding balances of invest-
ments in and loans to Israel as
of July 1959 amount to nearly
$34.000,000 as against approxi-
mately $31,000,000 at the begin-
ning of the year.
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