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December 03, 1965 - Image 10

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1965-12-03

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

On the Record

A Man Alone .. .
There is hardly an empty space
on the four walls of the den in New
York City where Morris J. Kaplun
lives. If you were to ask him which
of the decorations and pictures
other than those of his closest kin
were nearest to his heart, he
might point with quivering finger
to two pictures of the "Saul Kap-
lun Institute of Applied Mathema-
tics" he recently built both at the
Jerusalem and Tel Aviv universi-
ties. The institutes are named
after his late son Dr. Saul Kaplun,
a brilliant scientist at the Califor-
nia Institute of Technology, who
died suddenly in February of 1964
at the untimely age of 39.
Short and balding, Morris Kap-
lun is the prototype of the success-

Cantor Hyman J. Adler
Congregation B'nai David

5th ANNUAL
CHANUKAH
CONCERT

SATURDAY EVENING
DECEMBER 18
at 8:30 P.M.
ROTENBERG HALL
MI DAVID
SYNAGOGUE

Featuring Four Renowned
Guest Cantors and the
Combined B'nai David
Choir under the Direction
of Cantor Hyman J. Adler

*

Cantor
REUVEN BOYARSKY

*

Cantor HAROLD ORBACH

*

Cantor
MOSES SERENSEN

Dean of Detroit Cantors

Temple Israel

Congregation Beth Aaron

Cantor
SHABTAI ACKERMAN

Congregation Beth Abraham

—EXTRA—

"A Y1DDISHE
SHINDIG"

featuring

CANTOR HYMAN J. ADLER
MAX SOSIN

Donation $200

MAX SOSIN

Master of Ceremonies

By NATHAN ZIPRIN

(A Seven Arts Feature)

ful immigrant and the self-made
man. Denied the privilege of a
normal education, he has over the
years developed a profound re-
spect for learning and the learned,
always harboring the dream of be-
ing helpful in some measure to
student and aspirant scholar —
a mitzvah that was of the very
Jewish climate of the small city in
the Ukraine where he was born.
All men have their own patterns
in life. Kaplun had his and it was
a sad one. After years of striving
to round out a business career in
textiles that brought him from Po-
land to a number of other coun-
tries and, ultimately, to the United
States, Kaplun was to encounter
a tragedy of uncommon dimen-
sion. First his wife died, after
escaping the hand of death that
was spreading its Nazi tennacles
over the Jewish community in Po-
land and all of Europe. He memo-
rialized that event by building a
youth center in Kfar Ata, near
Haifa, Israel. Then death struck
again, taking away his only son,
his only child, barely three months
after his wife died.
One of the turning points in Kap-
lun's life came in 1933, when he
made his first trip to what then
was Palestine. In his business con-
tacts with Gentiles, Kaplun had
often heard it said that Jews
couldn't do anything productive
apart from turning windmills. Now
he decided to see for himself
whether this was true in Palestine
too and whether the new Jewish
community there was fulfilling the
Zionist dream of a new land and a
new life. There he saw Jewish
farmers, artisans, workers and
businessmen le a ding productive
and meaningful lives and he fell
in love with the land. From that
time on Palestine was never far
from his heart.
After pondering the idea, alone
and unprompted, he decided on a
two-month trip to Israel. Once
there he held endless talks with
educators and officials at every in-
stitution of higher learning. After
much deliberation, Kaplun decided
to set up institutes in his son's
name in two of Israel's universi-
ties — the Hebrew University in
Jerusalem and the Tel Aviv Uni-
versity. What is more, he threw
himself into the project with fer-
vor, submerging agony to purpose.
As the project began taking on
form, it became to him reason for
living, a new way of self-fulfill-
ment.
Kaplun's giving, however, ante-
dates his tragedy. Since then —
say those who know him intimate-
ly — he has given lavishly. In fact
they say that a wholly dispropor-
tionate amount of his wealth has
gone to projects in Israel — over
$500,000, including his contribu-
tions to the institutions. His in-
timates say that he is giving so
liberally that he might exhaust his
funds before his time. By the
standards of an affluent America,
Kaplun is not in the charmed cir-
cle.
Young Kaplun, his father re-
lates, was an unusual child who
grew up to be an unusual scientist
even among the giants at the Cali-
fornia Institute of Technology.
There is no memorial however
that compensates for the loss of a
son.
More important is the travail of
the man who survived, his courage
in grappling with a tragedy that
could so easily bring others to the
pit and his rising to a fulfillment
in darkiness that he did not per-
haps attain in radiance.
This then is not the story of a
Jewish philanthropist, but of a
man by the name of Kaplun whose
tale has transcending significance
to all of us who pause in thought
over the meaning of life.
The Jobs who survive are indeed
few.

Give out that you have many
friends and believe that you have
but few. — French proverb.

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS
10—Friday, December 3, 1965

Truman Reaffirms Faith in Israel at Medal Presentation

NEW YORK (JTA) — Former
President Harry S. Truman, ac-
claimed Sunday night by the Zion-
ist Organization of America for
his contributions to the establish-
ment of Israel, reaffirmed his sup-
port of and faith in the Jewish
state. He emphasized that "the en-
tire Middle East could be trans-
formed into an area of tranquility
and prosperity if only the Arab
states would be willing to embrace
Israel into their orbit.
In an address at the ZOA annual
dinner — read by Mr. Truman's
daughter, Mrs. Margaret Truman
Daniel — the former President,
who could not attend because he
was convalescing from an injury
suffered in a fall, said: "I am
most hopeful that the policy of our
government to encourage friend-
ship and close cooperation between
Israel and its Arab neighbors, will
come to pass sooner than we be-
lieve."
Mrs. Daniel accepted on behalf
of her father the ZOA's 1965
Theodor Herzl Award-Gold Medal-
ion at the dinner. The medalion
was presented by Dr. Max Nuss-
baum, former president of the
ZOA.
Emanuel Neumann, honorary
president of the ZOA, who
presided at the dinner, told the
1,000 guests that Zionist efforts
be directed not only at ensuring
the further progress and security
of the State of Israel but to
carry forward the immigration
to Israel. "Since our movement
owes its inspiration to prophetic
vision and faith, we may be
bold enough to anticipate that
before the close of the 20th
century the population of the
Jewish State shall double and
reach the figure of 5,000,000
souls," he said.
Ambassador Michael Comay, Is-
rael's chief delegate to the United
Nations, declared in an address at
the dinner that Israel was "con-

ceived by and born out of the
Zionist movement and the will and
resolve of the small Yishuv to
proclaim and defend its independ-
ence." Nothing, he added, can af-
fect the "profound historical, mor-
al and political fact that in 1947
the United Nations had reaffirmed
in principle the Jewish claim to
independence."
Hailing former President Tru-
man's role in the establishment
and recognition of Israel, Jacques

Torczyner, president of the ZOA,
also noted that the Truman Ad-
ministration's first grants-in-aid and
other valuable assistance to Israel
°permitted the young state to sur
vive. The proceeds of the $100-
a-plate dinner will go toward a
Truman Scholarship Fund for de-
serving students in Kfar Silver,
the agricultural training school
Israel established and maintain
by the Zionist Organization c?
America.

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