Detroiters Headed for Hebrew U.
`The End of the Jewish People?'—A Title,
Acclaimed Book Saved by a Question Mark
A question mark saves a widely
acclaimed book from excoriation.
Georges Friedmann is receiving
wide acclaim in France for his
"The End of the Jewish People?"
He is attracting attention with his
hook in its English translation now
, made available by Doubleday.
Especially now, with a resurg-
ence of Jewish loyalties, in an era
of greater unity than has ever
been experienced in Jewish ranks,
the lack of a question mark after
a statement relative to Jewish sur-
vival would have branded the
author as being so negative as to
actually search for possible rea-
sons to believe that Jewery is at
While the author questions the
ability to overcome many obstacles,
his book is a positive narrative on
many aspects of Jewish life.
When the contingent of 177 college and university students left
July 31 from Kennedy International Airport for one year of study
at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, there were five Detroit
students among them. They are (from left) William Chalets, 5076
Van Ness, Bloomfield Hills; Arthur Lerner, 18082 Ohio; Edith Gold-
man, 12800 Burton, Oak Park; Sharon Burg, 17566 Northlawn, and
Karen Isaacs, 18915 Littlefield. The students are participating in the
record-breaking 13th annual one-year program of the American
Friends of the Hebrew University. Jay Masserman of Oak Park is
returning from Israel, where he engaged in the one-year program
at the Hebrew University. Another Detroiter, Mark Goldsmith is
spending a year at Israel's Mollie Goodman High School at Kfar
Silver through a Zionist Organization of Detroit scholarship.
Translated from the French
by Eric Mosbacher, the Fried-
mann volume is an exceptionally
well compiled review of Israel's
status, of the kibutzim, the at-
titudes of Israelis, their ideolog-
ical approaches, their religious
A noted sociologist who taught
at the Hebrew University, Fried-
mann, based on experiences ga-
thered during two visits in Israel.
surveys every avenue of approach
to Jewishness, to Jewery in its
relation to Israel, and especially
and are turning into
the process points to remarkable
sociologists who made a first-hand get its good name back."
Then came the vote in which , attainments by Israel and Israelis.
study of the school board election
in Wayne, N.J.. in February. in Mandell and Kraus were over- i He does not outright relegate Jews
which the voters rejected two Jew. ' whelmingly defeated and the bud- t•3 their doom. But he creates the
ish candidates, apparently because , get lost by a three-to-one margin. , challenge.
His contention is that "it is not '
Posing the question: "Just what
they were Jews, have concluded
that charges equating the vote with did Wayne voters have in mind ; reasonable to conclude" that as a
"the black bigotry of Europe" were when they cast their ballots?" the'; result of the emergence of the
inaccurate. , sociologists declared that "most of 1 Israeli nation "the citizens of
Rodney Stark and Stephen Stein- them. it seems clear, could not Israel are Jews."
The reviewer is compelled to
berg report on their findings in identify anything anti-Semitic in
wonder whether Friedmann
the August issue of Harper's maga- the local controversy. Instead,
zinc, in an article entitled "Jews they saw an incomprehensible and
would have followed the same
and Christians in Suburbia." They unjustified attack on Newton Mill-
line of thinking if he had waited
are research sociologists at the en' .
with his book until after the June
1967 war, At one point, for in-
University of California at Berke- er is unaware of the implications
stance, he states: "If there is
ley. They are participants in the of his beliefs about Jews" and
a holy place to which they
center's five-year program of re- that what he said about Jews "is
(young sabras) are indifferent,
search on anti-Semitism, supported characteristic of light-gray anti-
it is the Wailing Wall, the sym-
by a grant from the Anti-Defama- Semitism."
bol of a past all traces of which,
The sociologists said that "in
tion League of Bnai Brith.
in their view, should be obliter-
the naive perspective" of rela-
Prior to the voting on candidates
ated." Hasn't this been disproven
tively mild American anti•
tor the Wayne school hoard and
by the excitement over the re-
Semitism, "which is certainly as
a current budget, Newton Miller.
turn to and the reaquisition of
to the manner in which the sabras
in Israel are becoming nationalists
Does Israeli denigrate
and is the new term in the
Say lilt 7' avne, A.J.. Jewry,
nationalist sense point to the de-
mise of the Jewish people?
Friedmann poses questions. He
NEW YORK — Two research sound like Germany. It will never raises the basic challenges and in
Mi'irongiv Termed Anti-Semitic
orthodox community of the Natorei their faith. But in Israel there are
Karts, the "guardian of the city") the also atheists and scientifically minded
State of Israel, the immense majority rationalists, who proclaim their mem-
o( whose citizens violate sacred laws bership in a universal community. They
to a lesser or greater extent, has noth- are generally older men, and the feel-
ing whatever to do with the promises ing is a natural, spontaneous result
of the scriptures, or rather, it is a of their sense of interdependence.
shocking negation of them. To others, Among the young, this sense has to
who are more moderate as well as be stimulated by education. "Jewish
more numerous, there is a mystic consciousness" has to be inculcated
tie between the land of i., rael and the into them in the classroom. they have
"Jewish people." which the foundation to be given lessons on the Jewish past,
of the state has strtcingly revived, al- and we do not yet know how successful
though it was never completely se, these lessons will be. The relaxation
,'red. "As soon as I set foot on the among sabras of affective ties with
soil of Palestine," A.R., a Tunisian in- the Diaspora is a fact of profound
tellectual, said to me, "I felt myself significance.
to be re-Judaized. Ever since the time
In the last resort, then, is it not
of Abraham there have always been the fate of the Jews of the present
Jews in Palestine. The return to the day to have to choose between two
Holy Land is a - human return. It is forms of assimilation? According to
not yet the divine fulfillment, but it the leaders and theorists of Zionism,
may pave the way to it." From this the greatest present threat to the
point of view, spiritual progress, the "Jewish people" is neither anti-Semi-
messianic aspect of the scriptures, tism nor economic discrimination, but
goes hand in hand with national and assimilation.
social progress and is involved in the
In the course of centuries the ghettos
epic of agricultural and industrial ren- "produced" Jews who lived a fully
ascence, the reconquest of the country J ewis h life, which itself excluded all
by tractors and by arms carried out dangers of assimilation. But nowadays,
by the halutzim, who were for the if a Jew of the Diaspora goes to Israel.
most part socialists and atheists. wishing to flee the assimilation that
The "gathering In of the exiles," un• is undermining his Jew ishness, is he
dertaken since 1948, is also a vigorous not fleeing from Scylla to Charybdis?
remolding progress, accompanied in Many orthodox Jews in Israel proclaim
that a new and mortal danger to the
most sacred traditions of Judaism is
the "orientals" have now arising in the Promised Land,
nbe o noth ing namely, the assimilation of Jews by the
state of Israel, i.e... .. "Israelization."
as sim ilatio n of
grants from becoming complete. An-
While the question posed in the
I s also
assimilation; the atheist sabras are title of his book is negative it can
described as physically saved but spirit- not be said that he is destructive.
ually lost. Saved by the Promised Land.
delivered from hatred and persecu• He is a creative writer and a good
lion, but lost, or at any rate gone
and certainly a very
astray. That is what the orthodox thinker,
think of all those Israelis who have serious sociologist whose survey
ceased believing in the God of Abra- can be very helpful in planning
ham, Isaac and Jacob, and no longer
the survival and the good relation-
follow His commandments.
All religious Jews proclaim the ships between Israel and world
existence and eternity of the "Jewish ,
people." which are co-substantial with Jewry-
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widespread in Wayne as any-
then vice president of the hoard,
the Wailing Wall?
in ;.4tp n1ni5 irm minin
issued a statement urging the de- where else, these remarks do not
Nevertheless. because so many
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feat of candidates Jack Mandell appear to be anti-Semitic at all."
of the questions posed by Fried- IT' L?rt.in nlni5 ,4rpn 3inin
and Robert Kraus because, as
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mann had been raised by many ,,,,,,,,,
Jews, they would be liberals "espe- ics instantly recognized Miller's
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statement as anti-Semitic," for Jews in and out of Israel prior to
cially when it comes to spending
most of Wayne's citizens, the is-
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controversies over the conflicts
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Miller also expressed fears that sue was not at all clear.
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While the majority of people
their election might pave the way
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titudes among Jews, the Friedmann
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for a Jewish majority on the board in Wayne "seemed to agree that
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"and we could lose what is left of anti-Semitism was deplorable." challenges are potent. He assists
InL?trf 51,V 51 -rFi 1pa3
Christ in our Christmas celebra- they simply could not "identify' in the discussion and he helps not
anything anti-Semitic in the local ' only raise the issue in a realistic .1"r.r...i'- '711.4. 130 PH vinntei 1trrt3
Miller's remarks brought swift , controversy."
nb n i ,nirn rni . '1 `7 , nnv
One woman, echoing the prevail-
rebukes from many township
officials. The national press be- ing sentiments, said "Newt tried : rationally
!?2'MR - 5n3 13 ".1H
value in understanding
gan to cover the situation and and tried to apologize and they'
wouldn't accept it. Now I ask, i not only Israelis but also their
"their reports and prowling TV
T I •
i movements; not only the kibutz
crews shattered the town's tran- what do you make of that?"
, A teenager said his class had I and kibutzniks but also the move-
At a school board meeting, I discussed the issue, "We thought', ments related to them — especially
the Jewish people should have : Histadrut whose functions are ex-
with three network TV crews
— 511 ,trinnti
present, the board voted eight pardoned Mr. Miller, It's much too cellently evaluated in the impres-
blown up." 1 sive book by Friedmann.
to one to censure Miller and to
aro min-tii,; In -
ask his resignation,
the people of Wayne "were i upon many other Israeli move- =tort nbt =hnt.t '13H Inn '4K
After the vote, Stark and Stein-
dumbfounded by the tidal wave ' ments, including the Moshavim.
berg report, "obviously shaken
He touches upon the Lavon ';rinn •
of criticism and nationwide at
and mystified by the widespread
condemnation, Miller rose to tention to the reaction." They Affair, comments on the Vati-
can's role during the Holocaust, 2 tInri
cited this as a common reaction
5 • WI
deny that he was prejudiced or
deals with Zionism and the move-
in their talks with residents:
that his press release had ap•
.1DiDtt ,niori , •ibni 71731 rircntcg 71??,
"It was a terrible shame that
ment's status. It is a most in -
pealed to anti-Semitism." He
the Jews caused all this trouble
formative volume •
and tried to make it a religious
At the same time it is interest-
campaign . .. It was a real shame ing to note his views on "The
The townspeople reacted with because it hurt the town so . . • Future of the Jews" in which he
bitterness to the fact that "Wayne They probably would have been states:
bad become a seven-day wonder." elected if they had just been de-
To religious Jews regarded as a
Said one resident, "My God, they cent People really got sore about whole, the return of Israel to the
y sox ry " but
sa id he e was "trul
repeatedly defended his state-
nient as true,
are making a wonderful town them trying to stir everything up."
32—Friday, August 11, 1967
Holy Land Is not the advent of the
kingdom of heaven announced by the
in boyf tthheem
THE DETROIT JEWSIII NEWS prov
• . •
Reading material in vocalized Easy Hebrew, and also material for
advanced students may be obtained through your local Hebrew ,
Organization or by writing to t Brit let* Olamit, P.O.B. 7111,
Jerusalem, load, Polished by
Drft /wit Ohm,