THE JEWISH NEWS
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Incorporating The Detroit Jewish Chronicle commencing with issue of July 20, 1951
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CARMI M. SLOMOVITZ
Sabbath Hol Hamoed Passover Scriptural Selections
Pentateuchal portions, Exod. 33:12-34:26, Num. 28:19-25. Prophetical
Candle lighting, Friday, April 20, 7 p.m.
Hol Hamoed Torah reading, Sunday, Num. 9:1-14, 19:25.
Scriptural Selections for Concluding Days of Passover
Pentateuch& portion-s: Monday, Exod. 13:17-15:26, Num. 28:19-25; Tuesday, Dent.
15:19-16:17, Num. 28:19-25. Prophetical portions: Monday, II Samuel 22:1-51; Tuesday,
VOL. LXII. No. 6
April 20, 1973
Factors for Concern in Poverty Study
Jewry's responsibilities to the less affluent
are becoming more evident with time. It is
not only during the Passover period, when
the urgency represented by the Mo'os Hitim
tradition becomes especially apparent, but on
a growing scale, the facts are becoming ap-
parent that poverty is a factor to be reckoned
Thorough studies conducted by our rep-
resentative, whose articles are currently be-
ing featured on the subject, should arouse
a renewed concern for the problems which are
emerging as a result of currently developing
situations in this country.
For some time now, major concern for the
impoverished was shown in two areas—in
Greater New York and in the Miami Beach
spheres. The aged who go to the latter with
reduced means of support, under conditions
of rising costs of living, are part of a national
problem. In New York there is a specific
situation of great urgency, as was indicated
in a study recently published by the American
Jewish Congress whose researcher made
known the following facts:
140,300 families including 2'72,000 individ-
uals, or 15.1 per cent of the Jewish population
of 1,800,000 in the city, are poor or near poor.
190,300 families including 423,000 individ-
uals are between the near poverty level and
the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) moderate
level of living. These equal almost a quarter
of the Jewish population and constitute the
Jewish working class.
512,400 families including over 1,000,000
individuals, about 60 ner cent of the Jewish pop-
ulation, have incomes above the BLS moderate
level including 343,700 families with incomes
above the BLS higher standard of living.
About half the Jewish poor and near poor
are aged individuals or couples. About two-
fifths are three- to five-person families includ-
ing female headed households, some headed by
an aged or ill or disabled person and some by
Hasidic Jews with limited earning capacity.
About eight uer cent are families of six or
more persons, including the large Hasidic
Now we are presented, in the thorough
study by our own able researcher, with data
regarding conditions in our own community,
in similar figures that find an echo here.
The facts presented in the studies we are
recording are an indication that the needs
are not limited to the services provided by
the governmental and social service agencies.
There are specific Jewish needs to be taken
into account. There are direct duties involv-
"Let My People Go—A Hagada" is an unusual - text for the Pass-
ing our aged and those with large families to
support, and it is to be assumed that the over. As the title indicates, it is intended to inspire interest in and
services we already provide will have to be support for Russian Jewry.
It is unique in many respects. It is traditional, yet it introduces
expanded and that an established tradition—
splendidly, especially in relaton to the major question
that we take care of our own—is not to be being tackled so by
Diaspora Jewry—the plight of the Jews in the USSR—
that it draws special attention for its many interesting aspects.
There are several Detroit Jewish agencies
Some of the specialties in this Hagada are:
whose programs are rooted in basic tradi-
The foreword is by Israel Foreign Minister Abba Eban. Theodore
tional services. The Jewish Family and Chil- Bikel, the noted folksinger and actor, wrote the introduction. Then
dren's Service, which has developed out of there are the Podwal illustrations.
Mark Podwal was born in Brooklyn in 1945 and is a resident
the earlier Jewish Social Service Bureau,
cares for many needs. It serves those who physician at the New York University Skin and Cancer Unit. His orig-
are escaping from Russian and Moslem per- inal drawings on Jewish themes may be found in the collections of
secutions. It accounts for the social needs of the American Jewish Historical Society in Boston, the Israel Museum
the Museum of Modern Art in Haifa, among others.
many lona-time residents here whose eco- in Jerusalem,
Two years ago, Dr. Podwal came across a letter sent by 18
nomic conditions are far from adequate.
Jewish families in the Soviet Union to the United Nations Com-
There is the Jewish Vocational Service
mission on Human Rights. The letter was a plea for the right to
whose contributions toward the advancement
go to the land of their forefathers. "Israel has risen from the
of self-help for many, through the help JVS
ashes; we have not forgotten Jerusalem, and it needs our
provides, makes this agency one of the most
hands . . ." Touched by the letter, which argued so eloquently
the right to emigrate to Israel, Mark Podwal describes how he
productive in our midst.
felt: "As a Jew, I was extremely moved by the words; as an
The organized Jewish community has the
artist, I felt . an overwhelming urge to somehow illustrate this
agencies and must provide the means to as-
letter." "Let My People Go, A Haggada," published by Collier
sure a more comfortable existence for the
Books, a division of Macmillan Co., is the result.
impoverished, the ill, the aged.
In addition to the standard, traditional text, Mark Podwal has
Our researcher's findings are a definite added
"The Matzo of Hope," a special prayer which the American
contribution toward alleviation of want and Jewish Conference on Soviet Jewry suggests be read at the Seder of
an assurance of aid for those in need. It is a every American Jewish household.
communal duty to treat the findings we pub-
In the foreword to this edition (this hagada was originally
lish in all seriousness.
published in 1972), Abba Eban says: "I am persuaded that cele-
Podwal's Drawings Highlight
New 'Let My People Go' Hagada
Anniversary Year: Opportunity for Knowledge
Israel's 25th anniversary year provided an
unusual opportunity for Jewish communities
in the entire Diaspora to study the back-
ground of the historic events now being com-
memorated as well as the progress that has
been attained in the brief quarter of a cen-
tury during which immense progress has been
made by Jewish pioneers.
Whatever studies are being made of Is-
rael, the state that became a reality in our
time, must relate to the past, as much as we
take into account the future. That is why
tours of Israel also have their vast importance
in the inevitable interest it must create in
the long history with which the new era is
linked so forcefully. Every guidebook pub-
lished for tourists to Israel—and there are
many of them—contains the historic back-
ground. Even more so, therefore, must the
observance of so significant an event as Is-
rael's 25th anniversary encourage the study
of Jewish history.
It is not only the prophetic but the vast
experience through the ages that needs to be
elaborated upon for an appreciation in the
fullest sense of what had transpired after
the worst of all calamities, the Holocaust
perpetrated by the Nazi beasts.
It is most heartening, therefore, that a
major agency of the world Zionist movement,
the Theodor Herzl Institute, should have pro-
duced a veritable literary treasure, in the kit
for programing in relation to the Israel anni-
Requests for guidance in programing come
so often from groups of all ages in Jewish
communities, that the 'current product is of
special and most impressive value.
What wonderful opportunities thus are
provided, for schools and study groups, for
social and communal organizations, to give
reality to aims at providing knowledgeability
for a generation that is blessed to live in the
age of fulfillment of prophecy!
The value of the studies encouraged by
the Theodor Herzl Institute, with the result-
ant compilation of material that enriches the
literary output relating to Israel, lies in the
factually of the planned programing.
Art and science, the theater and the com-
munications media, music and folklore—all
these aspects are in evidence in the elab-
orate data made available for American
Jewry in the vast collection.
In prose and in poetry, with the voices
and writings of Jewry's most noted leaders
represented, emphasizino' the role of Jeru-
b Land, we have the
salem and the entire Holy
material needed for proper deliberation on
the great events in our history.
The task that has been performed by the
Zionist-sponsored Theodor Herzl Institute
lends great credit to Jewish scholarship. It
should be utilized to the fullest in 1973.
brants of the Seder with this Hagada . . . will find . . . not only
an aesthetic joy in Mark Podwal's imaginative drawings, but also
an evocation of solidarity with the continuing efforts of Israel,
partnered by world Jewry and by enlightened mankind, to uphold
the human right of Jews in Russia to be free to go."
Bikel's introduction deserves added attention. Pleading for Soviet
Jewry, at the same time emphasizing the need for justice as taught
in the Passover tradition, he wrote:
"The issue of Soviet Jewry has provoked many reactions in
the world. They range from the irrational, boorish and violent—
and therefore unproductive—to the soft-pedaling and velvet-glove
approach—equally unproductive. To my mind the true course lies
in positive, forceful, non-violent and constant action, never
to remind the world and the Soviet leadership of the
shame on the Soviet conscience. If there is moral pressure to be
applied then the means employed must be moral ones also.
"The plight of the Soviet Jews must be dealt with directly and
in an unencumbered fashion; it is not a vehicle for other issues
or polemics. For example, those who look to Soviet Jewry to be
used as yet another stick in general anti-Communist crusader
should go elsewhere in their quest. For the objective of all re-
sponsible action in this area is not to oppose Soviet foreign pol-
icies or gather debating points in East-West confrontations but
solely to support the aspirations of Soviet Jewry in their quest
"If there are those who would take it into their own hands
to visit ten plagues upon the Soviet oppressor, they might be re-
minded that this is God's prerogative not man's. Even when the
angels rejoiced at the ultimate downfall of the enemy the Lord
sternly rebuked them: 'The fruit of my handiwork is drowning in
the sea and you dare to sing praises?' Perhaps also we should
ponder the significance of our custom of removing ten drops of
wine from our cup while reciting the plagues.
"Hoperully, in years to come this Hagada will be in use in
Jewish homes with children seeing in these nictures only another
chapter in the long Jewish history of suffering and deprivation—
but a chapter of the past."
Except for the illustrations, this Hagada is traditional, with texts
in English and Hebrew and right-hand binding. It is strictly functional,
suitable for any Seder table.