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October 08, 1976 - Image 2

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1976-10-08

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2 Friday, October 8, 1976


Purely Commentary

A Detroiter Who Pioneered for Israel in Pre-Statehood
Years . . . Two Personalities in the Fields of Politics and
Medicine . . . U.S. as Israel's Chief Advocate

By Philip

'A Loner': Remarkable Story of Pioneer Devotee of Israel Harry Cohen

Israel's basic military skills were perfected during the past quarter century that
"I am a loner" is the succinctly brief explanation Harry Cohen, 76-year-old
his name belongs in the ranks of Israel's most notable heroes behind the firing
laborer in the vineyards of Zion, has for keeping to himself the story of his more
than 30 years services in behalf of Israel.
Some will recall the great services that were rendered Israel by Materials for
A generous $250,000 gift in the names of /himself, his wife Betty and son
Israel and Julius Ja•kow, the guiding expert in tasks of providing weapons of
Malcolm, for the establishment of a chair at the Weizmann Institute of Science in
defense and vital materials to Israel. Sally Fields of Detroit was a major factor in
Rehovot, Israel, brought to light some of his great deeds for the Israel-to-be prior
the organization work of Materials for Israel. Harry Cohen was one of its dedi-
to the rebirth of the Jewish state, and in the years that followed when Israel-the-
cated supporters.
fact-in-history needed assistance.
Is it any wonder that Chaim Weizmann, David Ben-Gurion, Levi Eshkol and
Harry Cohen's new gift to the Weizmann Institute is an occasion for making
other Israeli heads of state should have called on Cohen to express their nation's
known the fact that this generous Detroiter helped make possible for that great
scientific center its first computer.
What a blessing that a new gift removes some of the secrecy from the record of
He did more. It was thanks to him that Israel was provided with material that
a Detroiter whose name will be recorded indelibly in Israel's history!
became vital in detecting the radar gap in Egypt during the 1967 war. So much of
applicants for less than 100 places in that university's people, the affirmation for life, is the age-long assur-
Recalling Paul Douglas'
freshman medical class. Dr. Fishbein called the dean, ance. Given the required support, with the U.S. air
Charm and Philo-Semitism
who was not personally a man of prejudice, to discuss world Jewry in the lead, a sense of confidence remaii..
Public servants of great stature — there are not the issue with him, and asked why he can not admit firm and fertile. So be it for the years ahead.
many ofthem! — are soon forgotten. Those who knew students on the basis of merit rather than religious
Paul Douglas will retain a memory of appreciation for affiliation. The dean then told him if that were the Goodbye, Berezhnitzer!
the man and admiration for his personality, character practice he would have to fill the freshman claSs al- You Served Jewry Well
most entirely with Jews and he could not possibly do
and sincerity.
He was a university professor before becoming a that.
Another Landsmanshaft has gone the way of the
This is a mere incident relating to Dr. Fishbein, links with the past that are vanishing.
U.S. Senator (from Illinois). Job-to-job really was not a
Berezhnitzer was a name of merit in the ranks of
transformation. It was a continuity. He was a scholar who died last week at the age of 87. His leadership was
and he brought scholarship with him to the highest not in Jewish ranks, but it was inevitable for a man as people from the Old World who retained their
powerful as he was in medical ranks to be oblivious to memories with the past in an association bearing the
U.S. legislative body.
- Therefore, his interest in Jewish needs. But he took the interest he did in the name of the city they hailed from in Eastern Europe.
Zionism and in Israel, his idealistic Jewish hospital movement and actually tackled the
, In the decades of the Berezhnitzer activities the
approach to Jews and to Judaism, cancerous quota ailment.
group conducted culturalprograms, participated in
He was a keen wit, told his stories well, had great communal functions in defense of Jewish rights and
were based on study of the people
charm and rose to great heights in his profession by was generous with gifts.
and their_ cause.
He took pride in his book- the merit which could not gain admission to medical
But the tides have been against the Landsman-
shelves, which were filled with a schools by all Jews who were equally as skilled.
shaften and these movements have begun to vanish.
veritable library on Jewish tradi-
Youth, the offspring of the- organizers of these move-
tions the Soviet Union and its Rabin's View on Israel
ments, were not interested in the social functions of
Jewish attitudes, Zionism, Israel
the parents. The original language of these societies,
and the U.S. . . The Major
and the Middle East.
Yiddish, was not their language. They may have loved
Senator • Douglas' daughter Necessities Right Now
its humor and tang but it did not become their lan-
was married to an Israeli (whose
guage of communication.
premature death was a shock to
Even the philanthropic devotions of the children

many who admired his idealism) Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and its appearance in assumed a different twinge from those of the parents.
So, the Landsmanshaften began to disappear.
and lived for some years in a kibutz. Douglas visited the nationally syndicated Parade Magazine, a sup-
there with Mrs. Douglas and thoroughly approved of plement of many American newspapers, draws mer- From the dozens that existed in Detroit only a few
his daughter's dedication to a great principle involv- ited attention to the Jewish state's most serious prob- remain. It is a sad departure from the communal scene
and those who had strong affection for these social
ing defense of a people struggling to perpetuate free- lems.
Rabin placed emphasis on Israel's dependence on groups with a communal devotion will miss them.
Paul Douglas had so many-good qualities that his the United States for its sustenance. This is an indis-
friends will not forget him. His charm will emphasize putable fact and the blessing is in its undeniability and A Commendable Achievement
the recollections of a noble character who had en- therefore its basis for continuity in the friendship be- in ZOD's Public Relations
riched the higher goals of the U.S. Senate where he tween the two -nations — the world's greatest democ-
Results of a poll among candidates for both houses
served with distinction.
racy and history's most significant legator in the of Congress on the questions affecting this country's
realm of democratic codes' handed down in spiritual position vis-a-vis Israel, conducted by the public rela-
Dr. Morris Fishbein: His Role
forms that have gained political significance.
tions committee of the Zionist Organization of Detroit,
There is, however, another factor never to be ig- merits special recognition.
in Genesis of Detroit's Sinai
nored. It is the will of the Jewish people. Without that
Acclaim for the pursuance of this task and its re-
Dr. Morris Fishbein was one of the most dominant will-to live this nation would be deprived of its most sults was well earned by the chairman of the ZOD
men in the American Medical Association for many notable recipient of aid and comfort in the struggle for committee, Louis Panush. A retired high school prin-
years. He directed the organization, edited its periodi- life.
cipal, he is devoting much. of his leisure time to the
cals, molded policies.
Israel's struggle is a matter of record. The losses of tasks of preserving the truth regarding Israel's role in
He had begun to show an interest in the quota three years ago, during the 1973 Yom Kippur War, the
system that kept the number of Jewish students in despair of that had set in thereafter, the courage that the world. He continues to be a tireless devotee of
medical schools down to a minimum and he resorted to was regained during the heroic rescue mission in efforts to enlighten people in public offices on the
realism in facing this issue as well as the one that Uganda which became famous under the name of the urgency to strengthen the traditional U.S.-Israel
involved discrimination in hospitals against Jewish Entebbe airport — these are summarized in the friendship.
The survey he initiated among candidates for the
graduates from medical schools who applied for in- Parade article in which Michaelson stated:
Senate and the House of Representatives has proven
who are directing the policies of this
Both of these issues became paramount in the
Israelis have not recovered from the experience anew that those issues
related to ISrael's historic role
advocacy of establishing Jewish hospitals, most of
of October, 1973. They are still in a state of national in the society of nations are firm in their resolve to
which soon became only Jewish-sponsored institu-
depression, and even the spectacular, headline- strengthen this government's policies in Israel's be-
making rescue of Israeli hostages from Uganda's half. The ascertaining of these policies and the assur-
There was a battle in_Detroit, for example, for the
Entebbe Airport three months ago has not fully re- ance of retention of an American ideal of justice for
idea of a Jewish hospitalAt was the cause of the. mas-
newed their confidence or brought them out of the Israel and Jewry is an important factor in a political
ses rather than th -e-- classes. The latter opposed it, the
campaign which rejects partisanship and declares un-
former collected pennies. So minimal was the fund-
As the Prome Minister candidly told me; "The equivocally that the Americarirpolicy for a progressive
raising result for a Jewish hospital in Detroit that the
Yom Kippur War was, and still remains, a shock for and vibrant Israel can not and will never be negated.
$50,000 or so that was finally accumulated was mainly
us. The number of casualties and Arabs inflicted on
us (2,569 killed, 7,500 wounded, 301 taken prisoner Hebron Tragedies . . . Rumors
a profit from a real estate investment.
But the needs of interns, charges having been
in 19 days) and the tremendous expense of the war
rampant of prejudice against Jewish medics, and the
($9 billion, or roughly a year's national output) are Turned Into Hate-Mongering
Heb•on's history commenced as King David's cap-
emphasis on the need for kosher food for Jewigh pa-
something, we continue to feel. Arid, quite frankly,
we are going to continue to pay the price for Oc- ital of the ancient Jewish state he had solidified befo' -
tients finally gained acknowledgement and the Jewish
Jerusalem became the capital of historic Juda. (.
tober "73, for several years to come."
Welfare Federation's reluctant leadership undertook-
Throughout history Hebron had retained a role Of
to build a Jewish hospital. The result: Sinai, which now
spiritualism as a center of learning for pious Jews. In
It is well that Rabin intimated that the Entebbe
serves all elements of the community, has many
Jewish interns, provides kosher food and has a high miracle and heroism need not be assumed to be the 1929 there was a massacre and more than 60 Jewish
theological students were murdered in cold blood, de-
rating, event hough most of the pateints may not even ever-lasting assurance of indestructibility for Israel.
fenselessly, during the Arab riots.
There remain the economic problems, the need for
be Jewish.
When Hebron became part of the territory ad-
When the controversy over a Jewish hospital de-
dedication by Israelis and their kinsmen to Israel's
ministered by Israel, after the Six-Day War of 1967,
veloped, Dr. Morris Fishbein was among the experts
needs, the importance of immigration and the in-
there was hope for amity. Instead there developed
who were called to testify. He rendered remarkable gathering of the exiles.
service in behalf of the effort for a Jewish hospital.
The economic plight of the Jewish state is a fact much bitterness. It assumed a nasty mien on the eve of
There were other knowledgeable leaders in the field of not to be ignored. True: Israel is not alone as an eco-' Yom Kippur this week. It was mainly due to a false
nomically struggling state. Look at Great Britain, and rumor that Jews had destroyed copies of the Koran_
health services whose views were invited here, but Dr.
many other lands. But Israel is small and has few to The mob that tore Scrolls of the Torah used by Jews in
Fishbein was a leader among them.
the synagogue at the Tombs of the Patriarchs is as-
It was during one of his visits here that Dr. Fish-
depend upon, except the U.S. and the Jews of the
cribable to Arab radio propaganda which spread the
bein told of the numerus clausus, the quota practices world. The U.S. holds the banner of friendship high;
lie about Jews tearing the Koran. Outrageous rumors
that were not even generally admitted but which
Jews must raise a banner of loyalty even higher.
dominated selection of medical students in leading
Indeed, there is need for loyalties. That is why ,often lead to bloodshed as in the instance of the Heb-
•on violence this week. Perhaps the sensible among
even a minimum of emigration would be deplorable.
the Arabs will help the Israeli Jews solve this sad
That's when Dr. Fishbein told of an issue having This is where loyalty functions, on behalf of the Is-
problem, by_.restoring sensible mutuality between
raelis as well as their Jewish kinspeople.
been raised over the admission of Jews to a St. Louis
The "Am Yisrael Hai" slogan of the Jewish Jews and Arabs.
medical school. There were more than a thousand

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