The Jewish' Center and Its Manifold Problems:
Budgetary Difficulties and Curtailments; How
Sabbath Issue Was Resolved by Cincinnatians
Need for Rational
isesvu iew of Community
By Philip 'Popes Acted to Aid
Slomovitz Jewish Victims of
lack of • funds. It can not secure a $50,000- Nazis, Vatican Says
suffering from a
plus sum to provide deficit financing. Its board of directors
has found it necessary to curtail its program. The items
eliminated are vital to the functioning of a center in a com-
munity as important 'as ours.
The American Jewish Community has reached,: maturity.
Because of it, many new Approaches will be needed in our educa-
Distressing as it - is, therefore, that. a noted musician like
tional efforts, in the sponsorship of Zionist activities, in • con- Julius Chajes, and able directors of other departments, should
ducting our Jewish Community Centers, in our fund-raising and be affected, we must deal with the issue in principle.
in many other spheres of activity.
It is so, vital that the Center Symphony Orchestra should
Since our links with world Jewry will remain inseparate, continue to . ..function! It Alas. *brought glory to our community.
we shall have many problems on that score, too. It is inevitable
katial.13404#int„,:thats*Ii.Adttlt education program should
that, in an outburst of impatience, there should be expressions t rot%"€':aban'adnea, That drataatiC%- arts :and crafts activities should
of anger. over what might be said by leaders in Israel or in •not be interrupted.
other lands. The distortion of the Ben-Gurion statements, which
How are they to be restored? If there already is difficulty
resulted in eruptions of voluble passions by heads of large in securing the necessary funds for our educational agencies;
American organizations, prove it.
for the overseas needs which are _multiplying as a result of
There have been other occasions when spokesmen for Jewry Moroccan, Romanian, Algerian and other crises; for the many
expressed views in haste, without waiting fqr actual texts of other local and national agencies which depend upon us—in
speches and other types of declarations which aroused anger. great measure locally, to a considerable degree nationally—
There is danger also of our losing our heads whenever anti- how are the basic needs to be fulfilled?
Semites are in action, and a bit of patience is valuable.
The action of the Center's board of directors, having aroused
Situations affecting the Jewish Community Center stand us much concern in community, serves to create a direct interest
in good stead in evaluating conditions that have inspired indigna- in our Center's needs by all Detroit Jews. It calls for re-evalua-
tion, wrath add bitterness.
tion and further planning. Perhaps the community's response
The latest JewiSh Center crisis is a point in proof. The to the Allied Jewish Campaign will be so much greater that nec-
Center's president denies that it is a crisis, but such it is. When cessary funds will eventually become available for the continua-
a major community finds it necessary • to abandon a part of its tion of the programs which may terminate on June 1. Let that
.program, it is cause for deep concern. Such an occurrence calls study 'go on. Let there be a new searching for means to provide
for study of conditions, for evaluation of facts, for a review of a the community with the vital services of our Center. But let
major agency's status. After all the curtailment of programming us not do it in anger, but by careful evaluation of our needs.
affects such vital functions as the Center's music department,
which has gained national fame due - to the - prominence of its Edna Ferber's Outburst of Wrath
director, Julius Chajes, • and the success that has• been attained
It is hard to- believe that a woman as brilliant as Edna
by the-Center Symphony Orchestra; the adult educational; drama Ferber,
whose literary works we admire, whose sense of justice
and arts and crafts departments, which usually- are major func-
we respect, should be -among those who "lost their heads" in
tions in a community center.
If there is - to be proper evaluation, it must not be done the Ben-Gurion incident that was created not by the Israeli
Prime Minister's speech but by newspaper misrepresentations
in anger. There must be a patient approach, in the hope that a
in taking a not-too-vital statement out of context and by Jewish
solution will be found to a major problem created by budgetary
leaders who went so berserk as to spew totally unnecessary
We must not forget the sad experience in our community
Berserk is a strong word ; but it is- applicable to a situation
that arose out of another situation involving the - Center. It was
in which Jewish leadership acted irresponsibly. Those who .con-
the Sabbath opening. issue. Your Commentator was among the 'ducted
a campaign of hate against' Ben-G'urion were so frenzied
opponents of any plan that might affect the sanctity of the
Sabbath. Now, after all the turmoil in - Detroit, the Jewish Com- that their actions have caused all those who were on the spot in
munity Center of Cincinnati is conducting programs on the Sab- Israel—including all religiously orthodox leaders—and heard
bath with the approval of Rabbi Eliezer Silver, who, is considered the Ben-Gurion speech to remain amazed to this very day over
the nonsensical 'spectacle that was staged in this country.
by many_ as the Dean of Orthodox Rabbis in America:
It is as a result of this frenzy that Miss Ferber must have
The Cincinnati Center's Sabbath programs were announced
written in equally, puzzling fashion to the New York Times,
to be as follows:
"Social and recreational .activities will include general condemning the Ben-Gurion speech, referring to it as having
club and other group activities; informal athletic programs come "with an almost Hitler-like force." She has demanded
devoid -of, formal -instruction - or competition; ; informal Swim .- that he retract his statements "or that he be removed from
office . . . before he shall prove the undoing of future plans for
ming programs devoid of formal instruction or competition; Israel."
informal recreation with no competitive activities."
Most amazing about the Edna Ferber letter is that it was
Commenting upon the Center's new Sabbath program in written
nearly three weeks after the Ben-Gurion speech and
Cincinnati, a venerable orthodox leader, who writes a. weekly
"Thinking Jewishly" column under- the pseudonym "Reb more than two weeks-after Ben-Gurion himself had issued a very
explanation of his views and his position.
Sh'muel," wrote as followS in the Cincinnati English-Jewish logical
There is a midrashic saying that "getting angry is like wor-
weekly, Every Friday -
shippin MIT." But even in excusable anger—and in the Ben-
This question of opening the Jewish Center on Saturdays has plagued Gurion instance it was inexcusable—there was no justification for
the leaders of that popular Jewish institution for the past several years.
Special committees to study this problem have argued the question, pro resort to so rash a statement as "Hitler-like force." We pray
and con without arriving at a definite conclusion. -
that Edna Ferber, and the guilty JeWish leaders (Prinz, Ehr-
More recently, a committee took it. upon itself to consult Rabbi
Eliezer Silver as to the possibility of keeping the Jewish Center open on mann, Bernstein, et al) should learn the lesson of their anti-
the Sabbath, and to their very pleasant surprise, the committee found Ben-Gurion blunder, never to repeat it again.
_ROME; (JTA) — Osservatore
Romano, the official organ of
the Vatican, published a front
page article asserting that Pope
Phis XI and Pope Pius XII acted
to aid Jewish victims of the Nazi
The article emphasized that
Pope 'Pius XI had been out-
spoken in his condemnation of
Nazi-Fascist racial doctrines,
particularly in a speech in July
1939, to students at the College
for the Propagation of the
Faith. In that speech, Pope Pius
XI stressed the "moral perver-
sity of racist ideology, the sea
of hatred among peoples and the
unjust discrimination between
citizens of the same country,"
and he deplored Mussolini's de-
cision to imitate Nazi Germany's
The article said that* the
speech_ had been denounced by
leading: Nazis as "a declaration
of war 'against National Social-
ism 'by political Catholicism."
Nazi Propaganda- Minister Josef
Goebbels was quoted as having
declared- that the Pope "dis-
cussed a political issue which
must not interest him. The Jew-
ish race has recently found its
preferred defender in the Vati-
In citing the Goebbels' state-
ment, Osservatore Romano em-
phasized that "thus by admission.
of the Nazi-Fascist press, the
firmest defender of the Jews
during the war waged against
them in that period was the
Vatican. The Catholic Church
considers such accusations as a
title of glory."
The article also declared that
on •July 10, 1939, Pope Pius XI'
ordered, one month. before his
death,_ that a message be sent
to all North American Cardi-
nals, accompanied by his per-
sonal letter, asking their "mili-
tant" intervention to assist refu-
gee Jewish scientists and
in Arkansas House
Rabbi Silver in warm sympathy with them and actively cooperative.
Rabbi Silver told the memberS of that group that there were many
things in the way of recreation that were permissible on the Sabbath
under certain rules and regulations, and if the responsible heads of the
Center would obligate themselves to see to it that these -rules and regula-
tions will not be violated deliberately. he (Rabbi Silver) would not
object to the Center opening on the Sabbath.
I have the suspicion that some of the members of that committee
were taken off their feet by Rabbi Silver's readiness to cooperate with
them in working out a practical blue-print for certain activities at the
Center on Saturdays. They came girded with very rational and logical
arguments to tear down expected objections on the part of the Rabbi
and behold, they find him working on their side, as it were, suggesting
certain formulae to overcome. existing Sabbath prohibitions.
Needless to say that • Rabbi Silver's ruling on the question of the
Center's opening on Saturdays has stirred up 'considerable discussion
among all factions of our Jewish community. Some of our strict Sabbath
observers feel shocked and cannot understand how Rabbi Silver should
permit such a thing. "This will Vring about flagrant violations of the
Sabbath on the part of our youth," they claim. Some very sincere Re-
. form and Conservative Jews argue: "Rabbi Silver made a big - mistake,
..because the closing of the -Jewish Center on Saturday, gave that institu-
tion a Jewish distinctiveness, which will now be removed."
Personally I feel proud as a member of the Cincinnati Jewish com-
munity where the' question of Sabbath' observance on the part of an in-
: stitution, such as the Jewish Community Center, is settled on the funda-
mental basis of Jewish law (Halarha), as interpreted by Rabbi Eliezer
Silver, whose outstanding position in Halachic Judaism no one can chal-
lenge. I also feel that the leadership of the Center should be congrat-
ulated for obligating itself to conduct the Center's Saturday activities in
the spirit of the Sabbath as prescribed by the special rules and regula-
tions governing such special Saturday activities. I also wish to congrat-
ulate Rabbi Silver for his great faith in the leadership of the Jewish
Center that it 'will sincerely endeavor to follow Rabbi Silver's, blue-print-
for the Saturday activities of the institution. All this makes me proud
to be a part of the Cincinnati-Jewish Community.
We immediately asked ourselves the question:' does. this
mean that we must add another hatosi to the list of al het con-
fessions we recite on Yoni Kippur? But if a hatosi (I have sinned)
is required, shouldn't it be •a communal - hatosi, nay, an orthodox-
community hatosi?: For; if Sabbath programming is permitted,
with the approval of one of the most revered orthoddx leaders,
in Cincinnati, why not in Detroit? _
And, since it may have been necessary to take more time
for deliberation in -considering the Sabbath programming issue,
we wish now to apply it to the 'budgetary problems which neces-
sitated the abandonment of four vital programs in our own
We hesitate to pass judgment' because of the lesson the
American -Jewish community was taught: by the irrational actions
of American Jewish leaders in the Ben-Gurion incident which
continues to react disgracefully upon American Jewry. The attack
upon Ben-Gurion was unjustified, the misinterpretations indicate
a lack of good judgment and the resultant abuse places all
American Jews in a bad light. Now every _effort must be made
to avert harm to Zionism and to Israel from the stupidities that
• have been uttered in the anger that has been expressed over ,
a statement taken out of context from the very brilliant speech
delivered by David Ben-Gurion at the -25th World Zionist
To avoid undue anger, let us view the Center situation
'ratitYhtIV.'The Center 'finds itself' in dire circumstances: -It 49
A Detroit Newspaper Disgraces Its Record
LITTLE ROCK, Ark.,- (JTA)
—The distribution of an anti-
Semitic newspaper : a ttaCkiii g
President Kennedy for naming
two Jews to hii_Cabinet prompt-
ed the Arkansas House this
week to revitalize a resolution
which makes it mandatary that
such material be approved by the
'House clerk before it can be
distributed in the chamber.
The two inside pages of the
four-page tabloid-sized publica-
tion, listing itself as the official
organ of the National. States'
,Rights Party, were devoted to
anti-Jewish quotations from vari-
ous sources, including German.
Mrs. E. K. Bishop of North
Little Rock, describing herself
as national vice-ChairMan of the
party, said she had distributed
_copies to the House.
When the' Detroit News microfilms its issue dated Thursday,
Jan. 26—Volume 88, No. 157—it may choose to burn a portion
of that issue's editorial page. But it is doubtful whether even
such searing would erase the Shocking blunder its editors
permitted to creep into that edition.
At first glance, readers of the Public Letter Box in that
issue would be. justified in believing that an editor was in
cahOots with a correspondent who performed a wicked job of
suggesting that the Old City Hall be turned into a synagOgue.
-The editor could have asked himself: why- a- synagogue?
why not a Catholic church; or a Protestant chapel—since there
are so many more Christians—they outnumber us in. Detroit
22.-to - 1 !
But on second thought, it is possible to say that the letter
in question was just a bit mischievous: a chap who wanted to
make fun found a good target, the inevitable scapegoat, the
Jew—and it turned out to be plain wicked mischief on the part
of the writer of the letter, and just plain lack of good judg-
ment on the part of the editor!. -
More Hebrew in Congressional Record ...,President Kennedy and Prophet Nehemiah
Supplementing last week's report, from Washington, abOut the first instance of the use
of Hebrew type in the Congressional Record, we are now able' to report supplementary use of
Hebrew characters in the Record of our Congress.
On---P-age 971 of the Congressional Record of Jan. 20, three lines of Hebrew type are
inserted in the reproduction of the stenographic -report of the inauguration of President John
F. 'Kennedy. They are the yevarekh'kha that was pronounced by Dr. Nelson Glueck, president of
Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, in his benediction.
President Kennedy provided anOther interesting parallelisni with the Bible in hit State
of the Union address to Congress on Monday. His reference to the olive branch and the arrows
on the Presidential coat of arms is comparable to the account given in Nehemiah of the defense
of Jerusalem,' when the workers who were rebuilding the Holy City at the same time had - to
defend it, and their hands at one and the same time, therefore, were wrought both - in work and
in carrying weapons. Here are the parallel statements: •
President Kennedy, in His State of
the Union Ad _ dreSs, Jan. 30, 1961
On the Presidential coat of arms,
the American eagle holds in his right talon the
olive branch, while in his left is held a
.bundle of arrows. We intend to give eqUal
attention to both."
From the Book of ISfeheralah, Chapter
Four, Verses 10 and 11 -
"And it 'came to pass from that time forth,
that half of my servants wrought in work,
emd half of them held the spears; the shields,
and the bows, and the coats of .mail; and the
rulers were behind all the hou:se of Itidah.
They that builded the wall and'they that bore
burdens laded themselves; every* one ivith one
of his hands wrought in the work, and with
the other held his weapon; and the builders,
everyone had his sword, ird.ed
. . his side, and
so bui/ded . .