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June 24, 1960 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1960-06-24

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In Shadow of Nation's Capitol


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

Member American Association
Editorial Association.
Published every Friday by The
Mich., VE 8-9364. Subscription $5 a
Entered as second class matter
8, 1879.


Editor and Publisher

of English--Jewish Newspapers, Michigan Press Association, National

Jewish News Publishing Co. 17100 West Seven Mile Road, Detroit 35,
year. Foreign $6.
Aug. 6, 1942 at Post Office, Detroit, Mich. under act of Congress of March


Advertising Manager


Circulation Manager


City Editor

Sabbath Rosh Hodesh Tammuz Scriptural Selections
This Sabbath, the thirtieth day of Sivan, 5720, the following Scriptural selections will be
read in our synagogues:
Pentateuchal portions, Korah, Num. 16:1 - 1 8:32, 28:9-15. Prophetical portion, Is. 66:1 - 24.

Licht Benshen, Friday, June 24, 7:53 p.m.

Second Day Rosh Hodesh Tammuz, Sunday


Page Four

June 24, 1960

Tracking Down Nazi War Criminals

It is becoming increasingly clear that
Argentinian as well as West German au-
thorities knew all along that Adolf Eich-
mann, the arch Nazi criminal, was alive
and was residing in Argentina under an
assumed name.
Why wasn't action taken to have him
tried for master-minding the extermina-
tion of six million Jews and millions
more of non-Jews?
The answer is that complacency,
lethargy and indifference had set in; that
too many people were ready to forget
what had happened in Nazi Germany;
that the sacrifices that were made by
the democratic nations in order to de-
stroy the menace of Hitlerism appear to
have been partially in vain.
But the world was a mere step away
from falling under the heels of a group
of perverted dictators. Unless the mem-
ory of the struggle remains strong and is
retained by history, we will have lost the
The actions of Argentina and of those
who would deprive Israel of the right to
try Eichmann are as if the war really
was lost by the democracies; as if Argen-
tinians and some Germans had a perfect
right to hide Eichmann. It is to this atti-
tude that objections must be raised.

Either the memory of the Nazi crimes
is kept alive, else we are in danger of
the resuscitation of Nazism.
There are those who fear that Eich-
mann might be given the supreme pen-
alty, and opponents of capital punishment
therefore are skeptical about , Israel's
right to try the Nazi beast. Israel has
abandoned capital punishment — except
for those guilty of the Nazi crimes or of
treason to the state. Yet we believe that
if there is a single spot on earth where
Eichmann has a chance to escape the
death penalty, it is in Israel.
The Eichmann case raises the ques-
tion of punishment for other Nazi crimi-
nals. Last week a request was made in
Stuttgart, Germany, by Hermann Lang-
b eim, secretary of the International
Auschwitz Concentration Camp Commit-
tee, for the formation of an international
commission to track down Nazi war
criminals. There is no way of knowing
how effective such a committee would
be, but the mere fact that such a proposal
has been made is an indication that the
desire to keep alive the memory of the
Nazi crimes has not vanished. That is
all to the good—as a means of striving
to avert the horrors and tragedies of
everything akin to Hitlerism.


Higher Bar Mitzvah, Programming Standards

The summer is a time for planning.
Congregational and organizational activi-
ties cease to a degree, but the challenges
of the entire year are so immense - that
those who are responsible for the spir-
itual and cultural planning in our com-
munities must utilize all available means
to assure highest standards for all the
functions of a good community.
There have been improvements in the
past year or two in our organizational
programming. Resort to low-grade vaude-
ville acts has been reduced to a minimum
and 'cultural activities of a public nature
are now of much higher quality.
This is only the beginning. If un-
dignifed programming is definitely to be
abandoned in our communities, those in
charge of planning for them must do the
arranging early, they must select the
best available entertainment material, the
finest type of lecturers, the positive inter-
preters of Jewish traditions. Only by pro-
viding the best training for adults as well
as the youth, only through the most dig-
nified educational methods, can we pos-
sibly hope to attain the goals of creativity
that we need for wholesome Jewish sur-
Similarly, the time has come for re-
vised planning in our schools and con-
gregations in the training of Bar and Bas
Mitzvahs. These two high marks in the
life of many of our youth, in addition to
consecrations and confirmations, call for
providing the most extensive preliminary
educational curricula for our youth. It is
essential that a Bar Mitzvah, a confirma-
tion and related stages should become
steps leading towards extended learning
rather than to their abandonment.
In the programs that have been de-
veloped to lead towards Bar Mitzvah, our
congregations already have set a require-
ment of four years of Hebrew school
studies. Now there is a movement afoot
to extend the preliminary Bar Mitzvah
requirements to five years. It is to be
hoped that the Hebrew schools and the
cooperating congregations will respond
favorably to this proposal.

Such a plan may not be easy to attain.
There may be some parents who will balk
at it. And there already have emerged
"competing" private teachers whose "pro-
duction methods" for the training of Bar
Mitzvahs should be viewed as menacing
to the long-range teaching programs in
our communities.
In proposing the development of a
five-year pre-Bar M i t z v a h intensified
school requirement, instead of the pres-
ent four-year program, Albert Elazar,
superintendent of the United Hebrew
Schools, warned of the emergence, on a
mass scale, of private teachers who are
impairing the community's quality of
Jewish education. He said that such
teachers, by taking four or five children
on a block to provide cut rate teaching,
are not developing a well-rounded Jewish
education for our youth.
Adding to the problem is the encour-
agement that has been given to such
competitive teaching methods by a hand-
ful of congregations which have made it
possible for Bar Mitzvahs to be observed
without the preliminary four-year re-
quirements. By encouraging the produc-
tion training for Bar Mitzvahs, the few
uncooperative synagogues have rendered
a disservice to our communal educational
It is of the utmost urgency, therefore,
that the requirements should be ex-
tended, as Mr. Elazar and many who are
backing his program have suggested. It
is to be hoped that parents and congrega-
tions will cooperate in assuring adherence
to such an extensive educational program.
The coming weeks, although they are
reserved for vacations, should be utilized
for the advancement of our educational
aims. They should be put to good use in
advance programming by congregations
and organizations. They should be util-
ized by our educators to set into motion
the means necessary for the intensifica-
tion of our educational aims. Through
such serious efforts, we can assure the
attainment of the highest goals to which
we aspire in our educational activities.

'Giants of Justice Portrays
14 Great Jews ; Vorspan's Book
Foresees Better Jewish Future

Albert Vorspan, director of the Commission on Social Action
of Reform Judaism of the Union of American Hebrew Congre-
gations, whose "Justice and Judaism," co-authored jointly with
Rabbi Eugene J. Lipman and published by the UAHC, attracted
wide attention, is the author of another volume that is certain
to merit equal, if not even wider, circulation.
His new book, "Giants of Justice", also published by the
UAHC, is the story of 14 "great American Jews of this country
and their contributions to social justice." It has the additional
value of an interesting introduction and a splendid essay, "The
Path Ahead," in which Vorspan explains his selections and
evaluates the destiny of the American Jew in the years ahead.

The selection of "Great Jews" is worth studying. The book
begins with Simon Wolf, subtitled "Court Jew." Wolf was a
distinguished intermediary who knew many presidents and
who spoke effectively and with dignity- in behalf of Jewry.
Louis Brandeis is the subject of an article subtitled "From
Assimilation to Zion." That, too, denotes the - manner of ap-
proach in evaluating the great jurist and Zionist. Louis Mar-

shall is called "the last of the Shtadlanitn."
There may be general agreement on the labelling of Marshall
as a "shtadlan"—the type of self-appointed spokesinan for Jewry
whose self-assumption of representation was denounced by those
who pleaded for the democratization of Jewish life. It is -doubt-
ful, however, whether shtadlanut has really ended. Nevertheless,
the Marshall essay serves a valuable purpose and is interestingly
The other subjects and the manner in which they are de-
fined—thus indicating the values attached to the book's heroes—.
Lillian Wald—Angel of the East Side; Albert Einstein—
Poet of Science; Stephen Wise—God's Angry Prophet; Henry
Monsky—Gambler in Futures; Henry Cohen—The Heart of
Texas; Henrietta S'zold—Mother of a People; Edward Israel—
Young Religious New-Dealer; David Dubinsky—Jewish Worker;
Samuel Mayerberg—Crusader for Civic Decency; Abraham Cron-
bach—"Voice in the Wilderness"; Herbert Lehman—Public
Are the Jews a nation, a religion, a nationality, a culture,
a civilization, a problem?, Vorspan asks in his introduction."His
answer is: "Whatever definition of the Jew is conjured up,

one soon comes face to face with a characteristic which
amounts almost to one of the stigmata of the Jew: a passion
for justice . . . The desire to build a better world has sunk
deep into the chromosomes, the bones, the blood, the memory,
and the sow of the Jew ... "

What of the future—of "the path ahead"? In view of cer-
tain declines in Jewish ethical practices, in the assimilation of
the Jew into the thinking of the majority in the land, Vorspan
admonishes his readers that "religious ethics has been the genius
of the Jewish people," and he declares:
"This legacy has not been vouchsafed to the rabbis alone,
Every Jew, whether he wishes it or not, is heir to the tradition.
But the tradition itself can be sustained only if the American
synagogue can rise to the needs—and the opportunities—of our
generation. If the Jews can banish the fat complacency and
peace-of-mind smugness which clings to many synagogues like
incense and instead, make the temple a powerhouse of Jewish
learning and ethical action; if Judaism is presented as an affirma-
tive commitment to a way of living and not as a timid and
bloodless • form of Jewish `church-going'; if synagogues pioneer
in a Judaism which is not easy and comfortable but lean and
hard; if synagogue programs are built not around magicians,
beefsteak dinners, rummage sales, and theater parties, but are
rooted deeply in Judaism in all its blazing power and glory; if
Jews once more rejoice in their distinctiveness and express
their ethical values not merely by the words of their lips but by
the work of their hands—then the future of American Jewry
will be neither Orwellian nor millenial. It will bear the seeds
of promise of a better Jewish community and a better world."

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