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January 06, 1967 - Image 27

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1967-01-06

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'Foresters' Fortress' in Troubled Area Dover Reissues
Victorian Novel,
LeFanu's 'Silas'

A "Foresters' Fortress," serving the Jewish National Fund
afforestation workers employed in planting Israel's largest forest
at. Yatir, is nearing completion and will soon be inaugurated. The
forest will eventually number 15,000,000 trees and cover 12,506
acres. Living quarters, offices and storage rooms will be contained
in the "fortress." The area has been the scene of recent border
incidents where mines were laid by Arab marauders, and from
where .the Israeli retaliation raid was launched into Jordan.

'La Vida`—Powerful Social Uocument

Oscar Lewis already has a high
rank as a social scientist who has
incorporated in his writings stud-
ies that led to great experiments
in improving the plight of the
His newest work, "La Vida,"
a study of a Puerto Rican family
"in the culture of poverty," pub-
lished by Random House, is so
powerful, its realism so impres-
sive, that this notable work de-
serves a special role as a textbook
related to racial and social studies.
Poverty's effects, the lack of
education, the promiscuity that
prevails in the lives of the charac-
ters in this book will cause those
who are concerned about the status
of an important element in our
population to become more con-
sistently dedicated to efforts to
solve and resolve the needs of
the underprivileged. But that alone
is not enough. What is needed is
a knowledge of the thinking, of
the attitudes, of the manner of
living of those involved here —
and Oscar Lewis has succeeded as
none other has before him in pre-
senting this problem in all its
brutal frankness.

"The data in this book," he
states in his introduction, "sug-
gests that we have to modify
some of our stereotypes about
prostitutes. One normally thinks
of the role of a mother and the
role of a prostitute as being con-
tradictory, if not mutually ex-
clusive. In these life stories the
two roles coexist without too
much conflict. Indeed, the rela-
tive ease with which the Rios
women move back and forth be-
tween the role of wife and
mother and that of prostitute is
The Rios family — the mother
who was a prostitute, the daugh-
ters with their many loves and

prostituting ways, their children,
their lovers, -their husbands — all
combine to create a drama that is
o effective in its outspokenness,
o thorough in its analyses of the
erto Ricans, their poverty, their

struggles, their love for their
country while sharing in their

American citizenship, that the long

book of nearly 700 pages will hold
the reader glued to its pages.
It is not only a dramatic ac-
count of the life of the Puerto
Ricans in their native island and
in this country: it has very special
significance as a study of the
status of the Puerto Ricans of-
fered in the long introduction
whir is, in reality, a most valu-
able historical chapter.
Lewis describes the poverty of
the 1,000,000 Puerto Ricans who

Which do not have a way of life
that I would describe as a sub-
culture of poverty," and among
the examples offered is this one:
"The Jews of eastern Europe
were very poor, but they did not
have many of the traits of the
culture of poverty because of
their tradition of literacy, the
great value placed upon learn-
ing, the organization of the com-
munity around the rabbi, the

proliferation of local voluntary
associations, and their religion
which taught them they were
the chosen people."
The shocking frankness which
marks the realism of this great
work serve to inspire understand-
ing, to encourage an interest in
an important group in our midst.
It does not spell abandonment
of their people. On the contrary,
Mother's Aid plays a role towards
the end, housing projects are of-
fered the distressed. They do not
accept them readily, but the facts
and the pragmatic conditions
emerge as informative and edu-
cational media. In a sense "La
Vida" is a. grouping of several
novels in one. Collectively, it is
a story told with such skill that
the book emerges among the very
great of the passing year.

Ontario State Secretary
Defends Anti-Nazi Film

OTTAWA (JTA)—State Secre-
tary Judy Lamarsh defended in
the House of Commons a Na-

tional Film Board production,
"Memorandum" dealing with atro-
cities against Jews committed in
the Nazi death camps during the
Miss Lamarsh spoke in response
to objections to the film voiced by
Raymond Langlois, a member of

Parliament, who said he was un-
able to "comprehend or support"

the film. Miss Lamarsh said - the
film had won four film festival
prizes and had been hailed by a
Montreal critic as "philosophy on

`Song of Bernadette'
issued in Paperback

When Franz Werfel, a Jew, es-
caped from the Nazis in 1940, he
found refuge in Lourdes, the

home of Bernadette Soubirous and
her vision.
The result of this brief visit
was "The Song of Bernadette," a
book called "magnificent" by the
New York Times, an all-time
bestseller, celebrated motion pic-
ture—and now 25 years later, still
one of the world's best-loved

live in this country, 600,000 of novels.
them in New York City, where
On Jan. 19, Popular Library
efforts are being made to intro- will issue in paperback "The Song
duce them to a more normalized of Bernadette."
It has won fame as a "portrait

In his discussion of poverty,
Lewis points to degrees involved
and to the many kinds of poor
people. He indicates "a number
of historical examples of very
poor segments of the population

of a personality who may be
revered equally by Catholic, Prot-
estant, Jew and non-believer."

"Uncle Silas" by Joseph Sheri-
dan Le Fanu (1814-1873), the "Vic-
torian Gothic Novel of Mystery,"
has been reissued, with a new in-
troduction by Prof. Frederick
Shroyer of California State
College of Los Angeles, by Dover
Publications (180 Varick, NY14).
Known as a gripping novel of
terror, "Unele Silas" is - among
LeFanu's works that .has survived
as a narrative for the ages. Prof.
Shroyer warns that this novel is
definitely not a work "to be read
alone in a creaking, deserted house
late at night."
What inakeS- "-Uncle Silas" so
gripping is not in the outline of the
plot, familiar to every reader of
the "Gothic" novel—young, help-
less heiress, in the power of an
unknown uncle, comes to live in
decaying country house, which
possesses a sinister secret from the
past—as in the author's masterly
unfolding of the story, and his
brilliant characterization. The hero-
Me, Maud, timid, obedient, prone
to fits of nerves, receptive to sup-
ernatural influences, seemingly
destined for death as much by her
own personality as by the machina-
tions of the villains; her elderly
father, immersed in Swedenborgian
doctrines and in the preparations
for his own death.; Uncle Silas,
"martyr, angel, or demon"; Mme.
de la Raugierre, terrifying in her
grotesqueness; Maud's 1 i v e 1 y,
warm-hearted cousin, Lady Knol-
lys, who can only warn her of the
danger, but cannot save her from
it; and the personality of the house
itself, Bartram-Haugh, where death
is always present, prowling through
its dark rooms and passages. It is
interesting to note that LeFaun,
a recluse himself at the end of his
life, had a recurrent dream of an
old decayed mansion which was
about to topple down upon him as
he stood transfixed before it.

Spanish Captain's Name
Honored in Haifa; Helped

Bring Illegal Immigrants'

HAIFA (JTA)—The name of a
Spanish captain who brought
"illegal immigrants" to Palestine
during the British mandate was
commemorated during a special
ceremony in which a Haifa street
was named for him last week.
The street leading to Haifa
Port Gate Number 3 was named
"Captain Steve Gate" for Captain
Esteban Herilandorene, who was
known to the illegal immigration
workers as "Steve." Born in
Spain in 1906, died in Haifa
last year, after serving the Zim
lines for which his son is now an
Attending the ceremony were
Jewish seamen, veterans of the
second wave of pre-state immi-
grants, naval officers and Catho-
lic clergymen. Poet Nathan Al-
terman said of the Spanish hero,
a Catholic, that "we shall yet read
songs and poems of this fleet
small and grey, and of you, too,

Friday, January 6, 1967-27


President of Rabbinical Council Due
at Annual Dinner of Akiva Day School

Rabbi Pesach Z. Levovitz, na- rabbis. He is the founder of the
tional president of the Rabbinical Lakewood Hebrew Day School and
Council of America, will be guest served as its first headmaster.
Rabbi Levovitz served as a chap-
lain in the U.S. Navy and now
serves on the executive committee
of the Synagogue Council of
America, steering committee of
National Conference for Soviet

Jewry, joint advisory committee of
the National Community Relations
Council and the rabbinic advisory
board of the United Jewish Appeal.

As empty vessels make the loud-
est sound, so they that have the

least wit are the 'greatest babblers.


Now . . .
There Are


speaker at the second annual ban-
quet of Akiva Hebrew Day School
6:30 p.m. Jan. 24 at Cong. Bnai
Rabbi Levovitz, spiritual leader
of Sons of Israel Congregation in
Lakewood, N.J. is head of the
largest rabbinic organization in
the United States, comprising close
to 900 American trained Orthodox

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Tel Aviv Judge Elected
by UN Subcommission

on Race Discrimination

(Direct JTA Teletype Wire
to The Jewish News)

Zeltner, president of the District
Court of Tel Aviv, unanimously
was named rapporteur of the
United Nations Subcommission of
the Prevention of Discrimination
and the Protection of Minorities,
which opened its meeting here on
Wednesday. The UN body is com-
posed of 18 experts from various
countries, incIu din g Egypt and
The subcommission, which will
discuss racial and religious dis-
crimination, will meet till Jan. 23.
Its members are elected not as
representatives of their countries
but on a personal basis as experts
on problems concerning national.
minorities. Important addresses on
the =premien of Jewish cultural
and religions activities in the

Help yourself, and Heaven will Soviet Union are expected to be de-
help you.
—La Fontaine. livered at the session.


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