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August 08, 1969 - Image 27

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1969-08-08

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

Israeli Culture Park Gets Hand From Young Detroiters

Add Youth Day Program

to United Foundation
Torch Drive This Fall

Participating in a unique summer work-study program at Neot Kedumim—Israel's Ancient Culture
Park—members of the United Synagogue Youth Summer Pilgrimage from Detroit are shown at work on
the national nature sanctuary, an area of 400 acres near Lod. Neot Kedumim, supported by the America
Israel Cultural Foundation, is a biblical garden growing plants which are mentioned in Scriptures. The
USYers, who spent four days working and studying at Neot Kedumim, are (from left) Larry Stern, Steve
Finkel, Heidi Ruder, Mickey Weisberg, Mark Weisberg. Ken Portnoy, Debbie Fauman, Fae Kleinplatz,
Roger Weisberg, Carol Gurvitz, Denise Baron, Carole Milgrom, Sheldon Kaplan, Neil Cooper, Rochelle
Gutman, Alan Rapaport, Ellen Nemer, Barry Kaufman and Sandee Tobin.

History of Shanghai Jewish Community
Recounted by Dr. Zeitin, Ex-/Chief Rabbi'

BY JANICE BLAU
method in closing the gap between
The man who has held the title the two Jewish communities.
A third religious body, which
of executive rabbi of the Jewish
community of Shanghai, China, came into being in 1939, was made
currently leads Trenton's Cong. up of refugees from Nazi Ger-
many and Austria, and Jews emi-
Beth Isaac.
Rabbi Josef Zeitin, born of grating from Central Europe, They
Russian-Jewish parents and reared numbered 18,000, bringing the total
in Mainz, Germany, as lived close to 25,000.
through a most
Religious, educational, literary,
unusual chapter
social and athletic institutions
of Jewish history.
arose, adding to the culture al-
After receiving
ready formed by the two flourish-
his Certificate of
ing Jewish communities. The
German group conducted all ac-
Maturity (BA)
from the Univer-
tivities in their native tongue,
sity of Frankfurt,
while the Ashkenazi community
Rabbi Zeitin be-
spoke Yiddish.
gan his rabbinic
"It is interesting to note," Zeitin
studies and
said, "that after the outbreak of
World War II in Germany in 1939.
served as assist-
Zeitin
ant rabbi in
Jews could leave for Shanghai via
Worms, Germany.
Russia, as Russia did not enter
In April 1939, four years after the war until June 1941."
receiving his doctorate in history
Rabbi Zeitin served as head of
from the University of Cologne, the City Rabbinate Shanghai, a
Rabbi Zeitin fled to Shanghai, board ministering to the religious
where he was later ordained.
needs of the three independent
congregations. He also helped es-
"At this time," Zeitin said,
tablish the Talmud Torah school
"there were already two Jew-
for boys, wherein daily Hebrew
ish congregations in existence:
instruction was provided. As a
the Sephardic-British group of
member of the Bet-Din, a rabbini-
about 1,000 people and the Ash-
cal court for all three congrega-
kenazi or Russian-Jewish group
tions, Rabbi Zeitin was influential
al about 5,000 people."
in creating policy with regards
The first Jewish settlement in to religious and civic matters.
Shanghai, formed around 1850, was
"Rabbinical colleges that tied
comprised mainly of Jews coming
Poland in 1939 after the German
from India. Several renowned
invasion came to Shanghai
Jewish families were active par-
through Russia and Japan,"
ticipants in the economic and
Zeitin said. The more famous
cultural upbuilding of the city,
colleges like Mir, Telsh, Lublin,
particularly in the second half
and Lubavitch were attended
of the 19th Century.
by about 500 students and rab-
Thus, the Sassoon and Kadoorie
bis, producing a great rabbinic
families, upon whom honors were
literature.
bestowed by the British Crown
"The history of the Jewish com-
and Chinese government, and es-
teemed names like Hardoon, Ezra, munity in Shanghai reflects politi-
Abraham and Hayim, were part of cal history in the Far East, and
almost all philanthropic and civic its efects were felt in the com-
munity," Zeitin added.
life in Shanghai.
For example, Ezra, editor of the
He explained:
newspaper, Israel's Messenger,
"Until Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7,
was the city's second mayor. El- 1941, Shanghai was divided into
lis Hayim was created a com- the international settlement (com-
mander of the Order of the British posed of American, British, Italian
Empire by Queen Elizabeth "for and Japanese military sections),
public services in China," as the independent French conces-
stated in the New Year's honor sion and the Chinese area. After
roll in 1955.
Pearl Harbor Day, all sections
Among the many Jewish insti- of the city were controlled by
tutions, the Sephardic community the Japanese military forces.
built two synagogues.
"On Feb. 18, 1943, proclamation
of a ghetto was publicly issued.
By the end of the 19th Cen-
The designated area was put into
tury, according to Dr. Zeitin, a
second Jewish group began effect three months later, although
emerging, reaching its first ell- special passes were obtained for
Jewish students to attend day
mu after the Russian revolu-
schools outside the restricted
tion in 1911, and gradually in-
creasing in the 1930s and area."
Although freedom of movement
throughout the war. They too,
established two synagogues as was not seriously restricted, Jews
remained
fearful, remembering
a base for religious practices,
Moog with educational and cul- the increasing persecution in their
former
countries
before escaping
tural institutions.
to Shanghai.
The Bnai Brith Organization
Shortly after the war, it was
was perhaps the only successful

discovered that the proclama-
tion originated with the Nazi
government in Berlin, as evi-
denced in various newspaper
reports.

The proclamation attacked
"stateless refugees:" that is.
Jews made stateless by a German
decree issued during the war. It
also pertained to those "state-
less" persons who came to Shang-
hai from Central Europe after
1937.
The International Settlement
Municipality. abolished in 1942,
was merged with the former
French concession. This consti-
tuted the new city of Shanghai,
which was politically assigned to
the Chinese puppet government at
Nanking, but actually established
and controlled by the Japanese.
The government was headed by
Wang Ching-wei, a former pre-
mier of China who held the post
from 1940 until his death in 1944.
Then Chung King became the
seat of Nationalist government
led by Chiang Kai-shek.
"Civil war between the Com-
munists and Nationalists ap-
peared in many sections of
China," said Zeitin. "Fear that
it would spread to Shanghai and
the uncertainty as to whether
the American forces would stay
in the city, transformed our
spirit of rebuilding the Jewish
community to one of emigra-
tion."
Starting in 1946 and continuing
until the Communists occupied the
city in 1949, almost all Jews left
Shanghai. In succeeding years,
emigration has been continued.
Rabbi Zeitin left Shanghai in
1949 and went to California where
he headed Cong Bnai David. In
1963, he came to Cong. Beth Isaac
in Trenton and has been active in
civic and interfaith work in the
area.

UJA Young Leaders End
3-Week Israel Mission

JERUSALEM (JTA)—The Unit-
ed Jewish Appeal's Young Leader-
ship mission completed its three-
week stay in Israel.
They heard Charles Sugarman,
mission chairman, tell the closing
session that the mission's objective
of maximum exposure to the prob-
lems of Israel had been fully ac-
complished. He expressed confi-
dence that the young leaders now
recognize the problems of Israel.
Louis A. Pincus, Jewish Agency
Executive chairman, said that ap-
proximately 60 per cent of the 40,-
000 immigrants expected in Israel
this year would be destitute. Herb-
ert A. Friedman, UJA executive
chairman, appealed to young lead-
ers to direct their home commu-
nities towards greater efforts in
the UJA's Israel Emergency Fund
campaign.

Friday, August 8, 1969-27

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

They Made the Grade

GERALD F. POSNER, son of
Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Posner of
Dr., Birmingham, has
Ardmoor
A young people's plot to take
over the 1969 Torch Drive was un- been accepted at the London
School of Economics for his junior
veiled.
is majoring in economics
No office sit-ins or protest dem- year. He
prior to entering law school. On
onstrations will be necessary, for
Aug. 21, Posner will meet with
the United Foundation is inviting
other students in Philadelphia and
them in.
from there will fly to London. He
OF officials announced the addi- is a 1967 graduate of Seaholm High
tion of a Youth Day program to School and took his freshman and
the fall Torch Drive activities.
sophomore years at Wayne State
Along the lines of Boys and Girls University.
State, 25 high school students from
Wayne, Oakland and Macomb
Counties will be chosen to form a
campaign leadership organization
for the Torch Drive.

Larry Freedman

The fund-raising effort, which
netted more than twenty-nine
million dollars last year, helps
finance nearly 200 services in
the tri-county area.

One of the youths will be desig-
nated general campaign chairman,
as a counterpart to William S.
Blakeslee, a Chrysler Corp. vice
president and group executive of
defense-space.
Other students will hold positions
dealing with advance gifts, resi-
dential solicitation, audit, corporate
leadership, labor, business and
professional solicitation, and pro-
motion.

Despite its location in Lake Su-
perior, largest and coldest of the
Great Lakes, more than 30 types of
orchids grow in Isle Royale Na-
tional Park, according to the Michi-
gan Tourist Council.

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