THE JEWISH NEWS
Incorporating the Detroit Jewish Chronicle commencing with issue of July 20, 1951
Member American Association of English—Jewish Newspapers, Michigan Press Association, National
Published every Friday by The Jewish News Publishing Co., 47100 West Seven Mile Road, Detroit 35,
Mich.,' VE 8-9364. Subscrip,.on $6 a year. Foreign $7.
Second Class Postage Paid At Detroit, Michigan
Editor and Publishes`
CARMI M. SLOMOVITZ SIDNEY SHMARAK HARVEY ZUCKERBERG
Sabbath Scriptural Selections
Sabbath, the twelfth day of Tevet, 5724, the following Scriptural selections will be read
in our synagogues:
Pentateuchal portion: Gen. 47:28-50:26. Prophetical portion: I Kings 2:1-12.
Licht Benshen, Friday, Dec. 27, 4:49 p.m.
VOL. XLIV. No. 18
December 27, 1963
Levantene Arrogance vs. U.S. Self-Respect
The scandalous Arab acts that have
shocked the sensibilities of the people of
England threaten to spread to our shores.
While many American firms have de-
fied the Arab demands not to deal with
Israel—their arrogance often extends to
attempts to boycott businesses conducted
by Jews who are remotely related to
Israeli industrial enterprises — the out-
rageous intrusions by the Arab League
into American affairs represent the basest
efforts at harming Israel.
The experience involving the United
States Information Agency emphasizes the
shocking arrogance of Arab efforts to
harm not only Israel and Israelis but
many non-Jews as well as Jews who have
business dealings with Israel.
State Department officials have been
slow in acting against such outrageous
arrogance. The time has come to call a
halt to silence and put an end to Arab
intrusions into American internal affairs,
and to their attempts, while benefiting
from the generous aid our country has
given them, to harm those whose tax
dollars have enriched their potentates. -
Sobeloff's Resignat ion. .. His Successor
Isidore Sobeloff's resignation as execu-
tive vice president of the Jewish Welfare
Federation of Detroit is the most sen-
sational local story to have been released
in a decade.
No one had expected that Mr. Sobeloff,
who became such a vital part of our entire
communal set-up, would ever leave De-
troit. Regardless of age, he remains age-
less. He is as dynamic today as he was
when he first came to Detroit 26 years
ago, and the guidance he has given our
community has helped build it to its
present status of wide recognition as one
of the most creative and most positive of
American Jewish communities.
Yet, this practical man, this man of
good sense and sound judgment, did make
the decision—so drastic to us but very
important to him and to American
Jewry—to leave us. It is for the purpose
of rendering aid to another community
that needs him so urgently. While we
shall miss him, this latest decision of his,
too, deserves commendation: he wishes
to continue to serve American Jewry and
he believes he can do it in Los Angeles.
It is trite to repeat a hackneyed state-
ment that Detroit's loss is Los Angeles'
gain. That stands to reason. Mr. Sobeloff's
acts have not always had the complete
approval of our community. He has had
opposition. He has been in ideological
conflicts here. Many of us have differed
with him on occasions. He would have left
us like a ninny if he had built a reputa-
tion of always having the complete en-
dorsement of his community for all that
he had done. It is because he has decided
views that are aimed at improving our
community's standards; it is just because
he has defied opposition in order to pur-
sue what he believed to be the correct
policies for our agencies, that he has
established an enviable record which has
won for him the title of Dean of American
Jewish Social Workers. Just because there
have been and perhaps there continue to
be differences of opinion on some of the
policies he has instituted, Mr. Sobeloff
emerges as a man of strength and of
convictions, and we admire him for adher-
ing to views he holds to be correct and
for the good of the community.
Indeed, Los Angeles is to be con-
gratulated that it is securing so able a
man as its executive director of its
welfare fund and community council.
Let us go back a few years to another
experience in Mr. Sobeloff's career. It
was in the war years, 1943-46, when it
became necessary in the best interests of
relief measure for this country, that the
War Chest was established. Twenty years
ago, Mr. Sobeloff already was considered
the most important Jewish social worker
to be drafted to conduct the War Chest
national activities from New York.
Now that experience is being re-
peated. In a sense, Los Angeles, the
second largest Jewish community in 'A Boy of Old Prague'
America—and perhaps in the world—is
growing so rapidly that it stands in dan-
ger of turning into another New York,
the only other world community that
supersedes it in Jewish numerical
strength. New York City has become a
Twice the drawings of Ben Shahn were the subjects of
jungle for Jewry. Its vastness has made review and comments in The Jewish News—in the evaluations
it difficult to organize and it functions in of his "The Alphabet of Creation" published by Pantheon and
fragments. While the domination in na- the two volumes, "Paintings" and "Graphic Arts," published by
tional organizations comes in the main Braziller.
from New York City, the creative and
Now he comes in for added praise for his drawings in "A
positive Jewish elements are lacking Boy of Old Prague," a splendid story, intended for young people
but suitable for all ages, by Sulamith Ish-Kishor, published by
Los Angeles is endangered by the Pantheon Books (22 E. 51st, NY22).
same experiences recorded in New York.
This is a charming story about Jews in the walled-in ghetto
Unless the situation is taken in hand, it, of Prague, written in the Ish-Kishor style that has become so
too, will become a jungle. It must be res- attractive to young readers.
cued from confusions, despairs, irrespon-
"A Boy in Old Prague" is a Christian peasant lad, Tomas,
sible actions and disorganization.
an uneducated youngster who was brought up on prejudices,
Mr. Sobeloff is the proper person to who saw nothing but evil in Jews, until he was himself appren-
attain that goal, and his departure for ticed to Jews as a punishment meted out by his Christian master.
Los Angeles, our loss indeed, must be
Then he had occasion to be confronted by a new life, by
viewed as a gain for American Jewry. humane treatment, by tolerance and mutual respect.
For, if a major Jewish community is
In the house of Pesach ben Leib he learned to love the
placed on a sound functioning basis, all child,
Joseph, to admire the ways of the Jews. It was not like
of American Jewry will benefit from it. his servitude to his Christian master Lord Hainier who punished
In wishing Mr. Sobeloff well in his him and where there was mistreatment, intrigue, brutality.
new and very responsible position, we
But tragedy soon fell on the house of Pesach ben Leib and
also congratulate Los Angeles Jewry. It the entire ghetto community.
has gained a great deal by securing the
Rainier had eyes on Pesach's beautiful daughter Rachel.
services of the Dean of American Jewish Rejected,
he instigated a massacre and the ghetto went up in
flames. It was a sight of horror. Fire swept through the Jewish
Mr. Sobeloff leaves with an excellent quarter, men, women and children were murdered.
record of having trained the best men in
Tomas tried to help. He would have sacrificed himself for
the Jewish social service field in America. his new Jewish friends. In the story narrated in the first person,
William Avrunin, one of the best Tomas concludes his account of what had happened:
products of associates who have been
"It was three days before I had learned what had actually
under his tutelage, takes over the vacated happened. The raging beasts of the mob had made a human
post with a record of devoted services to bonfire. They had dragged the Jews out of their houses, men,
Detroit Jewry, having acquired a thor- women and children, and brought them down to the market
Scores of bodies were found in a heap, outside a mass
ough knowledge of Jewish Welfare place.
ruined houses. When I went there the wind was blowing
Federation and Allied Jewish Campaigns of
the black flakes and fragments here and there. I searched,
procedures. He has worked harmoniously my
eyes blinded with bitterness, my hand trembling so that I
with Mr. Sobeloff for a sufficient number could hardly pick up what I found. After a long while I
of years to assure continuity of our com- found a scrap of molten silver with a pearl in it—some girl's
munity services. In this respect, we are ornament—and a tiny blackened pearl ring near by.
doubly fortunate—that we have had good
"Yet often I remind myself—when the sharp sorrow of it
leadership for more than a quarter of a pierces through my sleep till I wake up—that there were
century and that it has not left us un- families who were saved from the slaughter, that Jews were
wandering miles from town, living in the woods, or
prepared to carry on the tasks that make found
harbored on the humble farms of Christian people who felt
for a good community.
the black shame of what had been done. I am a clerk at the
Mr. Avrunin comes to his new post monastery
now, but I shall yet some day make search for
with an excellent Jewish background. He those whom I loved—yes, loved, Jews though they were. And
understands his work perfectly. He knows who knows? Perhaps some day I shall find them again, little
American Jewry. He has worked in Israel Joseph, and my gentle maiden, Mademoiselle Rachel, and the
and understands the needs of the Jewish old man who taught me from his Hebrew soul the loving-
State. He has been close to the national kindness which I had never known. I shall find them, and I
help them and work for them with my two strong hands,
scene and is one of the best informed shall
and among us we shall learn that the God of mercy is the same
men on all major American Jewish needs. God,
no matter where we find Him."
It is well that Detroit Jewry is so
so, there were good Christians even in the days when
properly fortified to have a good man ghettoes were
burnt, when lives were sacrificed.
succeed a distinguished Federation di-
Miss Ish-Kishor's is a very charming story. It follows a
rector. We have no doubt that Mr. Av- family tradition of excellent story-writing, mostly on Jewish
runin will be given the same cooperation themes.
that went to Mr. Sobeloff and that he
"A Boy of Old Prague" gains so much from the realistic
will be helped in his efforts to retain for and impressive drawings by Ben Shahn.
Detroit a major role as one of the world's
Giving an added measure of reality to this book are its
sound, positive and c r e a t i v e Jewish endpapers which are reproductions from a 16th century map
of the city of Prague.
Charming Ish-Kishor Story
Illustrated by Ben Shahn