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January 06, 1967 - Image 4

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

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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.
VF 8-9364. Subscription $6 a year. Foreign $7.
Second Class Postage Paid at Detroit, Michigan

PHILIP SLOMOVITZ

Editor and Publisher

SIDNEY SHMARAK

CARM1 M. SLOMOVITZ

Advertising Manager

Business Manager

CHARLOTTE HYAMS

City Editor

Sabbath Scriptural Selections

This Sabbath, the twenty-fifth day of Tevet, 5727, .the following Scriptural
selections will be read in our synagogues:
Pentateuchal portion, Ex. 6:2-9:35. Prophetical portion, Ezek. 28:25-29:21.
Torn reading for Rosh Hodesh Shevat, Thursday; Num. 28:1-15.

Candle lighting, Friday, Jan. 6, 4:58 p.m.

VOL. L. No. 20

Page Four

January 6, 1967

New Emphasis on Our Educational Needs

Especially in the past decade, the empha-
sis_ that has been placed on the priority to
be given Jewish educational needs in com-
munal planning has resulted in research, in
symposia held in all important Jewish centers,
in surveys of our educational standards as
well as the status of teaching and learning.
The formation of a new educational council
therefore comes as a surprise that may have
puzzled many people.
After all the surveying, planning, re-
searching—all aimed at raising the standards
of our educational media—is it possible that
a need should have arisen for a new forum,
another approach towards "broadening the
provision of scholarships . . . establishing and
strengthening school standards ... promoting
teacher recruitment . . . influencing the
climate of the community concerning educa-
tional needs?"
Upon reading the set of principles an-
nounced by the new council, the question
must arise: what have we been doing until
now?
There is a provision in the new council's
program to provide support for Jewish Day
Schools. Even on this score the community
has not been sleeping, ,and there are current
considerations by the Jewish Welfare Federa-
tion to review such needs, with the possibility.
that Detroit may join other communities in
offering a measure of assistance to Day
Schools. Therefore, the question remains: why
the need for new educational councils when
priority already has been given to educa-
tional programs and this remains an estab-
lished Detroit Jewish community policy?
Perhaps the answer will be found in the
oft-reiterated request for the formation of a
Detroit Bureau of Jewish Education. That

might eliminate conflicts and controversies,
since the proper authority would thus be
established to deal with the needs of the
entire community.
Nevertheless, the formation of a new
council seems to challenge the approaches
of the past years and to suggest that there
should be a revision of tactics and the setting
up of new methods of evaluating our school
systems. It could even be interpreted as a
charge that the methods of recent years are
impractical and that we must start from
scratch in facing up to the educational issues
affecting our community.
be-
The proposals for liaison committees be-
tween professional and lay leaders is a serious
one. It is possible that if such go-between
attempts had been made in the past we would
not have had threats of teachers' strikes, and
negotiations between teachers and schools
might have been conducted more smoothly.
The teacher-training proposals made by
the new council also have validity. While
such training programs are in effect, all addi-
tional efforts in that direction, if they will
bring proper results, must be encouraged.
Nevertheless, if we are to accept the pro-
posals of the new council as being vitally
needed, the puzzle remains: why can't the
existing agencies, committees and surveyors
accept the suggestions and incorporate them
into working programs without necessitating
another step in the direction of over-
organization and duplication of activities?
If such a challenge exists, perhaps the
emergence of the new council will serve
another good purpose — in bringing to light
the challenging needs that accompany our
educational programing.

Source of Indifference: Role of Our Youth

It is to the credit of our congregations and
the major Jewish organizations that a plat-
form is being given to the youth to express
their views on their status as members of our
communities and on their approaches to Jew-
ish issues.
For some time now there have been ex-
pressions of despair over the indifference to-
wards Jewish matters especially by our
college youth, and the major emphasis in
communal planning has been placed on at-
tracting the young. Spokesmen for the youth,
on the other hand, often rejected charges
that they were estranged from us, and many
of them pointed to their elders- to indicate
that if there is -an indifference it stems from
the earlier generations which have passed on
to the present spirit of complacency, of a
failure to become enthused over the great
heritage that should be beckoning to all of
us to carry the traditions of our people with
dignity.
There may be much more to the claims
of our youth than the elders are ready to con-
cede, and we would do well to accept their
criticisms rather than to adopt a despairing
attitude.
Let us judge by past experiences. The
truth is that in previous eras, when we com-
plained about indifference, we spoke of a gen-
eral lack of concern rather than the specific
attitudes of youth. If there had not been that
lack of interest on the part of elders in the
previous two generations, there would have
been a more dedicated youth today.
There have been tests of knowledge of
Jewish historical facts among college youth,
and the results indicated a shocking lack of
information. But the tests should have been
made among the elders—and a similar result
might be anticipated. This being the case,
why do we complain about the children when

Singer Enhances Literary Career


Wth

'Ziateh the Goat' Youth Taie

Isaac Bashevis Singer's popularity as a short-story writer and
novelist is so well established that he is considered generally, in non-
Jewish as well as Jewish ranks, as one of the leading literary figures
of our time.
It .is not as well known that he is a skilled writer of children's
stories. Harper & Row just issued a volume that enhances his career
and places him high in the realm
of narrations for children.
"Zlateh the Goat" is the title of
this collection of seven of his chil-
dren's stories. Enhanced by a
series of pictures drawn by Maur-
ice Sendak, these stories were
translated from the Yiddish by the
author himself together with Eliza-
beth Shub.
The old world's characters
emerge here in interesting fashion.
Supplemented by explanatory ac-
counts of what had occurred in the
past, in what we are in the habit
of referring to as life in the shtetl,
Picture by Maurice Sendak
children reading these tales will
in Singer's `Zlateh'
get a fine idea of the experiences
of their parents and grandparents. A special assignment thus exists
for parents who choose to read the stories with their children. Both
will enjoy them immensely.

Singer points out in his foreword: "Literature helps us re-

member the past with its many moods. To the storyteller yester-
the parents may be at fault?
day is still here as are the years and the decades gone by. In
Because a number of our youth have
stories time does not vanish. Neither do men and animals .. .
spoken on the matter on several occasions in
What happened long ago is still present"
the past weeks in our congregations, and at
This is the spirit in which the tales were written. Singer con-
public gatherings, and because we are in the
tinues to state: "In real life many of the people that I describe no
process of promoting numerous communal longer
exist, but to me they remain alive and I hope they will amuse
educational projects, these things need to be the reader
with their wisdom, their strange beliefs, and sometimes
said in order that a deeper interest should . with their foolishness."
be displayed in our educational programing.
Indeed, in these stories are reflected the economic struggles, the
There needs to be an increased concern in religious fervors, the family loyalties, the frugalities.
adult education programs, in the curricula we
The title of the book is based on the last of the seven in
prepare for our children, in the general com-
this collection. Zlateh is a goat. The owner is about to sell it.
munications media which are so vital for an
The children are heartbroken: they are so attached to Zlateh.
understanding of our role as a Jewish com-
But the 12-year-old Aaron is compelled to take the goat to a
butcher to whom it is to be sold. He is caught in a storm and
munity within a free American setting.
he saves himself and the goat by finding refuge in a barn where
These things need to be said also on the
both stay for four days. When they return, Aaron's father's
eve of another great fund-raising campaign
fortunes take a turn. The cold weather brings him customers
when the Allied Jewish Campaign again will
as a furrier. The goat remains in the family.
make its appeal for so many vital causes af-
It is the manner of conversation with the goat that will enchant
fecting Jewry. If we wish to enroll another
5,000 or more contributors among the indif- the reader. There is something very wholesome about the tale. It is
deeply moving, excellently narrated, molded into a legend that re-
ferent adults in our midst, how are we to flects
an age gone by.
attain it unless we have a well informed con-
Some of the other stories contain other experiences — like the
stituency?
one of the girls who become entangled with their feet and their only
It is encouraging that we have let the solution, suggested by the community Wise Elder, is that they be
youth speak in their own behalf. Perhaps we married off. It is the selection of the first bridegroom that provides
can learn from their experience, even if what hilarity: this is where foolishness comes in. It all ends happily.
they say will not place us—their parents—in
Then there are the Helm ideas — the naive approaches to life,
a very good light. Perhaps it will direct us to and the numerous other experiences of the various characters in this
a re-evaluation of our informational agencies, collected work that elevate Singer to a high role as a teller of tales
leading us to a more wholesome program of for children.
• Sendak's 17 Allustrations add to the charm of this book. There
action which will assure knowledge and un-
derstanding of Jewish values among all Jews, is at least one picture for each story, and for some there are two and
As the accompanying illustration shows, there is an impres-
of all ages. Without it, we will once again three.
siveness about this work that makes it valuable and vital as supple-
revert to a type that responds to tragedy— mentary expressiveness for the Zlateh book.
since we always rise up in protest against
Singer dedicates his book "to the many children who had no
discrimination, against pogroms, in defiance chance
to grow up because of stupid wars and cruel persecutions
of injustice wherever it may occur—but has which devastated cities and destroyed innocent families." There will
yet to learn to place special importance on be general acclaim by those who read "Zlateh the Goat and Other
the spiritual, cultural and moral values which Stories" that there will be fulfillment of Singer's hope "that when
distinguish us as the nation of priests and a the readers of these stories become men and women they will love
not only their own children but all good children everywhere."
holy people.

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