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September 13, 1963 - Image 30

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1963-09-13

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Friday, Sept. 13, 1963 — THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS — 30

Two-Volume_ 'Jews in the Modern World'
Outlines International Conditions and
Cultural Shortcomings of U. S. Jewry

In "Jews in the Modern sents an analysis of the decline

World," the two-volume compila-
tion of facts and figures, edited
by Jacob Freid and published by
Twayne (31-Union Sq. W., NY3),
the most vital information has
been incorporated about Jewish
communities throughout the
world.
The editor of this valuable
record, which includes data gath-
ered by the most authoritative
Jewish scholars, was associated
with the American Jewish Con-
gress and was the editor of its
"Jewish Affairs" pamphlet series.
He is now the executive director
of the Jewish Braille Institute
of America. He received his
Ph.D. from Columbia University,
was president of the Columbia
U. Jewish Graduate Society,
taught sociology at Rutgers Col-
lege where he now heads the
department of political science.
Dr. Freid was in charge of the
Moscow desk of the Office of
War Information and the U. S.
State Department during World
War II and was liaison officer
between the latter and the U. S.
Embassy in Moscow.

With such a background, Dr.
Freid is highly qualified to be
the compiler of world Jewish
data. His "Jews in the Mod-
ern World" supplements in im-
portance the volume by the
late Dr. Arthur Ruppin, which
appeared under a similar title
in 1934.
In his introduction, Dr. Freid

lists the following comparative
Jewish population figures:

3,250,000
1825
4,750,000
1850
7,500,000
1880
10,500,000
1900
15,000,000
1925
1933 nearly 16,000,000
1961 some 12,650,000

He presents these as "a ba-
rometer index of the degree of
world civilization in general and
of national morality and democ-
racy in particular.
While in 1934 it already 'was
prophesized that Russian Jewry
"faced dissolution," it was the
Nazi terror that caused the de-
cline from 1933 to date. "Since
1933," Dr. Freid states, Jewry
has been reduced to a fraction
of its former numbers. Shtetl
life is a wraith of memory . . ."
Describing the developments
in the USSR and if! Moslem
countries, and the emergence of
Israel and the United States as
the two great Jewish centers of
world Jewry, Dr. Freid asserts:

"The argument that Jews are
safest where they are fewest,
where a small number can fade
anonymously into the general
population, and being lost as
Jews, can rise as individuals
without stirring up attention
or jealousy, has been refuted
by the more than five million
Jews in the United States."

The series of studies in these
two volumes appropriately com-
mences with the two essays by
Dr. Jacob Lestchinsky, offering
the balance sheet of extermina-
tion. Here we are told that the
remnant of European Jewry has
begun to rebuild institutional
life, but we are admonished that
American Jews "must learn what
has been lost and, wherever pos-
sible, add what has been lost to
their own experience so that the
continuity of the Jewish heritage
will remain unbroken."
Dr. Lestchinsky, evaluating the
decline of Jewish cultural insti-
tutions, is pessimistic in his as-
sertion that the present genera-
tion of American-born J e w s,
"subjected to much more intense
assimilationist f or c e s, on the
whole possesses neither the
knowledge nor the inspiration to
keep those institutions vita 1,
much less to assure their con-
tinued development." But he con-
cludes with a note of hope that
there still are some who possess
the keys to the Jewish treasures.
Dr. Nehemiah Robinson pre-

that has occurred in another
area of the world, in "Jews in
Moslem Lands."
In two essays on "Jews in the
Soviet U n i o n," covering the
periods from 1917 to date, Dr.
Jacob Robinson sees the pros-
pect for the future as ominous.
He speaks of the possibility of
emigration as a factor that could
relieve the security risk status
of remaining Jews and could in
turn lead "both to the reconsti-
tution of minority rights for
those who choose to exercise
them and the opportunity of full
integration for those who choose
to assimilate."

Dr. Freid himself analyzes
the status of "Jews in Latin
America." He develops his
theme by presenting popula-
tion figures a n d numerous
other facts. He shows how the
Cuban population is declining,
2,000 of the 10,000 Jews hav-
ing emigrated since Castro as-
sumed power, and he predicts
further emigration and deteri-
oration. On the whole he sees
Latin American Jewry as "an
increasing force among the re-
maining substantial Jewish
communities in the world."

Dr. Freid also is the author of
the essay on "American Jewish
Youth: Two Generations." He is
pessimistic: "Jewish youth today
does not have too vital an un-
derstanding of its world, and its
relationship to it as a Jew."
The second part of the first
volUme is devoted to the con-
sideration of "The Struggle for
Civil Rights." Dr. Freid's first
article in this series is on "The
American Jew as Civil Servant."
Leo Pfeffer discusses "Church
and State: A Jewish Approach."
In his article "Is American
Jewry Secure?", Will Maslow ex-
presses the view that there is a
"deepening sense of security on
the part of American Jews which
enables them to live and think
and act as full equals with their
fellow-Americans."
Gladwin Watson writes on
"Action for Unity," emphasizing
the need for knowledge and for
improvements in intercultural re-
lations. "Roots of Prejudice" are
discussed by Gordon W. Allport
and Bernard M. Kramer. There
is an essay by Alexander W.
Pekelis on "Freedom of Speech
and Freedom of the Air." Dr.
John Slawson writes on "The
Unequal Treatment—The Social
Club . . . Citadel of Discrimina-
tion." The concluding essay in
the first volume, by N. C. Belth,
is on "The Jews in Middletown."
There is an epilogue, "Anti-
Semitism Today," by Benjamin
R. Epstein, who warns that "the
phenomenon of anti-Semitism is
deep-rooted; it will not die in
our time; and before it does it
will claim many more victims."
* * *
The second of these two-vol-
ume series is devoted to art and
literature and to the Diaspora-
Israel Dialogue.
In every aspect, in this volume
as in the first, important prob-
lems facing Jewry are discussed.
Menachem Boraisha and Dr.
Meyer Waxman review the
stories of Yiddish and Hebrew,
and Harold U. Ribalow outlines
the problems that have arisen
relating to Jewish writers' nega-
tive views in his article "Ameri-
can Jewish Writers and Their
Judaism." Alfred Werner dis-
cusses the story of Jewish art.
The dialogue with Israel is
significant, and has serious im-
plications in American Jewry's
concern about the education of
our youth. At the same time, the
future of Zionism enters into
the discussion.
Thus, Prof. Mordecai M. Kap-
lan still maintains, in his dis-
cussion of "The Next Step in
Zionism," that the Zionist move-
ment can unite Jewry in many
fields of endeavor.

In a essay "Vision and Re-
demption," David Ben-Gurion
maintains that there can be a
deepening of Jewish con-
science through Hebrew educa-
tion, intensification of per-
sonal bonds with Israel and
"deepening the attachment to
the Messianic vision of redemp-
tion that is the vision of Jew-
ish and human redemption
held by prophets of Israel."

Adon Olam' Hymn

By RABBI SAMUEL J. FOX

body of the prayers (Shemo-
nah Esreh—the eighteen bene-
dictions.

(Copyright, 1963,
Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Inc.)

The hymn "Adon Olam" is
chanted at the beginning of the
daily prayer service.
Its contents comprise a proc-
lamation of the faith in the
Almighty and His attributes.
This makes a fitting introduc-
tion to the prayers because one
must indeed have faith in the
Almighty and in His Omnipo-
tence if one is to pray. Also it
may have had special signifi-
cance during the eventful days
of persecutions when others
tried to dissuade us from our
faith in Him.
"Adon Olam" also is chanted
at the end of the service to
demonstrate that even though
we have completed our prayers
we are not finished praying be-
cause the duty of prayer never
ends and we are always ready to
begin again—as indeed we will
at the next prayer service. Since
it was with the chanting of Adon
Olam that we began the service
we use the same chant to close
it—also, perhaps, as an indica-
tion that we are imbued with
the same faith at the end of the
service that we had at its be-
ginning.
Some congregations omit the
Adon Olam at the end of the
evening srvice. Since the Adon
Olam is not used to begin the
evening service, it evidently has
no place at the end of the serv-
ice. Others persist in chanting
it at the end of the evening
service, perhaps to demonstrate
that we conclude the prayers of
the day as a whole with the
same faith as we began in the
morning. Some say the Adon
Olam before going to bed, prob-
ably for this same reason.

"Judah and Israel" is an en-
lightening essay by Dr. Robert
Gordis who emphasizes the vital
task of education for American
Jewry and offers some basic
principles for soul-searching by
Israeli Jewry.
Dr. Salo Baron writes on "The
Dialogue Between Israel and the
Diaspora", outlining the mag-
netic power of Israel, suggesting
a new program for Zionism and
pleading for a cultural-religious
partnership with Israel.
Emphasis on education is con-
tained in "Educating the Jewish
Child" by Uriah Zevi Engelman..
There is an article by Moshe
Sharett, "Jewry Between East
and West." Nathan Rothenstreich
is the author of "Judaism in the
World of Our Day." "Demo-
graphic Characteristics of Anieri-
can Jews" are discussed by Na-
than Goldberg.
The two volumes end with a
concluding analysis by Dr. Freid.
Jewish traditions, he points out,
are "in keeping with a folk
whose greeting is 'S h a 1 o m,'
whose toast is `L'Chaim.' " He
concludes:
"Will Jews in the modern
world choose to be Jews? Cer-
tainly. But the quality of that
choice as measured by the level
of Jewish social identity, historic
Some people keep their
loyalty, cultural and spiritual eyes dosed during the main
expression and scholarship, in-
tellectual understanding, secular
idealism, and religious commit-
ment is for the future to reveal."

The practice is based upon a
source in the Zohar, the famed
central text of the Kabbalah. It
is claimed that when one issues
the central theme of the prayer
ritual, one should feel himself
directly in the presence of the
Almighty. One should therefore
close his eyes, either as a sym-
bol that one dare not look di-
rectly on His presence, or as a
means of not seeing anything
else when one is in front of
Him. Some sources claim that
covering one's head with the
Talith (Prayer shawl) or con-
fining one's- gaze exclusively to
the prayer book has the same
effect.

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I

Our prayers go forth during the sacred

Almogi to Address
Israel Bond Parley

days we are now observing for peace for

NEW YORK, (JTA)—Israel's
Minister of Development and
Housing, Yosef Almogi, has ac-
cepted an invitation to address
the forthcoming fall planning
conference of the Israel Bond
Organization, announced its
president, Abraham Feinberg.
The conference will be held
Sept. 13-15 in Washington, and
is expected to be attended by
more than 500 Jewish leaders
from the United States and
Canada.

Israel's bumper citrus export
season ended on May 15, with
a total of 121/2 million cases
shipped, netting $72 million, as
compared with 1961/62 exports
of 81/2 million cases which
brought $43 million

the entire world and for a state of amity

among all nations.

4

May the New Year 5724 be marked

by the fulfillment of mankind's and

Jewry's highest ethical goals.

d.

lzri:TtlAito mob

Mr. and Mrs. Abe Kasle and Family

1'4

a l

The Officers and Workers of the

ISRAEL HISTADRUT CAMPAIGN

Extend Sincerest Good Wishes for a Year of Health and
Happiness to All Their Friends and to the Michigan
Community at Large and Call for the Continued Support
of Histadrut in Its Program of Cultural, Educational and
Medical Aid to the People of Israel.

DETROIT COMMITTEE

Harry Schumer, Honorary Chairman; Morris Lieberman, Chairman; Sidney Shevitz, 1st Vice-
Chairman; Irving Pokempner, Chairman Executive Board; Normari Cattier, Treasurer; Isadore
L. Shodreck, Financial Secretary; Mrs. Milton Weiss, Secretary; Alfred Michaels, Executive
Di rector.

-4

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