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December 02, 1966 - Image 11

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1966-12-02

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

On Fulfilling Commandments

Rabbi Abbahu said, "My son
Abimi fulfilled the command,
`Honor thy father and mother.' "
Abimi had five sons ordained as
rabbis in his father's lifetime, but
whenever his father came and
called out at his gate, Abimi would
run to open the door, and call,
"Yes, yes, I am coming to you."
One day his father asked him for
some water. When he brought it,
his father had fallen asleep. Abimi
bent over him, and stood there till
his father woke up. — Ibid., 31b.

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Jamaican Ambassador Views
Future of Jewry in Homeland

Sir Neville Ashenheim, Jamai-
ca's Ambassador to the United
States, and Lady Leonie Vievienne
Delevante Ashenheim, who were
guests here last
week-end for the
Caribbean Edu-
cation S e r vice
concert at Ford
Auditorium, ex-
pressed concern
over the future
developments in
the Jamaica Jew-
ish community.
Sir Neville, for-
mer president of Sir Neville
the United Congregation of Israe-
lites in Jamaica, said the major
problem in the Jamaican com-
munity is the vast number of inter-
marriages.
"In our synagogue we have
mainly funerals, but record few
Jewish births and have few Jew-
ish weddings," he said.
Lady Ashenheim similarly de-
plored the decline in Jewish inter-
est among the youth of her com-
munity.
Their elder son is married to a
Jewess, and the other two sons are
unmarried. Sir Neville and his wife
were active in Jewish affairs in
Jamaica and retain their Jewish

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interests in Washington.
Both emphasized that in Jamaica
the Jews consider themselves en-
tirely as a religious group. They
said that there are some conver-
sions to Judaism as a result of in-
termarriages, but that in the main
they are ineffective.
Sir Neville said that the new
Jamaican spiritual leader, Rabbi
Bernard Hooker, is despondent
over existing condition among the
Jewry of his country. Rabbi
Hooker recently succeeded Rabbi
Henry P. Silverman who retired
and joined his family in London
after serving the Jamaica Jewish
community for more than 30 years.
He had come to Jamaica during
Sir Neville's presidency of the con-
gregation, in Kingston.
(A description of the Jamaica
Jewish community's activities ap-
peared in The Jewish News, under
the editor's byline, in the issue of
March 20, 1964.)
But Sir Neville tempered his
pessimism with an interesting
reservation. He said that as
early as 1840 his great-grand-
father Rev. Moses Nathan, then
the rabbi of the island's Jewish
population, had written an article
for the Jewish magazine "First
Fruits of the West," in which he
predicted that in 20 years there
will be no Jews left in Jamaica.
"You see what has happened,"
Sir Neville said. "Perhaps we are
experiencing the same unjustified
despair."
Tracing his own Jewish ances-
tors in Jamaica, Sir Neville point-
ed out that his wife's ancestors
came to Jamaica before the Brit-
ish.
Lady Ashenheim spoke with
pride of her mother's and father's
lineage. Her mother was of the
famous DeCordova Family. Her
great-grandfather, Abram Dela-
vante, who held the spiritual post
in his community, was married be-
fore 1860 to Alethia Delgada, a
member of another important fam-
ily in that part of the world.
Sir Neville's great-grandfather
was the founder of the community
newspaper, Jamaica Gleaner. He
retains, while on leave, member-
ship on the board of that news-
paper.
Sir Neville extended greetings
to the large gathering at the
Caribbean concert Sunday night,
at which the Detroit Symphony
was directed by Valter Poole,
and Frachot Young was guest
pianist. Proceeds of the concert
go for scholarships for Carib-
bean youths in American univer-
sities. Avern Cohn's active as-
sistance was enlisted for this
cause.
The Caribbean concert was ar-
ranged here by a committee head-
ed by Colin Cromwell, son-in-law
of Dr. Remus Robinson, member
of the Detroit Board of Education.
In addition to his law work and
activities on the newspaper, Sir
Neville is interested in sports. He
had won numerous prizes in track
and others.
His Jewish interests are varied.
In recognition of his many services
he was awarded an honorary
D.H.L. by Hebrew Union College
in 1964.
During his brief visit here, he
was a guest at the Economic Club
luncheon Monday which was ad-
dressed by McGregor Bundy, pres-
ident of Ford Foundation and at
which Benson Ford presided. The
Ashenheims toured the Ford plant
as guests of Alfred May before re-
turning to Washington.
Prior to the concert, the Ashen-
heims were guests at a dinner
hosted by Dr. and Mrs. Leon Fill.

Mar Ukba was accustomed to
send a sum of money to a poor
neighbor before Yom Kippur. Once
his son, who took the money, re-
ported: "The man was indulging
in old wine, so I did not give him
the money." His father retorted:
"Nay, he must have seen better
days if he has such dainty tastes.
I will double the amount of my
gift." — Ketubot, 67b.

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

Friday, December 2, 1966-11

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