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
Published every Friday by The Jewish News Publishing Co., 17100 West Seven Mlle Road, Detroit, Mich. 48235.
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Editor and Publisher
CARMI M. SLOMOVITZ
Sabbath Scriptural Selections
This Sabbath, the 25th day of Mal, 5727, the following scriptural selections
will be read in our synagogues:
Pentateuchal portion: Deut. 29:9-31:30. Prophetical portion: Isaiah 61:10-63:9.
Candle lighting, Friday, Sept. 29, 7 pan.
VOL. LH. No. 2.
September 29, 1967
Re-Cementing Good Negro-Jewish Relations
Two related stories came over the wires
on the same morning. One told of the attack
on Zionism as an ally of the United States
made in Damascus, Syria, by Stokely Car-
michael. The other, from Tel Aviv, quoted
the New York Republican leader, Bernard
Katzen, making it known that Dr. Martin
Luther King will visit Israel shortly to study
the situation in relation to recent develop-
ments which involved Negro attacks on the
The anti-Jewish position taken by Car-
michael's group — the Student Non-Violent
Coordinating Committee — and the position
accredited to Dr. King denote a division of
opinion in Negro ranks. The anti-Zionist at-
titudes which were definitely anti-Jewish as
well have suddenly taken hold and there has
been disappointment over the weakness with
which Dr. King and his associates treated the
damaging declarations that came from the
The recent action of the National Conven-
tion on New Politics held in Chicago, the
SNCC effort to incite hatred by publishing
unsavory attacks on Jews and by reprinting
offensive photographs that are reminiscent of
Streicher and Goebbels, have divided rather
than united the previously friendly forces of
Jews and Negroes who had worked together
in the civil rights movement. It has come to
such a pass that the leftist Negroes have even
told their former Jewish associates that they
no longer need them or their cooperation.
Such attitudes are, of course, rejected by
the rational factor in the civil rights ranks,
and the bigotry of a minority of Negroes will
not deter Jews from laboring in behalf of
every effort to improve the status of the Neg-
roes and to assure for them the best condi-
tions economically, in health, housing and ed-
The road, however, has been strewn with
obstacles. A study of the "Negro and Jew"
published by Macmillan, in which noted lead-
ers in both ranks participate, is entitled "an
encounter in America," and the mere desig-
nation of the emerging conditions as "an en-
counter" at once indicates that there is a dis-
tressing measure of trouble afoot in the realm
of good neighborliness in this country.
The published symposium "Negro and
Jew" makes the significant declaration that
it has been accepted as incontrovertible that
"there exists a pronounced anti-Jewish senti-
ment among the Negro masses in this coun-
try, despite the active participation of many Viewing Manifold Problems
idealistic young Jews in the Negro struggle
for equal rights and the moral support given
the civil rights movement by Jewish groups,
and that Jews are reacting to this sentiment
with an emotional backlash."
If the latter is as true as the former, then
Is the Jew who basks in Miami Beach sun, playing gin rummy on
the situation is all the more deplorable, in
Rabbi Kertzer Analyzes Many
Issues in 'Today's American Jew'
spite of the undeniable fact that if there is a
backlash, the reasons ascribable to it are the
same for Jews as for non-Jews.
But even if Negroes expect more from
Jews in their battle for justice than from
non-Jews, the fact is that such a response is
forthcoming and the Jewish adherence to the
just cause of equality for all has not dimin-
ished. It is the Jewish protest against the at-
titudes of the SNCC and its leaders that has
grown because of the viciousness with which
Negro anti-Semites have adopted the Strei-
cher-Goebbels line and have swallowed with-
out rhyme or reason the Arab propaganda
that is being spread against Israel, Zionism
and the entire Jewish people.
Recognizing these existing facts, we can
and should hope for a speedy amelioration of
the tensions. The tradition in the ranks of
both Negroes and Jews is for amity and co-
operation and these must continue and should
be restored if they have been interrupted.
Negro leaders can go a long way in re-cement-
ing these good relations.
Facts versus Sensati onalism in the News
In spite of the ganging up on Israel by the
Communist and Arab blocs and by some of
the Afro-Asian states, the truth must come
The reports that were submitted last week
to the United Nations General Assembly by
Secretary General U Thant and Mr. Thant's
personal representative in the Middle East,
Nils-Goran Gussing, indicated bluntly that
charges of atrocities against Israel were un-
true and that at the root of the problem in
that area is the refusal of the Arab states to
Regrettably, the reports rejecting accusa-
tions against Israel are generally ignored in
the press while only the sensational gets at-
tention. When the Arabs charge Israel with
looting—it has been repudiated by Mr. Gus-
sing in his report to the UN—it is played up
as an expose of Israeli criminality. When
Israel employs many of its meager resources
to aid the Arab refugees and the Arab resi-
dents in areas now occupied by Israel, it is
shelved as unimportant.
And in the international arena it hasn't
become a bit easier to defend Israel's posi-
tion. The prejudices subsist and they have in-
filtrated into our nation's capital. Abba Eban
put it well when he said that if a resolution
against Israel were accompanied by a clause
declaring that the world is flat, it would re-
ceige.4 least 40 votes in the UN.
It is under such circumstances that the
struggle continues to protect Israel's status.
his hotel porch, representative of American Jewry?
Can it be said assuredly that the American Jew is primarily eon-
cerned with fund raising?
Are Jews primarily academicians and profes-
What is the impact of American Jews one on
Rabbi Morris N. Kertzer of Larchmont, N. Y.,
probes the various questions in his study of the Jew's
roles in "Today's American Jew" published by
McGraw Hill. He warns in his preface: "A gen-
eralization . . . is a conclusion reached by some-
one else." And he seeks to avoid generalizing.while
reviewing the scene and portraying the American
Rabbi Kertzer Jew as lie has observed him in the course of years
He covers vast areas, in relation to economic positions, cul-
ture values, language, the synagogue, association with Christian
neighbors, Israel and the longing for Zion, and there is a not
of pessimism in this assertion: "American Jews, try as they may,
find difficulty in feeling the peoplehood of Israel, the mystical
bond that unites them with their coreligionists outside the United
States. They cry for them wfrOn they are hurt, and are quick to
reach out a helping hand; but they sense no kinship with those
not in distress. The boundaries of America are the limits of their
creative Jewish concerns."
Nevertheless he utters a concluding optimistic sentiment when
"In the spirit of the prophets, as long as Jews continue to 'seek
justice and love mercy' the tradition of Judaism will survive.; Will the
pursuit of justice, the need for compassion and the matchless con-
cern for the world of ideas that have been the special hallmark of the
Judaic tradition long endure without a clear and uniquely distinctive
community of Jews in the United States?" He ends with this question,
so that the issue as he faces it is not resolved.
In searching for an answer to the question as to the chances
for Jewish survival in the United States, Rabbi Kertzer quotes Dr.
Abraham Heschel whose concern is not about survival but "rather how
to keep our people from vanishing in the abyss of drabness and
vulgarity, how to resist being committed to the nationwide prisons
The best proof of indifference to basic
facts that are inherent in the struggle for
peace and in a situation that could well de-
velop into a world war unless the pressures
from destructive forces are checked is the
manner in which the appeal in behalf of Is-
rael by 80 of America's most distinguished
leaders was ignored. There were, among the
signatories to that appeal to the President of
the United States, urging him and our gov-
ernment to strive for direct negotiations for
peace between Israel and the antagonistic
Arab states, 16 Nobel Prize winners. But
very few were even aware that such an ap-
In view of such uncertainty, the analyses of the manifold
peal had been issued. The signatories to that
problems in Rabbi Kertzer's searching volume, are significant
statement were motivated by concern over the
admonitions for those who seek a way out of the morass, and
grave situation in the Middle East. But their
perhaps they will serve as a guide to avoid the distractions, the
words fell on deaf ears—and on a press that
emphases on the shallow and on the material. Dr. Hertzer is frank
in his approaches. He exposes the crudeness of fund-raising tactics
in the main completely ignored the appeal.
the unreality of many ways of reaching the American Jew,
The near-miraculous events during the
especially the youth.
Six-Day War so completely astonished the en-
Discussing American Jewry's relationship with the Church, Rabbi
tire world that there was near-unanimous
expresses the view that "America may provide a crucial
admiration for Israel. Then began a period of Kertzer
testing ground for the novel hypothesis that all men are God's chil-
slander and malevolence; and truth was dis- dren." He states in evaluating the interfaith prospects that: "No longer
torted in relation to the Israeli control of
areas hitherto held by the Arabs. Anything
sensational gains attention in advance of the
truth. Therefore we have reached a new stage
—of striving for a hearing for the truth in
repudiation of the libels that are emanating
from sources so impressive as the United
Nations. The task is far from easy, and the
duty in the interest of truth devolves upon
all of us.
is Judaism to be studied only through the filter of Catholic editor-
ship. Across the border, in Canada, the Paulist Fathers have published
a basic textbook on Judaism in Catholic parochial schools, written at
their request by Rabbi Stuart Rosenberg of Toronto." He believes that
"a historic and profound evolution has taken place."
There is an interesting chapter dealing with the role of New York
as a place of creativity by Jewry.
Interesting comments are made on the role of Jews in Florida,
on the West Coast and in Zion.
In its totality, Rabbi Kertzer's is a most intriguing and thought'
and discussion-provoking work.