THE JEWISH NEWS
Incorporating The Detroit Jewish. Chronicle commencing with issue of July 20, 1951
Member American Association
of 'Enfish --Jewish
Newspapers. Michigan Press Association, National Editorial
Published every Friday by The Jewish News Publishing Co., 17100 West Seven Mile Road, Detroit, Mich. 48235,
YE 8-9364. Subscription $7 a year. Fo7,-eign $8.
Second Class Postage Paid at Detroit. Michigan
Editor and Publisher
CARMI M. SLOMOVITZ
Sabbath Scriptural Selections
This Sabbath, Rosh Hodesh Elul, the 30th day of Az, the following scriptural
selections will be read. in our synagogues:
Pentateuch& portions, Dent. 11:26-16:17, Num. 28:9-15. Prophetical portion,
Second day Rosh Hodesh. Elul Torn Readings, Sunday: Num, 28:1-15.
Candle lighting, Friday, Aug. 23, 8:02 p.m.
VOL. LIII. No. 23
August 23, 1968
A New School Year and its Problems
Commencement of a new school year,
within a matter of days, will pose new prob-
lems that should command the serious at-
tention of all of our communities. We can
expect a repetition of the old cliches—that
education comes first,-..that we must give
priority to learning ; that without knowledge
we won't have good leadership and without
information we won't- have thinking consti-
tuencies. And our philanthropically-minded
communities will ask for. added funds for
schools, and the matter of finance will pre-
dominate: with the acquiSition of larger funds
for educational purposes many will become
so contented that they will be able to sleep
peacefully—until another year arrives for
But while vast sums are needed to as-
sure for our schools the means necessary
for the conduct of our educational systems,
money alone is not what matters. 'What is
needed is an understanding of the response.
of the results attained, of the genuineness of
claims to a great Jewish cultural heritage.
It may well be that the horizon is not as
dark as it has been painted, that the num-
ber of Jewish children who are enrolled in
our schools is not as minimal as it has b6en
described, that the era of one-day Sunday
school training either has ended or-is-ending
and we have a good chance to establish deep
roots for the treasures that have been be-
queathed to us in the historical process of
Jewish spiritual and cultural creativity. -
Having satisfied ourselves with such great
achievements, we must ask: where are the
hordes of boys and girls, grown into manhood
and womanhood, who have been trained in
our schools and who were expected to pro-
vide the sinews for a continuing dedica-
tion to the basic ideals imbedded in the
legacy which is spoken of as the guide to
Our college youth have become disinter-
ested only a handful continued their Jew-
ish education, and some severed their
ties with the sacred traditions immediately
after bar mitzva. We have good fund-raisers
but few champions of the high ideals which
have become an acquisition for the peoples
of the world but which we seem to be un-
able to apply in periods of great tragedy
when racism, fears, threats to human values
are plaguing mankind. It is by recaptur-
ing the spirit of our sacred ideals that we
could contribute towards the salvaging of
human values. Instead we have a denigra-
tion that is harmful to us and to . the society
in which we live.
These are not symptoms of a sinking
into despair. They are realities that have
been spoken of time -and again. They are
puzzling results of an educational process
that neither fits into the scheme of our exist-
ance nor does it echo too clearly the efforts
to retain traditional school functions. They
point to shortcomings that must be corrected
Whence will come the inspiration that
is so urgently needed to alter a condition
that has left us smug, complacent, blind to
It isn't enough to concede to the truth
that we have a shortage of teachers, that
we have not found a way of keeping our
youth in Jewish schools after bar mitzva,
that we don't know how to instill interest
in our college youth. All these needs go
hand in hand—there is need for retaining
our best teachers and of encouraging dedi-
cated youth to pursue the Jewish teaching
profession. we must give new inspiration
to the confirmed youngsters. A way should
be found to reach the university student.
The school administrators and the peda-
gogues must find the way to tackle these
problems. and if they are unable to do so.
they must seek assistance in specialized
fields. It is too late to procrastinate further.
Biafra: Starving Children and Oil Interests
Children are dying in Biafra, and the
world's responsible relief agencies are seek-
ing means of preventing another great
In many Jewish spheres, in Israel, the
United States and at conferences of na-
tional Jewish leaders, the life-saving plans
are being advanced in some measure but
apparently are insufficient to stem the
When the calamitous situation will have
been solved, as it must. there may be need
for an international probe of what had hap-
pened. It is now charged that oil interests
are involved, that the vast oil potentials in
Biafra may be responsible for a great deal
of the revolt that has split a people that
was related in kinship.
Meanwhile, every effort must be made
to assure relief for the sufferers from the
agony that has been imposed upon an entire
people, especially the children. -There are
political considerations that are interfering
with progress in humanitarianism. Once again
expediency dictated by hypocritical diplomacy
may be at the root of interference with jus-
tice - and with the human factors in a na-
tional conflict. Unfortunately, the United
Nations is so weak and ineffective, that it
is unable to act. Will the United States be
in a position to provide the vitally needed
relief in a tragic situation?
An Unrealistic Presidential Veto
Johnson's veto of the measure
that would ban imports of cotton from coun-
tries that have broken relations with the
United States because of the alleged Ameri-
can support of Israel in the Six Day War
was accompanied by a message that sounds
logical but lacks the element of applicability
to people who would understand only a justi-
fied rebuke and not a concession to wicked-
The anti-Israel forces in the Middle East
are conducting an • immoral battle against
a neighbor who has been on the defensive
since gaining statehood with the blessings
of the majority of the states in the United
Nations. They are bent upon destroying an
entire people, and when that people manages
to defend itself successfully they place the
blame upon the United States, whose efforts,
in consultation with the Soviet Union, may
have prevented another world war.
The only thing Egypt and her allies might
understand is if there is punishment for
their policies that are intended for destruc-
tive purposes. But our government has
constantly pampered them and has not only
failed to regain lost friendships among them
but has given encouragement to them for a
continuing hatred. That is why President
Johnson's rejection of the decisions reached
by Congress in the matter of cotton imports
smacks of impracticality.
We object to injection of the "Jewish
vote" myth in the discussion, even if the
resort to it was to negate it. The Washing-
ton Post gave added ammunition to the Arab
lie factory by even mentioning it.
'Contemporary Reform Jewish
Thought' Defines New Concepts
Main currents in Reform Judaism are outlined in a series of essays
in a new volume whose purpose of defining Reform's aims should
serve the community well.
In "Contemporary Reform Jewish Thought," edited by Bernard
Martin, who holds the Abba Hillel Silver Chair of Jewish Studies in
the Case Western Reserve University department of religion in Cleve-
land, distinguished rabbis outline their ideas on major aspects of Reform
and the attitudes of the movement towards vital Jewish issues.
Published by Quadrangle Press. Chicago, in cooperation with the
Central Conference of American Rabbis, this volume contains essays
by Prof. Eugene B. Borowitz, Alvin J. Reines and Jakob J. Petuchowski
and Rabbis Arnold Jacob Wolf, David Polish, W. Gunther Plaut,
Bernard J. Bamberger, Joseph R. Narot, Daniel Jeremy Silver and
Samuel E. Karff.
In addition to his explanatory preface, the editor. Bernard Martin,
is the author of an essay on "Reform Jewish Theology Today" in
which he asserts that while Judaism and Christianity "have significant
affinities" . . . "Judaism must not be taken as merely the dialectical
counterpart or antagonist of Christianity, as has been the case in the
thought of some Jewish writers;" that the "uniqueness of Judaism is
not to be found in dogmas contra Christianity" and that:
"The Jewish theologian has his own tasks andhis own problems.
While he may learn much from philosophers and theologians com-
mitted to other faiths, his own goal must never be lost sight of: to
explicate the uniqueness of Jewish faith and Jewish experience in
terms that are appropriate to it. In furthering this goal, his work
will be richly compensated."
In the series included in this volume. Dr. Plaut discusses "The
Halakha of Reform." Dr. Polish's topic is "The God of Nature and
the God of Existence."
Prof. Reines discusses "God and Jewish Theology." Rabbi Wolf
deals with a similar topic. Prof. Borowitz's topic is "Faith and Method
in Modern Jewish Theology." Rabbi Olan discusses "New Resources
for a Liberal Faith."
Rabbi Karff's "The Election, the Covenant and the Mission of
Israel," Prof. Petuchowski's "Prcblems of Reform Halakha," Rabbi
Bamberger's "The Concept of Israel" and Rabbi Silver's "A Lover's
Quarrel with the Mission of Israel" present additional challenging
material relating to the analyses of the Reform ideas. "The Nature
and Destiny of Israel" is dealt with by Rabbi Narot.
The total theme, the annotated evaluative material on Reform,
contribute constructively towards an understanding of the trends which
mark the modern concepts of Reform Judaism, and this volume assists
theological students of all faiths and is especially valuable for Jewish
readers from all segments of Jewish life.
of Abravanel Reissued by JPS
The Jewish Publication Society of America has issued a new
edition of "Don Isaac Abravanel: Statesman, Financier and Philos-
opher" by Prof. Benzion Netanyahu of Dropsie College.
Responding to the great demand since it was first issued, JPS
republished the biography and the new edition contains updated
As the title indicates, it deals with one of the great figures it2.
Jewish history whose life was devoted to diplomacy and finance, ai ► '
well as to literature and philosophy.
One of the great diplomats of his time, Abravanel (1437-1508) was
the interpreter of many vital matters relating to Jews of his time, their
role amidst the crises of the Middle Ages, attitudes on messianism, the
complexities involving Moslems. Christians, the Marranos.
As a Bible commentator, as linguist, mystic and thinker. Abravan
was one of the great figures in his time. He was also a brilliant
The Inquisition. the Renaissance, the conflicts of an era that Val
it mark are among the many factors that are clarified in this richly
annotated biography and historical analysis of a great man and an era
during which Jews had lived a creative life in Spain, later to bit
exiled and humiliated.
Netanyahu's is a very scholarly work, and the reissuance of Ms
biography retains in circulation a most important book.