THE JEWISH NET'S
Incorporating The Detroit Jewish Chronicle commencing with the' issuc
July 20, 1951
Member American Association of English-Jewish Newspapers. Michigan Press Association. National Editorial Association.
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CARMI M. SLOMOVITZ
Editor and Publisher
• News Editor . . 11E1111 PRESS. .1ssist an t Nes, s Editor
bbill Ser pi Ural SC111'01011..
This Sabbath, the 11th day of Sivan, 5737, the following scriptural selections will be read in our synagogues:
Pentatenchal portion, Numbers 4:21-7:89. Prophetical portion, judges 13:2-25.
Frida). \la) 27. 8:39
VOL. LXXI. No. 12
Friday, May 27, 1977
Penalties for Edifice Complexes
Edifice complexes have caused concern. On
occasions they invited criticism and con-
demnation. As a payoff there has been room
It is never too late to admonish a community
to be cautious, to be humble, not to go beyond
Dealing first with the synagogue, the need is
for emphasis on a basic duty: that whatever
structures are contemplated they must be
based on the spiritual and the cultural and they
must avoid the charge that the ambitious
builders had aimed for country clubs. Since
this charge is often heard it should be empha-
sized that unless the spiritual predominates
there'll be trouble. If it isn't the school and the
house of study, and these can be moderate as
long as they are adequate, the young may be
driven away from the house of worship that
truthfully serves also as the vitally needed
house of study and research.
When the emphasis is on glamor it calls for
great costs in upkeep, that demands increased
assessments, and the rising costs threaten the
desire to be completely dedicated to the edi-
This applies also to the community center.
Unless such centers are based on the cultural
programs, on the duty to provide inspiration
stemming from well-planned cultural contribu-
tions to the community, there is danger of col-
lapse. A communally fuctioning structure must
have more than the athletic and body-building,
important as these are. The cultural-spiritual
must predominate and the health club must be
second to the educational functions.
This commendable principle, never to be
abandoned, has been established admirably by
the Jewish Community Center of Greater De-
The lessons that have been taught to the
Greater Detroit. Jewish community have been
bitter. Synagogues have struggled and some
have not yet survived the burdens that have
been imposed upon them by the agonies of edi-
fice structuring. Now the Jewish Center is un-
dergoing a crisis. It would be futile to ignore it.
It is not only the magnitude of the ambitious
undertaking that may have caused the trouble,
it is also because the entire aim had become to
have the health club predominate as the
major task of a great undertaking.
Anyone failing to admit the existence of a
serious problem would be as blind as a bat,
and ignoring it would be criminal.
Therefore, the time has come to urge that
properly conducted studies be made of the situ-
ation to seek a solution and to avoid a cala-
There may be enough funding available to
cure the shortcomings. This may be com-
pulsory. But simultaneous with such a task
is the demand upon the organized commu-
nity to take into consideration the great need to
provide for services in a branch center for
whose services there is a clamoring in a
largely populated area that may have been ig-
nored because of the transfer of headquarters
to a sector that is distant from the more den-
sely populated Jewish community. While tack-
ling the problem affecting the Jewish Center
there must be simultaneous if not prior consid-
eration of the need to strengthen the 10 Mile
Road Jewish Center, of providing the services
that are so urgently needed there for young
and ad, especially the latter. A duty devolves
upon the organized Jewish community to allo-
cate the funds necessary to fulfill pressing
needs and at the same time to resolve issues re-
lating to an edifice overbuilt and inadequately
This is not a time to assignate blame and to
arouse anger. Fault-finding is inevitable and
can not be ignored. But there is the respon-
sibility to seek a solution, and whatever criti-
cism will be leveled must be accepted on the
basis of realism and the search for a cure to a
sad development in this community. A people
that has functioned as well and with as much
dedication to Jewish needs, as has Greater De-
troit Jewry, must as it undoubtedly will, arrive
at a workable solution. The lesson will be
learned, no doubt, and the illness will be cured.
Let that be without delay.
A Nation Democratically Motivated
Israel's election results were shocking to a
party that dominated the 29-year-old state and
the Yishuv that preceded it, and it surprised,
the world. A heavy loss in prestige was antici-
pated for the Laborites, but not that cala-
What does it all signify? It is another mani-
festation of political independence for the
people of Israel and a tribute to their democrat-
The young Jewish nation suffered many dis-
tressing setbacks in the past few years. There
were accumulations of disillusionments for a
decade. There was false overconfidence that
needed reparation. The voters expressed dis-
satisfaction that bordered on vengeance at an
election that served to define a desire for an ex-
pression of the nation's deepest sentiments,
even such that relate to rejection of mis-
management by kinsmen. The democratic in-
stinct survived and a people that is thus able to
express itself can be envisioned only in a role
of strength under the leadership in chooses for
itself, in its own way, in a defiance asserting
the- independence of a free people.
`Days of My Years'
Samuel Rosenblatt Reminisces:
Role as Rabbi, Author, Linguist
Dr. Samuel Rosenblatt, eminent Baltimore rabbi whose activities as
researcher in Oriental studies, archeology and linguistics distinguished
him through the years, relates his personal story in an impressive
"The Days of My Years" (Ktav) is even more than a personal ac-
count of many achievements. It is the record of accomplishments as
an author who specialized in Oriental studies and teachings. It relates
to the author's experiences as a researcher in historical Jewish expe-
riences at the Hebrew University and at the School of Archaeology in
Jerusalem. As professor of Oriental languages at Johns Hopkins his
rabbinic career was enhanced as lecturer as well as author and trans-
lator of classics from the Arabic and notable works from the Hebrew.
Rabbi Rosenblatt's life sto-
ries have the added aspects
of his recollections of his
youth, as son of the famous
Cantor Yosele Rosenblatt.
There is immense valite in
the Rosenblatt chronicle as
the noted Conservative rabbi
who emphasized the tradition-
al and inspired congregations
in his emphasis on study and
From 1927 onward he au-
thored such works as "The
Highways to Perfection by
"The Interpretation of the
Bible in the Mishna," "This
Is the Land," "The People of
the Book," "The Book of Be-
liefs and. Opinions," "Saadia
Gaon," "The History of the Mizrachi Movement." "Yosele Rose-
nblatt," "Hear. 0 Israel," "This Night Is Different," "Interpretation
of the Bible in 'the Tosefta" and others.
He studied under the first Chief Rabbi of Palestine, Rabbi A.I.
Kook, who gave him Semiha.
These are just a few of his distinctions.
His story is not only a family saga, it also marks a review of more
than a half-century of Jewish life.
Dr. Rosenblatt is like an elder statesman in the rabbinate and his
basic guidelines for rabbis is offered in his autobiography, thus:
"First among the attributes that I believe a spiritual leader ought
to possess is integrity, his deeds matching his words...Secondly, in
order to lead, he who aspires for such a role must be a man of prin-
ciple, one who will stand up and fight for his ideals regardless of the
opposition he may encounter...Thirdly. just as a father must, in
order not to cause jealousy among his children. give the same meas-
ure of love to each and every one of them, so must the spiritual fa-
tiler of his flock treat all his congregants alike. not discriminating
between rich or poor, powerful or insignificant...Fourthly, he must
posers the trait of humility... -
"Days of My Years" ranks high as an autobiography and is valuable
for students of the Jewish people in the present century.