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March 22, 1963 - Image 27

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1963-03-22

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

i

Several years ago, Frita Roth
Drapkin, the wife of the well
known Detroit photographer,
Jack Drapkin, drew many laughs
and re-created interest in the
Detroit Jewish community of
her childhood years, with her
humorous book, "Papa's Golden
Land."
Her newest work, "Mama Is a
Citizen," published this week,
is certain to revive that inter-
est, to bring forth many laughs,
to draw into the sphere of her
reminiscences of many well
known D e t r o i t personalities,
merchants and community
leaders.
The author, the Freydeleh in
this story, evidences an excel-
lent memory in recounting the
events that took place when her
mother became. a citizen, the

FRITA ROTH DRAPKIN

manner in which she reacted to
the great event, the planned
celebration that was spoiled by
a Windsor-Detroit border cus-
toms man's insistence upon ask-
ing too many questions. The
author's parents, the Roths play
their roles here in the typical
fashion of Americans who claim
the right to travel as they
choose.
Mrs. Drapkin's book is filled
with Yiddish expressions. The
transliterations are poor and
some of the translations are in-
adequate and often incorrect.
But it is clear that the phrases
used and the meanings intended
were those of the neighborhood,
of the people who resorted to
them, of the language corrup-
tions of the time. They reflect
the era and the people delin-
eated.
Describing the Bar Mitzvah
of her nephew Sandy, Mrs.
Drapkin takes the reader to the
29th Street Synagogue -- El
Moshe—which was a center for
many activities in the Michigan
Avenue area.
Lachover emerges here as the
Hebrew teacher. Rosenberg's
Department Store is recalled.
The Parzens and the Kraftmans
enter the picture.
Mrs. Drapkin recalls Morris
Levenson, (father of Kate Kei-
dan) "whom everyone called
`Moishe Naftuleh' ", and his
Levenson's Paint Store.
Many are the Jewish inter-
ests that enter into this story.
There is cousin Eugene who
teases our author about her
music and her being serenaded
by MeXican neighbors. There is
Eugene's argument with Mama
about her kosher food.
A trip to New York, a visit
by Freda and Eugene to the
Automat under dire circum-
stances, episodes filled with
drama at Coney Island — the
food, the family involvements,
the games of chance — these
wind up with an exciting visit
on Bedloe Island, the reciting
of Emma Lazarus' famous poem
and the impact it left on the
visitors from Detroit.
Of course, there were the sub-
ways, the Fifth Avenue stores,
the many other New York at-
tractions. Then came word from
Detroit that Mama broke her
arm, and arrangements were
made for Freda to be driven
back home by a relative whose
kibitzing added to the excite-
ment of a young girl's experi-

ences on a vacation that ended
in a happy return home but the
introduction of new problems—
Mama's insistence that the fam-
ily move to a new home, in a
new neighborhood.
A date with a non-Jewish boy
who wanted to, make love in a
hearse, talk about a dowry, col-
lege days, the finding of a
roommate, the bringing of Chi-
nese food into the home and
the mother's protests, the mat-
ter of dating and mother's prej-
udices—there is no end to ex-
periences related here in a
spirit of jollity. ,
Mama plays her parts well in
all the factors of this tale. The
author's graduation from Wayne
University brought her new rec-
ognition.
Neighbors and friends have
their share of glory in this set
of reminiscences. Dr. Leo Kroll
gets honorary mention. The au-
thor's future husband meets the
dean. The Penslars, the Zuie-
backs, the Patricks (the Jews
with the Irish name), pass in
review.
To newcomers—"greenhorns"
—Mama's first advice was: "The
first thing you got to do is get
your First Papers . . . then
study the questions . . . In the
library they got books on how
to become a citizen . . . mine
Frieda will help you . . . If
you're a citizen, mine Nathan
says you got the most wonder-
ful gift in the Goldeneh Landeh
. . . LIFE . . . LIBERTY . . .
SUIT OF HAPPINESS . . "
And on the note of a Suit of
Happiness, which Mama wasn't
quite sure about and which
"Papa wore proudly," this hu-
morous book ends.

List Speakers for NCJIV Parley

Histadrut Hohors'
David J. McDonald

PHILADELPHIA, (JTA)
David J. McDonald, president
of the United Steelworkers of
America, received the 1963
Histadrut Humanitarian Award
at a dinner attended by some
1,200 trade union, business and
civic leaders.
In a message sent to the
American labor leader, Presi-
dent John F. Kennedy congra-
tulated McDonald on his being
selected by the National Com-
mittee for Labor Israel to re-
ceive the Histadrut Award.
Messages were also received
from former President Harry S.
Truman and Aharon Becker,
secretary-general of the His-
tadrut. Among the speakers at
the dinner were Supreme Court
Justice Arthur J. Goldberg,
Israel Ambassador Avraham
Harman, R. Conrad Cooper, exe-
cutive vice-president of the
United States Steel Corporation
and Jacob S. Potofsky, president
of the Amalgamated Clothing
Workers Union.

More than '700 delegates will
gather in Minneapolis this Sun-
day for the five-day convention
of the National Council of Jew-
ish Women. Highlighting the bi-

Mrs. Peterson Sen. McCarthy

ennial conclave, which marks
the 70th. anniversary of the edu-
cational and service organiza-
tion, will be addresses by U.S.
Senators Hubert H. Humphrey
and Eugene McCarthy.
Issues affecting the future of
Jewish life at home and abroad
will be pin-pointed in the presi-
dential report of Mrs. Charles
HYmes of Minneapolis, as well as
in speeches by Dr. Judah J. Sha-
piro, secretary of the Natiorial
Foundation for Jewish Culture,

and Meir Shapira, Israeli educa-
tor.
Another national figure to ad-
dress the convention will be As-
sistant Secretary of Labor Esther
Peterson, who will receive an
NCJW award for personifying
the convention theme, personal
commitment by women to social
progress.
The Council's services to Jew-
ish communities abroad will be
dramatized by the appearance
of Dr. Shapira,
principal of
the Hebrew
University
High School in
Jerusalem, for
which NCJW
has just built
a new $500,000
campus of
buildings. Dr.
Dr. Shapira
Shapira will present the dele-
gates with a key to the new
school, which is the model sec-
ondary school and teacher train-
ing center for the Hebrew Uni-
versity John Dewey School of
Education.

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Diane Berkowitz, 3, dons a
green hat in New York after
she was picked "Baby Col-
leen Queen Esther" by the
Loyal League of Yiddish Sons
of Erin. Diane reigned over a
combined St. Patrick's Day-
Purim Festival celebration.
Diane's granddad was born
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6 German Cemeteries
Desecrated Last Year

BONN, (JTA) — Details of
the recent West German Interior
Ministry report on extreme
right-wing and anti-Semitic ten-
dencies in the federal republic
during 1962 disclosed that there
were six desecrations • of Jew-
ish cemeteries during the past
year.
One of the desecrations, in
Cella, is still being investigated,
the report showed. It also listed
a number of minor anti-Semitic
offenses and smearings.

Elect Admiral Kahn
to Head French Jews

PARIS, (JTA) — Admiral
Louis Kahn was elected presi-
dent of the Central Consistory
of. France, the leading religious
body of French Jews. Admiral
Kahn is deputy president of the
Alliance Israelite Universelle.

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27 - THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS Friday, March 22, 1963

Frita Roth Drapkin's New Pooh,
`Mama Is a Citizen', Full of Fun

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