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August 12, 1966 - Image 4

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1966-08-12

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Women Zionists' Action Program

THE JEWISH NEWS

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

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,

TIIEJ.IFE LINE

VE 8-9364. Subscription $6 a year. Foreign $7.
Second Class Post-age Paid at Detroit, Michigan

PHILIP SLOMOVITZ

Editor and Publisher

SIDNEY SHMARAK

CARMI M. SLOMOVITZ

Advertising Manager

Business Manager

CHARLOTTE HYAMS

City Editor

Sabbath Scriptural Selections
This Sabbath, the 27th day of Av, 5726, the following scriptural selections Will be read in our
synagogues:
Pentateuchal portion, Deut. 11:26-16:17; Prophetical portion, Isaiah 66:1-24.

Licht Benshen, Friday, Aug. 12, 7:19 p.m.

VOL. XLIX, NO. 25

Page 4

Aug. 12, 1966

Contest With Apathy Jewish Studies forAll

If we do not plan now for the years
ahead, unless there is proper preparation for
the most positive educational approaches to
our communal needs, we may find ourselves
helpless in facing the many issues that con-
front Jewry and our youth may, indeed,
emerge as an uninformed element.
In the process of communal planning,
recognizing the priority that already is being
accorded to our educational systems, we must
take into consideration the vital necessity
for adult education as well as for the training
of our children.
There have been warnings against the
Bar Mitzva Judaism which has set a limit
on education at the age of 13, and there is
full realization that mere emphasis on con-
firmations will serve to set us back farther
and farther in our planning. Because of the
dangers inherent in a Bar Mitzva limitation,
prominent religious leaders have even pro-
posed abandonment of the Bar Mitzva
celebrations and the placing of emphasis on
continuous study rather than on ceremonies
intended for mere glamour and celebration.
An eminent American Jewish educator,
Dr. Louis Kaplan, president of Baltimore
Hebrew College, in a recent address at the
National Conference of Jewish Communal
Service, made a very important point when
he declared:

The goals of Jewish education are not just to
teach so much Hebrew, so much Bible and so
much history. Facts and data are important, but
unless these facts and data are integrated into a
meaningful philosophy of life which will enable
the individual to find in Jewish heritage moral
and intellectual values and in Jewish living,
meaningful and sustaining experiences to give
purpose, direction and dimension to his life, Jew-
ish education has failed him and the Jewish
people.

The 13-to-17-year proposal for an extended
educational program for our children is so
practical that its acceptance becomes more
pressing with the years. It is with emphasis
on the training of our youth that we can
hope for the elimination of misinformation,
to serve as a check against ignorance that
is seeping into every aspect of Jewish
existence.
In a recent issue of the London Jewish
Chronicle, its columnist, Chronicler, under
the heading "We hope not,' carried this
item:

At the London conference of the International
Council of Jewish Women one of the American
speakers addressed the assembly on the subject
of Jewish family life and included the following
statement:
"Our children must be taught meaningful
Judaism so that on rising each morning they can
recite with devotion the Ma Nishtana."

We assume that this is a true quotation,
and on the basis of many experiences we
could not disprove the possibility of its being
uttered.
There was an equally devastating com-
ment by an eminent American Jewish
educator. In an address recently before the
American Jewish Historical Society, Dr.
Oscar I. Janowsky, professor of history at
the City University of New York, made the
following challenging comments:

Many are far from hostile or unconcerned
with Jewish cultural needs. Allocations to Jewish
education, while still inadequate, have increased.
A Jewish Culture Foundation has been estab-
lished, though not yet adequately ' financed.
Recent sessions of the Council of Jewish Federa-
tions and Welfare Funds have grappled with the
problems of Jewish education and culture.
A year ago, I attended a dinner of a very
important Jewish educational organization. The
guest-of-honor had nothing to do with Jewish
education, but he was wealthy, momentarily in
the public eye, and many of his friends and
clients were presumed to be good prospective

donors or at least pledgers. The great man made
a speech, a good one — intelligent, eloquent,
witty and irrelevant to Jewish education, except
for one allusion to an ethical Jewish concept
which he misstated. Then a scholarly urge
possessed him and he cited the source. It is, he
said, "in the Talmud Leviticus."
I looked around. The audience was unruffled
and entirely content. His allusion did not enhance
his status; the blunder did not reduce his status.
Jewish knowledge was just irrelevant.

These are serious observations. They
could be interpreted as accusations but they
are, in effect, challenges to American Jewry
to fulfill the responsibilities that are due to
our people as an historic entity. We concur
with Dr. Janowsky that the situation is not
hopeless. "American Jewry is not disinte-
grating," Dr. Janowsky declared, and we
agree. And we concur with him in seconding
his warning in which he stated, in an im-
passioned appeal:
"The stirring of cultural interest war-
rants the hope that the vitality and dy-
namism which enabled Jews to master
destructive forces in the past are far from
spent. But this does not mean that a
future of cultural creativity is assured.
"The future does not spring fully
fashioned from some inscrutable source,
and it does not build itself. The future is
the lengthened shadow of the present,
projected by on-going aspirations and
institutions and the men and women
who nourish them. Leadership must be
found to articulate the aspirations and
give direction to the institutions, so that
the massive ignorance of things Jewish
and the apathy which condones it may be
overcome.
"The contest with ignorance and
apathy will not be won easily, if it is won
at all. It will be a long struggle and we
recognize that progress will be slow and
gradual, even if the effort prevails. How-
ever, it is most urgent that the pro-
ponents of Jewish education and culture
close ranks immediately, for this is the
moment of crisis."
There are, as Dr. Janowsky indicated,
competitive claims to Jewish interests. They
are unreal. They are misrepresented. Jews
share fully in all efforts in the battle for
civil rights, in the anti-poverty program.
But the Jewish character of Jewish institu-
tions must not be sacrificed in the process.
As Dr. Janowsky indicated:

Jewish institutions were established to minis-
ter to Jewish needs. If this purpose is not served,
and if the institutions and services are truly
non-sectarian, the question becomes relevant:
why should these agencies be Jewish in name,
direction and financing?
The issue must be faced squarely, and the
issue in Jewish communal institutions is non-
discrimination, not non-sectarianism. All Amer--
cans should be welcome in Jewish institutions,
but the character and justification for Jewish
agencies must be their Jewish orientation and
programs.

We are now in the process of recon-
structing Jewish educational media. We have
attained priorities for study as a recognized
factor in Jewish life—not on a basis of phil-
anthropy but as a dire need for the per-
petuation of our highest ideals. To assure the
success of our efforts we must strive for an
abandonment of ignorance. Every effort must
be made to assure the success that is needed
for our schools, and if the interest to be
displayed is to be positive it must have the
support of parents, the influence of the
home. This requires effective adult studies
as well as the education of the children.
There are no alternatives to these aims.

Aavir.4

4%64.

'The Working Press'—Classic

Stories From N.Y. Times Talk

There is so much merit, such a vast amount of informative material
emanating from the brilliant staff of the New York Times, that nearly
everything relating to that great newspaper has general interest.
That is why, when seeing that a volume entitled "The Working
Press," has been issued by G. P. Putnam's Sons (200 Madison, NY).
It should not be considered as merely a book for newspapermen: it is a
work that will have the interest of all who appreciate a good story and
welcome authoritative accounts of world affairs.
The complete title of the book is "The Working Press—Special
to the New York Times—Notable Times Reporters Tell the Story
Behind the Story—the Best from Times Talk."
Times Talk is the house organ of the New York Times. It is the
bulletin of the Times writers for the staff.
The book was edited by Ruth Adler, the editor of Times Talk
since it began in 1947. There is a foreward by Theodore M. Bernstein,
the Times' assistant managing editor. Bernstein realistically states
that "everyone likes to be taken backstage. Referring to the elements
that are "eloquently substantiated" in the article in this book, Bern-
stein states:
"An editor friend of mine tells his staff from time to time,
`Keep the reporter out of the story; he's not part of the news. Any-
way, people aren't interested in the reporter's 'troubles.' The state-
ment, though sound enough as a press principle, is half right and
half wrong. Except in rare instances—the expulsion of a cor-
respondent from a country, for example—the reporter is no more
a constituent of the news than the telephone operator who puts
him in touch with his home office. But that does not mean that
people are not interested in his doings .. .
"The reasons for that interest are not hard to find. News-
papermen are 'in the know' and presumably have inside dope to
disclose. Moreover, they do, as the saying goes, meet such inter-
esting people. Not only that, but their newsgathering enterprises
frequently depart from the humdrum and occasionally embrace
the adventurous. To top it all, they relish the events of their pro-
fessional lives and are generous and effective in sharing that relish."
"The Working Press" substantiates these comments. Miss Adler
explains the workings of Times Talk and offers a brief history of the
New York Times and its publishers„ analyzing the workings of many
of the great paper's departments.
The reference to the expulsion of a newsman is substantiated in
A. M. Rosenthal's "How It Felt to Be Kicked Out of Poland." There
are several interesting pieces by Harrison Salisbury, one of the best
known foreign correspondents who covered the situation in Russia
for many years. There are scores of stories that read as well now as
when the depicted events occurred.
Among the classic stories in this collection is the "scoop"
not the "scoop" that has been "degraded by Hollywood's stop-the-
press-type film" but that which every once in a while comes alive
in a great story—McCandlish Phillips' November 1965 account,
"The Story Behind the Jewish Klansman." The research that was
done to get that story includes the assistance Phillips had from
Irving "Pat" Spiegel. There was need for information about the
Klansman Daniel Burros' Jewish background and the story from
Times Talk states: "He (Art Gelb, assistant to A. M. Rosenthal,
Times metropolitan editor) chose Irving Spiegel partly because
Pat is our Jewish-affairs specialist, partly because he is a skilled
police reporter and partly because he speaks Yiddish. It was an
inspired choice. The next day Pat and Ralph Blumenthal began
very early and toured three synagogues, hitting two that had solid
facts and entering one where they were welcomed with unusual
affection because they made up the necessary 10-man quorum for
the service. Without them, it could not have been held, but they
got enmeshed in the service and Ralph was summoned to the
platform to hold the Tora, while Pat, wrapped in a prayer shawl,
tried to combine a properiety with an almost mad desire to get the
facts to our first Sunday editions."
In this vein we have stories about racial tensions, about the struggle
for civil rights.
There is a page of suggested headlines—including imaginary and
real historical events—suggesting how the Times plays up great stories.
It's a page that'll delight newsmen. It has an interesting "Bylines—
Who's Who" section identifying the writers whose stories appear here.
"The Working Press" is a remarkably fine and interesting book.

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