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June 04, 1965 - Image 2

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1965-06-04

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Purely Commentary

The Opera . . . the Masses and the Classes

The Week Packed Full
with Challenging Issues
Involving Jewry and the U.S.

By Philip Subversion Charge
Slomovitz Leveled Against

Voluntarism and Orderliness in Campaigning

It is fortunate for the American Jewish communities that volun-
Describing the first-nighters at the Masonic Temple, on the night
of the opening of the Metropolitan Opera's "season" in Detroit, Louis tarism motivates nearly all of the major efforts in our activities in
Cook wrote a classic for the Free Press. His report merited the heading behalf of the scores of causes that appeal to us. And we are equally
"Mink Coats March to Met as Calico Crowd Looks On." In part, Cook blessed with the orderliness that rules in our midst.
wrote:
A statement issued by the Jewish Welfare Federation in its effort
independent fund-raising in relation to the major appeals
to
define
they had had rose petals they would
Even an hour before curtain time
made by the Allied Jewish Campaign recognizes quite properly
have strewed them on the crowds that
on opening night of the Metropolitan
stood on either side.
Opera, the first-night fans were step-
that all philanthropic activities are voluntary. Naturally, whatever
The younger couples were pale and
ping up to that red carpet rolled out
the appeal the leadership must be "responsible and informed" to serve
apprehensive.
to the curb to walk the most famous
They were bucked np by the old
last mile in the Detroit social year.
the general interest.
pros of social combat, who gave them
The authorities have never agreed
comradely smiles as they showed them
on whether the first night crowd at
The involvements, however, after the obligations to the Allied
how
to
take
the
high
ground.
the opera has anything to do with
Jewish Campaign have been met, are much vaster than indicated by
Gov. Romney offered a valiant ex-
cultItre.
ample to them all, head held high
But it is reasonable to suppose an
the casual Federation Guidelines observation that "as long as groups
and smile flashing, giving not the
aria can be enjoyed as much in tails
organize to raise funds, some citizens will support them." What is in-
slightest indication that he may have
and mink as it can in overalls and
been wondering how all this would
calico.
volved in a very large area of responsibility that includes Hadassah,
go over in Lake County.
In any case it would have been a
Pioneer Women, Histadrut, Jewish National Fund, Mo'os Hitim, Yeshiva
There was sufficient peau de soie
pity to disappoint the crowd which
and Chantilly to bandage the wounded
awaited the splendor of the occa-
University, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, Jewish
at Bull Run, and enough mink and
sion. and Detroit society was noblesse
Theological Seminary, Brandeis University and many other causes that
sable to have kept warm Napoleon's
oblige all the way.
army falling back from Moscow.
A few chickened out and slid up
are not in our major drive.
One dear lady took. the easy way
the side steps. But the bulk did the
out and clambered up the side steps,
handsome thing and took the garishly
Involved are not some but nearly all of our citizens who do not
only to be met at the top by the icy
illuminated center entrance, fighting
provide for all obligations with their largest gifts. Voluntarism domin-
stares of her peers who had ar-
their way to the doors according
rived the hard way.
ates throughout, and without responsible leaderships we would turn
to their various natures.
She descended the steps and grimly
Some clenched their teeth and bored
into a jungle. Fortunately for our immediate community, responsi-
mounted again on the carpeted area.
up the steps like sailors going aloft
Rank has not only its privileges but
at Cape Horn.
bility is deep-rooted. Woe unto us if there were such domination that
its obligations.
Others dawdled, smiling, and if
could rule out the extra-curricular activities which provide for great
The poor rich! They have their problems. They have cornered the causes that must share the community's generosity. Fortunately, the
market for the operas so that a less affluent fellow can't even get a general community can and does dip into the experience of those who
ticket to the opera, but they have to struggle through red carpets and conduct "independent" drives and benefits from their leadership.
be scrutinized by an observing mass of people. Curiosity seekers have Aren't these the blessings of our democratic status?
turned the mink-wearers into curiosities.
Thus, we are an united community in the sense that we recognize
Ali, then, what it all proves is that there still are masses and that the major drive does not cover all spheres and that provisions
classes, and the classes go to the opera while the masses watch them Must be made for the numerous causes that depend upon us for gifts
on the sidelines as they are driven to the curb to drag their weary to sustain them. We are voluntary, we are orderly, we are respon-
sible: what else can one say for a good community?
bones on carpeted floors!
Really, our dear Louis Cook, you wrote a very good piece, but it
is the normal way of life. There were and there always will be the Inconsistency in Conservatism
classes, but those of us who are with the masses are so lucky. Aren't
Conservative rabbis were among the first, several years ago, to
we the Beloved of the Lord? Wasn't it Mark Twain who said: "God undertake the task of enrolling entire congregational memberships in
loves the common people: that's why he made so many of us."
the Zionist Organization. A few succeeded, but in the main it was
So, we salute our fellow-men of the masses, who form the mere publicity talk.
Now, at the Rabbinical Assembly sessions last week, a new gim-
majority.
*
mick in notoriety was introduced by a proposal to form a new move-
CLASSES, compiled by Joseph L. Baron in "A Treasury of ment because some of the rabbis felt the World Zionist Organization
Jewish Quotations" (JPS): Benjamin Disraeli in "Sybil" (1845): "is no longer adequate."
"As property has its duties as well as its rights, rank has its bores
We are not so certain that the critics are sufficiently qualified
as well as its pleasures" . • . Moses Mess in "Ben Chananja" to have expressed such criticism. Rabbis especially must aim to be
(1862) : "Religion, philosophy and politics leave me cold if they constructive, positive, factual, helpful. What the critics did at their
do not help to ... put an end to caste spirit and all class rule" convention last week at the Concord certainly was not helpful to a
. . . James Oppenheim in "A Psycho-Analysis of the Jews" great movement that now, more than ever, needs encouragement.
(1926) : "The Jews have been a people without classes" . . .
The judgment on "adequacy" in Zionism will undoubtedly re-
Arthur Penrhyn Stanley in "History of the Jewish Church" main another of the unaccomplished oratorical bombasts. Those who
(1862): "There was one point by which it (Israel) was dis- do not help a movement will not harm it. That does not mean that
tinguished from the other nations of antiquity, namely, its com- the rabbis who turned critics of Zionism should be permitted to resort
parative absence of caste, its equality of religious relations" . . . to negativism. Let them make it as easy to build as it is to destroy.
From the Talmud, Berakot, 1'7a: "My (peasant) neighbor and I And let them remember that a messianic idea which gave birth to the
are both God's creatures. My work is in town, his in the country. State of Israel can not be harmed with a few ill-advised words.
As he does not presume to do my work, I do not presume to do
a
his. And we have learned: it is all the same . . . provided one
First
Fedaheen
.
.
.
Now
Fatah
directs one's heart to Heaven."
Prior to the Sinai Campaign, there were fedayeen—invading
Egyptian gangsters—who molested Israelis and compelled the Israeli
Aaron Pregerson's Public Service
attack on Nasser's forces.
Aaron Pregerson had not been well for several years, and there-
Now there is a Fatah Organization which sends saboteurs and
fore his name did not figure in the news for some time. But those murderers into Israel from Jordan.
who had labored here in Israel's causes in the 1920s and 1930s could
To protect its villagers, Israel maneuvered an invasion into three
not possibly forget the many good deeds attributable to him.
Jordanian villages and destroyed outposts whence came the marauders
He was one of the community's most distinguished leaders. He who threatened life and property on Jordan's borders in Israel.
was a scholar and his devotion to Zionism and to learning has deep
Let it be known that what happened last week—the Israeli in-
roots in his lifelong links with his people and his peoples' needs.
vasion into Jordanian territory—was in self defense. No nation can
As a lover of culture, as one devoted to learning, he had devoted possibly tolerate invasions of a fedayeen or fatah nature. That's what
himself loyally to our Hebrew schools and as president of the United happened—and it should be understood as having been a justified
Hebrew Schools he was an able leader in educational ranks.
and inevitable act on Israel's part.
The late Mr. Pregerson was deeply devoted to all Zionist efforts
He was especially dedicated to the Jewish National Fund and was
among the regular tree-planters in pre-Israel Palestinian Jewish settle-
ments and in the past 17 years in Israel.
There is no doubt about the leading role he played in pioneering
the UN convention for the elimi-
Special to The Jewish News
efforts for education and for Zionism here. His deeds make his mem-
nation of religious intolerance.
JERUSALEM — The Bnai Brith
ory blessed.
Justice Goldberg pleaded for
convention
which
concluded
here


on May 27 elected Dr. William A. religious freedom in Russia and
Inhumanity of Immigration Law and Public Sentiments
Wexler of Savannah, Ga., as presi- elsewhere and for continued ef-
forts to preserve Judasim in Israel
America has much to contend with among the nations of the dent, to succeed Label Katz.
and elsewhere.
world. We help many, yet we are abused. We are the benevolent, yet
Dr. Wexler, 51, an optometrist
Prime Minister Levi Eshkol,
we are despised. Obviously we need to reconstruct our public relations who for 26 years has been active
addressing the convention,
system to regain the respect of the world.
in Bnai Brith and has held numer-
Bat if there is a single factor contributing to the shocking attitudes ous offices in the movement, de- at the old Roman amphitheater
in Caesarea, warned that assim-
us
among
the
nations
it
is
the
inhuman
McCarran-Walter
towards -
Judge David Coleman of
Immigration Act, the provisions of which are so inhuman, so feated
Los Angeles by a margin of 30
irrational, that they have made us the laughing stock of mankind.
All of our Presidents since Truman have advocated liberalization votes out of a total of 301.
Dr. Wexler, who is active in
of the immigration laws. They have failed. It now appears that Presi-
Israel Bonds, UJA and other major
dent Johnson"s appeal is also to fall on deaf ears.
Congressman Feighan of Ohio opposes the new proposals with Jewish causes, was a candidate on
vigor and seems determined to block attempts to remove from the a platform of cooperation with all
Jewish world and national causes.
measure the objectionable portions.
Now comes the Harris Survey with a report that there is a two- A strong advocate of civil rights,
to-one opposition to changes in existing laws among all Americans. he gained fame when he offered
What is shocking in the Harris analysis is that the figure for Jews, the deed of his home as bond for
while indicating 44 per cent favoring changes, indicates that 41. per a non-Jew from Washington who
cent appose liberalization. This is shocking and difficult to believe. was arrested in Savannah as a
Jews have traditionally supported liberal immigration laws. There was demonstrator for equal rights for
a time when it was motivated by the great need to provide a haven of Negroes.
At the closing session of the
refuge for oppressed Jews. But currently there are very few Jews
convention, U. S. Supreme Court
seeking admission to this country. Responsible Jewish leadership
Justice Arthur Goldberg rejected
strongly supports revisions in this act for humanitarian reasons, and it
pessimistic attitudes about the
is difficult to conceive of even 1 per cent of American Jews opposing
future of Jewry and expressed
changes, let alone the quoted 41 per cent.
hope in the rising young gener-
The existing law is inhuman. This is sufficient to encourage
ation. He criticized anti-Jewish
changes. We doubt whether the liberal element will succeed, but the
acts in Russia and said that if
battle for abandonment of the unjust provisions must go on, regardless
the Soviet Union truly opposes
of the sad prospects for defeat of the progressive forces advocating
DR. WILLIAM A. WEXLER
anti-Semitism it should support
abandonment of this injustice.

Israeli in Soviet

(Direct JTA Teletype Wire
to The Jewish News)

LONDON—A top Israeli embassy
official was charged Tuesday by a
Soviet newspaper with subversive
activities among Jews in the Re-
public of Georgia, it was reported
here Wednesday from Moscow.
The charge was the latest in a
series of such accusations against
Soviet diplomats stationed in Mos-
cow in recent weeks.
The newspaper Zarya Vostoka,
published in Tiflis, the Georgian
capital, asserted that First Secre-
tary David Bartov tired to get
Russian Jews to betray the Soviet
Union. The newspaper charged
that Bartov, accompanied by Yo-
sef Tekoah, the Israeli ambassador
to Russia, visited two Georgian

synagogues.

The newspaper accused them of
m aking an "undisguised appeal"
to the Jews in the synagogues "to
leave their fatherland to betray
the country that brought them up
as honest Soviet citizens." The
newspaper said that the Jews had
rebuffed the diplomats.
The latest denunciation was seen
as part of an accelerated effort
to prevent contacts between Israeli
diplomats and Soviet Jews.

AJCommittee Greets
Erhard with Note on
41/2-Year Extension

(Direct JTA Teletype Wire
to The Jewish News)

NEW YORK — A delegation of
the American Jewish Committee,
headed by Morris B. Abram, pres-
ident of the organization, met
here Wednesday with West Ger-
man Chancellor Ludwig Erhard
and presented to him a memoran-
dum declaring that "the recent
decision to extend the statute of
limitations of Nazi war crimi-

nals for only an additional 4Y2
years was an unfortunate compro-
mise."

The AJC's memorandum called
on West Germany to extend the
statute of limitations at least until
1975, call a conference of German
and American educators to ex-
pand an awareness of civil values
in young Germans and work to re-
solve such Middle East issues as
Israel's security and economic
stability and the presence of Ger-
man nationals in Egypt.
"The American Jewish Commit-
tee has many times publicly stated
that we are convinced of the de-
termination of the Federal Repub-
lic of Germany to break with the
Nazi past," Abram said to the
chancellor, "and we have taken
note of the continuing progress
being made to establish an effec-
tive democracy in Germany."

Dr. Wexler Elected Bnai Brith President

ilation is the greatest danger to

Jewish continuity—especially in
lands outside Israel where Jews
have achieved political and eco-
nomic emancipation.
Philip M. Klutznick, honorary n
president of Bnai Brith, alluded to
the present Mapai Party split be-
tween the Premier and ex-Prime '—
Minister David Ben-Gurion---witli-
out mentioning either of the major

protagonists by name.
Asserting that it is "never plea-

sant to witness a parting of the

ways of old friends, although this
is not new in democratic political
experience," Klutznick said be
was sure bath "disputants symn
pathize with the great concern of
many that the internal political
strength of the State of Israel be
kept inviolate in the midst of legiti-
mate differences in the awareness
of the foe who stands outside the
gate."
At the conclusion of the con,
vention, tributes were paid to Bnai
Brith's outgoing president, Label
A. Katz, of New Orleans. Eshkol
awarded Katz a scroll lauding him
for his "efforts in bringing closer
ties between Israel and world
Jewry."

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS
2—Friday, June 4, 1965

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