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March 22, 1974 - Image 12

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1974-03-22

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

12—Friday, March 22, 1974

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

Tough Jewish Navy of Curacao
Ruled Shipping in Caribbean

WILLEMSTAD, Curacao—
Modern Israel with all its
military prowess would prob-
ably look with envy on the
Jewish "navy" of Curacao—
a band of tough, skilled sea-
farers who settled the island
in the early 16005.
These merchants-turned-
sailors and shipowners so
dominated shipping in the
Netherlands Antilles and sur-
rounding Caribbean that it
became exclusively "a Jew-
ish enterprise."
The Jews of Curacao, who
migrated from Recife, Brazil,
and Holland on ships owned
by relatives, were sailing the
seas in their own ships as
early as 1652 or before. Tak-,
ing advantage of the Art at
Willemstad—now the world's
fifth busiest 'harbor — they
navigated t h e'i r "floating
stores" throughout the Carib-
bean and the Spanish Main,
even to North America and
Europe.
Largely, they traded man-
ufactured goods from Hol-
land for raw materials des-
tined for Curacao and Eur-
ope.
Conservative estimates put
the number of Jewish-owned
vessels at 200 during their
first 60 years in Curacao. The
record indicates the growth
of their activity: between 1681
and 1919, there were 1,120
Jewish-owned ships in the
"navy" and, from 1699 to
1881, 240 Jewish captains
sailed the seas.
At one point, it's said, every
Jewish merchant in Curacao
owned a vessel.
Many of these sailors who
loved and lived by the sea
c descendants today in
Curacao. where they attend
Mikve Israel synagogue, old-
est religious building of its
kind in the Americas.
Nautical life for these early
Jewish sailors was tough; al-
mrist any voyage was peril-
ous and losses were stagger-
ing. They were under con-
stant harassment by pirates
and privateers who infested
the waters, and they had to
contend with religious fanati-
cism, particularly the Inqui-
sition.
While Holland equipped

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two ships with cannon to con-
voy ships between Europe
and Curacao, merchants of
the island banded together to
arm privateers of their own
for protection on their Carib-
bean routes.
The Jewish "navy" was
highly effective. At one point,
the Spanish ambassador to
Holland found it necessary to
formally protest an attack on
Spanish shipping near Santo
Domingo by a pair of Jewish-
owned sloops.
One daring navigator—Phil-
ipe Henriquez — plied the
West Indies for years, al-
though he was known to be
a Jew and, as such, persona
non grata in the area. Event-
ually, on a trip to Cartagena,
he was seized by the Inquisi-
tion, charged with saying
prayers in Hebrew in front
of his crew and tossed into a
dungeon for 73 days until a
fine of 50 pesos was paid.
Many Jewish skippers, even
less fortunate, met death fol-
lowing their trade. But de-
spite the dangers involved,
they openly gave their ships
Jewish names like "King Da-
vid," "Queen Esther" and
"Young Isaac." When they
died, relatives had a ship en-
graved on their tombstone,
proudly denoting the deceased
navigator's profession.

Kollek in U.S.
Looking for Aid
to Jerusalem

NEW YORK—Jerusalem's
most vigorous booster, Mayor
Teddy Kollek, was in New
York this week to interest
Americans in his Jerusalem
Foundation and the work to
build facilities for Arab resi-
dents of his city.
He is aiming his appeal at
both Jews and Christians,
telling them that the founda-
tion will help restore hiStori-
cal sites and build modern
facilities for the benefit of
the entire population: 210,000
Jews, 75,000 Moslems and
15,000 Christians.
He said that when Israel
reunited the city in 1967, it
was discovered that the
eastern part was without
running water in 80 per cent
of the dwellings. Now, 90 per
cent have the service.
But he wants other things
for the Arabs: a good li-
brary, parks and play-
grounds, health and commu-
nity centers. If the Israelis
pay for it alone, it will take
some 20 years to achieve the
goal, Kollek said. With out-
side help, he will reach his
aim much sooner.
He assured reporters that
his city will never again be
divided. "Israel does not
want to go to war; but for
Jerusalem tens of thousands
would lay down their lives,"
he said.

W Clarifies Charge Rabbis Misused Funds

NEW YORK (JTA) — The
producer of "The 51st State,"
a news commentary program
of WNET-TV (Channel 13),
a public service station, con-
tained some "minor clarifi-
cations" in charges made
against two Orthodox rabbis
of misuse of federal anti-
poverty funds in programs
for the Jewish 'poor in its
March 14 program.
However, Hal Levenson,
the producer, told the Jewish
Telegraphic Agency that the
program was standing by the
basic charges made in a
series of programs during
January involving Rabbi
Ronald Greenwald, Rabbi
Bernard Weinberger, and the
Council of Jewish Manpower
Association. The council was
selected by the Federal La-
bor Department to admin-
ister a manpower training
pr o g r a m in poor Jewish
neighborhoods.
Rabbi Weinberger, an ad-
ministrator in the city's Hu-
man Resources Administra-
tion, flatly denied all charges.
Rabbi Greenwald, a consul-
tant to region II of the fed-
eral Health, Education and
W e 1 f are Administration,
could not be reached for
comment.
- It was asserted on one of
the programs that at least
$10,000 in manpower funds
had been misused.
A second grant under
study was one for $65,000 to
Jewish Orthodox Youth.
Rabbi Weinberger is presi-
dent of JOY and of the Coun-
cil of Jewish Manpower As-
sociation. The grant to JOY,
which was arranged through
Marvin Schick, a former
Lindsay Administration con-
sultant, was designed to help
hasidic youth gain admission

to secular colleges.
Levenson told the JTA that
the 'program will report that
Rabbi Weinberger had since
been dropped as a result of
investigations by the New
York City investigation de
partment.
Levenson said that some
viewers may have received
the impression that Schick
was one of the three Jewish
leaders mentioned as in-
volved in the alleged fraud.
He said the program ex-
pressed regrets that it had
led any viewer to assume
that Schick was involved

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MICHIGAN'S LARGEST SELECTION OF MUSTANG ll's

Higher Education
Extended to Adults
Off Campus in Israel

JERUSALEM — Israel i
Deputy Prime Minister Yigal
Allon, addressing 300 partici-
pants in a recent United
Jewish Appeal mission from
central New Jersey, said a
new program is bet-1g in-
augurated to extend univer-
sity education to adults
through a nationwide "uni-
versity without walls" pro-
gram.
The deputy prime minister,
who also is minister of edu-
cation, said that the new ex-
perimental program will use
the latest technology, includ-
ing television, to permit
adults to earn a degree or
improve their skills.
The program is aimed first
at teachers who do not have
full accreditation and also
will include high school drop-
outs who wish to get high
school certification- and fur-
ther their education. The
university without walls pro-
gram will officially open in
April, Allon said, but will be
fully operative next fall.

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7

8th ANNUAL B'NAI B'RITH
PRESIDENTS BRUNCH

In cooperation with
the Jewish National Fund
Honoring the
Presidents, Metropolitan
Detroit B'nai B'rith
Men's and Women's Councils
and the
Lodge and Chapter Presidents,
also Special Citations

HAROLD JAFFA

Men's Council President

MRS. IRA ALBION

Women's Council President

SUNDAY, MARCH 31, 1974
10:00 A.M.
CONGREGATION
BETH ABRAHAM-HILLEL

5075 W. Maple Rd. West Bloomfield, Mich. 48033

Ships Warned

LONDON (JTA)—The Lon-
don-based Chamber of Ship-
ping has sent worldwide
warnings to British merchant
ships to be on guard against
possible attacks or sabotage
by pro-Arab terrorists.
A spokesman for the cham-
ber said a government de-
partment reported this pos-
sibility.

io los

either in the fraud or with
the Nixon Administration.
Levenson said that the pro-
gram would report that Rabbi
Greenwald had been dropped
as a consultant to HEW.

Members of Family and Friends Invited

Guest Speaker:
Dr. William A. Wexler

Past International President
of B'nai B'rith

ELIGIBILITY: Minimum Purchase of 2 Trees
($2.50 each) Per' Reservation ADMISSION INCLUDED
HONOR YOUR LODGE OR CHAPTER by attend
r
ing the Brunch and planting trees in
the B'nai B'rith Martyrs' Forest in Israel. I

For information call 968-0820 (or 354-6100)

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