Purely _ Commentary
More Facts About Present Jewish' Status in 'Bulgaria
In our issue of June 11 we indicated how the Communist Jewish
element in Bulgaria is distorting facts regarding Zionism in that coun-
try and the manner in which Jews had been rescued in Bulgaria even
when the country was under Nazi rule.
The Bulgarian king acted decently and Jews were rescued. There
was a strong Zionist movement in the country, but Communists took
over and Zionism ceased functioning there in 1948. Most of Bulgaria's
Jews settled in Israel.
Under Communist influence, in an Annual of the Social, Cultural
and Educational Associations of the Jews in the People's Republic
of Bulgaria,, there are venomous attacks on Israel and Zionism and
the source—the Kremlin's organized anti-Israel drive—is understand-
able. Therefore the basic facts also should be known.
The eminent Jewish historian, Dr. Jacob Robinson, comments in
relations to the Bulgarian Jewish Annual:
"The Godishnik (Annual) is an official publication of the
Communist-controlled Jewish community in Sofia. The first three
volumes were in Bulgarian with extensive English summaries.
The latest one appeared in two linguistic versions. Incidentally,
the gross of Bulgarian Jewry emigrated to Israel; only the hard-
core Communists remained there. The voice of this Annual is
not a Jewish one but Moscow's."
Another historian, our London correspondent, Josef Fraenkel,
provides interesting data regarding Bulgarian Jewry. Fraenkel ad-
1) Prince Ferdinand of Bulgaria (later king of Bulgaria from
1908 to 1919) met Theodor Herz! in 1896 (see Herzl's Diaries).
King Ferdinand of Bulgaria published a nice article about Herzl
(see: Theodor Herzl. A Memorial, edit. by M. W. Weisgal, New
2) At the First Zionist Congress in Basle, 189'7, there were
three delegates from Sofia: Prof. Zvi Belkowsky, J. Caleb and C.
Herbst. At that time Sofia had a' Zionist paper, Hashofar, and a
Zionist society, "Sion."
Zionism was always strong in Bulgaria. When Vladimir Jabo-
tinsky and Meier Grossman established the Revisionist Party, Jabo-
tinsky visited Bulgaria. There was also a Revisionist paper, Ye-
vrayski Glass, in Sofia, and Hebrew schools where Hebrew was
taught as a living language.
3) Jacques Pardoff participated in the Foundation Session of
the World Jewish Congress in 1936 in Geneva.
4) Before the last world war, there were about 55,000 Jews
in Bulgaria and after the war 45,000, of whom over 40,000 went
to Israel. In 1948 Zionist activities closed in Bulgaria.
5) A relative of mine once published a thesis—years before
the war—concerning a Jewess who became the wife of a Bulgarian
czar in the 14th Century.
It is important, of course, in the interest of historical truth, that
the facts regarding Bulgarian Jewry should be established.
In viewing the Bulgarian situation and that country's Jewish Com-
munists, we are guided by the fact that it is a one-party rule, that
in the election less than two weeks ago the Communist-dominated
Father and Front retained power with a 99.9 per cent vote. How
clever for these Bulgarian Communists to register a .01 per cent voice
to give the impression that there is an opposition! And how much of
an opposition might a Jewish minority dare to indicate?
Meanwhile, we must acknowledge that only a fraction of the vital
Bulgarian Jewish community remains intact.
Two Stories—Apocryphal and Realistic
London Jewish Chronicle's "Chronicler" offers a story from Cairo
about the recent Egyptian National Assembly. It is about one of the
delegates of the only officially recognized political party, the Arab
Socialist Union, who rose and asked: "Where is the sugar? Where has
the petrol gone to? Where has the flour disappeared to?" The next day
a second delegate rose and asked: "Where is the sugar? Where has the
petrol gone to? Where has the flour disappeared to? What's happened
to my colleague the delegate?"
They used to tell such stories about Hitler Germany and also about
the Kremlinites, so that such versions assume an apocryphal role.
There is greater realism to the story Chronicler told about Golda
(Myerson) Meir. As prime minister she is now chauffeured. She must
have security guards to protect her—for the state's sake. It was dif-
ferent in the days of pioneering and of Mrs. Meir's early activities as
a labor leader.
Chronicler tells the story recalled by an Israeli columnist who
quoted from the latest bulletin of Bet Berl. the Labor study center near
Mar Saba. The following letter was sent in 1930 by Labor Party's
central committee in Tel Aviv to its branch in Kibutz Ginegar, in the
". . . Mrs. Golda Myerson (now Mrs. Meir, the Israeli Premier)
will be visiting you on behalf of the central committee and will lecture
on the political situation. Comrade Golda will come to Ginegar from
Ein Harod and will have no other way of getting to you except on your
own cart, which will have to- meet her at Afula."
We are in dire need of good humor. Jews need it. All Americans
Addendum to Evaluation of Bulgarian Jewry's
Utter Reduction . a Former Detroiter's Role
in Journalism . . ...JTA World Ex-pansion
Communications to Keep World Jeiiiiies Aware of the - Trends in Our Time
PARIS, France—Communications needs affecting world Jewish communities may have been •
cally and drastically affected by the deliberations involving the only Jewish news medium, the Jew
Telegraphic Agency. The interest that was displayed here by distinguished leaders from several c(
tries, the involvement of the working press, the friendly attitudes of government spokesmen—all
bined to give new status to JTA programing on an international scale.
It is the need to assure dissemination of proper and factual Jewish information that turne,
three-day conference here into an event of major significance. It is important that new areas be coo
that not only Israel, but the United States, Great Britain, France, all the Americas and other areas w
freedom of expression is possible should continue to be linked. There is the need to cover the Austrian
German scenes—the latter because of new crises involving German-Israel relations, the former bec
Vienna is a transit point for Russian and other Jews who are enabled to make Israel their home.
Thanks to the dedication of JTA President Robert Arnow of New York, Raymond Epstein of C
cago, who heads the foreign news mobilizing committee, Michael Sacher of London, who plays a vale'
role as chairman of the British JTA committee; and a well-trained and devoted staff of corresr- -
the newly developing bureaus should make knowledgeability about Jewish events everywhere
The planning sessions assumed a vital international aspect through the interest that was show
JTA work by the U. S. State Department and the French government. The presence of Israeli six
men, of John Bartlett, who represented the U. S. Embassy in France; Andre Monteil, chairman of
foreign affairs committee of the French Senate; representatives of embassies and of the world press
tested to the international character of the new approaches to JTA services on a worldwide scale.
A cooperative agreement between JTA and the French Jewish community, the assistance give
effort by Adam Loss, the director of Fonds Social Juif Unifie, the interest shown in the new JTA
Bulletin appearing in French and a variety of other factors contribute to the development of a great
munications effort in which important Jewries play their roles. The presence of a distinguished men
of the South African Jewish community and one of its major leaders, Michael G. Fredman, certainly ac
to the importance of the notable event.
Communications needs may be greatly extended as a result of these sessions. They point to
significant role JTA possesses as a great factor for knowledgeability in Jewish ranks.
could benefit from genuine wit. Unfortunately we do not have the
modern versions of Mark Twain, Sholem Aleichem, Elbert Hubbard,
Instead of real humor we have burlesque and the type of "fun"
that turns out to be a travesty of justice.
Here is a typical example—a quote from a recent Earl Wilson
column: "Golda Meir was explaining the success of the Israeli troops
to President Nixon. 'Our generals in an emergency,' she said, 'are
professional men called from business life—doctors, lawyers, dentists
and accountants. And between you and me, Richard, when ihe
the command to "Charge," boy, do they know how to charge!' "
Of all people, Earl Wilson should have known better than to resort
to an anti-Jewish "pun" and to apply it to the head of the Jewish
state. Someone misled him—it might well have been a Jewish friend.
That would not excuse the travesty.
Perhaps we shall be blessed with a revival of the best in humor—
something that should be properly critical but not abusive.
A Half Century of Contributions to Journalism
Fifty years is a very brief span of time to a people whose Psalm-
ist sang: "For a thousand years in Thy sight is but as yesterday . . .
as a watch in the night . . ." Yet it is a landmark in a young society
For the Jewish community, a half century of journalistic service
is a memorable occasion. And when the product to be congratulated
is a good one—as in the instance of the Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle
—then the anniversary becomes an event of significance for Ameri-
The Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle merits the acclaim of the entire
American Jewish community, and of the kindred communities in all
English-speaking countries. Under the guidance and expert adminis-
trative management of a former Detroiter, Irving G. Rhodes, the
Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle developed into a powerful organ for the
home community of Milwaukee and the neighboring cities that are
served by this fine newspaper.
In its emphasis on proper coverage of news of the Jewish com-
munities everywhere, the Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle has become one
of the leading English-Jewish newspapers. The hearty congratulations
extended to Rhodes and to his managing editor-- Edward F. Perlson,
are well deserved. •
High in Poor Areas
of West Jerusalem
JERUSALEM — A medicaI
search team has found that 18,
cent of children born in the I
Jerusalem area are hospital
at least once during their
year of life, a rate seven th
higher than in areas of the Um.
States and England where simi
studies have been made.
The findings stated that of 40
infants examined, 7.4 per c
were born with a defect, half
them serious, affecting the br
or spinal cord.
The researchers found that 1
serious defects were concentr?'
in the Arab quarters of Beit
fafa and Abu Gosh and amo
;Jewish immigrants from A.,
The team found that over-
hospitalization rates for infant
year or under were influenced
In the poor neighborhoods
Katamon and Musrara the
was 35 per cent compared ,Itri
only 0.15 per cent in Rehavila,
middle class section.
More than 40 per cent-
whose mothers never _ attenc
school were hospitalized; but
8 per cent of children -
mothers had post-primary ed;
tion required hospitalization.
Gifts Boost Cancer, Pharmacy Research at Hebrew U
JERUSALEM — Relatives and
friends of the late Rabbi Shai
Shacknai, spiritual leader of the
Jewish community of Wayne; N.
J., gathered with leaders of the
Hebrew University and its faculty
of medicine to dedicate a lecture-
ship in cancer research in his
Our National Game . . . Baseball . . . as a Unifying Force Among All Americans
The lectureship was created at
the initiative of Frank and Lois
Lautenberg of Montclair, N. J.
Rabbi Shacknai's death from
cancer at age 38, two years ago,
cut short a career marked by de-
votion and commitment to Juda-
ism, community and the brother-
hood of man—including an out-
spoken public stand on civil rights
and anti-Semitism in Wayne that
brought him national headlines.
In 1968 he was chosen New Jer-
sey's Man of the Year.
Lautenberg, who was a mem-
ber of Rabbi Shacknai's congrega-
tion, credited the rabbi with inspir-
ing an active involvement with
Jewry in previously uncommitted
Jews, such as himself.
There is less tension when there is understanding and a common goal among men. The All-Star
Baseball Game here on Tuesday proved a valid point. The game on the diamond draws all Americans
magnetically. It is through our national sport that we meet without prejudice, fraternally, with a com-
How thrilling for Americans to meet pleasantly as fellow-citizens ! On that one night, the fears that
our big cities are dying seemed to vanish. There was no question of faiths or races: it was a night for
good will ! Baseball united all of us much more than the Good Will movements !
Black and white, adherents to many religious beliefs, were on unifying ground that night—as they
always are when they meet at games at which only merit counts.
This may sound like the old Roman cry of panem et circences—bread and the circus—for which
* * *
the Roman masses craved. But it is much more in an affluent society where there now is more serious
on the Ein Karem
concern than ever that poverty should be eliminated and that all peoples should have equal opportunities
medical campus July 6, a plaque
Our cities, big and small, need not die: they can live in good spirit and they can share the wealth was unveiled on the Charles
of a great land—provided there is the same will for the human factors in life as there is for the com- Krown Center for Applied Pharma-
cological Research at the Hebrew
petitive spirit on a sports arena.
University's school of pharmacy.
2—Friday, July 16, 1971
Chairing the ceremony, Univer-
THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS
sity Vice 'President Bernard Cl
rick dwelt on the impor' nes ,
the university's teaching
search programs and stres,,.0
the real ,work of the univers
had been reflected in the ce
monies held during the past w
when 651 masters degrees,
and DMDs and 140 PhDs had bi
awarded to graduates in fie
ranging from Jewish studit.,
But, while the university h
the intellectual capacity to unf'
take outstanding work on
graduate and postgraduate le;
it was hindered, 'be_ pointed c
by inadequate premises in
Prof. Nis s on- Natham Be
director of the school, said t'
only a small percentage of lsrat
pharmacists have been trail
locally and stressed the imp
tance of the school, the only
of its kind in the country, in em
ing the totality of maximum he
care for the whole population.