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May 05, 1967 - Image 4

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1967-05-05

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

THE JEWISH-NEWS

hicorporating 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. 43235.
64 69364. Subscription $6 a year. Foreign 37.
Second Class Postage Paid at Detroit, Michigan

PHILIP SLOMOVITZ

Editor and Publisher

CARMI M. SLOMOVITZ

business Manager

SIDNEY SHmARAK

Advertising Manager

MST EKOPEAN

SPTNq - 1967

CHARLOTTE HYAMS

City Editor

Sabbath Hol HaMoed Passover Tara Readings

This Sabbath the twenty•si_rth day of Nisan, 5727. the following Scriptural selections
will be read in our synagogues:
Pentateuchal portion. Ler. 19:1-20:27. Prophetical portion. Amos 9:7-15.
Posh Hodesh lyar Tora readings. Wednesday and Thursday, Num. 28:1.15.

Candle lighting, Friday, May 5, 7:17 p.m.

1,1. No. 7

Page Four

May 5, 1967

Jews and Negroes: Charges of Preiudice

When the New York Commission on Syna-
gogue Relations announced on behalf of
rabbis and laymen that it had inaugurated a
campaign to get Jewish parents to adopt
children who are inter-racial—offspring of
white Jewish women and Negro men—the
effort was described as a "signal failure"
and one of the rabbis in the group said: "The
American Jew is projecting Anglo-S axon
prejudices, not Jewish prejudices. We have
been caught up in our environment."
Another spokesman for the commission,
Rabbi Israel Mowshowitz, said: "We think,
we hope and we feel that we:are less preju-
diced than other groups. but we are not with-
out prejudice. We are nifilded by our
environment and affected by. environmental
pressures."
Shortly thereafter, at the convention of
the National Council of Jewish Women in
Atlanta. the retiring president, Mrs. Joseph
Willen, accused the Jewish community of
failure to assist fully in the civil rights
struggle. She charged that Jews, like other
Americans. are "meeting their obligations
through tokens: statements, speeches, point-
ing out that the rabbi stood on a picket line,"
but that in the meantime - we flee from
neighborhoods that begin to be integrated,
and we call our children out of desegregated
schools." She warned: "When we teach our
children Jewish ethics and then they see us
helping to make it hard for a Negro to move
in down the street, they learn not to respect
us or our values."
These criticisms are not being taken
lightly. There must be particular concern
over the attitude of the children referred to
by Mrs. Willen, and if it is true that our
youth may hold us in contempt for our
actions, it is equally true that the younger
element, in its commendable dedication to
liberal causes, especially to tasks aimed at
removing injustices against Negroes, often
lacks knowledge about the basic Jewish
teachings which make it mandatory for all
of us to strive for social justice for all, and
which include the obligation to assist in the
uplifting of the status of the oppressed and
to strive for equality among all peoples.
In the criticisms we have quoted there
is the equation of Jews who are "like other
Americans. - Therein lies an explanatory fac-
tor relating to the conservative elements,
many of whom could be classified as reac-
tionary. We find it difficult to believe. how-
ever, that such an element predominates in
our midst, and if it is numerically stronger
than most of us believe, there emerges the
responsibility to correct an unfortunate situa-
tion.
When, however, in the midst of criticism,
an authoritative spokesman for the Negroes
like James Baldwin, in his effort to minimize
the extent of anti-Semitism among Negroes,
draws upon every conceivable source of hate
—simply to prove that "Negroes Are Anti-
Semitic Because They're Anti-White"—which
is the title of his article that was featured
in the New York Times Magazine, he renders
an injustice that can not be overlooked.
Baldwin's review of the Negro position
includes so many cliches, so many repetitive
charges of "exploitations" by Jews, that his
article can serve no other purpose than to
stimulate increased hatred.

While listing many sins, while charging
numerous acts of taking advantage of Ne-
groes in housing, merchandising, other rela-
tionships, Baldwin, like so many others, fails
to take into account the readiness of Jews
to do business with Negroes and more often
than not granting them credit and carrying
thern on their books, whereas other whites

did not even do that; and more especially
they fail to admit the fact that Jews often
were stuck in areas that became impoverished
and continued to live with and do business
among the Negroes. The situation has since
become intolerable in many areas and Jews
there have been driven out of business, have
lost their real estate holdings and have aban-
doned their associations with Negro com-
munities. This has became part of the tragedy
because in so many areas retention of resi-
dences and business has become risky.

We are compelled to take into account
also the local situation. Who would deny that
at a time when integration in. our own North-
west area might have been possible there
has emerged a new tendency to run away
because of a crime wave, because of attacks
upon women in their homes, because of the
fear that has been injected with the result
that people who used to take walks in their
neighborhoods now are frightened away from
such exercise even in broad daylight? We
know full well that there are criminals among
whites. The worst crimes in the past two
years—the mass murders in Chicago and in
Texas—were by whites. The tragedy of the
present situation is that we have not gotten
together properly to remove the existing
fears. And asseverations like Baldwin's have
not helped a bit in the effort to reach an
accord that will assure total cooperation be-
tween whites and Negroes.

But in speaking of crime there is the duty
of people with a sense of honor not to pin
responsibility upon a single element in the
population. Remember: Speck is white. The
obligation of a civilized community is to pre-
vent placing charges of lawlessness upon a
single group that happens to be so oppressed
that it is vulnerable to assault. The responsi-
bility of law-enforcement agencieS is to

strive to uproot crime so that fears should
vanish and suspicions should have no place

in an American society.
Now the accepted view in the nation's

capital is that the civil rights movement has
been destroyed, or at least greatly weakened.
This is a national tragedy, and the solution
must come not by suddenly adopting a sancti-
monious attitude of saying it is not the Jews
but the Christians who are to blame. A serious

national problem is not solved by equating

the Negro situation with the Nazi era or by
likening the Negro struggle to Israel's emerg-
ence into statehood. What we need is sound,
practical. genuine planning devoid of bitter-
ness or of choosing scapegoats. Are we able
to do it without being influenced by political
strategies?

Drive Participation

.404

Dr. Benderly and the Jewish
Education System He Fashioned

Samson Benderly was the guide to Jewish educators in America
in the early decades of this country. He pioneered in introducing
proper curricula, in establishing the first Hebrew High School in
New York, in encouraging communal support for Jewish schools.

The story of the creative efforts of this man who introduced mod-
ernity in Jewish education efforts in this country and in forming a
foundation for cultural activities on a high . standard is told in "Jewish
Education in a Pluralist Society—Samson Benderly and Jewish Edu-
cation in the United States" by Nathan H. Winter, published by
New York University Press.

David Rudaysky points out in a foreword that this hook is "the
account of a dynamic and forceful personality. endowed with a bril-
liant and fertile mind, and a Lev Ohev and Lev Koev; a loving and
aching heart for his people and for America. These two obsessing
loves impelled Dr. Benderly as a young man to abandon a promising
medical career and to dedicate his constructive energies to the task
of building a voluntary Jewish educational system that would make
for Jewish survival in the free atmosphere of America."

It is implied here that in Benderly's time there already was
the problem of being able to coordinate the traditional Jewish
needs with the basic philosophy of the land in which we live under
freedom." The foreword to this history of an idea and an idealist
proceeds to state: "Despite the limited resources at his command
and the apathy of the community, despite many disillusionments
and frustrations, he succeeded in bequeathing to American . Jewry
a blueprint for a community system of Jewish schooling, suited
to the American Jewish environment and responsive to the needs
of American Jewry."

Dr. Benderly is called "the architect of Jewish education in
America" who "did more than formulate a set of principles and chart
.the guidelines for a ramified program of Jewish education. He set up
a laboratory in which he tried and explored new methods, new ap-
proaches and new procedures in American Jewish education."

Rudaysky further contends that "Dr. Benderly's imaginative
thinking and projections led him into every avenue and level of
Jewish education."

Winter's account reviews the history of Jewish educational
efforts at the turn of the century and proceeds to give a thorough
analysis of Dr. Benderly's life. his interest in education, his ex-
periences, the obstacles he had to hurdle in proposing his plans for
a communal system of schools, the disciples he inspired, many of
whom in later years were the leaders in all Jewish educational
activities.

Dr. Benderly's views In 1912 were that "the isolation of our
children in parochial schools, though undoubtedly effective from a
purely Jewish point of view. might injuriously affect our political
and social status in this country and could, in addition, demand
financial sacrifices at present beyond our reach . . ." He strongly sup-
ported the educational afternoon Jewish programs and outlined curri-
cula for them. Conditions have, of course changed, and his views
might have been drastically altered today, many of his disciples be-
ing advocates of the day school system.

Within a very few days. the 1967 Allied
Jewish Campaign will come to a close. There
is no doubt that regardless of the total that
will be reached by May 10 it will be necessary
to continue solicitations for some time to
come in order that all who need to be con-
Winter states in his analysis of Benderly's role as the man who
tacted should be given an opportunity to par- framed the present system of Jewish education in America:
ticipate in this great philanthropic effort.

It is of the utmost importance, however,
that all available sums should be on record
as gifts attained by the time the planned
victory dinner is held next Wednesday. It is

"For almost 40 years the name Benderly represented Amerl-
can•Jewish education, and his blueprint became an integral part
of Jewish education in this country. His Bureau structure was
the prototype for similar institutions which spread throughout
America, and his experiment became the norm. The men and
women whom be trained and inspired served and continue to
serve as the ambissadors of Jewish education in America."

urgent, therefore, that those who have not
been contacted as yet should call the Allied
Jewish Campaign office (WO 5-3939) imme-
diately and make their contributions. The
only way in which a community like ours can

This biography of a man and the system he developed for Jewish
education in America is a valuable blueprint for an understanding

our readiness for such participation.

educational activities.

function is by total participation of its citi- of the background and the emergence of the present educational
zens. This is the time for all of us to declare system and bectinies must reading for all who are involved in Jewish

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