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May 31, 1963 - Image 24

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1963-05-31

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On the Record


Editor, Seven Arts
A President's Testament . • .
A man's last testament, it has
been said, is often his most re-
vealing self-portrait. This writer
will not undertake to weigh this
wisdom, though it seems most
true in the case of the late
President of Israel, Itzhak Ben-
The President, say those who
knew him, was an unpretentious
man, with a depth of sincerity
that was beyond measurement.
Those who were close to him
said he was a deeply religious
man rooted to Jewish values of
all kinds. There were also those;
mainly the cynics, who said the
President was impelled to syna-
gogues less by religion than by
social grace or perhaps by poli-
tical motivation, even though the
President in his terms of office
was perhaps the most apolitical
figure in the land. •However,
there ever • was any doubt about
the faith of the man. it has now
been dissipated by the last will
he made in December of 1961.
In that testament the President
emerges as a man of roots, pro-
foundly worried lest his children
and grandchildren deviate from
traditional observance. Here was
a facet of his character that will
long be remembered in all halls
of Jewish worship.
The Bar Mitzvah Scandal .. .
Life in America is good for
the • Jews but not all of the
manifestations of Jewish life in
America necessarily are good. A
thoroughly un-Jewish manifesta-
tion is the growing extravaganzas
of the Bar Mitzvah ceremony,
some of which can be described
only as vulgarization. Happily, a
Jewish leader has spoken out
publicly against such conspicu-
ous consumption and has asked
for action to dampen these ex-
cesses. Philip Goldstein, speak-
ing at the 34th annual conven-
tion of the National Federation
of Jewish Men's Clubs, hit hard
at the problem in his presiden-
tial report. Under the pressures
of what might be called keep-
ing up with the Rothschilds, Jew-
ish families are literally going
into debt for super-colossal Bar
Mitzvah ceremonies. Goldstein
properly called this "a form of
social climbing" and called on
Jewish lay and religious leaders
to speak out against such osten-
tations and thus give support to
Jewish parents who feel they
are helpless even if they wanted
to avoid such displays. Goldstein
might have broadened his indict-
ment to include Jewish weddings
in his suggestion that parents
deduct a specified amount from
their budgets for these cere-
monies and contribute that
amount to a deserving cause,
trimming the social aspects of
the ceremonies 'accordingly.
They Went to. Shul . .
Premier Nikita Khrushchev,
defending himself against as-
saults that the Soviet Union was
conducting a repressive policy
against Jewish religious and
cultural continuity in the coun-
try, has said over and over
again that Jewish nationals in


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the Soviet Union were enjoy-
ing the same rights as others
and that if they did not go to
synagogues and showed no in-
terest in building cultural in-
stitutions it was only because
they were no longer interested
in such matters.
Very frankly, we never be-
lieved that fiction. Adding fuel
to the disbelief is a recent wire
service report that the Great
Synagogue in Moscow was
jammed with 1,500 worshippers
on the Sabbath of observance
of the 20th anniversary of the
Warsaw Ghetto uprising. Sure-
ly the worshippers were not
enticed by "promotion" or
"Madison Avenue" gimmicks.
Nor by the notices that did not
appear in the 'press. They came
in droves because this was a
significant occasion and they
wanted to identify themselves
with the Jews throughout the
world in remembrance of the
Warsaw event.
This writer is no stranger to
synagogues — yet he has no
recollection of ever seeing 1,500
worshippers converge on a syn-
agogue on any occasion other
than "Izkor" perhaps. A people
that sends 1,500 Jews to syna-
gogues in one city on a Sabbath
cannot be said to be decaying,
or to be indifferent to Jewish
values, as Khrushchev would
have us believe.

Jewish Publication
Marks Second Year
in Soviet Union

LONDON (JTA)—The second
anniversary of "Sovietisch Heim-
land," the bi-monthly Yiddish
periodical published in Moscow,
was celebrated in the Soviet
capital with an evening of read-
ings and discussion, in the Yid-
dish language, attended by about
700 persons, press dispatches
from Moscow reported.
Aaron L. Vergelis, editor of
the periodical, told the meeting
that government permission has
been obtained for increasing the
magazine's circulation, now lim-
ited to 25,000 copies. There are
about 800 subscribers in the
Moscow area, it was revealed.
Vergelis announced also that
some books in Yiddish will soon
be published. There have been
no Yiddish books issued in the
USSR for several years.
The meeting, held in the audi-
torium of the Moscow. Writers
Club, was attended by subscrib-
ers who had been invited by
mail. There had been no prior
announcement of the meeting in
the Soviet press or on city
billboards in Moscow.

United Hias Helped
to Re-Settle 9,300

' NEW YORK, (JTA)—Of 9,300
men, women and children given
rescue and resettlement in 1962
by United Hias Service, 46 per
cent came to the United States,
James P. Rice, executive director
of United Hias, stated in his an-
nual report.
The total figure of 9,300 repre-
sented a 30 per cent increase
over the previous year, he. said.
Of the remaining 54 per cent of
the migrants, he added, resettle-
ment was arranged by Hias in
Canada, Brazil and Australia.

Fourteen New Jersey Labor •
Unions Buy $442,500 in Bonds
Fourteen labor unions in
New Jersey purchased a total
of $442,500 in State of Israel
Bonds to promote the economic
development of Israel. The oc-
casion was a dinner in honor of
Richard P. Donovan, director of
the labor participation depart-
ment, AFL-CIO, Welfare Fed-
eration of Newark and Presi-
dent of the Essex-West Hudson
Labor Council, AFL-CIO, - who
was designated New Jersey's
Labor Man of the Year.

Recalling the
First Pioneers

(On the 25th Anniversary of the
Death of Alter Druyanov)
This year, the "Year of the
First Pioneers", marks the 80th
anniversary of the first wave of
immigration to Israel from Rus-
sia, Romania and Yemen, and
it is fitting to recall the mem-
ory of Alter Druyanov who did
more than anybody else for the
preservation of the memory of
the first pioneers.
Druyanov earned his niche in
Zionist history as a scholar and
author, and as editor of the cen-
tral Zionist organ "Haolam",
later of the daily "Haboker",
and as an expert in Jewish folk-
lore. He had been invited by
the Odessa Committee of Hov-
evie Zion to collect the docu-
ments relating to the history of
the first ten years of the Hibbat
Zion Movement and to edit
them in book form.
Druyanov's collection grew
into a large enterprise: He came
to realize that the archives of
Pinsker and Lilienblum, which
had been placed at his disposal,
would prove insufficient for a
clear and complete picture, and
so he began gleaning material
also from many other sources.
After the outbreak of World
War I, the Russian censorship
forbade the publication of He-
brew books, Nonetheless Dru-
yanov went ahead with the
work, acting also as type com-
positor. However, the shortage
of type during the Russian Rev-
olution put an end to his activi-
ties. Nonetheless Druyanov had
succeeded in publishing part of
the documents in the first vol-
ume of his "Writings on the
History of the Hibbat Zion
Shortly afterwards, Druyanov
emigrated to Eretz Israel and
brought with him numerous
documents. It had not been
easy to conceal them from the
watchful eyes of, the "Yevzek-
tia", the Jewish Communists.
The second and third volumes
of his "Writings" were pub-
lished in Tel Aviv in 1925 and
1932 respectively. These three
volumes are a veritable treas-
ure-house of sources for the
history of the first ten years of
the Hibbat Zion Movement.
Druyanov's house in Tel Aviv
became a center of documenta-
tion, an archive to which rec-
ords pertaining to the Hibbat
Zion Movement were sent from
all over the world. However, he
realized that it was beyond the
capacity of a private individual
to discharge the functions of a
national archive, and so he de-
cided to hand over his rich col-
lection to the Central Zionist
Archives which had been trans-
ferred to Eretz Israel from Ber-
lin in 1933. At present the Dru-
yanov Collection in these Ar-
chives serves as a primary
source for the study of pre-
Herzlian Zionism. This collec-
tion also contains interesting
photographs of the first Jewish
setttlers in Eretz Israel.


Israel Drafts Reply
to Khrushchev's Plan
on Atom-Free Mid-East

JERUSALEM, ( J T A ) — Is-
rael's cabinet heard at its Sun-
day meeting the outline of a
proposed reply to be made to
the Soviet Union's offer, an-
nounced last week to make the
Mediterranean area a "nuclear-
free" region.
Mrs. Golda Meir, Israel's For-
eign Minister, told the cabinet
about her proposed reply, and
was given additional guidance
on the subject by the cabinet.
While no details of the planned
reply to Moscow were revealed,
it was understood that Israel,
in its response to the Krem-
lin would emphasize the fact
that it favors total disarmament
of all weapons, including nu-.
clear ones.

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Leon Uris Plans
Musical Play on
Birth of Israel

Leon Uris, author of "Exo-
dus," has disclosed he plans to
write a musical play dealing
with the birth of Israel as a
'nation with the years 1945-46
as time of the setting.
Tentatively called "S'ong of
Israel," writing of the produc-
tion has not yet been started.
Elmer Bernstein will team with
Uris as the composer who will
write the score. Bernstein soon
will visit Israel to research his
subj ect.
Said Uris: "What we have in
mind is not an American tour-
ist's view of Israel. This will
show the struggle, the anguish
and conflicts of a quest for
Uris presently is completing
work on his latest novel, "Arm-

Bnai Brith 95th Annual
Convention in Chicago
At a joint meeting of the
Officers of Bnai Brith Women
District Six and District Grand
Lodge No. 6, it was announced
that the 95th anual conven-
tion of the men and the 31st
convention of the women will
be held in Chicago June 23-26.
Convention headquarters will
be at the Morrison Hotel.

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