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August 18, 1961 - Image 20

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1961-08-18

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Geneva and Basle -- Symbols for Jewry

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There was once a rule that
By JOSEPH FRAENKEL
Jews were not allowed to reside
Special Jewish News
in Geneva. But if a Jew did
London Writer
Basle and Geneva are two reach Geneva, he had to pay a

,

habitants were cross-questioned
on their outlook and religion. But
Geneva was also the abode of
Jean Rousseau, who so greatly
influenced the liberal develop-
ment of the 19th century. Not
until 1780 was there any marked
change. The number of Jews
in Geneva was small—not even
a Minyan. Centuries passed, until
in 1838 Geneva at last had a syn-
agogue. Since 1850 there has
been an active, organized com-
munity and they appointed Josef
Wertheimer as their Rabbi.

certain sum of money to the
church authorities. One Jew had
to pay four Denarii and a preg-
nant woman twice as much. Even
then anti-Semitism knew no
frontiers. Accusation against
Jews in Germany and France
were, of course, repeated in Gen-
eva, Jews on the lake of Gen-
eva were accused of well-poison-
ing, tortured and. burned at the
Geneva was known all over
stake in the year 1348.
During the stormy years of the the world as a place of refuge
Middle ' Ages Jews wandered for the persecuted. Here, in
from land to hand and from town this hospitable town, political,
to town. They again reached religious and other refugees
_Geneva, lived in.. .a Ghetto (to- found shelter and here too
day Rue des Granges and Place the Red Cross was founded by
Geneva- has an old Jewish du Grand Mozel), .suffered po- Henry Dunant. International
community and it can be as- groms (1461) and were once organizations often chose Gen-
sumed that Jews were there more driven out (1490). For a eva for conferences and assem-
and in the vicinity as far back long time . Geneva remained "Ju- blies.
Geneva was also once a center
denrein" (clear of Jews). Dur-
as the sixth century.
Geneva once opened her doors ing the 16th century, Geneva was of Jewish students from Eastern
to persecuted Jews from France under the influence of John Cal- Europe. Hundreds studied here,
vin, the fanatic reformer, and in- later occupying leading positions
(1182)
in almost all Jewish parties.
When Herzl made his appeal
for a Jewish State he found un-
derstanding in Geneva, for here
lived Henry Dunant, the great
friend of humanity, who had pub-
quoting
from
the
only
address
There is drama in history,
lished a proclamation for the
and the story of the Hebrew that was delivered at that time "Colonisation of Palestine" dec-
University is especially studded by Dr. Chaim Weizmann, who ades before the appearance of
with occurrences that make it declared: "In the university the Herzl, and had later founded
wandering soul of Israel would the "Syrian and Palestine Col-
read like a fairy tale.
In a most impressive book, reach its have n; and her onigation society" in London.
"The Hebrew University of strength no longer consumed in Dunant who had believed •
Jerusalem — 1918-1960," pub- restless and vain wandering, return of the 'Jews
reth
lished by Weidenfeld & Nicol- Israel would remain at peace Israel, wrote to
Farb-
with
herself
and
with
the
son, 20 New Bond St., London
stein, a day
t
first Zion-
Wl, England, Norman Bent- world."
ist Congres
n
1, 1897:
The roles played by . the build- "I say
wich traces the developments of
pen
now—it is
of the great institution in Is- ers of the university and by its many y
—50 n all, during
rael from its begining to the many friends who helped and which F ye waited for the Zion-
continue
to
help
it,
form
an
im-
current time, when the univer-
ist Co ess . ."
sity is functioning in its new portant part of this book.
students
Je •
ee
home on the outskirts of the
Prof. Bentwich appropriately lov
Switzerla
ed t
calls the epilogue to the book a anti mitic to
Holy, City.
axi-
ally
This historical analysis is a "Vision of the Future," and he ous niversitie
vital chapter in the history of offers this. ideal for it and for in e year 190 office wa
Zionism and of Israel. Going Jerusalem where it is located: est 'shed, under th eaders •
rain Burber, B hed
back to 1918, when-the founda-
"Jerusalem ' should be a of
ti Chaim Weizma
tion for the university was es- forum of a world-wide inter- wel
tablished, the author, who has faith movement, and of the the p agation of
held professorships at the uni- study of international peace Universi
After t

versity for 20 years, shows how based on religion. And the
the university "from the first Hebrew University may fill Jews often direct
vision, has been a partnership the part in the restored Jew- towards Geneva.
between the Jews in Israel and ish natione, which the Temple seat of -the Lea
the Jewish communities of the filled 'in the Second Common- well as of the
world."
wealth of the Maccabees,. sion, and th
when it was not only the re- close attent
Prof. Bentwich's book also
ligious cetner of the wide decisions.
is a study in university ad-

towns, which are important step-
ping stones in Jewish history.
• Basle marked the beginning of
the Zionist Organization and
Geneva that of the World Jew-
ish Congress.
The name of Theodor Herzl,
who called the first Zionist Con-
- gress together in 1897, is closely
- connected with Basle. -
Geneva recalls the • names of
Nahum Goldmann and of Ste-
phen S. Wise, who Opened-, the
first Plenary Assembly of the
World Jewish Congress ,there in
1936.
Both Geneva and Basle, have
become symbols for Jewry.

Hebrew University's Moving
Story Told by Prof. Bentwitch

t

ministration. It explains the
functions of the Hebrew Uni-
versity's faculties, tells of the
rise of the University and Na-
tional Library, outlines the
constitution of the great
school of learning and its
academic relations and de-
votes an interesting chapter
to the students. The distinc-
five character of the students,
the many countries they rep-
resent, their varied interests
and the studies they pursue,
are related in the interesting
facts compiled about them.

"The students in Israel, on
the whole, are more serious
than those in other lands," Prof.
Bentwich maintains. He states
that it is "because they are con-
scious of building a nation, and
partly because, before they
enter the university, almost all
have done their national serv-
ice."
Having been present at the
laying of the cornerstone for
the Hebrew University in 1918,
at its opening in 1925, the silver
jubilee in 1950 and the dedica-
tion of new buildings annually
since 1955, Prof. Bentwich
speaks with authority on the
subject covered in his book.
Referring to the difficulties
that were encountered by Jews
who were aspiring for higher
education, their inability to en-
ter universities, the need for a
Jewish university to fill the gap,
Prof. Bentwich tells about the
deep interest that was shown in
the project. He paints a ,moving
picture of the cornerstone lay-
ing ceremony, describing the
notables who were present and

Jewish dispersion, but a holy
place for a multitude of gen-
tiles who were moved by the
teaching of the Universal God
and by the Hebraic ethics.
The voice of Jerusalem will
be heard again as a call for
peace. There is something in
the atmosphere of Jerusalem
which makes man . dream, and
see visions of a better and
peaceful humanity."

It is in this spirit that this
book was written, offering us a
dramatic and enchanting history
of a great university.
A series of important photo-
graphs of personalities who
shared in the building of the
university, including those of
Dr. Albert Einstein, Dr. Weiz-
mann, Dr. Judah L. Magnes,
Lord Samuel, Lord Balfour and
others; of studetns and of uni-
versity scenes; and of docu-
ments — including letters by
Herzl and Ahad Ha-Am—add to
the value of the book.
On the jacket of the book,
designed by Jasper Blackall, are
university scenes and the He-
brew letters Aleph and Ayin,
initials of the Hebrew name-
Universitah Ivrith—crowned by
a Torch of Learning.

Biriva: One of the largest
Jewish National Fund forests
in Israel, covering over 10,000
dunams and reaching down
from the highest parts of Gali-
lee (3,000 ft.) to the Hula Val-
ley (400 ft.) It is dominated by
the bold structure of the JNF
Fire Watchtower which affords
visitors a wide vista of sublime
beauty.

Anti-S itism in Ge ny
urope and ws
infected
were o
again forced to
they hoped that
wander
mmissioner
the "Hi
Refugees"
help them.

For some time, the Je,WhIg
realized that a unitedo-orga
Lion would be the:J:4st, the most
for the safe-
effective, weap
guarding of Aeir rights T
carry out tmi plan a Worl Je
ish ConferOce was held i ug-
ust 1932, em Geneva.
rid
ars later, the
Four
ongress was at ast
Jewish
founded. The first Assembly
in August, 1936 and
took pla
ise called G
Stephen
nd
"The town
ere were
of human rig
277 delegates present, from 33
countries.
A few weeks before th
ish
lishment of the W
Congress a shot r bo in the
Nations.
e
palace of the L
itted sui-
Stefan Lux h
tion of the
tide to draw
cution of
world to th
is
Lux,
Jews _in G
letter to
Ede
of the gre
threatenin
Three yea
ist Congr
broken off
deliberatio
are a roximatel
Today th
20,000 -Jews
Switzerland, 3
of whom liv n Genev .
Jewish commu -va be-
longs to the "Sc weitzerischen
Israelitischen Gomcindebund,"
which was established in 1904
and is affiliated to the World
Jewish Congress.

Yodfat: In the center of
Lower Galilee, overlooking the
deep Belt Netofa Valley and
near the site of the last heroic
fight of the Galileans in the
Jew gainst Rome, the
Natio
Fund has be-
n to develop
Israel a wide
area by affores
on and soil re-
clamation, the fi t step towards
foundin n "a cultural town."
The v ys of ezreel and Har-
als
een drained of
by the JNF and
ing Jewish settle-
eir best.

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At . a d
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Aug. 6
'eth Abraham Syna-
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- bara Kanarek b
the br .
of Jack f
The ride chose
Alenc
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Jack'
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