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September 20, 1963 - Image 11

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1963-09-20

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

The five largest ethnic groups generations of energetic and
in New York City are the Jews,
gifted young people they have
Negroes, Puerto Ricans, Italians supplied to the arts, to radi-
and Irish. Although there have
cal politics, to the labor move-
been many changing trends, the ment."
city has remained a conglom-
"Many of these young peo-
eration of several nationality ple," it is indicated, "were able
groups.
in the twenties and thirties and
An examination of the historic forties to find challenging
roots of the various New York and satisfying environments that
elements, and a deep study of were formally or de facto Jew-
the population trends and dif- ish. Even while considering
ferences in the metropolis has themselves free from all Jewish
just been completed by two dis- ties, they worked among Jews in
tinguished scholars, Drs. Nathan the theater, in political activity,
Glazer and Daniel Patrick in the unions."
It is on the score of the young
Moynihan.
In "Beyond the Melting Pot," Jews' response to • Jewish ap-
published • by M. I. T. Press peals that this section dealing
and Harvard University Press, with the Jews is especially vital.
Cambridge 39, Mass., the two The authors state that the young
scholars review the history of Jews "find little in the formal
the five groups, their settlement, Jewish community of the day
their mutual contacts, their po- that attracts them. Neither the
litical interests, their culture synagogues and temples, nor
the charitable and philanthropic
and their.future.
...The conclusion they reach work, nor the fund-raising for
Israel and defense seems suf-
is that "the American na-
ficiently vital and relevant for
tionality is still forming," the most gifted young people
that "its processes are mys-
who are emerging from the com-
terious, and the final form,
munity."
if there is ever to be a final
But what about those in the
form, is as yet unknown."
"gilded ghetto," the a u t h ors
They view enthnicity as "the"
ask? "Are they likely to find
source of events." They de-
this new ghetto even as stimu-
clare that" in many ways, the
lating as the ghettoes of the
atmosphere of New York City
past?" They continue to state:
is hospitable to ethnic group-
"When the Jews lived on
ings: it recognizes them, and
the Lower East Side and in
rewards them, and to that ex-
other w or k in g-class areas,
tent encourages them."
they led a separate life. But
"Religion and race define the
they were intensely curious
next stage in the evolution of
about everything going on in
the American peoples," the
the outer world, eager to par-
authors assert The immigrant
ticipate in it and to master
groupings are vanishing, due to
whatever had to be mastered
intermarriage within the Cath-
for this participation. When
olic fold among Irish, Italians,
the Jews were thus most Jew-
Poles; and in the Jewish group
ish, when they took their
"the line between East Euro-
Jewishness for granted, they
pean, German and Near Eastern
looked forward to a time when
Jews is already weak."
all barriers would be down
They point to a resurgence
and they could participate
of liberalism within the white
freely in the labor movement,
Protestant group. They state
business, politics, culture and
that the Puerto Ricans. "are
social life. The ideology of the
separated from Catholics as well
working-class Jew was not
as Negroes by color as well as
separation but the fullest in-
culture" and that "one cannot
volvement in society; Jewish
even guess how this large ele-
culture and religion, they felt,
ment will ultimately relate itself
could take care of itself.
to the other elements in the
"Now that so many of these
city; perhaps it will serve, in
barriers are down, and Jews
line with its own nature and
have become less Jewish and
genius, to soften the sharp lines
more prosperous, there are
that divide them."
tendencies to ca u t i on and
The thorough studies of the
withdrawal.
A satisfying pat-
five major groups in New
tern of Jewish middle-class
York City make "Beyond the
Melting Pot" a noteworthy
book. The section on "The Tanak and Judaism
Jews" explains that the U.S.
An Excerpt from 'The
Census does not ask about re-
ligion, but that Jewish or- Hebrew Scriptures' by
ganizations seek information Prof. Samuel Sandmel
on the number of Jews in this
Rabbinic Judaism, charac-
country. - It is known, there-
terized by synagogue, Rabbi,
fore, that "more than a quar-
Scripture, and prayer, is a type
ter of the population of New of religion notably different
York City is Jeivish; that
from Pent a t e u c h religion,
about a third of the white and
marked by Temple, priest,
non-Puerto-Rican part of the
prayer, and animal sacrifices.
population of the city is Jew-
Midrash clarified Scripture, but
ish; that this huge concentra-
it also added to it, and, espe-
tion of Jews, the greatest that
cially it produced changes in it.
has existed in thousands of
Midrash
used the Tanak as the
years of Jewish history, forms
about two-fifth of all the Jews text, but often its meaning be-
came wondrously altered. Until
in the United States."
The existence of Jews in New the disruptive modern times,
York City is traced to 1654. The the Tanak, as interpreted by
manner in which they created the rabbis, was Judaism. Until
a Jewish culture is outlined by modern times, they clung to it
the authors who also review the in unbroken love and unbroken
economic base of the Jewish fidelity. The Tanak produced
community and their cultural Rabbinic Judaism; Judaism, in
turn, apotheosized the Tanak.
status.
There are few Jews in banks
Trade Developer
and insurance companies. Un-
David Gradis, an 18th cen-
like the Catholics and Protest-
ants, for Jews business and pro- tury French-Jewish merchant,
fessions "mean small business was responsible for developing
a considerable portion of
and free professions."
There is a passion for edu- France's trade with her colonies.
cation. There are trends, relat- During the Franco-British wars
ing to former.: discriminatory of that century, Gradis' fleet
practices, towards "a mixed managed to carry a large part
community.
of colonial products to France.
The trend towards suburbia
I cannot imagine a pleasanter
alSo is outlined in a study of
neighborhoods.
old age than one spent in the
"The real achievement of not too remote country where I
the Jews in America," it is could reread and annotate my
pointed out, "has been the favorite books.—Andre Maurois.

World of Fans Love Boorge Rosenbaum,
Alias Victor Borge, a Healthy Comedian

life has not yet emerged. This
failure in Jewish life reflects
the general unease of Ameri-
can middle-class life, as well
as the specific Jewish dilem-
ma of finding, in this amor-
phous society, a balance be-
tween separation and the loss
of identity."

Boorge Rosenbaum, or Victor
Borge as he is more commonly
known, is the subject of a re-
cent article entitled "Worlds
Funniest Comedian" in the

Jewish Digest, condensed from
a Reader's Digest stroy.
In it, Borge's career in show
business is related. Contrasted
with today's school of "sick"
comedians, he is described as
"healthy, benign and rarely
Thus, while evaluating the disposed to any social com-
status of the five large popula- ment."
tion groups in New York City,
Born in Denmark in 1909 as
Drs. Glazer and Moynihan point Boorge Rosenbaum, Borge was
their fingers at a specific Jew- a child prodigy at the age of
ish problem—that of identifi- four and a concert pianist at
cation of our youth and sur- 13. His precocious deXterity at
vival.
the keyboard was due largely to
"Beyond the Melting Pot" is his father, who, 62 at the time
especially valuable at this time, of his youngest son's birth, had
during the discussions on civil long been first violinist in the
rights issues, because of the orchestra of the Royal Theatre
thoroughness with which the in Copenhagen.
Negro and Puerto Rican prob-
But an important turning
lems are analyzed.
What is apparent is that the point in Borge's career oc-
melting pot idea has not yet curred almsot by accident. Most
materialized, and its fulfillment child p. r o di gie s suffer from
may never become a reality. stage fright, but Borge experi-
There are definite separatist enced the reverse—nervousness
ethnic trends in New York, and on behalf of his audiences who,
this book evaluates them with he felt, often showed super-
great skill. The differences in fluous tension. Suddenly, one
peoples are well defined and afternoon when he was perform-
their relationships get proper ing a Mozart concerto, he had
review. Students of sociology an impulse to put his audience
and demography will find great at ease. He turned and gave a
help in "Beyond the Melting long, slow wink. It brought
down the house.
Pot."

After this, Borge began mix-
ing bits of conversation and
comedy with his serious piano
renditions. From amateur the-
atricals, he moved into night
clubs and finally emerged as a
star of stage and screen, famous
throughout Scandinavia.
Borge fled to the United
States in 1940, after the Nazis
occupied Denmark. His first job,
with Ed Sullivan turned out a
fiasco. After improving his
English and developing a night
club and radio act, Borge was
on his way to achieve recogni-
tion in this country as a great
talent.
When he returns to Denmark,
as he does almost every sum-
mer, his audiences comprise a
quorum of the nation's popula-
tion; in 1956 he was knighted by
King Federik IX. But when he
is not traveling, Borge, along
with his wife, five children and
various horses, dogs and cats,
lives on a Connecticut farm.
The 450-acre farm had previ-
ously been run as a game pre-
serve specializing in pheasant
and wild ducks. Borge, whose
innate shrewdness about money
matters was honed to a fine
edge by his brief excursion into
poverty, expanded the poultry
coops into a business enterprise
which now sells some three
million Rock Cornish hens to
restaurants every year.

The Qu seal of approval of THE UNION OF ORTHO-
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1 1 -- THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS -- Frida y, Sept. 20, 1963

Ethnicity as 'Source of Events' Emphasized
in 'Beyond the Melting Pot'; Valuable Study
Points to Loss of Identity in Jewish Ranks

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