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July 15, 1966 - Image 4

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1966-07-15

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THE JEWISH NEWS

ETEktIAL MONUMENT IN

Incorporating The Detroit Jewish Chronicle commencing with issue of July 20, 1951

(lb

PHILIP SLOMOVITZ

Editor and Publisher

SIDNEY SHMARAK

CARMI M. SLOMOVITZ

Advertising Manager

Business Manager

inereitNALcrry

dedkalfoo of Ike Pitman ceittee .
for me Advancement of Awe injervsakm)

Member American Association of English—Jewish Newspapers, Michigan Press Association, National Editorial
Association.
Published every Friday by The Jewish News Publishing Co., 17100 West Seven Mile Road, Detroit, Mich. 48235.
VE 8-9364. Subscription $6 a year. Foreign $7.
Second Class Postage Paid at Detroit, Michigan

CHARLOTTE HYAMS

City Editor

Sabbath Scriptural Selections

This Sabbath, the 28th day of Tammus, 5726, the following scriptural selections will be read
synagogues:
Pentateuchal portion, Num. 30:2-36:13; Prophetical portion, Jeremiah 2:4-28; 3:4.

in our

Licht Benshen, Friday, July 15, 7:48 p.m.

VOL. XLIX No. 21

Page 4

July 15, 1966

Housing for Elderly--A Significant Decision

"It is our conclusion that (the Jewish Wel-
fare) Federation should join the growing
number of Jewish communities in sponsoring
a residence project for elderly citizens," is
the positive assertion with which the Feder-
ation's Committee on Housing for the Elderly
commenced its recommendations for action
to solve the pressing needs of providing hous-
ing for the hundreds who either can not be
accommodated in the Home for the Aged or
who prefer on a family basis to retain their
independent status in retainina their homes.
Under the chairmanship of
b Leonard N.
Simons, this committee on housing for aged
has taken initial steps of such vital signifi-
cance that we may well hope to see a vital
need filled here in a most humanitarian
fashion.
While the proposal at the outset calls for
"a project for about 200 persons as a demon-
stration program," it could well lead to a
solution of a major program for many hun-
dreds with emphasis on a major point in the
recommendations, that: "As long as individ-
uals retain the capacity for self-care, they
should remain independent."
Many problems will be involved in attain-
ing the high goal envisioned by the commit-
tee on housing for the elderly. There will be
the need to acquire land for a large structure,

the necessity to secure government coopera-
tion, the urgency to assure for those to be
housed in such moderately priced apartments
the fulfillment of their religious needs. But
the sincerity with which the functioning com-
mittee pursued its task served in advance
as an assurance that much good is to be ex-
pected from the new and very commendable
undertaking. A fact not to be overlooked is
that several thousands of elderly are affected
by housing needs—by the necessity, if their
homes are to be kept intact, of provisions for
low-cost housing. Studies of the needs in our
community for the elderly commenced five
years ago. In 1962, Prof. Albert Mayer of
Wayne State University, who commenced re-
search on the subject, indicated that of the
90,000-plus Jews in Metropolitan Detroit
7,000 were 65 years of age or older and that
65 per cent of them were women. Dr. Mayer
is continuing his surveys on the subject, and
his findings are certain to be of great help
to the Federation.
In the meantime we have the advance
knowledge of the large numbers who are in
need of the projected help. The committee
that has made the positive recommendations
for speedy action has earned the gratitude of
the -entire community for its understanding
of the issues involved and its readiness to act.

Important Decisions on Transliterations

Action relating to establishing a uniform
system of transliterating Hebrew into English
has been pending for a number of years.
The English-Jewish publishers' association
inaugurated an effort to secure the co-
operation of all national educational and
religious movements for the acceptance that
will eliminate mispronunciations — such as
referring to Hanuka as TCHanukah, or in
the German fashion of Chanukah.
At a recent dinner here for Merkos L'In-
yonei Chinuch—which would have been more
understandable if it were spelled hinukh-
accepting in this instance the h for the first
heth and the kh for khaf—there was contin-
ued reference to the term as tchinutch. This
was puzzling. It emphasized the lack of
proper transliteration and the need for the in-
troduction of proper terminologies to avoid
confusion.
Thanks to Leo Frisch, editor of the Amer-

ican Jewish World, a pioneer in English-
Jewish journalism, the need for a proper sys-
tem of transliteration was emphasized and its
acceptance pursued for nearly two decades.
A code has been adopted by the publishers
and editors of English-Jewish newspapers.
Now it must be impressed as disirable and
urgent upon advertisers, publishers of maga-
zines, dictionaries, encyclopedias.
It is in order to obviate confusion among
Jews as well as non-Jews--because Jews who
are not steeped in Hebrew and Yiddish fall
prey to the same errors in pronunciation as
non-Jews—that a proper, an acceptable, sys-
tem of transliteration that will fit routine
English reading is vitally needed. The steps
taken thus far to achieve this goal are highly
commendable. They should be pursued until
every element in Jewish life accepts the need
for uniformity so that Hebrew and Yiddish
terms will not be corrupted by improper
usage.

Supplying the background for an ,understanding of Jews and Juda-
ism, as they have emerged as part of the American literary theme, Prof.
Sol Liptzin has written an important
analysis of the Jew in belles-lettres.
In "The Jew in American Literature,"
published by Bloch, Dr. Liptzin, formerly
chairman of the department of Germanic
and Slavic languages at the College of
the City of New York and now a member
of the faculty of the Technion at Haifa,
Israel, commences his analyses with the
Jews in Colonial and Young American
Republic eras, proceeding until the pres-
ent time with comments on the impact
of Israel on American writers.

The interest in and their knowl-
edge of Hebrew by early Christian
colony-builders on this continent—
William Bradford, Cotton Mather
and others—and the biblical inter-
ests among the early patriots point
to the interest in Jews in early
times. Literary works about Jews
and non Jews in the early years of
this Republic, dramas, like those writ-
Dr. Liptzin
ten by Mordecai Manuel Noah, and
other evidences of attention given to JeWs are recorded here. Dr.
Liptzin points out that the New Englander saw "Jews in the light
of biblical prophecy and talmudic lore. Their poets did not show
keen insight into American Jewish reality but did glorify the
Jewish past and did revivfy half-forgotten legends. They continued
the tradition of philosemitism which had been brought to America's
shores by their Colonial forebears."

-

The poetic works of Longfellow ; Whittier and Holmes, with their
Jewish themes, are described in a special chapter about the New Eng-
land poets, and there is a review of 19th Century Jewish lyrics. Legend
and reality are discussed, the part-Jewish ancestry of Bret Harte is
referred to, there is a comment on Henry Ward Beecher's sermon "Jew
and Gentile," an interesting story relating to the "property values" dealt
with by William Dean Howells when Jews moved into a non-Jewish
neighborhood, and Mark Twain's attitude toward Jews is recorded.
The works of other writers in that era are under review, and there
is an especially important chapter on the "persistence of stereotypes."
Like Mark Twain, Charles W. Eliot, president of Harvard from 1870 to
1909, "was an eloquent exponent of the philosemitic legend." There is a
long list of other philosemitic writers and the "new immigration" at the
beginning of this century which brought to the fore another type of
writer, and it is at this point that "a hungry, hope-inspired, dream-in- -.
toxicated Jewish generation was gradually yielding to a prosperous:
bility of Poland being the fourth such nation disillusioned, self-hating generation."

WJC's Significant Plenary Sessions

With 400 delegates from Jewish commu-
nities throughout the world — except for the
Soviet Union — and with an American dele-
gation of 100 — the plenary sessions of the
World Jewish Congress scheduled to open
in Brussels, Belgium, July 31, may well be
looked to as auguring important develop-
ments.
Every aspect of Jewish life is on the
agenda of this important gathering. Jewry's
roles in many lands, the Israel-Arab prob-
lem, the situation in Russia, educational and
other aspects are to be considered by the
most eminent leaders of Jewish communities.
While debates alone do not solve problems,
serious consideration of events as they affect
Jewish life must lead to some bases for
action.
The previous World Jewish Congress
plenary session, held in Stockholm, Sweden,
in 1959, had as participants practically every
country on the globe except those behind the
Iron Curtain, with the exception, then, of
Polish Jewry in behalf of which there were
spokesmen whose share in the deliberations
occasioned several stormy discussions. At the
Brussels sessions the participants will include
Jewish representatives from at least three
Communist countries — Romania, Yugo-
slavia and Czechoslovakia -- with the possi-

'Jew in American Literature'
Describes Image in Belles-Lettres

to be represented. There is cause to believe
that the tensions relating to those coming
from Communist lands will be obviated this
year and that the deliberations therefore will
tend towards necessary and valuable prag-
matism in dealing with the position of the
Jewries who are affected by communist
ideologies and whose status must be viewed
as part of the over-all Jewish scene.
The experts who will appear in discussions
dealing with German-Jewish problems, with
the Arab issue, with the questions of assimila-
tion and our cultural needs, with matters
relating to Latin America as well as with
Russia, already assure for the WJC plenary
vital significance. Out of these sessions un-
doubtedly will emerge guidance for world
Jewry that is so urgently needed at this time.
Involved in these issues are matters re-
lated to the security of a number of Jewish
communities, to the need for emigration, to
the pressing problems involving the extension
of our educational systems. The men and
women of authority who will assemble to
review the vital issues are so grossly in-
volved in these problems that much good
must come from discussions that are certain
to compel the interest and attention not of
Jews alone but of the entire world.

,

,

Thus commences a review of the works of a number of Jews,—
some of whom came "to grips with reality," some describing "the
vulgar Jew of obtrusive manners," the Jew in Hemingway who was
"an unpleasant, ridiculous figure," and on the other hand men like
Hutchins Hapgood who "tried to convince Hemingway that it was an
error to depict Robert Cohn as the typical Jew."
Then there are the affirmations—the creative efforts of Ludwig

Lewisohn, Maurice Samuel, and numerous others.
The 1930s are described as "the decade of the uprooted and the
estranged Jewish intellectuals." There were breaks with the links to
Judaism, but there also were some creative forces. The holocaust pro-
vided numerous themes for novelists and 'short story writers. The satiric
works of Leo Calvin Rosten (Leonard Q. Ross) in depicting I -PY*M*A*N
K*A*P*L*A*N; the not unkindly Jewish but nevertheless hedonistic
writings of Jerome Weidman; Saul Bellow's peripheral Jew Herzog and
other works marked numerous changes. There is the comment that
"Maxwell Geismar, who admired Bellow as the novelist of the intellec--
tuals, wondered whether Bellow was really happy about his Jewish
heritage."
The changed attitude resulting from the rise of Israel and the
emerging "Jewish acculturation," the problem-of how to be a Jew in
America as it is treated in literature and as it affected the writers and
Israel's impact lead to discussions of works of Charles Angoff, Meyer
Levin, Waldo Frank, Robert Nathan, a number of the popular novelists
and short story writers.
Dr. Liptzin believes "the impact of Israel was slowing down ultra-
assimilationist tendencies" and "was buttressing resistance to the con-
formist American environment." His entire study contributes immensely
to an understanding of the Jew in. American belles-lettres and provides
an excellent guide for those seeking knowledge regarding the Jewish
position as it has been delineated by writers from earliest times to the
present.

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