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December 20, 1968 - Image 40

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1968-12-20

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UJA's 1969 Needs Outlined at Conference;
Dayan Outraged by False Atrocities Charge

NEW YORK (JTA) — The 30th
annual national conference of the
United Jewish Appeal ended Sun-
day after 3.000 delegates re-elected
Edward Ginsberg of Cleveland as
general chairman with a mandate
to conduct a massive, nationwide
"no-limit" campaign in 1969 to
meet "crucial human needs" in
Israel and 30 other countries
throughout the world. Max M.
Fisher of Detroit was re-elected
president. Mrs. Bernard Schaenen
of Dallas was elected national
chairman of the Women's Division
succeeding Mrs. Harry Jones of
Detroit. Gordan Zacks of Colum-
bus, 0. was elected chairman of
UJA's national young leadership
cabinet, succeeding Herbert J.
Garon of New Orleans.
The 1969 UJA campaign will
have no goal, Ginsberg stated, "be-
cause the needs are too great to be
circumscribed by any limitations."
The funds to be raised in 1969
will be devoted to: "needs that
must be met on behalf of more
than 350,000 Jewish immigrants
now living in Israel, as well as for
the 30,000 other newcomers whose
arrival is anticipated in 1969; and
to carrying on existing programs
outside of Israel, on behalf of more
than 400,000 Jews. principally in
Europe, North Africa and the
Middle East." he said.
in Israel will be met pri-


marily through continuation of
the UJA's Israel Emergency
Fund, a "no goal" fund-raising
effort launched in June 1967, on
the eve of the Arab-Israeli con-
flict. Ginsberg said: "The people
of Israel, forced to divert all of
their economic strength and re-
sources to defense, must turn
over to world Jewry the problem
of maintaining vast and costly
programs of relief, social wel-
fare, child care and other meas-
ures needed to aid a huge and
impoverished segment of its so-
ciety, composed chiefly of un-
absorbed immigrants. The post-
war security burdens Israel's
people carry now, and will con-
tinue to carry, add up to hun-
drens of millions of dollars. The
Israelis will bear these costs
themselves, but they ask us and
our fellow Jews throughout the
world to continue to meet the
human needs of Israel's people
and arriving immigrants."
Ginsberg noted that UJA funds
are allocated not only to the people
of Israel but also to assist Jews
victimized by recent upheavals in
Eastern Europe. He said, "the
virulent outburst of anti-Semitism
in Poland, the flight of 3,000 Libyan
Jews to Italy, the post-June 1967
exodus of about 25,000 Jews from
Morocco and Tunisia to Israel and
France were all major events in-
volving hard work to care for many
needs." He stated that through the
Joint Distribution Committee, UJA
funds must assist more than half
of the remaining 20,000 Jews in
Rabbi Herbert A. Friedman, the
UJA's executive vice chairman,
told the delegates that 20 per cent
of Israel's gross national product—
estimated at 55,000,000,000—will be
spent on defense next year. "These
crushing defense costs will con-
sume almost the entire income
available from Israeli internal rev-
enue." he said, adding that fiscal
1969 defense costs will be 2.5 times
as much as in fiscal 1967, when the
Arab-Israel war was fought.
President-elect Richard M. Nix-
on sent the UJA parley a tele-
gram, addressed to Fisher, ex-
pressing good wishes for a suc-
cessful campaign. He said, "The
humanitarian record of the UJA
and its beneficiaries in saving
human lives and assisting more
than 3,000,000 in 30 years has
earned the admiration of millions
of Americans and men of good
will everywhere."
Israel's Defense Minister Gen.
Moshe Dayan told a nationwide

television audience Sunday that
Israel was prepared to give up

ment in the occupied area, Israel
"must and should consider the
living there not as enemies
"lots" of territory as the price Arabs
but as people toward whom we
of peace with its neighbors and have a governmental responsibil-
affirmed that his country was ity, the responsibility to provide
prepared to negotiate a perma- them with the services and the
nent border with each of its conditions that can enable them to
lead as normal a life as possible.
We have a capacity to provide
He declared that Israel was them with all this and we are doing
eager to change the present cease- so in spite of possible risks that
fire lines to permanent boundaries may be involved."
and was ready to work out all the
Gen. Dayan paid a courtesy
details from maps at the negotiat-
call on President-elect Nixon at
ing table. Interviewed on the pro- the latter's Hotel Pierre head-
gram "Issues and Answers" on the
quarters in New York on Satur-
American Broadcasting Co. net- day. Emerging after a half-hour
work, Gen. Dayan said Israel meeting, he told newsmen he
wants peace and relations with its
was confident that there would
neighbors. "We want to negotiate
be no diminution of U.S. support
the borders. We do not want to go
for Israel, adding, "Certainly not
back to the old borders. We want
after this morning's meeting."
new lines," he said. Much of the
He said further that he believed
interview covered the ground of
it would be to Israel's advantage
his speech Saturday night at the
if the U.S. improved its rela-
United Jewish A p p e al dinner,
with the Arab world since
with Gen. Dayan reiterating his
the U.S. would then be able to
belief that the U.S. could improve
exert greater influence over the
its relationships with the Arab
militant Arab states and counter
states without having to do so at
the growing influence of the
the expense of Israel. He said he
Soviet Union. Gen. Dayan said
did not think the U.S. would dis-
he was convinced that improved
card old friendships to buy new American-Arab relations c o u l d
ones. To one of a series of wide-
be achieved without altering
ranging questions, as to what the
America's traditional support of
U.S. could do to assure Middle
East peace, Gen. Dayan said a
The Israeli defense minister was
year and a half ago the U.S. told
the Soviet Union "If you go in, obviously trying to calm fears
we go in." This approach, he said, aroused in some Israeli circles and
among American Jews by a sug-
proved effective.
by William W. Scranton,
Gen. Dayan visibly showed gestion
fact-finding envoy to the
anger when he was asked about
that the U.S. should
Arab charges of atrocities and pursue "a more
even-handed pol-
mistreatment of the Arab popu- icy" in the region.
lation of the occupied areas. "Not
(Reports from Cairo said that
one. Arab civilian has been
killed," he exclaimed. He chal- Nixon has assured the Arabs that
lenged his questioner to provide the U.S. continues "to search for
photographs or other evidence of justice" in the Middle East and
Israeli misdeeds as charged by other parts of the world. The
the Arabs. The general bristled President-elect's remark was con-
again when asked whether the tained in a message from Nixon to
recent "heavy raid" on the Abdel Khalek Hassouna, secretary-

Iraqis based in Jordan would
not escalate the border difficul-
ties. He retorted that the raid
was not heavy enough. He said
the Iraqi and El Fatah were not
attacking Israel as a matter of
reprisal or as the result of esca-
lation. They were in Jordan, he
said, for the express purpose of
carrying out attacks on Israel
and violating the cease fire. He
conceded that King Hussein
might be hurt by the Israeli re-
prisal raids, but he pointed out
that no sovereign ruler could
permit an outside force to op-
erate from his territory violating
the cease-fire agreement he had

Addressing the UJA conference,
Dayan said: "Soviet policy in the
area is causing us considerable
concern. The Soviets are supplying
Egypt and Syria with great
amounts of arms and armaments
and are inciting them as well as
training and organizing their
forces." He warned that "such a
Soviet policy can lead the Arabs,
if they get the green light and
promised support from the Soviets,
to resume the war." Gen. Dayan
said Israel wanted "peace in place
of the armistice agreements" and
"new and secure borders in place
of the old armistice lines." He de-
clared that Israel "has no confi-
dence in United Nations peace-
keeping forces as a means of in-
suring the rights of navigation
through the Straits of Tiran."

general of the Arab League in re-

ply to a congratulatory message
Hassouna sent on Nixon's victory
last month.)
Conference delegates also heard
Henry Ford II, chairman of the
board of the Ford Motor Co., and
Louis Pincus, chairman of the
Jewish Agency for Israel.
Pincus told the delegates that
"millions upon millions of dollars
are needed from UJA just to hold
the line in the field of social wel-
Pointing out that "Israel's tax-
payers are making incredible sac-
rifices just to meet this life-or-
death defense burden," Pincus
stressed, "and yet the vast costs of
minimal social services for nearly
half-a-million struggling immi-
grants must still be faced."
In his address, Ford stated:
"I suppose the main reason why
I'm here is that any friend of Max
Fisher's is a friend of yours. Max
is one of my best and oldest
friends. He never forgets me when
he's raising money for a worthy
cause. And I suspect he could say
the same about me.
"That's more than a joke, how-
ever. Max and I have been drawn
together over the years because
we are both businessmen who be-
lieve that business has a responsi-
bility for the rights and welfare of
the less fortunate members of so-
ciety. That particular combination
of qualities, I might add, is sel-
dom more evident than on occa-
sions like this.
"If we want justice, brotherhood
and equality, then we must work
for them now, day to day, patiently
and persistently. We must cope
with the problems, large and small,
that are closest to us. We must
help people who need help most.
We must, in short, carry on the
kind of work that is supported by
the United Jewish Appeal.
"I wish you success beyond your
hopes in your 1969 national cam-,

Dayan said the Arabs recognize
that they have no chance of victory
in an all-out war—"thus the artil-
lery attacks along the Suez Canal
and the Jordanian attempts to
harass our settlements in the Jor-
dan Valley." He said the U.S.
could prevent another war and lay
the groundwork for peace by "pro-
viding two elements which Israel
cannot do by itself — supplying
weapons which we cannot produce
and discouraging the Russians
from intervening in the area." He
said that as the de facto govern- paign."


Boris Smolar's

'Between You
. . . and Me

(Copyright 1968, JTA Inc.)

JEWS IN LENINGRAD: Leningrad, with its 200,000 Jews, stands
outside the stream of Jewish life in the Soviet Union of which Moscow
is the center. But the synagogue in Leningrad is larger and more beau-
tiful than the Central Synagogue in Moscow. It is the largest synagogue
in the entire USSR.

The Leningrad Synagogue was built under the Czarist regime when
the city was known as St. Petersburg. Only the richest Jews in the
empire were permitted to reside there. Other Jews—except a few with
higher education which was rare among Jews in those years—were
banned from residence there. The wealthy Jews of the Russian capital,
among them Baron Horace Guenzburg, banker and philanthropist, could
afford to build a synagogue which had no equal in beauty in many

The Leningrad Synagogue is not what it was in the years of its
former glory, when the aristocracy of Russian Jewry played an im-
portant role in the Czarist capital in the fight for Jewish rights. They
never won the fight until the Czarist regime fell in 1917 and the Keren-
sky government, which succeeded it, annulled the anti-Jewish restric-

tions. A half century ago the symbol of Jewish wealth and creative
Judaism—the Leningrad Synagogue today is a symbol of Jewish decline.
The gates at the entrance to the synagogue are wrought iron and
constitute a rare piece of art. They are decorated with heavily gilded
Hebrew letters—and would occupy a prominent place in any museum.
Now, however, they hang on broken, rusted hinges and are exposed to
the possibility of being removed for scrap'iron.
Inside the synagogue, you get the feeling that you are in a great
temple of art. High, and richly decorated with religious inscriptions in
golden letters in Hebrew, stands the Holy Ark. The several thousand
seats for worshipers and the artfully carved balconies for women give
you the impression that you are in a luxurious opera house.

REMNANTS OF GLORY: The synagogue is closed all week long,
except on Saturdays and holidays, despite the fact that all the seats
there are sold out for the entire year. Leningrad is a large city, and its
Jewish residents live in various sections of the city. Some of those who
subscribe for synagogue seats work on Saturdays and cannot attend the
services. Others are too religious to travel on Saturday. Thus, even on
Saturdays the number of worshipers is small. It is not so on the Jewish
holidays, Come Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur. Passover, Sukkot and
Simhat Tora, then the synagogue is full. The services are conducted by
a cantor who also directs a small chorus of middle-aged Jews.
The cantor—he recently visited the United States with Rabbi
Yehuda Levin, the chief rabbi of the Moscow Central Synagogue—is not
a professional cantor. By profession he is an -engineer working in a
large Leningrad industrial establishment. Highly respected by the man-
agement, he is relieved of work on Saturdays and on Jewish holidays
so that he may perform his cantorial duties in the synagogue.
The synagogue has a "bridal room"—a special room where mar-
riages are performed in accordance with the Jewish tradition. It cannot
be said that the number of such marriages is large, considering the
fact that a substantial proportion of the Jewish population in the city is
composed of youngsters, many of them students. However, this desig-
nation of a room is indicative of the fact that Jewish traditions are not
yet completely dead in Leningrad Jewish families.
Alongside the Leningrad Synagogue, in the courtyard is a small
synagogue. There you can find a "minyan"—a quorum of 10 worship-
ers—every morning and every evening. The worshipers I found there
presented a pathetic picture. They were old, shabbily dressed, and
people of a world of long ago. They spoke among themselves in
Russian—a habit of the old and better years, when every Jew in the
city spoke Russian only. However, when it came to praying, each of
them recited the prayers in Hebrew with traditional Jewish fervor.
TRADITIONAL JUDAISM: The administrator of the synagogue
—an aged Jew with a long patriarchial snow-white beard—was busy
lighting "yahrzeit" candles, one after the other, commemorating the
memory of dead Jews. Every now and then a middle-aged Jew rushed
in from the street to place a candle in memory of his parents.
The income from the "yahrzeit" candles, the administrator told
me later, helps to maintain the synagogue. Other income comes from
the Jewish cemetery. "When a Jew dies and his relatives want to bury
him in our cemetery, they must make a contribution to the synagogue.
We also have income from the sale of synagogue seats; they are always
over-subscribed. Then we have a special "repair fund" for the syna-
gogue to which many contribute, among them people who are not even
members of the synagogue.
He outlined to me the problems of. the Jewish religious community
in Leningrad and was gloomy about the future. "We still have a large
number of Jews in our community dedicated to Jewish traditional life,
but the young people are not among them," he said with a sigh. At the
same time he expressed optimism that a good part of the Jewish youth,
though without Jewish education, would continue to maintain their
Jewish identity in their own way.
"Take the boys and girls who come here in the thousands for
Simhat Tora to celebrate the holiday," he pointed out.
He spoke with tenderness of the younger generation to whom Juda-
ism is totally alien but who nevertheless acknowledge Jewish identity.
"We feel their hearts when we see them here in huge numbers on
Simhat Tora," he continued. "Last year, a few of them permitted
themselves to shout 'Long Live Israel,' during the Simhat Tora cele-
bration in front of the synagogue. That was foolish. They were imme-
diately arrested, since it was the year when our government broke off
diplomatic relations with Israel."
Because of this incident, the crowd of younger people this year in
front of the synagogue was much smaller. The youngsters, it was
explained to me, are mostly students; they fear provocation which may
lead to their expulsion from the university. Many secret service men
mingle with the crowd inside and outside of the synagogue, and they
include Communist students who later report to the authorities.

40Ltridcii, DeCembe; 20, 1968


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