Friday, January 3, 1969-25
... and Me'
Mr. Meyerson to Marry THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS
Miss Elaine Rosenthal Blood Donor Ready to Give 100th Pint
2 3 0 4 0 Harding,
Oak Park, will
give his 100th
pint of blood at
the next Bnai
Brith blood rally
Jan. 13 and 14 at
awards to Adel-
berg (right) are
(from left) Ken-
neth Winter of
the American Red
Cross, Mayor Jo-
seph Forbes of
Oak Park and Henry Cohn, Bnai
Adelberg joins in the "nakhes."
By BORIS SMOLAR
(Copyright 1969, JTA Inc.)
SOVIET SECRETS: On the shores of the Neva, Leningrad's famous
river, there stands a pink building. One cannot miss it. It is the Lenin-
grad University. Behind it stand other university buildings. In one of
them are the secret classes for Hebrew language.
Fifty years after the banning of Hebrew in the Soviet Union, the
Leningrad University is still maintaining classes of Hebrew and stu-
dents are graduating from there every year. Who are these students?
Who are their teachers? What. Soviet-born young man today is inter-
ested in studying Hebrew, the use of which is prohibited in the country?
Officials of the university are secretive on this subject. They do not
let you visit the classes because they do not want you to see the faces
of the students. However, they assure you proudly that "Our professors
are the best in the world of Hebrew knowledge." They vaguely admit
that the students are trusted young men and women who have made up
their minds to specialize on Middle East languages in order to make a
career of this subject in service to the state.
I asked for a list of the professors, but this, too, is obviously con-
sidered a state secret as are the name and faces of the students. How-
ever, from sources in Moscow I later received such a partial list. I was
startled to find on the list not only Jewish names, but also non-Jewish,
and names of women among the teachers of Hebrew, including non-
Jewish women. None of these names were ever known to me as Hebrew
scholars, with the exception of Professor Klavdia Starkova, a Russian
woman who has a record in the scholarly world as being dedicated to
the study of the history of the Jewish people. She has written much on
Yehuda Halevi, the outstanding Hebrew poet of the early Middle Ages,
and is now engaged in studying the discovered Dead Sea Scrolls and in
translating some of them into Russian.
Another Russian woman who teaches Hebrew at the Leningrad
University is Greta Demidowa. Her specialty is Hebrew grammar.
Gita Gluskina, another woman member of the faculty, also teaches
grammar and directs the students in reading biblical texts containing
folklore. She also lectures on the fundamentals of Hebrew poetry and
on the medieval poetry of Yehuda Halevi, Moses Ibn Ezra and Solomon
Professor Isaac Vinnikov, expert on Semitic languages, lectures at
the university on biblical texts and introduced a course in spoken
Hebrew which was included as part of the curriculum. In addition to
Hebrew, he also masters Aramaic, Syrian, Phoenician and Arabic
languages. Assistant Professor Hilleln Alexandrov teaches ancient Jew-
ish history up to and including the period of the Spanish Inquisition. He
also discovered archive materials concerning the famous Hebrew poets
Yehuda-Leib Gordon and Abraham-Ber Gottlober who died in Russia
at the end of the last century.
There are a number of other faculty members specializing in
Hebrew. They include Dr. Lev Pilsker, who is one of the supervisors of
the graduation papers of the students of Hebrew language at the Len-
ingrad University; Anatoly Gazov-Ginsberg, who is an assistant to Prof.
Starkova, and others less known, some of whom are graduates from
SILENT SCHOLARS: In a secluded reading room of Leningrad's
closely-guarded Saltykov-Schedrin Library—which is world-famous for
its collection of ancient Hebrew manuscripts—I found some of the
students of Hebrew at the Leningrad University. They were doing their
research work there.
They were all young people, born in the USSR many years after
the Communist Revolution. I was not permitted to talk to any of them.
Nor are they permitted to talk among themselves when in the research
room. They were deeply immersed in reading scholarly Hebrew books,
some of them in Rashi type which testified to the fact that the books
are not of this century.
Since I was exceptionally admitted to the Hebrew Institute of the
library, to which foreigners are not admitted, and where not even
Soviet citizens can gain admittance unless recommended by an im-
portant Soviet institution, I asked one of the senior officials what made
these young Soviet students select the study of Hebrew culture as their
future in a country where Hebrew is taboo.
Some of them do it because they prepare themselves to become
archaeologists, others want to be linguists, still others expect to be
assigned to government posts where the knowledge of Middle East
languages is important !—was the reply.
The institute also has a special section of magazines published in
the Middle East, including magazines in Hebrew and in English pub-
lished in Israel. Among them I saw the Israeli literary magazine Moz-
naim, and Israeli magazines dealing with medicine and archeology.
There were no Israeli political publications. Nor have I seen any Israeli
A catalogue of the institute's Hebrew manuscripts, compiled by
Iona Ginzburg, an expert in Hebrew, is now being prepared for publi-
cation. The first volume, edited by Prof. Starkova, will include
chapters dealing with Bible manuscripts and interpretations of the
Scriptures, as well as rudiments of Hebrew grammar, lexicography,
mathematics and music. The second volume will cover manuscripts on
theology and philosophy.
The institute has more than 1,000 Hebrew manuscripts, most of
which are of the 16th Century, but there are also some of earlier cen-
turies. They reflect the cultural life of the Jewish people over a period
of nearly nine centuries. One can also find there items by Saadia Gaon,
the celebrated Jewish scholar of the 9th Century, fragments of writings
of Maimonides, and astronomical writings of the 11th Century, as well
as writings on medicine and philosophy.
Prof. Starkova believes that the catalogue will serve as a "useful
guide for those who are carrying out profound research into various
aspects of the development of the Hebrew language, grammar and
literature. Also for those who are interested in the history of natural
sciences, as well as for scholars engaged in the study of Jewish phi-
losophy." She says it with the pride of a Hebrew scholar, although she
is not Jewish.
MISS ELAINE ROSENTHAL
There are many things that we
would throw away, if we were not
Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Rosenthal
afraid that others might pick them
Brim ( Arial
of McIntyre Ave. announce the
up. —Oscar Wilde
engagement of their daughter
Elaine Margaret to Lawrence Alan
Meyerson, son - of Mr. and Mrs.
George Meyerson of Providence
LOUIS MARSHALL and ISRAEL
\\\\\ II " '
Miss Rosenthal is a graduate in CHAPTERS will hold a joint lunch-
and entertainment 12:30 p.m.
r ► rr
education from Wayne State Uni-
versity. Her fiance holds a bache- Thursday at Workmen's Circle
lor's degree in political science Center.
from Oakland University and is
attending Wayne State University's
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The Jewish News learned Tues-
day that former Detroiter David
Crohn, son of Mr. and Mrs. Law-
rence Crohn of Whitcomb Ave.,
has been named general direc-
tor of the Israel Philharmonic
Orchestra. Crohn, who lives in
Herzliya, resigned as vice presi-
dent of the Palestine Economic
Corp. to take the Philharmonic
Origin of Cantors' Assn.
Editor, The Jewish News:
I wish to call your attention to a
statement made at the recent Is-
rael Bond banquet in error about
the Cantors Association. The fact
is the association was organized
and established by Cantor E. Za-
ludkowsky in 1925 under the name
of Detroit Jewish Ministers and
Cantors Association. It functioned
under different presidents with the
purpose of spreading and creating
Jewish liturgical music, and for
the general welfare of the cantors.
CANTOR A. A. ROSENFELD,
Former President of Detroit
Jewish Ministers and Cantors
An award in recognition
of the outstanding work of
the Brazilian Jewish community
in the integration and reset-
tlement of Jewish refugees was
presented to DR. MOYSES KAUF-
MANN, president of the Confed-
eration of Brazilian Jews by Carlos
L. Israels, president of United Hias
Service. Dr. Benno Milnitzky,
president of the Jewish Federation
of Sao Paulo, presided at the cere-
mony. A United Hias award was
also made to the Federation Coun-
cil for Social Assistance.
Will You. Find a
NEW ORLEAOS' MALL
10 Mild and-greenfield