56 October 24, 1975
THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS
Metamorphosis of Christians—Jews Conference
Applauded in an Article by Leading Philo-Semite
By CARL VOSS
Professor and chairman of hu-
manities at Edward Waters Col-
lege, Florida, and member of
Christians Concerned for Israel.
was the despair of all who swer to the ravages of anti-
believed in genuine inter- Semitism, whether in Eu:
faith relations, felt that viol- rope and Asia and Africa or
ations of human rights .in the Americas.
should be vigoroUsly pro-
From its inception in
For many, too many, tested, and believed that in
years the National Confer- modern Israel lay a tangi- 1928, the NCCJ seemed des-
ence of Christians and Jews ble, workable, dramatic an- tined to be no more than a
conventional "good will" ef-
fort, a typical "Brotherhood
Movement," flawed by a
Casper Milquetoast ap-
- proach to the tangled web of
human r=elations on the
Characteristic of its tac-
tics was a tacit approval of
the well known Newton D.
Baker, who had been Secre-
(Copyright 1975, JTA, Inc.)
tary of War under President
Woodrow Wilson and was
COMMUNAL CONCERNS: Since the startling sta- the Protestant co-founder
tistic that one out of three Jewish marriages is an intermar- and co-chairman of the
riage was made public, the problem of the ever growing NCCJ.
number of mixed marriages has become a matter of grave
Baker, who had not a
concern to Jewish leadership. A basic study on what the rise single Jew on the staff of
in intermarriage-means for the future of the Jewish com- his large, prestigious law
munity is now being planned by the American Jewish firm in Cleveland, had
declined Rabbi Barnett
Only 10 years ago, one out of six Jewish marriages was Brickner's invitation to
mixed. The doubling of this percentage within the last dec- attend an anti-Nazi gath-
ade provokes fear that within the coming 10 years one-half ering at his Temple in the
of all Jewish marriages will be mixed. What does this hold spring of 1933.
for the Jewish community as a whole? How much do Jewish
Stephen Wise wrote to
communal activities stand to lose from it? . . . Can a Jewish
leadership emerge from a generation inclined heavily to John Hayes Holmes in Octo-
ber, 1933: "Newton Baker
mixed marriage? .. .
The American Jewish Committee will consider all has been the supreme disap-
these questions. It will also seek to establish the psychologi- pointment of my life. He ab-
cal and social effects of intermarriage on those who inter- solutely refuses to have any
marry and on their children. It will attempt to develop a part in any protest, advises
body of information about the attitude of intermarried cou- Jews against it, and would
ples toward Judaism, their experiences with Jewish institu- not attend the meeting at
tions and agencies and their feelings about them. It will which I spoke in Cleveland
explore how the children of such unions are being raised last May.
and how they feel toward Jewishness.
"He wrote in a communi-
The study will be conducted in 20 communities. More cation to Barnett Brickner
than 2,000 trained volunteers will be involved. In each com- that other nations have
munity the local interviewers will be trained by a profes- troubles, too, and that the
sional consultant. The local Jewish federations will provide Jews must not merely think
names of interfaith couples to be studied.
of themselves. (Everett)
SERIOUS IMPLICATIONS: American Jewish Corn- Clinchy is under his imme-
mittee leaders foresee that the findings of their study will diate and powerful influ-
probably have important implications for Jewish commu- ence without even knowing
nity agencies and institutions.
it, and the (Herbert) Leh-
Approximately 50 couples in each community in which mans and (Joseph) Pros-
both partners are Jewish will be studied for purposes of kauers fall right -in with the
Baker-Clinchy point of view.
Until 1-940, mixed marriages never exceeded 3 percent—
"If we are undone in the
of all the Jewish marriages. During the 1940-1960 period,
the percentage of intermarriage doubled; however, it did end, it will not merely be be-
not reach even 7 percent in any of these years. It started to cause of the effectiveness of
climb to higher than 17 percent with the year 1961. It our foes but because of the
reached about 32 percent five years later. Since then, the timidity and cowardice of
ourselves. You will never
percentage is constantly growing.
The AJCbmmittee study follows the survey on inter- know how grateful I am for
marriage conducted a few years ago by the Council of Jew- your voice that speaks as
ish Federations and Welfare Funds as part of its National does none other! . . ."
Jewish Population Study. This was the first comprehensive
Fortunately, the Ste-
national study made of the Jewish population in the United phen Wise-John Haynes
Holmes approach prevails
GATHERING CLOUDS: There are no exact figures in NCCJ circles more than
giving the total number of intermarried Jewish families. 40 years later. A frontal
However, there are now at least 150,000 families in mixed attack has been launched
marriages in the United States. This would mean that against racism, anti-Semi-
about 600,000 Jews are involved in intermarried families.
tism, and anti-Israelism
The number may be much smaller, since many of the by that organization
"young married" families do not have children as yet. How- through its 70 offices and
ever, as time proceeds, some of them may have more than 200 chapters all across the
two children. In a very large majority of cases, when the nation, and through its
wife is Jewish, the children are raised as Jewish. On the wholehearted cooperation
other hand, when the husband is Jewish, about one-third of with the leadership in the
the children are raised outside of Jewish religious-cultural International Council of
viewpoint. This, despite the fact about one-fourth of all in- Christians and Jews, com-
termarrying non-Jewish females report conversion into posed of 15 national groups
which, like their American
The combination of a non-Jewish wife and a Jewish counterpart, carry on vi-
husband is about twice as prevalent as the combination of tal, significant programs
a Jewish wife and a non-Jewish husband. It is true that in lands ranging from the
some of the non-Jewish wives are participating in the activi- United Kingdom and Ger-
ties for Jewish causes, but their involvement is minimal. many to Israel and
Involvement in Jewish activities is usually low in intermar- France.
ried families. It is lowest in families where the husband is
Jewish and the wife not Jewish. More than 62 percent of
Most significant of all is
intermarried families are not at all active in Jewish organi- the interest the National
Conference of Christians
. .. and Me'
and Jews is taking in Israel
and its accomplishments
and the emphasis the NCCJ
places on the need for Is-
rael's guaranteed indepen-
dent status in the troubled
When Israel was attacked
by Egypt and Syria on Yom
Kippur 1973, the NCCJ's
president, Dr. David Hyatt,
Likewise, when the Arab
nations started their boy-
cott of industries and corpo-
rations doing business with
Israel, Hyatt, on behalf of
the NCCJ, lodged a firm
protest with the U.S. State
and Commerce Depart-
ments in Washington, as
well as with President Ger-
ald Ford. What a change
from the 1930s, 40s, 50s and
East were hallmarks of a
truly momentous journey.
The program of the
All returned greatly
NCCJ runs the gamut of heartened by the announce-
successful workshops to ment that such tours are to
banish police brutality and multiply in years to come.
reduce racial tensions all
We were delighted to learn
the way through to excel-
there is a possibility the
lent educational programs
NCCJ may establish an out-
for inter-ethnic amity in
post in Jerusalem, and con-
the public schools.
tinue such authentic "good-
But to me its outstanding will projects," the kind
project was and is the Lead- which make for genuine_
ers Seminar on Intercul- brotherhood and true un-
tural Relations, the work- derstanding.
shop tour on Christian-
The ancient adage seems
Moslem-Jewish relations to err in asserting that "the
which I accompanied this leopard cannot change its
past summer to Israel. The spots." As reflected in this
candor with which issues about-face on the part of the
were discussed and the very National Conference of
real hope held for reconcilia- Christians and Jews in re-
tion in the entire Middle cent years, it can and does.
New Hebrew-English Dictionary
Is Major Improvement in Field
A new Hebrew-English English-Hebrew advanced students and the 736-page book has
dictionary, the work of two eminent lingu- received the acclaim of eminent scholars in
ists, issued jointly by two publishing firms, this country and in Israel.
is emerging as the most important work of
With concise explanations of the essen-
its kind, superseding in value previous dic- tials of Hebrew and English grammar, with
tables of irregular. verbs, Hebrew nouns and
The editorial staffs of the American prepositions, the new dictionary assumes
firm, Bantam Books, and the Israeli Meg- special significance in an era of increased in-
iddo Publishing Co. of Tel Aviv collaborated terest in the language of the Bible that has
in producing the "Bantam and Megiddo He- become the official tongue of the state of
brew and English Dictionary."
It was produced under the joint efforts
Lexicography is enriched in the new
of Dr. Reuven Sivan and Dr. Edward A. Lev- work by the clarifications in spelling. Ac-
enston. First published in two volumes, the cording to the rules of the Hebrew Lanuage
Bantam-Megiddo classic has been issued in a Academy, the letters vav and yod are in-
serted where necessary to guide the reader
Dr. Sivan, a native of Jerusalem, a phil- of modern books and newspapers, and the
ologist, author and translator, is founder of Hebrew verbs are placed in alphabetical or-
the Israel Association of Linguistics, and is der, appearing in the past tense, third person
presently lecturing in Israeli universities. singular and other commonly used forms so
Dr. Levenston, head of the English depart- that the reader need not struggle to deter-
ment at the Hebrew University where he lec- mine a verb's root before finding its mean-
tures in linguistics, is a noted authority on ing.
linguistics, an eminent translator and au-
Hundreds of new terms add signifi-
thor of books on grammar.
cantly to the assistance the new dictionary
Marked by clarity, recommended as provides for Hebrew conversation and daily
easy to use by individuals specializing in He- use.
brew studies and in classrooms, this volume
An immeasurable advance in linguistic
already is hailed as the preferred dictionary research, the new "Bantam-Megiddo He-
with 46,000 entries containing many new brew and English Dictionary" adds to the
translations that enrich the Hebrew lan- wealth of Hebrew linguistic knowledge and
serves immensely as an aid for Jewish schol-
This dictionary is now recommended to arship.
irr:a Tva rl
11 (ripmr) ntirip
3 1p ylli? pvti
solution (to problem),
, 'T#3 1 ; 3.
Milky Way n
hammer vt, vi
ring (in opinion)
Shown are some examples from the new "Bantam-Megiddo Hebrew and English