THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS — Friday, January 19,
Om mentary -
Morris Rosenfeld—`Poet of the Ghetto'
Morris Rosenfeld had a turbulent life. He suffered priva-
tions, but he found consolation in writing poetry. He• worked
in sweatshops and from his experiences among the poverty-
stricken in New York's needle industry he derived inspiration
in pouring out his heart in his appeals in behalf of the Jewish
He managed to get a writer's place on the Forward, but he
had his battles with the late Abraham Cahan and he lost that
Posterity has not forgotten him, and the centennial of his
birth is now being celebrated wherever there are Jews who
continue to cherish his memory, who love his poems—in the
original Yiddish and in their available English translations. It
is to the credit of Detroit's Jewish Community Council that
our community will be among those marking the Rosenfeld
centennial this Sunday evening.
Rosenfeld will be remembered especially for having in-
spired the movement • against the horrible conditions that
existed in sweatshops. He may, therefore be considered among
the pioneers who engineered reform movements in this country.
In his poems were injected his feelings about the ghetto condi-
tions among newcomers in this country. For instance, in his
famous poem, "My - Son," he expressed the feelings of a "ghetto
father" when he wrote:
But only rarely waking,
israers Problems of
happy place to live. A senior official. of the Israeli Mission in
Germany was quite outspoken about it: 'It is a sad, despicable
fact that most ISraelis settle in Germany for no other reason
than monetary gain.'"
The new regulations set up by the Israel government become
understandable upon reading the charge that Israeli emigres get
into trouble in Germany, that 85 per cent of them are in the
"entertainment business," that the "big money" comes from
American GIs and other foreign troops stationed in West Ger-
many within the NATO framework. According to Heiman; in his
Jewish Digest article:
Meeting Feb. 6
The Fred M. Butzel Memorial
Award for distinguished com-
munal service will be presented
Tuesday evening, Feb. 6, at the
36th annual meeting of the Jew-
ish Welfare Federation, at the
Jewish Center, 18100 Meyers
Fresh Air Society, Federation
Only 15 per cent of all Israelis who go back to Germany are not
agency that provides camping
connected in any way with the "entertainment business," according to
Israeli Mission sources. The number of Israeli citizens in Germany is
for children, will mark its 60th
variously estimated at from 15,000 to 30a000. It is impossible to get the
anniversary at the meeting.
exact figure, 'because many emigres have acquired German or Austrian
passports, but still cling to their Israeli citizenship, as insurance in case
A dinner will begin at 6:30
of unexpected trouble.
p.m. and the meeting at 8:15
Israel Mission sources believe the number of bona fide Israelis
resident in West Germany and West Berlin to be around 20,000. In
p.m. Reservations may be made
addition, there are some 20,000 other Jews, who are foreign citizens
by calling the Jewish Welfare
or stateless displaced persons.
Worried by the rush of Israelis who make a beeline for German
Federation, WO 5-3939.
honkytonks, the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem has quietly requested
the Bonn Government to slow-pedal the granting of entry visas to
The recipient of the Butzel
• holders of Israeli passports. - . .
Award is selected by a commit-
The only thing that could bring all Israeli expatriates back to
Zion would be withdrawal of American troops from West Germany.
tee of - presidents of Federation
Without the dollar-happy GIs, the entire Israeli-controlled entertainment
agencies. Detroit Service Group,
business would collapse overnight. But things don't point that way yet.
Israel is now making superhuman efforts to gain genuine German good-
Women's Division and past re-
will and build up friendship and understanding among the young post-
cipients of the award. In select-
war generation, especially among students and intellectuals.
During the summer vacation months of 1960, there was hardly a
ing the honoree, the committee
kibbutz in Israel without a group of invited German guests. This costly
I see him, my delight.
considers length of service to
scheme was undertaken by the Israeli Government to prove - to'Germany's
I always find him sleeping.
future leaders that the 20,000 Israelis in Germany are not representative
the Jewish community, service
of the 2,000,000 Israelis in the Holy Land. "They are just flotsam and
When I see him it is night .. .
to the total community as well
jetsam and should be regarded as such, but they will spoil our reputa-
I feet my heart is breaking—and
tion and ruin our good name just the same," an official complained.
as its constituent parts, service
"My child!" I cry, "my dear!
It is unpleasant to put these things on the record, but the as a representative of the Jew-
One day you will awake, and I
only way to end, scandals is by exposing them. Perhaps the new ish community in the organized
Will be no -longer here!"
Israeli regulations will lead towards the curtailment of the blot general community and charac-
Of course, he expressed himself often on the matter of labor on Israel's good name.
ter and integrity in community
and the problems created for those in "hire," and in his poem,
affairs. The name of the hon-
"For Hire," he wrote:
Non Orthodox Synagogues in Israel
oree will not be made public
Work with might and main,
The purchase from the Israel government of 19,000 square until the annual meeting.
Or with hand
meters of land, including three stone buildings erected 27 years
Recipients of the award have
Work with soul and brain,
ago, in Jerusalem, for a sum of $70,000 donated anonymously by been: Julian H. Krolik, 1951;
Or with holy art,
a member of a New York City Reform temple, for the purpose of Henry Wineman, 1952; Judge
Thread or genius fire—,
housing a Liberal synagogue in Israel, is news of major signifi- William Friedman, 1953; Abra-
Make a vest or verse—
cance. It points to the emergence of non-Orthodox congregations ham Srere, 1954; Mrs. Joseph
If its done for hire,
in the Jewish State, in spite of the regulations which hitherto Ehrlich, 1955; Samuel H. Rubi-
It is done the worse.
the function of Conservative and Reform groups.
ner, 1956; Justice Henry M.
The conditions that Rosenfeld knew in his immigrant days prevented
purchase of the parcel of land from the Israel govern- Butzel, 1957; Abe Kasle, 1958;
in this country no longer exist, and the improvements are, in ment The
large measure, due to his impassioned appeals for justice. That's
Sidney J. Allen, 1959; Judge
a major reason for celebrating the centennial of his birth and which last year, at its sessions in London, elected Dr. Solomon Theodore Levin, 1960; Irwin I.
B. Freehof of Pittsburgh as its president. The term Liberal or
for honoring his memory.
Progressive is substituted for Reform in countrie outside the Cohn, 1961.
Maxwell E. Katzen, president
United States and Canada.
of the Fresh Air Society, will
Israel German Cultural Restrictions
While Israel's Knesset defeated Herut's proposal for the that the property acquired in Israel will serve the Chugim Leya- outline "The Drama of Camp-
cessation of all cultural relations with Germany, a new Israel hadut
— the Circles for Progressive Judaism — ing." The Federation's annual
government policy, as outlined by Minister of Education Abba which Mitkademet
three Reform congregations in Israel. In "Year in Review" will be given
Eban' on behalf of the country's entire Cabinet provides for the addition to the Jerusalem
circle, there are Reform congregations by Max M. Fisher, president of
following new restrictive regulations:
Federation. "We Are Off the
1. No delegations, mission or groups will be permitted -to in Herzlia
It is believed that several Conservative minyanim also func- Front Page—Why?" is the title
go from Israel to Germany unless these
tion among American and Canadian settlers and their friends. of an address to be given by
by a special governmental committee.
Several factors must be taken into consideration in viewing Isidore Sobeloff, executive vice-
2. There will be no German theatrical or other artistic the Reform land purchase with approval. In the first place, the president of the Federation.
performances in Israel. A governmental committee Will sift and language of prayer in Israel is certain to be Hebrew. Besides,
As part of the anniversary
recommend Israeli artists or other cultural groups that will be two other objections among Orthodox to the Reform rituals may program for the Fresh Air So-
permitted to perform in West Germany if invited by West be obviated in Israel: the wearing of the yarrriulke and the don- ciety, past presidents will be
ning of the tants. Insofar as the tephilin are concerned, we may honored.
3. The government will provide no support to Israeli students
well accept the fact that in this country, too, the tephilin
_Nine members will be elected
below military age who wish-to study in Germany, by withholding as
the Federation's board of
foreign currency for subsistence required by such students and Michael Gelber's "The Failure of the American Rabbi," in our
by refusing permission for their acceptance of German scholar- last week's issue: the author of this challenging book, in his governors for - three-year terms
ships. Only such post-graduate and research studies essential to "program of revitalization" the author protests against the dis- ending in 1965, the nominees
being: Max M. Fisher, Morris
the State of Israel will be permitted to Israelis planning to study
carding of tephilin.)
Garvett, Charles H. Gershen-
or do their research work in West Germany.
Closely related to the Reform movement's entrance upon the son, Mrs. John C. Hopp, Judge
4. The only German personnel to be admitted to work in Israeli scene also is the mild controversy that was created by Theodore
Levi n, Alan E.
Israel will be those required to operate or instruct here in Dr. Louis Finkelstein's statement during his recent visit in
connection with equipment or goods acquired by Israel under Detroit that "some young members" of Poale Agudath Israel Schwartz, Abe Shiffman, Rabbi
Joshua Sperka, C. William
the German-Israeli reparations agreement.
had urged him to bring Conservative Judaism to Israel. When
5. Israel is to participate in international events held in an American Poale "Agudath Israel spokesman protested against Sucher. Others may be nominat-
Germany, while West Germany is to be permitted to take part his statement, he reaffirmed — and we published his declara- ed by petitions signed by 25
members of Federation and
in such events held in Israel.
tion last week — that this happened in 1957. His assertion did
6. Visits to Israel by Germans is to be limited to "approved not really call for explanation or apology. If and when Jews filed with Federati,on ten days
categories," especially to youth, students and young professionals. wish to have a modified, dignified service in Israel, they are prior to the meeting.
7. A- special government committee is to be formed to cooper-
to have a religious practice of their choice.
ate with Israeli institutions of higher learning who will send entitled
It has been traditionally acceptable that liturgical changes Bnai Brith District
leading personalities in Israel academic life to West Germany to can be
made in synagogual practices, and there is no more tenable President Visits
lecture and to provide information about Israel.
for it in our time than Israel.
On the face of it, this appears to be a rather harsh program. locality
comment is made on the assumpfion that no one wishes With Leaders Here
Israel has excellent relations with all the nations in the world, to impose
anything upon Israeli Jewry, but that those who
except the Moslem and the Communist-dominated countries. desire a modified
Ervine . Lavine, president of
service are entitled to it. From all indications District
Israel's Afro-Asian relations are especially good. Also: there Reform and Conservative
Grand Lodge Six, Bnai
have been friendly exchanges on many scores between Israel and it. Orthodoxy need not fear it. If it will bring back to the Brith, will visit with Detroit Bnai
West Germany. Nevertheless, the attitude toward Germany ap- synagogues many young people who today are estranged from
in a series of
parently called for restraint. •
— and there is no denying this appalling fact of
luncheon a n
Under normal conditions, any country that limits cultural it Israel
— then it should be welcomed and encouraged.
relations with another nation might be considered backward.
ings in a two-
In the Israel-German set-up, however, there enters into consider-
day visit here
ation the matter of memories. In his statement to the Knesset, The Free Press Is Not for Sale
It is no wonder that our community breathed more freely
explaining his government's attitude towards cultural relations
wih Germany, Minister of Education Eban said: "For a long time when the Free Press' management and editorial staff repudiated
that the paper was for sale.
•; ,1 Highlight of
all contact between these peoples will remain the shadow of rumors
It is an unfortunate fact that most American cities have
their memories. It is impossible to isolate the holocaust within become
monopoly newspaper communities. The rising cost of
will be a ses-
its narrow historical limits."
sion with Met-
Entering into the issue of Israel-German relations is the production, the increasing burdens imposed upon the publishing
r op olit an De-
problem also of Israelis who 'have gone to Germany for money- field, have forced many papers out of existence and have com-
trait Bnai Brith Council delegates
making schemes. The current issue of the Jewish Digest carries pelled mergers.
In a community like ours, we need more than one divergent 8:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Mu-
a shocking revelation of the aspiration for monetary gains, in an
in the daily field.
sic Room of the Jewish Center.
article by an Israeli writer, Leo Heiman, under the title: "What opinion
The Free Press has served this community valuably, and
20,000 Israelis Are Doing in Germany — The Scandal of Get- its differing
A Bnai Brith member for more
spirit from the afternoon newspaper, the News, has than
Rich-Quick Emigrants." If all the facts given in this article are given us a variety
25 years and presently a
of opinions and platforms. It is well to know member
true, then there is much to be- ashamed of in such a relationship.
of the Board of Gover-
There are less than 30,000 officially registered Jewish citi-
great nors of the Supreme Lodge of
zens in all of Germany — 28,000 of them in West Germany. Yet odds to retain their positions. It is fortunate that each creed has Bnai Brith, Lavine is from Fargo,
we now learn that "over 20,000 Israelis have so far established its
own organ to speak for it, and if the numerous faiths that are N. D.
residence in West Germany, besides the many thousands of represented
the newspaper field, each with its own organ, can All members and friends of
Israeli tourists and businessmen who flock there every month." express their in views
without hindrance, it will be for the good of }Thai Brith are invited to attend
According to Heiman: "Despite ominous anti-Semitic rumblings
along the Rhine and the Elbe, many Israelis find Germany a all concerned.