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February 17, 1967 - Image 40

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1967-02-17

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

Crohn Retains Youthful Spirit; Judge Theodore Levin Gets Community's
Activity Marks 75th Birthday Encomia on His 70th Birthday Saturday

Lawrence W. Crohn will be 75
Wednesday.
Active in Jewish affairs for
several decades, a man of study
and research, now retired from the
furniture business, he nevertheless
has retained his youthful spirit. He
writes more lucidly than ever —
and more than ever. His articles
have apeared in several maga-
zines. A former president of the

3

LAWRENCE W. CROHN

Zionist Organization of Detroit and
the Zionist Council of Detroit, he
retains his interest in Israel —
visiting his son David and family
there, at least once a year with
his wife. A dedicated Zionist, he
is an active, leader in the ZOD.
A former president of the Jewish
Community Council of Detroit,
Crohn retains an active interest in
community affairs. And as a Re-
constructionist—a dedicated follow-
er of Dr. Mordecai M. Kaplan —

he is a man of faith.
Crohn's father came to New
York from East Prussia in 1857.
His mother was born in New
York, her parents having come
to this country from Poland in
1838.
Educated in New York schools
and at New York University,
Crohn's interest in Zionism
stemmed from his devotion to
Judaism and from his studies of
Jewish history.
He was a member of the first
class of the Teacher's Institute of
the Jewish Theological Seminary
and from this early association
with Dr. Kaplan has remained
under the teacher's profound in-
fluence.
In Detroit, he served for
several years on the board of
governors of the Jewish Welfare
Federation, as vice president of
the United Hebrew Schools and
as a member of several other
communal agency boards.
Crohn's interest in Judaism is
no accident. His grandfather,
Abbe Baum, was an organizer of
Cong. Kehillat Jeshurun in New
York. His love of music (he was
a singer) was carried on through
his daughters, Crohn's mother
Leah, Esther Ruskay, a social
service leader and writer, Sarah
Epstein and Millicent Baum.
Besides his son David, Crohn
and his wife (the former Jennie
Brodie of Baltimore) have a
daughter Mrs. Leonard (Leah)
Miaskoff, an able musician, and
a son, Harris, assistant professor
of music at Delmar College, Cor-
pus Christie, Texas. They have
six granddaughters.

Prof. Heschel to Address
Adler Memorial on Feb. 28

Marking the tragic occurrence
that resulted in the death of Rabbi
Morris Adler a memorial service
will be held in
i the Shaarey Zedek
8 p.m. Feb. 28.
An invitation has been extended
by the congregation's president,

PROF. ABRAHAM HESCHEL

Louis Berry, to the entire commu-
nity to attend.
With Prof. Abraham Heschel, one
of world Jewry's most distinguished
scholars, authors, lecturers and
philosophers, as guest speaker, the
service will be conducted by Can-
tors Jacob H. Sonenklar and Reuven
Frankel. Rabbi Irwin Groner will
have charge of the evening's pro-
gram.
There will be a tribute to Rabbi
Adler by Rabbi Groner on the
Eternal Light radio program 10:30
p.m. Feb. 26 on WWJ.

Historic Letter
by RabbiAdler

Rabbi Morris Adler's name is be-
ing honored not only in this com-
munity but nationally. A Bnai
Brith national service will be
addressed, by Maurice Samuel.
In tribute to Rabbi Adler, a vol-
ume containing the choicest of his
writings will be published soon.
Among the essays he had written
in the following "Letters the Rabbi
Can't Write Very Often" in which
he appealed for a maturing pro-

40 Friday, February 17, 1967



cess in Jewry:
I recently wrote a letter of rec-
ommendation in behalf of a young
man who was applying for a new
position. - I had known him since
his days as a student in our reli-
gious school, had followed his pro-
gress through his years at college,
had corresponded with him regu-
larly during his service in the Army
and had observed him for the last
several years in the position he was
now preparing to leave. After de-
scribing his personal qualities which
I felt equipped him for greater
opportunity and responsibility, I
commented. "I have been very im-
pressed by his evident growth in
understanding and experience. He
has developed and matured ad-
mirably, having learned much as
a result of the years he has spent
with his present firm." I was grat-
ified to be able to send a letter
which contained what I believed
to be deserved praise.
In the case of this young man,
as a result of a number of special
circumstances, I had been able to
note his work and to
More
his
expanding abilities. More
frequent-
ly, however, as a rabbi, I observe
the Jewish lVe of my people and am
involved in their Jewish experi-
ences. and activities.
Suppose I were asked to write
a letter of recommendation of a
man as a Jew. Of how many could
I, without violating honesty, testify
that they have been growing Jew-
ishly, in knowledge, grasp, devout-
ness and conception? Were a rabbi
to evaluate the Jewishness of his
congregation could he point to many
who with the passing years and the
ripening of their powers, exhibit
a deepened understanding of their
faith, a more mature view of God,
a more penetrating recognition of
the nature of the Jewish problem
and a more reflective and perhaps
critical attitude to the structure
and practices of organized Judaism.
We distort and cripple the con-
cept of education when we limit
its application in time to youth and
in space to the classroom. A man
proudly boasts that he has had

On his 70th birthday, which he will observe on Saturday, Judge Theodore Levin. will retire as
Chief Judge of the U. S. District Court. He has chosen, however, to remain on the Federal Bench. An
appreciative community greets Judge Levin on his birthday, in recognition of his many efforts for civic
causes, for his dedicated labors on the Bench, for his Jewish lead-
ership. As chairman of the standing committee of the Judicial Con-
ference of the United States, he has gained national recognition as a
jurist. Having earned his LLB and LLM from the University of De-
troit, in 1920 and 1924 respectively, Judge Levin was awarded an
honorary LLD by Wayne State U. in 1961. He received the Fred M.
Butzel Award from the Jewish Welfare Federation in 1959 and the
Civic Citation from the University of Detroit in 1961. He also holds
a Jewish Publication Society Citation, having been a JPS board mem-
ber for seven years. Admitted to the Bar in 1920, he practiced law
in the firm of Levin, Levin, Garvett and Dill until 1946 when he was
named to the Federal Bench by President Truman. Prior to that he
served as Special Assistant Attorney General of Michigan to conduct
grand jury proceedings concerning the closing of the Michigan banks.
During World War II he was a member of the State Appeal Board
of Selective Service. He was married to the former Rhoda Kat-
zin in 1925. They have three sons, Charles, Daniel of Chicago
and Joseph, a daughter, Mrs. Charles (Mimi) Lieber of New York,
and nine grandchildren. Their son Charles was elected to the Mich-
igan Court of Appeals last November. The other two sons also are
attorneys. In our issue of Feb. 15, 1957, we published a tribute to
Judge Levin by Judge Charles C. Simons, who has since passed away.
We are pleased to reprint that tribute here on Judge Levin's 70th
birthday.

*
*
By HON. CHARLES C. SIMONS

Chief Judge of the Six Circuit Court of the
U.S. Court of Appeals

(Reprinted from-Jewish News, Feb. 15, 1957)

So Theodore Levin is about to celebrate the 60th
anniversary of his birth. I welcome the invitation
of the Editor of The Detroit Jewish News to say a
few words about this important event, for I am
convinced from my knowledge of
his activities as they are reflected
in decisions reviewed by our court,
in the opinions of the members of
the bar, and in my many personal
contacts with him, that Judge
Levin, of the Eastern District of
Michigan, is rapidly becoming, if
indeed he has not already become,
one of the outstanding nisi prius
judges in the Federal Judicial
System. To his judicial work he
has brought a wide experience, Judge Simons
gained in a busy and successful practice at the bar,
a matured judgment and a high level of common
sense.
Born in Chicago, Ill., Feb. 18, 1897, a son of
Joseph and Ida Levin, it is important to note
that although his father's business activities
led him to live during Theodore's early years
in Canada, neither he, his parents,. nor his
brothers, ever surrendered their valued Ameri-
can citizenship and though he came to Detroit
as a stranger in a strange land, he soon made
his presence felt not only in his chosen pro-
fession but in the communal life of his people.
My friendship with him goes back many years
before his appointment to the district judge-
ship and is one that I treasure most highly and
one from which I myself have greatly profited.
I must speak, however, principally of our official
relationship. Since it is the function of a Court of
Appeals Judge to review the decisions of district
judges and occasionally to sit with district judges
in what are known as three-judge cases where con-
stitutional questions are involved by the claims of
litigants that their constitutional rights have been
invaded by State or Federal Administrators, it is
obvious, therefore, that no one is better qualified to
appraise the worth of a trial judge more intelli-
gently than one charged with such responsibility.
It has often been said, and I think truly said,
that a United States District Judge is possessed of
more sheer power over the lives and property of
litigants than any other member of the Judiciary,
for it must be understood that under our system
of law a judgment in the district court may be
overturned only when there is a mistake of law, a
failure to grant a litigant a fair trial or when the
facts fail to support the judgment. This is particu-
larly true in the trial of criminal cases. In small
men, this may lead to arrogance, capriciousness
or arbitrary exercises of power.
In men of stature, however, it develops a deep
sense of responsibility and an attitude of
humility. Judge Levin belongs in the second
category. It is not enough that a judge may
know the law or at least know where to find
it; it is not enough to create an atmosphere of

twenty years of experience in his
business or his profession. The im-
plication is that he is more skilled,
more capable, more knowledgeable
as a result of an association with
a particular enterprise or calling
that has extended across the years.
What about Jews who have been
members of the same organization
for twenty years; have contributed
to the same annual drive all that
time; have attended services for
several decades with some measure
of regularity; have held positions
on boards in various agencies with-
in the Jewish community; have
THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS read the Anglo-Jewish press week-

fairness in the court room; it is not enough to
apply the technicalities of the law with an
eye single to affirmance by a reviewing court.
The quality that marks a good judge is dis-
cernment that penetrates the obvious and
pierces to the essential merit of the case to
ascertain the truth and to reach if possible
a result that squares with that concept of
essential justice that lies at the base of civilized
Society. This quality Judge Levin's work has
amply demonstrated.
Judge Levin's humanity has made him an ardent
believer in the Federal System of Probation by
which first offenders may be given a chance for
rehabilitation. He has spoken and written much
about it and his reliance upon the expert humani-
tarian advice of competent probation officers has
received the commendation of all who have the
responsibility for erring humanity.
When I speak of "humility," I do not, of course,
mean lack of courageous independence. Judge
Levin's part in the three-judge case which con-
sidered the constitutional validity of the State's
anti-Communistic statute is still fresh in memory.
Though a Circuit Judge and a District Judge of
more experience were associated with him in that
case, Judge Levin stuck to his conviction that cer-
tain constitutional rights were involved and that
the Federal Government had pre-empted the field
of domestic security, leaving no area in which the
State could function. He was neither overawed by
superior status nor length of experience nor in-
fluenced by the more popular side of the con-
troversy.
Although the decision of the three-judge
court was set aside, leaving the question of
interpretation of the Act to the Michigan courts,
Judge Levin's minority opinion setting forth
intelligently and forcefully the pre-emption of
the Federal Statutes has more recently been
vindicated by a decision of the Supreme Court
of the United States interpreting a Pennsyl-
vania statute of like content. This took cour-
age and independence of judgment. His dis-
senting opinion is still a "landmark" in the
solution of the constitutional questions involved.
In speaking of his judicial activities and qualifi-
cations, I must not, however, neglect to comment
upon his great contributions to Social Welfare.
Though busily engaged in his official duties, he has
found time to contribute generously to the welfare
of his community as president of the United Jewish
Charities and the Jewish Welfare Federation and,
more recently, as a member of the board at Sinai
Hospital. Nor must I neglect to say that he ha ,
been true to his Jewish heritage. Without beir
fanatical, he has adhered to the religious and mor
tenets of his Fathers with a deep interest in tht._
institutions by which they are preserved and im-
plemented. His great faith in the federal judicial
process is but an extension of that religious con-
cept which so easily leads a highly moral man to
a loyal and deeply sentimental adherence to the
constitutionally protected rights and privileges of
the individual in our American way of life.
My wife and I join in wishing him many years
of happiness and usefulness in his chosen work.

ly? Have they grown Jewishly?
Have these activities and affiliations
contributed to their Jewish develop-
ment? Are our organized endeavors
calculated to raise in their par-
ticipants the quotient of Jewish
learning and insight?
Here is the great failing of Jew
ish life in America as presently
conducted and led. It leaves minds
untouched and imaginations en-
kindled. It permits one to remain
static, frozen on a uniform level of
underdeveloped Jewish apprecia-
tion and response. It permits many
to hold on to a Judaism that is a
potpourri of "rags and ta d s" corn-

posed of remnants of childish ideas
and memories, fragments and odds
and ends. It neither stimulates nor
helps one develop an adult, round-
ed, consistent Jewish outlook so
that he may find in Judaism a syS-
tern of ideas and values, a coherent
philosophy, an enlightened reli-
gion, a lofty system of ethical values
and moral attitudes.
Education in Jewish life is an
imperative for all. A Jew who does
not grow Jewishly weakens Jew-
ishly. Our goal should be not the
expansion and multiplication of
Jewish agencies, but the growth
and maturing of the individual Jew.

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