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March 25, 1966 - Image 46

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1966-03-25

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Noted Author Elie diesel Describes Vi s it to Jews in USSR

George Oppenheimer's
`View From the '60s'
An Illuminating Story

(Author of five novels, the last
of which, "Gates of the Forest"
will be published in May, Elie Wie-
sel is the winner of the Bnai Brith
Jewish Heritage Award for 1966
and of many other coveted cita-
tions for his literary work.)
* , *

Exposes of witch hunts, lists of
impressive personal experiences
in the literary world and in Holly-
wood, a variety of occurences in-
volving the notables of our time,
will be found in the "memoirs of
a spent life," by George Oppen-
heimer, just issued by David Mc-
Kay Co. (750 3rd, NY 17) under
the title "The View From the
Oppenheimer was born in New
York on Feb. 7, 1900, and he had
missed being of two centuries by
having been born five weeks after
the 19th. The title is self-explana-
tory: the author is of the sixties.
Whether or not one judges his
life as being "a spent" one, the
dramatic occurrences incorporated
in this life story are interesting,
and they will prove of special in-
terest and value to those who are
active in the literary world, to
those who have or had a share in
Hollywood activities.
A Williams graduate, Oppen-
heimer commenced his literary
career with Knopf, then became
a co-founder of Viking Press
and after 12 years in the pub-
lishing business went to Holly-
wood as a writer. He has to his
credit 30 screenplays and has
_ written several stage plays. -
His work in the entertainment
-field, in television, as a drama
critic, have made him well known.
He is currently on the staff of
-Long Island Newsday as its drama
. He gained fame when he was
queried regarding his Hollywood
activities by the House Un-
American Activities Committee
and he certainly held his ground
Well by indicating that he was a
member of an anti-Nazi group be-
cause he was anti-Nazi, by prov-
ing that his associations could
be witch-hunted into a Communist
Before going to Williams he
was sent to Rome for prepara-
tory studies, and the anti-
Semitism he encountered there
forms an interesting portion of
his youth.
The people in his life, his activi-
ties, the storms and stresses of
an interesting career, make the
Oppenheimer story very readable,
illuminating in the revelations of
the events of the sixties.

(Copyright, 1966, JTA, Inc.)

Since my return from Russia
last fall,. I am frequently asked
whether the situation of the Jews
there is as serious as it has been
recently reported. The answer is:
Much worse, and yet infinitely bet-
ter. •
This may sound paradoxical, but
then Jewish life everywhere is full
of paradoxes—and even more so in
Russia. That is the first thing you
learn when meeting with Soviet
Jews. Then you learn that, unlike
others, they are not afraid of con-
tradictions. They live with ,hem.
They don't trust words, including
their own. •
A journey to Russian Jewry to-
day is an experience—emotional
rather than intellectual. All your
questions will seem meaningless—
to them if not to you. All you can
do is listen in awe and silence.
What you hear and see, you never

* *

Diplomatic Relations, No;
Economic Relations, Si

standing the absence of diplomatic
relations between Israel and
Spain, the trade relations between
-the two countries are favorable.
In 1965 Israel exports to Spain
amounted to $6,400,000 as compar-
ed with $4,260,000 in 1964, an in-
crease of 50 per cent.
On the other hand, Spain's ex-
ports to Israel declined from $819,-
000 in 1964 to $789,000 in 1965. How-
ever, Spain also derives income
from Israeli tourists as well as
from Israeli ships which dock in
Spanish harbors, all of which con-
tribute to the substantial improve-
ment of its trade balance.

I was in Russia during the High
Holidays, for I had wanted to
spend as much time as possible
with as many Jews as possible. My
visit took me to Moscow, Lening-
rad, Kiev and Tbilisi. On Yam
Kippur ; after the Neila service, I
heard thousands of Jews shouting:
"Leshana habaa b'-Yerushalaim."
On Simhat Torah, I saw tens of
thousands of youngsters singing
and dancing in the streets of Mos-
cow, a 10-minute walk from the
Kremlin. I was soon to realize that
I knew nothing of what was going
on inside Soviet Jewry:
Take for instance the fear in
which they constantly live. It is
overwhelming and irrational. Often
I met Jews who simply refused to
talk to the stranger I was to them.
Others left me in the middle of a
sentence. Next day they would pre-
tend that they had never talked to
The atmosphere inside syna-
gogues is one of extreme suspicion.
One never knows who serves as in-
former or as paid agent for the
secret police. When Jews meet for
"Yizkor" services they introduce
themselves to each other under as-
sumed names. Their reluctance to
converse with foreigners is to the
tourist almost unbearable; they ex-
clude you from their midst; you
feel insulted and ashamed. But
then you come to understand that
they know better.
From this point of view, the sit-
uation is worse than it has been
described. The fear is more tangi-
ble, more concrete. So is the sense
of isolation, the conviction that the
outside world does not know—and
does not want to know — of their
fate. They feel forgotten and aban-
doned. They refuse to understand
why world Jewry does nothing—or
not enough — to help them over-
come the unutterable spiritual

dangers which threaten their fu-
My astonishment was the great-
er in finding that, under such con-
ditions, masses of Russian Jews
everywhere refuse to give up, and
make desperate efforts to . survive
as- Jews. Most wonderful and mir-
aculous of all is the awakening
among many young Jews. They
know nothing of Judaism, but they
go out of their way to affirm — at
least once a year — their Jewish-
ness and their determination to re-
main within the Jewish people as

Some of the students I spoke to
on Simhat Torah claimed to be
Communists. Their loyalty to the
State and to the regime is ab-
solute. Nevertheless, they learn
Yiddish songs and are singing them
in public.
I heard of many acts of heroism.
In Kutaisi, Georgia, where an ac-
tive Jewish life persists, the local
authorities attempted to close down
one of the synagogues. When dem-
olition vehicles closed in, large
numbers of Jews — men, women

Mrs. Lorraine Danzig, National
Mizrachi Women's Leader, Dies at 59

Mrs. Lorraine Danzig, national After holding a pulpit in Tucson,
Mizrachi women's leader, a former Ariz., Rabbi Danzig brought his
active leader in Michigan Jewish family to Kansas City, IVIo. He re-
affairs, died here Saturday at the tired from that pulpit after 13
age of 59. Funeral services were years of service last August, when
held at Kaufman Chapel Sunday the family- moved to Israel. Upon
his retirement, he and BIrs. Dan-
Mrs. Danzig, mother of Howard zig were honored at a community
Danzig, of 23195 Laurel Valley banquet in appreciation of their
Dr., Southfield, 'executive sec- communal services.
Mrs. Danzig was a delegate to
retary of Congregation Shaarey
Zedek, had moved to Israel with the World Zionist Congress in
her husband, Rabbi Abraham M. Basle in 1946 and in that year was
Danzig, and two of their sons, Bez- delegated by the U. S. government
alel and Israel, less than six to view conditions in displaced per-
months ago, after Rabbi Danzig's sons camps.
retirement as rabbi of Beth Israel
The high regard in which she
Abraham Congre-
was held nationally became evi-
gation of Kansas
dent in the delegations that came
City. A sudden
from other cities to attend the fu-
illness forced her
neral service Sunday afternoon.
departure for De-
Mrs. Nathalie Reznikoff, national
troit to be with
president of Mizrachi Women rep-
her son Howard #.
resented her organization. There
to be treated
was a delegation of nearly 20 from
here. Her illness
Kansas City, including Rabbi Mor-
was found to be
ris B. Margolies, president of the
incurable and her
K. C. Rabbinical Association; Mil-
husband and son
ton Firestone, editor of the Kansas
Israel came here
City Jewish Chronicle; Leonard
seven weeks ago
Brooks, executive director of the
to be with her
K. C. Israel Bond Organization, and
during the final
Mrs. Brooks; two former presidents
weeks of her life.
of the K. C. Beth Israel Abraham
Besides her
Congregation, Victor Bruller and
husband, her sons
Alfred Rassky and a group of oth-
Howard, B ezalel
er friends and co-workers.
of Kyriat Moshe Mrs. Danzig
near Tel Aviv, and Israel, who was
so named, because he was born
during the hour of Israel's declara-
tion of independence 18 years ago,
Mrs. Danzig is survived by two
Reynolds Price, in his new novel,
other sons, Morris of Akron, 0., "A Generous Man," published by
and Jerry of Oakland, Calif., execu-
Atheneum (162 E. 38th, NY16),
tive secretary of that city's Con-
provides an interesting study into
servative synagogue; two daugh-
the "manhood" of a boy.
ters, Mrs. Morris (Rebecca) Keller
In this story, Milo, at 15, acts
of Providence, R.I., and Mrs. Irving
like a man, has relations with his
(Ida) Marks of Los Angeles; a
fellow beings and with women like
brother, Louis Chippenick of New- a man. He is faced with many is-
ark, N.J.; two sisters, Ida Karger sues and he emerges with the solu-
of Miami Beach, Fla., and Sadie
tions of manhood.
Slitkin of Hillside, N.J.; and 11
A brilliantly written novel, it in-
Born in Jersey City, N. J., Mrs. troduces a series of small town
Danzig rose to high ranks in the characters whose adventures—oc-
Mizrachi Women's Organization, casioned by Milo's younger bro-
having served as national vice ther's devotion to his dog—are
president and as chairman for filled with action. •
"A Generous Man" is destined
many years of the M i z r a chi
to draw much attention and may
Women's Midwest Region.
The Danzigs lived in Michigan even result in the making of a good
for several years, Rabbi Danzig movie.
having had a pulpit here in Wyan-
dotte. During these years they THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS
were both active in Jewish affairs. 46—Friday, March 25, 1966

Reynolds Price's
'A Generous Man'

and children—lay down in front of
the building. No demolition work
took place.
* *
At last year's Liberation Day
celebration in the Moscow syna-
gogue, a fairly young engineer
arose and amidst a most eloquent
silence, openly defended the State
of Israel and the eternal values of
Jewish History — both repeatedly
and endlessly vilified by the offi-
cial propaganda.
In Leningrad, an old man
named Gedalye Pecharsky, the for-
mer leader of the synagogue, y:
imprisoned for his open effortsL
educate children in the Jewish
dition. He is still in jail.
It is barely credible that such
people, taking such risks, exist in
Russia today. But they do. And
their number is increasing steadi-
ly. Thanks to them, most syna-
gogues are more often than not
overcrowded. Clandestine lessons
in Hebrew and the Bible are being
held. I even attended a session
where someone gave a "Shiur" in
Talmud. Hence my belief that
there is far more hope for Russian
Jewry than might reasonably be
expected, or explained.
But whether we, Jews who live
in free countries, are worthy of
their courage and their faith is the
crucial question. The answer is:
No. Because of our indifference to
their plight, they put us to shame.

Graduated Synagogue Dues
to Be Tried in Washington

Israel Congregation announced
plans last week to institute a new
system of dues payments under
which the members will set their
own rates of voluntary graduated
payments to support the syna-
Sidney B. Katz, executive di-
rector of the congregation, said
that the new plan, which is based
on recommendations of the United
Synagogue of America, will go into
effect June 1.
Noting that the United Syna-
gogue has studied the system in
various communities throughout
the country, Katz said that the en-
tire congregational budget will be
raised by means of the dues which
will be in the - form of a single
mandatory levy based upon ability
to pay.

Physicist Dr. Lederman
Gets Top Science Medal

Leon Max Lederman, professor of
physics at Columbia University,
was one of 11 recipients of the
National Medal of Science pre-
sented by President Johnson in a
ceremony last weekend in the
White House.
The Jewish scientist was cited
as one of the most brilliant ex-
perimental physicists in the United
States. His major recent dis-
coveries have been in the field of
meson physics. The National Me-
dal of Science is the highest hone -
that the United States governm*
bestows on men of science. It
established by Congress in 1959.

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Mark Twain replied:
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