THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS—Fr iday, August 2 8, 19 59-1 4
Back fromY ear's
Study in Israel
1Eva' and Jewish Identity
By MEYER LEVIN
I wrote "Eva" as a culmina-
tion of 15 years of trying to
understand and explain what
A Central High School grad- had happened to the Jews of
uate, just returned from a year Europe. I wrote this book to
in Israel, says "it was the best celebrate life itself, the im-
year of my life." And adds measurable survival force that
vivacious dark-eyed Marcia In- is the God-urge in humanity,
dianer, 19, "it was an exciting, and that has been exemplified
educational experience I warmly so continuously in the Jewish
recommend to other young people.
As a story of survival it had
be the story of a woman.
Miss Indianer, who lives with
And this story had to con-
her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Mor-
ris Indianer, at 18644 Coyle, tain all that I have learned
was one of 40 young American since I went to Europe as a
college students who spent a war correspondent in 1944, to
year working, studying and find out the fate of the Jews.
It was my sad distinction to
traveling throughout Israel.
be the one writer bearing this
The workshop was arranged assignment. Today, • 15 years
by Habonim, American Labor later, I am still trying to fulfill
Zionist youth organization now it. Many fine works have ap-
celebrating its 25th anniver- peared on the subject, but so
vast was this human experi-
Miss Indianer said she found ence, and so frightening, that
Israel a "thriving democracy, it is only now coming to be
one in which there is a spirit widely comprehended.
much like that of the American
It was still necessary to
pioneers who settled our coun- show how, in the terms of a
try." She suggested that more single individual, tha catas-
Americans should go there, "if trophe could be lived through,
only to see and understand the at times even with friendship
problems new nations face."
and love and humor.
She added: "It was a great ex-
From the first survivor whom
perience working alongside for- I interviewed as he emerged
mer Americans who had settled from months of hiding in a
at Kibbultz Kfar Blum, a co- cellar in Paris, through hun-
operative' village in the North- dreds of others whom I was to
ern . Galilee, and had trans- know in the liberated concen-
formed a swamp area into tration camps and on the secret
roads and the illegal ships on
their way to Palestine, and
from Eva herself when I met
her in Ramat Gan, a single
theme was to emerge. This
was the search for identity, the
clinging to identity.
It was the Who am I? that
comes so sharply to every indi-
Prospective immigrants to Is- vidual who has survived a thous-
rael are invited to avail them- and near-deaths. It was the
selves of a new economic infor- Who am I? that echoes in every
mation and guidance service op- one of us, and that rings so
erated by the Jewish Agency loudly in the entire world
for Israel, 16 E. 66th St., New today, as, on the one hand,
York, under the direction of submerged people arise to as-
Isaac Kurland, director general sert their identity, and as, on
of the Agency's economic de- the other hand, regimentation
partment in Tel Aviv, who is in various lands tends to sub-
currently in the United States merge this identity.
as economic advisor to the Jew-
Who is Eva? She is a woman
ish Agency's Aliya Department. who had to sacrifice her iden-
There is no charge for these tity to save her existence,
through the war years. A Jew-
A specialist in problems of ish girl, she had to pose as a
middle class immigration, Kur- Ukrainian maid. But her iden-
land is in a position to offer up- tity, her self, persisted, more
to-date information and individ- precious even than existence.
ual guidance on all matters con- In the most dangerous circum-
cerning transfer of capital, stances in the conscripted labor
housing, investment and em- camps within the enemy land,
ployment opportunities in Is- she was impelled to reveal
rael as well as on the establish- that she was a Jewess to those
ment of any kind of enterprise who became close to her. She
in the field of manufacturing had to be herself.
or trade. .
Her inner identity was in-
Kurland, who has lived in escapably Jewish. That it was
Israel since 1924, was con- indeed inescapable w a s
nected for many years with the proven to Eva when she fin-
Anglo-Palestine Bank and has ally did try to escape from it.
been on the board of leading For to Eva, as to all of us,
Israel concerns. He joined the came the question: Is it worth
staff of the Jewish Agency's eco- while to continue to be a
nomic department in 1949 as Jew? The same question has
the department's representative been answered by Boris Pas-
for Europe and North Africa ternak, in rote form, in the
and was promoted to his present negative, through a character
in "Dr. Zhivago." Similarly,
post in 1955.
to New Settlers
In Oak Park's First Synagogue
YOUNG ISRAEL CENTER OF OAK WOODS
HIGH HOLIDAY SERVICES
In Our Expanded, Modern,
Air Conditioned Sanctuary
YOUNG ISRAEL CENTER OF OAK WOODS
People Make News
after the war, believing the
Jewish community to be dead,
MOSHE YINNON, authority stay in Santiago, Chili, where
Eva tried to find another life
on Hebrew philology, was elect- he is representing the United
as a non-Jewish citizen.
States on the Inter-Juridicial
An assassination of a loved ed editor of Hadoar, according
Committee of the Inter-Ameri-
one proved to her, once and for to Irving Neuman, president of
can Council of Jurists, organ-
all that she could only live in the Hadoar Association, pub-
lishers of the only Hebrew ization of the North and South
a positive sense as a Jew.
American States. Freeman is a
Eva is anything but a politi- weekly outside of Israel. Ha-
lawyer for the • International
cal novel, and yet the politics doar is the organ of Histadrut
Atomic Energy Agency.
of the world today hinge on Ivrith, the Hebrew Culture Or-
freedom of identity; and often ganization of America. Yinnon
The appointment of three
it is Jewish identity that is
deans at Yeshiva University
once again the test case. Eva is leaving his position as editor
was announced today by Dr.
went through that test in post- of Hadoar, which he held since Samuel Belkin, president of the
war Poland and made her final, 1954, to settle in Israel.
institution. They are: Dr. ABE
* * *
inevitable choice to seek her
GELBART, dean of the univer-
JOSEPH J. LEE, of 16211 sity's Graduate School of Math-
The story of each Jewish Lawton, former 20th Century- ematical Sciences; Dr. ISAAC
survivor is a series of adven- Fox branch manager has been BACON, of the University of
tures, accidents, miracles. To named managing director of the Colorado, acting dean of Ye-
each we say — unbelievable. Fox Theater, to succeed Bob shiva College, and Dr. MOR-
Every Jew out of Europe who Bothwell who was transferred TON TEICHER, dean of the uni-
walks in the world today is an to National Theaters in Los An- versity's graduate School of
unbelievable story. Curiously, geles.
* * *
this makes for a certain typi-
cality in Eva's sequence of ad-
EARL HORDES, local general
John Jacob Astor, founder of
agent of Ohio State Life In- the famous Astor fortune, once
For the American reader, I
worked in the employ of Henry
hope that Eva will prove typi- by Howard W. Kraft, vice presi- Joseph, one of the earliest
cal in another way. She is the dent and director of agencies Jewish settlers in Canada.
typical Jewish girl of the little of the company, that for July Astor was in charge of one
town in the shtetel that nur- he achieved 18th place on the of the Joseph trading outpost=
tured so many of our families— company's honor roll of 20 along Hudson's Bay.
the bright, flirtatious daughter leading producers.
* * *
of a storekeeper, the "modern"
girl of her circle. She had
MAURICE L. DUPLESSIS,
uncles, cousins in America, just Premier of the Province of
as so many of us had cousins Quebec, will participate in the
Bowlers Pro Shop
and uncles who remained in the special ceremony being held in
Distributor of the
Jewish communities of Poland, Trois Rivieres on Sept. 7 to
ACE BOWLING BALL
Hungary, Romania. By a flick launch celebrations of the Bi-
"Nothing Beats on ACE"
of circumstances, she might so centenary of Canadian Jewry.
easily have been a Hadassah The ceremony, under the joint
member in Lake Forest, Illinois. auspices of the City of Trois
Sales and Service
Could there have been Rivieres, Quebec, and the Ca-
Evas among our own kin? nadian Jewish Congress, recalls
• Bowling Bags and
Doubtless this same energy, the election of Ezekiel Hart to
this same persistent goodness
the Legislative Assembly of
• Shirts and Blouses
of heart, would have saved Lower Canada and the enact-
• Dresses and Skirts
one out of ten among our ment of the recognition of full
civil rights for the Jews in
• Ball Plugging
And in Eva's story there is Canada.
another element that was of
15732 W. SEVEN MILE
DR. ALWYN VERNON
utmost importance to me. Eva
3rd blk. W. of Greenfield
found it hardest to exert her- FREEMAN, son of the Alexan-
self to survive when she was der Freemans, of Chicago Blvd.,
alone. Only when she was also has left Detroit for a two-week
helping to save someone else, `11111Mi
one of the series of close
friends with whom she joined
forces in each stage of her ad-
venture — only then did her
Now Accepting Applications for
life-urge emerge at its most
I wrote this story in the
hope that it would clarify, in
the dramatic terms of a
single human life, what it
means to be a Jew. I have
taken part in this fascinating
and endless debate through
almost the entire body of my
writing. I tried to fill out my
own definition in my auto-
biography, "In Search." I
felt the meaning to be ex-
pressed in Eva's life because
it is expressed in actions, in
life-decisions taken out of
The definition in terms of
formal Jewish religion is for
Eva, as for most of her gen-
eration, quite vague. The defini-
tion in terms of "Jewish nation-
alism" is virtually beside the
point, for Eva. She belonged,
in a social way, to a Zionist
youth group in her home town,
but she was no militant ideolo-
gist. Eva is simply a Jew by
virtue of the very right of
existence, the right to have a
continuing identity in the
world. Without it Jew, Hun-
garian, Bantu — the individual
But Eva is not a polemic
novel. It is the story of a young
woman's life, of the persistence
of the need for love, even for
laughter, in the most difficult
of circumstances, and of the
human ability to soften them.
JULES DON ESON
It is the essential human story
and Reservation at the
that every novelist feels lucky
I hope everyone loves Eva.
1959-1960 BOWLING SEASON
Early League — 7:00 p.m.
Late League — 9:30 p.m.
Oak Park Lanes -- Oak Park
Jules Doneson Travel Agency
The monument to Thomas
Jefferson in the corridors of
the Capitol was the gift of Com-
modore Uriah P. Levy.
18246 WYOMING AVE. (Near Curtis)