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December 27, 1968 - Image 32

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1968-12-27

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

Purely Commentary

Mrs. Lucy S. Davidowitz Shows How

Johns Hopkins Research Study Blundered

(Continued from Page 2)
chants engaged in unethical practices all businesses in local neighborhoods ought
(p.131).
to be owned only by members of the ethnic,
per cent of the sample. Among the mer-
"What unethical practices did the study religious, or racial groups that predominate
chants Jews were 39 per cent, Protestants
35 per cent, and Catholics 24 per cent (total- uncover? The first was bargaining, cate- there. The author reflects (sadly?) that only
ing 98 per cent). The data on religion were gorized as the most ethically questionable 23 per cent of the retailers in the sample
used merely to describe the composition of policy. The next most unethical practice, on lived in the neighborhood where they work-
the sample, though data on race were not the part of the merchant, was buying bar- ed. Such notions, if held consistently, could
included in the section, Social Characteris- gain goods, or seconds. Whoever conceived lead to a Balkanized society, ethnically seg-
tics of Retail Merchants. The religious data these uqestions could not ever have bought regated, each community served by institu-
were not used to illuminate any problem or a used car, shopped in a discount house, or tions staffed exclusively by its own mem-
bers.
to illustrate group behavior. There was no generally looked for a good buy.
"The next most frequently endorsed
indication that the respondent's religion
"Clearly, the hypotheses underlying the
affected his behavior as a retailer or shaped practice, the study continues, is not really merchant study have been influenced by an
unethical
at
all.
(Then
why
does
it
appear
his attitudes toward Negroes. There was no
anti-business bias. Civil-rights activists fre-
suggestion that Jews differed from non- in this context?) Merchants were asked if quently charge that merchants exploit their
Jews, or Protestants from Catholics. There they absorbed their overhead costs, includ- Negro customers. The reason the poor pay
may indeed be such differences which give ing losses from theft and vandalism, in more, the argument goes, is that they are
clues to understanding group conflict. But pricing their merchandise. More than a cheated, duped, and exploited by unscrupu-
the chapter's reference to the respondent's third said they did. One wonders about the lous merchants who grow fat on profits
business acumen of the majority, who ,said from the poor. It is indeed regrettable that
religion was gratuitous.
"Because Jews constituted a substantial they did not. Perhaps they thought the inter- a respected academic institution has given
minority among merchants, the author con- view was silly and that the interviewer did credence and, in a sense, credentials to
cluded that the sample 'backs up the popu- not know the first thing about running a these charges. Even more unfortunate is
lar notion that Jews are proportionally over- business. (Perhaps they suspected — with the fact that this study was published under
represented in ghetto business.' We need not some cause—that they were tthe objects of the government's imprimatur and may
again belabor the sample's inadequacies to a hostile inquiry.) On the basis of these therefore take on a distinction not otherwise
point out that this particular nonprobability three questions, the author concluded that warranted."
sample can have no pretensions to repre- "some merchants engaged in unethical
Many Negro leaders who are motivated
sentativeness. But the reference to a 'popu- practices. (In all fairness, however, the by a desire to establish good relations rath-
lar notion' is disquieting in a document with summation of the entire study is more er than to destroy community amity have
claims to academic objectivity. Does over- sensible about these so-called unethical conceded the injustices involved in some of
represented mean that more Jews were mer- practices and less biased: Nor were the the charges against Jets. What is required
chants in Negro slums than their distribu- merchants subscribers to merchandising is a common understanding. And of the
tion in the general population would indi- policies which could be labeled as exploita- utmost urgency is recognition of the right
cate? Does that imply that all occupations tive, although a small minority upheld a to criticize as long as differences of opinion
should have quotas conforming to the dis- view which could be summarized as caveat are based on facts and realities.
tribution of racial, religious, and ethnic emptor.)
"The findings of athorough study about
Also: it is important that there should be
groups in the population? Or does "over-
represented" mean what it used to mean in food stores in Detroit show more objec- established a pattern permitting dissent for
tivity:
'Three
independent
storekeepers
re-
both whites as well as blacks—else we shall
Europe — monopoly, control, domination?
be in real trouble. There is an extremism
Jews, the Right used to say, were "over- ported instances of having been investigated
represented" in law. in journalism, in trade by various agencies, from informal neigh- that is appalling and threatening to our
They used to say it in Tsarist Russia, Po- borhood grievance committees to formal safety and sense of amity, and it should not
land, Hnugary, Austria, Romania and Ger- governmental pure food and health agen- be condoned when it is disruptive of peace.
cies, and having been cleared of all charges A New York Times editorial, "Answering
many.
against them. Hence it is apparent that at Negro Extremists," points to one aspect of
The merchants in our sample were least some of the charges of cheating lev- the issue when it states:
among the most unsympathetic to the elled against the independent food merchants
Through a hard-hitting editorial in The
plight of the ghetto Negro of any occupa- are probably groundless.'
Crisis, official publication of the National
tional group in the study. . • . Along with
"Another popular notion that found its
Association for the Advancement of Col-
this lack of sympathy, they showed a way into this study is that Negro neighbor-
ored People, Roy Wilkins says that "the
series of beliefs from which one can infer hoods are, or ought to be, a protected turf
time has come for speaking out loud and
that, in our sample at least, some mer- for Negro businessmen. By this
reasoning,
clear" against Negro extremists who

By Philip
Slomovitz

preach racial hatred, separation and vio-
lence. And, clearly, he is right. The ex-
tremists must not be allowed to win con-
verts by default.
There are black firebrands who urge
Negroes to get a gun and shoot a white;
some seek a massive confrontation be-
tween blacks and whites. It is important
for responsible black leaders—and none
has proved himself more courageous and
consistent in this respect than Mr. Wilkins
—to expose the dangers posed by these
preachings and the folly of moving toward
a separatist goal that would only return
the Negro to bitter isolation. Negroes who
have fought for civil rights and opportuni-
ties within an integrated society have to
defend them now against this rearguard
attack.
But society at large also must answer
the extremists—not so much by words as
by deeds.
The nation must disavow the debilitat-
ing racism that the National Advisory
Commission on Civil Disorders found per-
vading American institutions. President-
elect Nixon, who hopes to lead a united
people, and the new Congress, when it
convenes in January, must tackle the
neglected backlog of urban problems.
The Housing and Urban Development
Act of 1968 still awaits funding, despite
President Johnson's lavish praise of it as
he signed it into law last August. Business
and industry can be extended new incen-
tives for participating in programs vital
to the rehabilitation of blighted areas,
but government programs must also be
strengthened. Welfare laws need stand-
ardizing and reforming.
Society at large should answer the
extremists by moving forward with a
broad range of programs aimed at cor-
recting lingering injustices and assuring a
single society. -
If we get at the facts, look at the record,
admit shortcomings and strive for coopera-
tive efforts rather than separativeness, we
shall have a chance to create peace in our
community. Then we shall also see an end
to the extremists' deplorable anti-Semitic
tactics.

Hillel Foundation Head Minimizes 'New Left' Influence


on Jewish Students; Cite New Form of Campus Worship

GROSSINGER, N. Y. (JTA)— emphasized. "They can ultimately
Later the Hillel directors, ex-
The Hillel directors reported
The Jewish community was cau- I
Many Hillel rabbis, however,
constitute a force in adult Jewish ploring the use of experimental varying degrees of acceptance by challenged this approach on the
tioned against "confused judg- life to counteract the status quo forms or religious services that small groups of students whom
menis about Jewish college youth and institutional conservatism."
ground
that "There is no authentic
would involve Jewish students Rabbi Albert Axelrad, Hillel di-
active in New Left campus move-
"disenchanted" with conventional rector at Brandeis, described as alternative to real worship," and
Hillel surveys show that much
ments."
for students who are unfamiliar
worship, were divided in their
of the leadership and perhaps one-
"the disenchanted who want to re- with conventional forms of wor-
Rabbi Benjamin Kahn, national third of the ranks of
views on the validity and ef-
main Jews and give some kind of ship, the need is not to find a sub-
the campus
director of Bnai Brith Hillel foun- New Left are
fectiveness
of
the
idea.
ritual expression to it."
Jewish students.
titute but to teach them the
dations, discussing the issue at
Opinions expressed by many of
Many dirtctors cited incidents of
customary forms.
The innovations not withstand-
Hillel's annual directors confer-
Jewish students in radical move- the 89 rabbis ranged from support
ence here, said recent expressions ments also campaigning on cam- to ambivalence to outright rejec- ing, underground services—also Rabbi Norman Frimer of Brook-
identified on some campuses as lyn College questioned whether ex-
by many community leaders re- pus for credit courses in Jewish tion of "underground services"
the "no hyphen service"—seek perimental services could not "lead
flect an "excessive preoccupation studies, support by Soviet Jewry that depart radically from estab-
to maintain "elements appropri- Jewish students out of Judaism."
with the characteristics and pro- and resistance to the anti-Israel lished forms of tradition or lib-
ate to the Sabbath." Rabbi Rich- He and others contended that an
portion of Jewish youth engaged stance adopted by some New Left eral worship.
and J. Israel at Yale reported a undisciplined religious service
in political and social radicalism elements.
The experimental services are
"significant group of non-Halak- basis. t banbz anbz anbza nbzanan
free-wheeling innovations that
on the campus. This has been corn-
"The approach to students to-
hic students for whom the Sab- could estrange students further
pounded by their inadequate un-
change from week to week, often
day," Rabbi Kahn said, "must be incorporating discussions, poetry
bath is a viable symbol and who from an understanding of authentic
derstanding of the attitudes and
on multiple levels to meet the dif-
convictions of Jewish youth in fering interests and concerns of readings, folk music and other enjoy a low-pressure recognition forms of worship.
of its prfesence."
means of student expression, with
the New Left," Rabbi Kahn declar-
Others questioned whether a
both the accessible mass of Jewish
He said "confused critics of students in the political center and adaptations of such Jewish rituals
At Chicago University, where the loosely structured service could
campus trends lose sight of two to attract the radical minority as the kindling of Sabbath lights, experiment is now in the fourth be maintained on a weekly basis.
salient facts: Not much more than wihout sensationalizing them or commentary on the Tora portion year, Rabbi Daniel Leifer, asso- Another objection was to the pos-
5 per cent of the estimated 350,- our efforts to retain their loyalties and chanting of the kidush, it was ciate Hillel director, supported the sibility of creation of "an exclu-
reported.
idea because "worship ought to be sive element in the Jewish cam-
000 Jewish student enrollment is to Jewishness."
Pilot eforts are being sponsored a small group experience in which pus community" and a further
engaged in New Left interests. af-
The 89 Hillel directors attend- by Hillel directors at several
each person can full participate." fragmentization of an already
filiation with the New Left does ing also endorsed a proposal pre-
schools with large Jewish enroll-
not necessarily mean a rejection sented by Dr. Alfred Jospe, Hil- ments, among them Yale, Bran- The 30 or so students who attend splintered Jewish religious life. The
the service on Rabbi Leifer's cam- rabbis emphasized that the experi-
of Judaism and Jewish identity."
lel's director of program and re- deis, University of Chicago and pus
"also gain from a continuing mental
For every Jewish New Leftist, sources, to establish a special de- University of California • at Los process of self-evaluation of what ary to services were supplement-
- regular services held under
"there are dozens of other stu- partment for Israel programing Angeles.
they are doing." Hillel Foundation auspices.
eddents equally committed to social and service.
"In the light of heightened stu-
concerns and change who have a
positive response and loyalty to dent and faculty interest and in-
volvment in Israel-centered proj-
Judaism," Rabbi Kahn said.
(Direct JTA Teletype Wire
sled about what the Nixon ad- said. By the end of this year, he
ects and activities since the Six-
to The Jewish News)
The experiences of Hillel di-
JERUSALEM — There has not ministration may do with regard -said, 5,000 Americans and Cana-
Day War," Dr. Jospe said, "there
rectors recounted in conference
to Israel, Pincus said. He de- dians will have come here to
is
need
for
a
.
.
.
coordinated
ef-
been
such
an
upsurge
of
anti-Sem-
workshop sessions indicated that
set-
dared,- however, that he had seen tle, and there -are -4,000 families
fort on the college level to pull itism in the United States in the
the sentiments toward Judaism
past 20 years as there is now,
together
the
multiplicity
of
pro-
no signs of any change from the now in 50 aliya groups. In Britain,
of radical Jewish students are
grams, strengthen and develop Aryeh L. Pincus; chairman - of the
President - elect's pre - election he said, there are 3,000 families
"more an attitude of indif- new
projects, and receive and pro- Jewish Agency executive, told the
statements. He said Nixon was in aliya circles. Some 3,000 immi-
ference, not rejection."
adhering to his decision to re- grants have come here this year
vide scholarships and educational press here Tuesday - following his
Because they are a group of resources to stimulate more
frain from making policy state-' from France.
effec- return from the United States.
talent and leadership potential, tively the continuing interest in
meats until he took over. There-
He said anti-Semitism was openly
the Jewish community cannot af- Israel among Jewish students and acknowledged today as a problem
Discussing the United Jewish Ap-
fore, said Pincus, all the rest
peal, the Jewish Agency chairman
ford to lose them," Rabbi Kahn faculty."
was speculation.
and especially among the Negroes
said
th at ple dges to thecampaign
cam p
in New York.
Aliya (immigration-) now cuts for nex t year are running a
32 Friday, December 27, 1968
THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS
head
American Jews are. also wor- through-all parts•f society,
Pincus of the record 1967

U.S. Anti-Semitism Viewed as Serious by Aryeh Pincus



campaign.

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