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May 21, 1976 - Image 2

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1976-05-21

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2 May 21, 1976


Purely Commentary

RIO de JANIERO, Brazil—A visit here,
no matter how brief, during the American
Bicentennial year, emphasizes a compelling
link between Brazilian and American Je-
It was from Recife, one of the Brazilian
Jewish communities, that the shipload of
Jewish settlers who established the , founda-
tion for the organized American Jewish com-
munity proceeded towards New York. Re-
cife, with its present population of some 300
Jewish families, was a much touted term for
that history-making spot in the • Western
Hemisphere during the celebration of the
American Jewish Tercentenary in 1953.
Brazil's role in current Jewish history
was clouded last year when the Brazilian de-
legation at the United Nations voted with the
Third World domineering powers in favor of
the resolution damning Zionism as racism.
Brazil was as guilty as Mexico, yet Mexico
alone was boycotted by tourists to that coun-
try. Perhaps it was because there is such
limited tourism to Brazil. Yet the Brazilian
record is a good one. She was among the na-
tions who supported the rebirth of Israeli
sovereignty and the admission of Israel to
the United Nations, in 1947 and 1948. Her
Jewish citizens enjoy a greater measure of
freedom than Jews in most Latin American
While the Jewish population of Brazil
had been listed as numbering some 130,000,
the latest figure in the American Jewish

Year Book gives the figure of 155,000 in a
population of 100 million.
As in other Latin American countries,
there are occasional evidences of former
Nazis having settled here and therefore hav-
ing exerted a measure of anti-Jewish influ-
ence. This is true also of the Arab infiltra-
tion — Arabs in Latin America having been
a source of irritation for Jews. But the ef-
fects of anti-Semitism are not overpowering.
The 60,000 Jews in Rio de Janeiro have
the same problems as Jews in other cities in
Brazil and Jewish communities in other
lands. Not all the children get a Jewish edu-
cation, and mixed marriages are not uncom-
mon. The struggle is the same everywhere.
For Jews in the Western Hemisphere
the Brazilian Jewish story rates uppermost
as a founding incident in the development of
Jewish centers in the Americas.
The best account of the Brazilian Jew-
ish background was provided by the late Dr.
Simon Federbush in his important
book "World Jewry Today" containing cap-
sules of Jewish history in world Jewish com-
munities. The Brazilian capsule is an'essay
of great merit. Dr. Federbush described the
history of the Jews in Brazil, in his volume
published some 20,years ago, as follows:
In 1638 the synagogues in Recife were
closed through the intervention of the Cal-
vanist clergy. In 1642, the Amsterdam
Jews protested to the Dutch West India

A Comment From Brazil: Fascinating Record
of Jewish Pioneering in Latin America
and Earliest Accounts of Marrano Struggles

Company against the persecution of the
Brazilian Jews and the Company directed
the stadholder to abolish all restrictions.
Manasseh Ben-Israel persuaded the
Amsterdam Jews to send two rabbis,
Moses Raphael and Isaac Aboab, with 600
Jewish colonists to Brazil. Aboab wrote
the poem "Zecher Rab," thus becoming
the first known Hebrew writer in Amer-
When the Portuguese recaptured
North. Brazil from the Dutch (1654), the
5,000 Jews of Recife had to leave the city,
and their synagogues and cemeteries were
destroyed. Aboab led the majority back to
Holland. A few went to Dutch Guiana and
others to New York. Thus, Jewish com-
munal life in Brazil was liquidated.
When in 1824 the independence of
Brazil was proclaimed, Marranos in Be-
lem returned to Judaism and established
the first modern congregation in Latin
America named Shaar Shamayim. Jewish
communities were re-established also in
Rio de Janeiro, Recife, Bahia, and Man-
During the 19th'Century, Ashkenazim
started to arrive from Germany, Alsace,
and Holland. From the beginning of the
20th Century, Jews started to filter into
the interior. In 1903, the ICA founded the
Philippson farmer colony near Santa
Maria and in 1910, another colony, Quatro
Irmaos consisting of two settlements

Shaye Dinner to Mark JNF Anniversary

The Jewish National
Fund will highlight its 75th
anniversary celebration in
Detroit with a testimonial
dinner honoring Max M. and
Dorothy Shaye "for their
devotion to communal and
charitable causes, and to
JNF." The tribute dinner
will be held on June 16 at
Cong. Shaarey Zedek, when
the establishment of the
"Max and Dorothy Shaye
Forest" in the American
Bicentennial National Park
in Israel will be announced.
The history of the JNF in
Detroit goes back nearly 60
years. A year after the Bal-
four Declaration of Novem-
ber, 1917, Philip Slomovitz,
then a young journalist, or-
ganized the Detroit Jewish
National_Fund Council. The
year was 1918, and he
served as president for eight
years. He recalls:
"We knew we had to
strike roots; we were obli-
gated to establish a founda-
tion for a revived Ertez Yis-
rael. Those were the days
when Zena Ehrlich consid-
ered it her Hazakah, her
personal privilege to con-
duct all the Blue Box clear-
ances, and when I. Shein-
man found glory in
conducting Flower Days
and Tag Days."
JNF embraced the ma-
jor phases of the Zionist
movement including mem-
bers of the Zionist organi-
zations, Hadassah, Poale
Zion, Farband, Young Ju-
dea and Hashomer Hat-
"Everyone with Zionist
inclinations participated in
JNF in those days," said
Mrs. Morris Lachover,
The group met in the old
Shaarey Zedek on Willis St.,
under the patronage of
Rabbi A. M. Hershman,
with 40 and 50 people at a
meeting. Tag Days, Flower
Days, Purim, Tu b'Shevat,
and Blue Box collections
were the highlights.
Among the early presi-
dents of the Detroit JNF
were: Joseph Haggai, Aaron

Kurland, Leon Kaye and A.
Koffman. Other early stal-
warts included: Joseph Ehr-
lich and Dora Ehrlich,
Rabbi Hurwitz, Sam Hey-
man, Michael and Chana
Michlin, Anna Slomovitz,
David Robinson, Israel
Davidson, Max Lieberman,
Hyman Goldman and Ber-
nard Isaacs.
JNF presidents in the
30s and 40s included A. J.
Lachover, Rabbi Joshua
S. Sperka, Ben F. Gold-
man and Dr. Israel Wie-
ner, who was president in
the late 30s and early 40s
and again years later.

William Hordes, who was footsteps of his father as
"Mr. JNF" for nearly a current president.
Percy Kaplan has served
quarter of a century, served
in the 40s and part of the as executive director of De-
50s. In the 50s, Benjamin troit and Michigan JNF for
Laikin, David Silver, Ben nearly 25 years.
Harold and Irving Schlussel
The chairman of the
also held office as presi- Shaye Dinner is Wilfred B.
Doner, chairman of the W.
Morris J. Brandwine was B. Doner Advertising
president for three years, Agency.
and has played a leading
For reservations to the
role for the past 15 years.
More recently, Prof. Samuel Testimonial Dinner, at a
Levin, Judge Burton R. minimum of $100 per couple
Shifman, David Zack, and (or planting of 33 trees) con-
Charles Milan carried on the tact Jewish National Fund,
torch for JNF. Now Mark E. 22100 Greenfield Rd., Oak
Schlussel is following in the Park, 968-0820.

The State Department's
20-year policy of granting
diplomatic visas to students
from Saudi Arabia and Ku-
wait wishing to study in the
United States is to be termi-
nated within ,six months,
Rep. Joshua A. Eilberg (D.-
Pa.) announced.
Eilberg, chairman of the
House subcommittee on
immigration, citizenship,
and international law, said
he has received "personal
assurances" to this effect in
a letter from Secretary of
State Henry A. Kissinger
following Eilberg's discus-
sions with State. Depart-
ment senior officials. The
Kissinger letter was not dis-
Describing the practice as
illegal, Eilberg has been
seeking an end to it since
last October in his official
capacity by communicating
with the Departments of
State and Justice and the
Immigration and. Naturali-
zation Service.
In a personal action to
terminate it, the Congress-
man prepared documenta-
tion as a citizen to request
a federal court injunction
to stop the State Depart-
ment from issuing such

visas with their special
privileges to students.
When he asked for termi-
nation, a statement issued
by Eilberg said, "the State
Department responded that
the people and governments
involved would be offended
so nothing could be done."
. According to State De-
partment estimates, Eilberg
said, some 5,000 pessons
now in the United States
would be affected by the
termination. They now have
A-2 visas which should only
be given, Eilberg said, "to
official representatives of
foreign governments such as
middle grade embassy em-
ployes and members of
trade and military mis-
Under the Kissinger let-
ter, these students will have
their visas converted to the
"F-2" (foreign student) and
"E-J" (cultural exchange
student) classifications
which cover the other 80,000
foreign students in the
United States, Eilberg said.
"This means they will
have to follow the rules
and regulations which
govern the activities of all
other foreign students and
they will not have the priv-

State Department to Stop Issuing
iplomatic Visas to Arab Students

ileges accorded them by
their present status," he
The students from Ku-
wait and Saudi Arabia will
now have to prove, Eilberg
said, they have been ac-
cepted by an accredited
school in the United States,
attend classes regularly,
maintain a passing grade
average and file required
forms from the Immigra-
tion and Naturalization
Service and report their
presence annually.
The State Department
will issue A-2 visas to stu-
dents who have already ap-
plied for them until Aug. 31,
Eilberg said, but they and
those who already have
them, will be required to ex-
change them for F and J vi-
sas by Oct. 31.
granted where a student can
show that he filled out the
proper forms but faced de-
lays beyond his control, Eil-
berg said. But he warned
that the immigration serv-
ice will monitor the change-
over to insure compliance
and those failing to make
the visa change would be
faced with immediate de-

By Philip

"Baron Hirsch" and "Baronesse Clara"
comprising 70 families was established.
The largest wave of Jewish immigra-
tion to Brazil was in the years 1917-1924.
The German and Central European Jews
came as refugees in the decade 1923-1942
many of them bringing capital or spe-
cific skills.
In the years following World War II,
although there was no longer mass immi-
gration, nonetheless many individuals
came to the country.
The population of Brazil is composed
of many races and racial mixtures, but all
have equal rights. In the dictatorial
epoch, many difficulties for Jewish immi-
grants were. set up by secret decrees.
There is a daily newspaper with anti-Sem-
itic tendencies. Some Nazi immigrants are
slipping into the country. One can hear of
see anti-Semitic slogans and sometimes
there is clearcut anti-Semitism.
The present government revoked re-
strictive orders against Jewish immi-
grants; moreover, a Jew was appointed
minister in the present government. Bra-
zil voted for the Jewish state, maintaining
diplomatic relations with it, and always
had a positive attitude regaiding Jewish
questions despite a sizeable and influen-
tial Arabic minority in the country. Two
Jews, Dr. Horacio Lafer and Moises
Steinbuch, are members of the Brazilian

Barbara Walters Knows
That Talk Is Not Cheap


(Copyright 1976, JTA, INC.)

passing a rose bush would
sometimes say, "I like that
dress you are wearing this
morning," but how many
Talk also helps to in-
ward personal peace. As
the Yiddish saying _has it,
"Ez iz gut as man redt sich
aus die hartz." Talking
cleanses the ,overladen
Silence may have some
value, but they are not of
this world. Remember Bon-
cha in the story by the Yid-
dish writer, Y. L. Peretz:
There was the silent man.
Not a whimper was ever
heard from him. People
would .see a horse falling
and gather around to raise
it. Boncha would fall six
times and none would pay
any notice. Beaten by his
stepmother, thrown out of
his home — Boncha was
always silent.

People say talk is cheap.
But don't pay any attention
to what people say. Look at
Barbara Walters. She is to
get $1 million for talking.
Of course, she has a prob-
lem. Everyone who is fa-
mous is sure to be inter-
viewed by her. Now the
famous will want to inter-
view her. I remember once
she interviewed Golda Meir.
The next time she tries that,
probably Golda will say,
"Barbara, let's not waste
time talking about me.
What did I do? Just found a
new nation, but you make
$1 million dollars and you
do it just by talking. Tell me
how you did it."
Miss Walters is an au-
thority on talking. A few
years back she wrote a book.
"How To Talk About Practi-
cally Everything With Prac-
tically Everybody." The
book didn't go over like her
He passed like a shadow
talking. It reminds us of the through the world, but how
story of the Dzikover rebbe. different was his reception
He was once asked why he in the other world. Bells
didn't write a-book. "Well," rang, trumpets were blown
he replied, "what will hap- up there to announce the ar-
pen if I write a book? Some rival of Boncha, the siler - -,
Jew, after eating too much Of course, like every ot'
of his Sabbath meal, will mortal creature, he had--
take it up and fall asleep pass through the judgement
reading it. I don't want to be process, but that only accen-
a companion to a man in his tuated his glory.
Miss Walters coming
Two angels led him to
from a good Jewish home, his seat, which was a
naturally finds it easy to throne and a crown
talk. Jews say "don't placed on his head. Thy
outschke," but they know fending angel read his rec-
better than to follow their ord, how amidst all ad-
advice. We are eternally versity he had never
quoting Solomon's words, uttered a word of protest.
"Speech is silver, silence Then the judge spoke, de-
is golden." Solomon claring'that anything in
showed he was a Jew by Paradise was available to
not following it either.
him. Anything he wanted.
How many people have Just name it.
talked as much as Solomon?
Boncha paused. "I would
His sayings are quoted all like," he said haltingly, "to
over the world. According to have a hot roll with fresh
the Midrash, Solomon even
knemi the language of flow- butter every morning."
And that's about all the
ers and spoke to them. You
would think that people silent ever get.

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