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February 06, 1970 - Image 48

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1970-02-06

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Herb Gray of Windsor

Canada's 1st Jewish Cabinet Member



tore. But Canadian Jewry is
mainly English-speaking and, for

(Copyright 1970, JTA, Inc.)

a variety of reasons feels more
comfortable with the Anglo-
Saxon culture of the Canadian

Earth Honors for Moon Men

self, then an associate professor
of law at Montreal University,
was one of the authors of the
present measure. I told Gray ,t
fears that the government might

OTTAWA—When Prime Minister
Pierre Elliot Trudeau named Herb
Gray, MP for Windsor, to his cabi-
drop the bill if it met with strong
majority. This has aroused more
net last October, he did so fully
opposition in the House of Com-
than a little resentment on the
convinced that Gray's qualifica-
mons. He termed such reports
tions and experience far outweigh-
"totally inaccurate" and ex-
Gray, who never hesitates to
ed any prejudice that might still
pressed conviction that the bill
speak his mind, explained the
exist in Canada over the appoint-
would become the law of the
Canadian Jewish cultural and
ment of a Jew to so important an
language preferences to an ex-
clusively French audience at
I asked Gray if he thought the
Gray's official title is minister
Trois Rivieres recently.
Canadian government could do
without portfolio and associate
to alleviate the plight of
minister of finance. Premier Tru-
He told them that Jewish immi-
deau has done away with the old grants always had far greater op- 3,000,000 Jews in Soviet Russia
Canadian tradition of having as portunities to participate in Cana- and the thousands still in the Arab
ministers without portfolio mere dian affairs and to play a role in states—anything beyond mere pro-
regional figureheads. He has insti- politics "when they had the will tests. He said, "All we can do is
tuted the French system in which and ability to use the English lan- continue our present efforts by
the head of an important depart- guage." Such opportunities do not making public representations to
ment is associated with another exist in the French-speaking com- the nations concerned. One has to
minister, carrying the full load of munity for someone who is not of be realistic about the fact that one
responsibility for one particular French-Canadian origin, he said. country's action is limited by the
"If French Canadians wish to have other country's right to non-inter-
Gray was born into a middle- the same success the Anglo-Saxons ference from outside in its internal
class Jewish family in Windsor on had in attracting immigrants and policy. That Canada will continue
May 25, 1931. He was graduated their children, they should accept to use its good offices wherever
from McGill University school of them "as equal and full members and whenever possible, this goes
commerce in Montreal and later of the French-speaking community, without saying."
Many Canadians, including no
from the law school in Toronto. A without regard to their ethnic or
doubt some Jews, believe that Jews
Liberal, he was first elected to religious origin."
have been active in public life in
Parliament in 1962 and has been
Gray warned Jews that to panic this country only for the past 50-60
regularly re-elected by his district
Capt. Charles Conrad Jr., commander of the Apollo 12 crew, in his
ever since, on each occasion re- over Quebec nationalism would be years, since the mass migrations
ceiving more than 54 per cent of unwise and unnecessary. "Jews of the World War I era. Herb Gray first appearance upon his return from the moon, is presented with a
have been associated with Quebec likes to point out that this is not so.
citation by Herman L. Weisman, national president of the Jewish
the votes cast.
from the very beginning and have
National Fund of America. The "Salute to the Astronauts" dinner was
As parliamentary secretary to as much right to participate in the In his public addresses he refers
sponsored by the JNF last month at the Shamrock Hilton Hotel in
whenever he can to Ezekiel Hart,
the minister of finance, Gray political and economic life of the the
Houston. Johnny Carson (foreground) was master of ceremonies at
was responsible for piloting province as the French and Anglo-
legislative assembly. He was elect- the event, attended by the Apollo 12 crew and 30 other astronauts and
through the House of Commons Saxons," he said. In Gray's opin-
their wives.
ed in 1807.
customs legislation and other ion, "The majority of Quebecers
important bills.
support Canada's federal system."
From 1966 to 1968, Gray served
If Jews find themselves in an
as chairman of the House of Com- unenviable position in the middle
Jacob Beller, until recently a in Peru and Chile. Beller shows the colony who described themselves
mons standing committee on of Canada's Anglo-French kultur-
finance, trade and economic affairs. kampf, they are concerned no less member of the editorial staff of manner in which the settlers have as "the forgotten group of Jewish
He was a member of the Canadian with cultural problems of their the Jewish Daily Forward in New developed their institutions.
wanderers" who adhere to many
delegation to the Canada-U.S. In- own. I asked Gray how he thought York, has specialized for many
Major in this study is the Jewish practices.
ter-Parliamentary Conference in the Jewish heritage can be pre- years in research on the Jewries
Beller's work treats with knowl-
evaluative report on Argentinian
and of the Canadian delega- served in this country against the in Latin America.
Jewry. He gives a full account edge life in Paraguay, Uruguay,
tion to the Canada-France Inter- inroads of assimilation and inter-
of the anti-Semitic trends there, Bolivia and other centers.
Parliament Association. He also marriage and the onslaughts of the countries for many years, having
The author writes, in a special
and be shows how noted Cath-
served on the Canadian delegation New Left. He thought intermarri- traveled widely
olics have begun to brand Jew- chapter, about Bnai Brith as "the
to the International Monetary age and assimilation were minor through South.'_ --
force of Latin American
baiting as a "phenomenon of unifying
Fund and World Bank meetings in factors. "Since the ghettos came America, Beller
sickness." He describes the func- Jewry."
1967 and 1969.
considerable space
down in 1800, each generation has is an acknowl- ,
tions of DMA, he Jewish com-
edged authority
to an outline of Jewish contri-
I asked him if anti-Jewish pre-1 been questioning the previous one's on
munal movement, its battle
butions to the lands under re-
judices still have an impact on ethical values," he said. "With
against anti-Semites and the
His "Jew in
view, and he tells how anti-
Canadian political life. In his opin- rationalism coming to the fore, it
emphasis on educational work
Semitism is being fought with
ion some prejudice exists, but it ;s was a question of each Jew adapt- Latin America,"
disappearing. "People like me," he ing himself to the new realities. In
As the oldest Jewish community
said, "represent in the House of Windsor, the place I was born and athan David, -
Many important personalities re-
in the New World, Brazil, too,
Commons people who are not of grew up in, you will find many therefore merits
ceive recognition in this good work,
special treatment.
Jewish origin." He observed that people of my age carrying on their
Beller's encounters with Mar-
An interesting aditional chap- ranos are especially noteworthy.
his constituency was 99 per cent shoulders full responsibility in var- and will be found
Catholic, and most dther Jewish ious sectors of Jewish communal most valuable in *.
ter on Brazil is devoted to a de- He quotes leading figures among
MPs are elected by non-Jewish life. These people are rationalists studies of the'
scription of the remnants of an Jews, tells about the interest in
and good Jews at the same time. Jews in the var..
constituencies, he said.
old Jewish colony in Porto Alegre, Zionism and Israel, the manner in
ious countries un--
the province of Rio Grande de which holidays are observed, the
Nevertheless, Canadian Jews
life so far is unnoticeable," der review.
This report is based on talks aim to retain the interest of young
have been worried in recent Jewish
In view -of the many cruises Sul.
years over the susurge of French
now taken by Jews in the Carib- Beller had with settlers in this Jews in their communities.
nationalism, especially in Que-
bean, Beller's book assumes the

Beller's Book Describes Latin American Jewries

terested in the fate of anti-hate
legislation now pending in Parlia-
ment. The prime minister him-

bec, where a strong separatist
movement exists. The emphasis
is on French language and cul-

It's a fact...


Beller introduces his subject by
taking into account the role of the
Marranos who settled in Latin
American countries. He covers the
Mexican scene thoroughly, and his
account of Jewish settlement there,
the period of anti-Semitism, the
rise of a strong Jewish community,
emerges as an interesting topic.
He points to recent improved con-
ditions between Arabs and Jews
in Mexico and of friendships cre-
ated between them, and to the new

nn Br


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— •

4$—Friday, February 6, 1970

significance of a guide for
tourists, in addition to providing
dates for historians. Barbados,
Surinam, Curacao, Aruba are
given special attention.

attitudes which have improved re-
lationships between Jews and non-
Jews generally.
Beller is so thorough in his cover-
age of the entire area that his
book will inspire further study and
greater interest in the subject. In
the portions on Central American
r, •
Jewish communities, he reviews
conditions in Guatemala, Nicara-
usA FraltAt.
gua, Costa Rica, Panama, El
euisEET frccave-3,
$ q0 fflateli° ?V
He has found a Bessarabian
zscrea coesmacr 01
Jewish shtetl in Nicaragua, and
he describes Costa Rica as "a
bastion of Polish Jews."
Marranos are noteworthy in the
THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS story of Venezuela and Jewish life




"rnj '??F?
Mountain air as clear as wine,
And the scent of pines
Soaring in the evening breeze
With the call of bells.

In the slumber of tree and stone,
The city which is solitary,
Lies captive in its reverie.
In its heart: a wall!

0 Jerusalem of Gold and of
And of light!
Am I not the harp
For all thy songs?
We've come back to water cisterns,

To market-place and square.
The Shofar calls on Temple. hill
In the Old City.

In the caves within the rock
Shine a thousand suns
And again we go dawn Jericho road
Toward the Sea of Salt.

Reprinted from Hebrew Cultural Caravan of the Tarbuth Foundation.

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