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January 17, 1964 - Image 32

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1964-01-17

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

Friday, January 17, 1964—THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS-32

Late Samuel Friedenberg's Famous Medals,
Plaques Collection Is Reproduced in Impressive
Volume of 'Great Jewish Portraits in Metal'

Samuel Friedenberg (1886-
1957) was a collector of medals
and plaques. His life's aim was
"to gather medals of Jewish in-
terest in the widest sense, in-
cluding those of non-Jewish
origin, with bearing on the
Bible and Jewish history; and
to commemorate Jewish no-
tables in both the fields of
Jewish scholarship and general
civilization."
This explanation is offered
by Dr. Stephen S. Kayser of
the University of Judaism in
Los Angeles, in a preface to
"Great Jewish Portraits in
Metal — Selected Plaques and
Medals from the Samuel Fried-
enberg Collection of the Jewish
Museum," published by Schock-
en Books for the Jewish Muse-
um of the Jewish Theoogical
Seminary of America.
This volume has the great
merit of presenting the plaques
and medals, with explanatory
notes, and, in addition to the
evaluative foreword, it includes
an important introductory essay
by Dr. Cecil Roth on "Great
Jewish Portraits in Metal."
Dr. Kayser explains that the
round medal has two sides and
is usually struck; and the
plaque, one sided, usually • not
rounded. is cast. He states that
Samuel Friedenberg gave the
artists great liberty in matters
of size and shape and he em-
phasizes that size had nothing
to do with the importance of
the personality depicted.
Like the rest of the volume
containing the reproduced
Friedenberg collection, Dr.
Roth's 18-page essay is illus-
trated with old medals. He
takes the reader back to
Greek, Roman, Herodian and
other early periods. He states
that in the Second Temple
period Jews fought against
the introduction of animal
figures and he declares that
"these objections were some-
times actuated as much by
anti-Roman prejudice under

MONTH

Jan. 15 - Feb. 15

GRACE YOUR FAMILY
CELEBRATIONS

• Anniversaries
• Weddings
• Other Family Occasions
BY . . .

• Birthdays

Planting Trees
Filling Your JNF Box
Redeeming Dunams of Land
Inscription in the Golden
Book
❑ Inscription in the Sefer
Hayeled
Inscription in the Sefer
Bar-Mitzvah

JNF SABBATH will be
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a religious mask as by authen-
tic religious orthodoxy."
In spite of it. Dr. Roth states,
"the Rabbis of the Talmud . . .
could envisage the existence of
similar objects in a Jewish con-
text." He points out that "while
the eminent 13th-century au-
thority, Rabbi Meir of Rothen-
berg, objected to illuminated
prayerbooks m a i n l y because
they might distract the atten-
tion of the worshipper, he con- I
sidered three-dimensional rep-
resentations of animals to be
objectionable in their own right.
Yet some Jewish contemporaries
of his, at least in England and
in Spain, had signet rings which
embodied not merely represen-
tations of animals, but also
human heads."
Important personalities and
events of significant movements
and eras in Jewish history are
described by Dr. Roth and are
illustrated with photos of known
medals. He ascribes historical
significance to the achieve-
ments symbolized by Samuel
Friedenberg. He tells of his ef-
forts to collect valuable objects
for his collection, at times even
daring Nazi dangers in his
search for material, returning
to this country just on time to
escape the war dangers. Dr.
Roth states:
• "Already at the time of the
outbreak of World War II.
in the autumn of 1939, a
large proportion of the 500
pieces which the Frieden-
berg Collection of medals
then numbered, were por-
trait-medals, signalizing per-
sons of great significance in
Jewish history, such as Moses
Mendelssohn, Moses Monte-
fiore, Adolphe Cremieux and
Theodor Herzl. It was, in fact,
as Samuel Friedenberg view-
ed it, a graphic record of all
Jewish achievements in the
western world, executed in
metal."
Of the 700 medals commis-
sioned or acquired by Samuel
Freidenberg, 200 are repro-
duced in this impressive Schock-
en volume. It is. as Dr. Roth
describes it, "a picture gallery
of Jel,Vish history, a monument
to the Jewish genius, a re-
markable assembly of the pro-
ductions of some great Jewish
plastic artists."
Commencing with Jews
famous in philosophy and re-
ligion, this volume reproduced,
as one of the earliest plaques,
that of Isaac da Fonseca Aboab
—1605-1639—who had fled from
the Inquisition to Amsterdam.
There is an even earlier one in
this section—that of Don Isaac
Abrovanel, 1437-1508, the last
of the famous family of the
Spanish Golden Age in Jewish
history. Many famous men, in-
cluding Simon Markovich Dub-
mow, Hermann Cohen, Martin
Buber, Moses Hess, Mordecai
Kaplan, Moses Mendelssohn,
Solomon Schechter, Dr. Roth,
Abba Hillel Silver, Stephen
Wise and many others are in
this grouping.
This section includes plaques
of Maimonides (1135-1204) and
Menasseh ben Israel (1604-
1657):
In the public affairs section
are f e a t u r e d David Ben-
Gurion, Isaac Ben-Zvi, Leon
Blum, Judah P. Benjamin,
Benjamin Disraeli, Abba
Eban, Alfred Dreyfus, Theo-
dor Herzl, Vladimir Jabotin-
sky, Herbert Lehman, Max
Nordau, Herber t Samuel,
Leon Tr o t s k y, Henrietta
Szold, Moshe Sharett, Chaim
Weizmann, David Wolffsohn

OSS

`Step to Moon' an Exciting Book

"Project Gemini—Step to the all young people to be inspired,
Moon," by Michael Stoiko, illus- to understand and know the real
trated by Frank R. DiPietro, pub- facts about our national space
lished by Holt, Rinehart and program."
Winston (383 Madison, N.Y.),
The scientific data provided
and a score of other notables.
is the first book of its kind for by the author, who has written
Louis Brandeis, Felix Frank- young people describing the
a most exciting story, will be
furter, Benjamin Cardozo, astronautic projects.
welcomed by young readers as
Rufus Isaacs. Louis Marshall
The Gemini project is the an educational project, as a
are others. Business and finance
guide towards their understand-
is another impressive section code name for the U.S. scheme ing of one of the great scientific
for
a
prolonged
flight
by
two
with merchants and industrial-
developments of our t i m e.
ists of prominence. This applies men in a space craft. It is con- "Project Gemini" will excite,
also to those listed in the sec- sidered a step behind Project and educate, and will be cher-
Mercury for a three-man space
tion on science and medicine.
ished as a noteworthy book.
Sholem Asch, Mark Chagall, program, to be followed by the
Appolo
project
that
will
take
an
Chaim Nachman Bialik, Jacob
Epstein, Georg Brandes, Hein- American to and from the moon.
rich Heine. Lion Feuchtwanger,
The author, a member of the
Ludwig Lewisohn, Emma La- American Rocket Society who
zarus, Sholom Aleichem, Mon- has had 25 years' experience in
dele Mocher Sforim, Isaac Loeb the aircraft and missile fields,
Peretz, Israel Zangwill, Franz explains that his book "is the
Werfel, Jakob Wasserman, Sre- story of how America will go
phen and Arbold Zweig are to the moon. It clarifies the past
among the arts and literature fast - moving historical events
notables.
leading to America's decision
and explains how important a
An item of unusual interest
part Project Gemini will play
in the business and finance
in our great national goal. It
Max Schrut
section is the medal of the
was written because I wished
For Good Photographs
philanthropist, Gracia Men-
and Prompt Service
desia (Mendes)-1510-1569)—
Call me at
who was born in Portugal and
died in Turkey. Born into a
family of bankers, she fled
and his ORCHESTRA
the Inquisition, settled in
"Music At Its Best
Weddings - Bar Mitzvahs
Antwerp and became known
For Your Guests"
We Come to Your Home
as "the angel of the Mar-
With Samples
ranos." She was imprisoned
UN 4-6845
TY 5-8805
when her secret advocacy of
Judaism became known, after
she had fled to Venice, but
the Turkish Sultan, hoping to
benefit from her wealth,
(SOVIET UNION)
secured her release and she
• CLOTHING • SHOES • YARD GOODS • WATCHES
settled in Constantinople.

FRANK PAUL

BLAIR STUDIO

EL 7-1799

GIFT PARCELS TO U.S.S.R.

(In the years 1552 and 1556,
medals were cast also with por-
traits of Elias and Rica Delatess.
In the 17th century there were
medals depicting Jewish cere-
monials. The first known medal
with a Hebrew inscripition relat-
ing to a Jewish event in history,
cast in 1504, was dedicated by the
Jews of Rome to Pope Julius II
who had protested against the
Inquisition. The name of Benjamin
ben Eliyahu Beer, who may have
influenced the Pope, appears on
that medal).

Os sip Gabrilowitsch are
among the eminent personali-
ties in the famous group of
leaders in music and the the-
ater. There is a score of great
men and women with notable
achievements in this group.
Then there is a section con-
taining data on historic al
medals, including the plaque
comemorating the work of Theo-
dor Herzl, one dedicated to the
French fighters in the 1957
Sinai Campaign, Biblical medals,
a commemorative one on the
250th anniversary of the Jewish
settlement in the United States,
and others.
The immense value of this
book in that each item repro-
ducing a medal of a personality
carries with it a biographical
sketch of that person—making
it a sort of biographical an-
thology as well as a record of
significant medals and plaques.
The book is a valuable contribu-
tion to the role played by Jews
in an unusual field in the
plastic arts.

FOOD, ETC.
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Since 1947
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ANNOUNCE THAT REGISTRATIONS FOR THE FEBRUARY
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Fellowship Fund Set Up
at Weizmann Institute
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REHOVOTH, Israel — A re-
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National Secretary of Farband
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