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October 26, 1962 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1962-10-26

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

Member American Association of English—Jewish Newspapers, Michigan Press Associations, National
Editorial Association
Published every Friday by The Jewish News Publishing Co., 17100 West Seven Mile Road, Detroit 35,
Mich., VE 8-9364. Subscription $6 a year. Foreign $7.
Second Class Postage Paid At Detroit, Michigan


Editor and Publisher

The Same Old Fez and the
Same Old Trick


Advertising Manager

City Editor

Business Manager

Sabbath Scriptural Selections

This Sabbath, the twenty-ninth day of Tishri, 5723, the following scriptural selections
will be read in our synagogues:
Pentateuchal portion, Gen. 1:1-6:8. Prophetical portion, I Samuel 20:18-42.

Licht Benshen, Friday, Oct. 26, 5:16 p.m.

VOL. XLII. No. 9

October 26, 1962

Page Four

Flight and Panic: Our Grave Problem

Every large American community is
confronted today by a serious problem
involving the flight of groups, one from
another. Whites at times seek escape
from blacks, although peoples of all races,
religions and differing colors should be
able to live in amity in an American
environment. But an uncalled for fear has
been instilled — fear of people but pri-
marily of a possible drop in property
values — and a spirit akin to the tragedy
of segregation has crept into our demo-
cratic society.
There is no doubt that the block-bust-
ing tactics of some real estate operators
are responsible for the worst develop-
ment in the pattern of changing neighbor-
There was a time, not so long ago,
when children and grandchildren kept up
a continuina tradition of living in the
same neighborhoods
as parents and grand-
parents, by beautifying their environ-
ments and taking pride in their resi-
dences. This continuity is being broken—
by a method of destruction that results
as much from a wish to escape from other
elements moving into their neighborhoods
as it does from a desire to move into
"richer" areas. The former is as pro-
nounced as the latter, and it represents
a grave danger to many communities.
For, how long can the flight continue? •
Detroit is a typical example of a large
community with changing residential pat-
terns, and can be studied with a view to
serving as a guide for many other cities.
* * *
At least a quarter of Detroit's popula-
tion is composed of Negroes. They came
here, as many others who are light-
skinned did, seeking economic opportuni-
ties. They found them here. The labor
movement has aided them to raise their
standar& of living. Now they must have
better homes, and their schooling should
be equal to those of their white fellow-
citizens, else we shall have two classes of
citizenship in contradiction to the Ameri-
can way of life.
The growth of the Negro population
necessitates the assurance of proper pro-
visions for good housing for them. It is
inevitable that they should, move away
from slums, that they should live among
the whites. But a fear that is based on
suspicions as well as prejudices, on
hatreds as well as the generalization that
those who have been freed only a century
ago are not our equals, have created un-
wise and uncalled for panics.
* * *
There is only one solution to the hous-
ing problem, and that is the mixed
neighborhood. It might have been attained
more easily if it were not for the tele-
phone squads that have been at work
calling people in some areas to warn them
that "something is happening on your
street," implying that the blacks are com-
ing and therefore you must sell through
us and must move.
If white and colored peoples were to
make up their minds that they should and
can live together, without creating ghet-
tos for either one, then there would be
no cause for panics. If that were the case
then the two would, jointly, protect their
neighborhoods, guard against vandalism
and delinquents, inject in all residents a
love for their homes and their environ-
But an element that has capitalized
on the issue has entered into the drama

to create the regrettable fears, and there
enters the thought that property values
will be affected when dark-skinned citi-
zens move in.
A number of neighborhood organiza-
tions have been formed to counteract this
trend which affects every aspect of Amer-
ican life. These community groups must
strive, together with their Negro fellow-
citizens, to organize firmly for the reten-
tion of the mixed neighborhood idea, dis-
couraging fears, refusing to yield to panic;
because the spreading of suspicions
among neighbors will only aggravate the
situation and will affect every aspect of
American life.
It is the block-buster, the spreader of 'Transition Years'—Goldstein's
hate, the extreme rightist racist who en-
dangers the basic American principles N.Y.-to-Jerusalem Experiences
without realizing that when he seeks to
undermine the home of a neighbor the
Dr. Israel Goldstein, who has taken up residence with his
color of whose skin is not like his own he wife, Bert—herself a leader among Zionist women—in Israel
thereby also places dynamite under his and now holds one of the high posts in the Jewish Agency; who
has held the presidencies of the Jewish National Fund of America,
own home.


* •


Neighborhood changes have been fash-
ioned in numerous ways. Some gentiles
have fled from Jews, and some Jews have
run away from others, including Negroes.
The result—including the abandonment
of expensive community buildings as well
as homes—is too well known to need
elaboration. Now there are suburbs to
replace old neighborhoods, but in a city
like Detroit, unlike a community like
Cleveland whose entire Jewish population
has moved to the suburbs, at least 65 per
cent of the Jewish population still resides
within the city limits. They will remain
within the confines of Detroit if they are
realistic enough to know that if they can
escape from other Americans their chil-
dren may not because the American way
of life and the law of the land demands
that all Americans should retain equality
in all public functions, including housing
and schooling.
It it is the block-buster who is respon-
sible for the sense of horror that has
been instilled in the hearts of our citizens,
he should be eliminated from the scene,
he should be exposed as a menace to our
democratic way of living. If it is ignor-
ance that is causing people to participate
in the flight from reality, they should be
taught that we have nothing to fear but
fear. If it is an inherited prejudice, it
should be eradicated from our social
spheres and our body politic.

Community leaders everywhere have
a serious obligation—to guide our people
way from their fears, to instill confidence
in American principles, to discourage
hatreds and suspicions. Unless a sense of
unity and true neighborliness is instilled
in the hearts of all our citizens, the entire
land will be transformed into a vast
region of bigotry that emulates the most
prejudiced of the Southern states. Unless
the visible dangers are avoided, we will
be in an even worse state than this land
was threatened. before the Civil War.
Unless the fears are abandoned, we may
be fighting another brotherly war, and
the Emancipation Proclamation, the hun-
dredth anniversary of the issuance of
which has just been observed, will become
a repudiated scrap of paper.
The solution lies in the hands of rea-
sonable citizens, and we wish to hope that
nearly all of our fellow-citizens are
rational and seek true brotherhood, and
good neighborlines, all the days of our

the American Zionist Organization, American Jewish Congress and
other movements, including the Jewish Con-
ciliation court; who was an United Jewish
Appeal chairman and now is rabbi emeritus
of. New York's Congregation Bnai Jeshurun,
which he has served for 42 years, continues
his activities in behalf of Jewry, Zionism
and Israel.
The extent of his activities is made evi-
dent in the series of addresses he deliv-
ered from 1960 to 1962, which he has
incorported in a book entitled "Transition
Years—New York-Jerusalem," published by
Rubin Mass, Jerusalem, and distributed in
this country by Bloch Publishing Co.
Many aspects of Jewish life are cov-
ered in this interesting collection, and a
ntunber of countries, including the United
States and Israel, are represented as the
centers where Dr. Goldstein was inter-
preting Jewish values and events.
In an address in Chicago, he pleaded for
Dr. Goldstein Jewish education as "priority number one,
more than philanthropy, more than anti-defamation activities; that
the maturity of the American Jewish community is to be judged
by the position which its leadership assigns to Jewish education
in the hierarchy of Jewish needs and Jewish values • . ."
He did not minimize the significance of Zionism and, in an
appeal, in Tel Aviv, in an address before Brith Rishonim—the
organization of the early Zionist pioneers—he spoke of the
necessity to extend Hebrew education, to advance Zionist rearing
and teaching."
Appropriately, Dr. Goldstein selected as the opening essay
for his collected speeches, the prayer he delivered in the U.S.
House of Representatives in commemoration of the 100th anni-
versary of the first prayer delivered by a teacher of the JeWish
faith in Congress—that of Rabbi Morris Jacob Raphall. It was a
memorable event that was followed by a Congressional luncheon
at which Dr. Goldstein delivered an address that is part of this
In an address at the UN Plaza, Dr. Goldstein proposed a
"World Academy for Peace," and the text offers a great moral
A Synagogue Council speech at Columbia University on trends
in American Jewish life serves as a guide for action and for serious
consideration of Jewish potentials. Discussions of religious leader-
ship, tributes to eminent leaders, evaluations of Jewish nationalism
and the events that marked the horrors of the holocaust form an
extensive table of contents.
His continued devotion to the Keren Hayesod, the United
Israel Anpeal, the Jewish National Fund, the United Jewish
Appeal and the major needs for funds for Jewish causes are
reflected in a number of other speeches.
His farewell speeches to the community upon his retirement
from the rabbinate are deeply moving, and his farewell sermon
is a classic.
Opening his series of addresses in Israel is the address he
delivered at the 25th World Zionist Congress in Jerusalem. At
Herzlia he spoke about the survivors of the holocaust. He pleaded
that the lessons of the tragedy should not be forgotten, and
urged: "Jews, do not forget that we are one, that ehod is our
battle-cry and password, one God, one people, one martyrdom, one
consolation, one future."
He devoted time to discussing the position of Americans in
Israel, and there is an address he delivered before the Association
of Retired Americans in Isral, at Ahkelon.
Included also are addresses he delivered in Santiago, Chile,
Paris, France, Amsterdam, Holland.
"Transition Years" is a noteworthy volume that adds to the
evidences of a glorious career by a distinguished leader.

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