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August 10, 1979 - Image 8

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1979-08-10

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

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

8 Friday, August 10, 1919

Composer, Subject of Nazi Ban, Beginning to Make a Comeback

NEW YORK — New
York Times music critic
Peter G. Davis recently re-
ported on an upsurge of
interest in the works of Au-
strian composer Franz
Schreker.
During the height of his
fame in Europe between the
world wars, Schreker was
deemed second only to
Richard Strauss in promi-
nence and importance, ac-
cording to Davis. Like
Wagner, he single-
handedly devised the plots,

7th gitadetts

words and music of his
operas, and they were
staged throughout Ger-
many and Austria.
Closely associated with
the progressive school of
Schoenberg, Berg and
Wobern, he garnered far
more popular success than
any of his Viennese col-
leagues.
Then disaster struck.
In 1933, Schreker fell
afoul of the new Nazi re-
gime, lost his teaching
post in Berlin and died in
1934. His music was pro-
claimed unwholesomely
decadent, performances
of his operas were

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1967 -3232

By BEN GALLOB

A new study of converts to
Judaism has not only but-
tressed the frequently-
voiced complaints by con-
verts of being rejected by
born Jews but also has dis-
closed - similar rebuffs from
members of the groups the
converts left as well as the
persistence for them of trea-
sured values and memories
of their pre-conversion
lives.

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The study was made by
Steve Huberman, planning
associate of the Combined
Jewish Philanthropies of
Greater Boston and was
sponsored by the Union of
American Hebrew Congre-
gations (UAHC), the Re-
form association.
The report was published
in the current "Journal of
Jewish Communal Serv-
ice."
Huberman chose to deal
with the issue of non-
acceptance by born Jews of
converts, and reaction of the
converts to the rebuffs, by
use of the thesis that "con-
verts tend to bifurcate
Judaism into ethnic and
religious categories," dec-
laring that, according to the
study findings, converts
"feel they cannot be good
Jews in ethnic terms."
For both Huberman
and such converts, the
phrase "good Jews" by
their yardstick refers to
the warmth, mutual ac-
ceptance and sense of
folk and family involve-
ment typical of the atti-
tudes of born Jews,
whether or not they are
religiously observant or
Jewishly knowledgeable.
Huberman cited the con-
vert respondent who said "I
will always know that I am
different" from born Jews
and he added that converts
accordingly "tend to turn to
religion to validate their

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vivals of his two most
acclaimed operas in Ger-
many, "Der Ferne Klang"
("The Distant Sound") and
"Die Gezeichneten" ("The
Stigmatized").
His last work, "Christ-
ophorus," proscribed by
the Nazis before it
reached the stage, has
just received its world
premiers in Freiburg.
Some recordings have
also appeared. Kurt Her-
bert Adler conducts the Pre-
lude to "Die Gezeichneten"
on a new London disk, and
the Austrian Preiser label
has reissued excerpts from
the operas sung by Maria

Conversion Study Shows Rejection on Both Sides

(Copyright 1979, JTA, Inc,)

COOte.

FRANZ SCHREKER

banned, and even the
printed scores were de-

stroyed.
No composer of his emi-
nence in recent times has
been quite so thoroughly
eradicated from the public
consciousness.
Even after World War II
there was no movement to
revive his reputation,
partly because his operas,
drenched in Freudian sym-
bolism and couched in a
lush, highly complex post-
Romantic musical idiom,
were considered hopelessly
passe.
Now, a year after his
centenary, Schreker ap-
pears to be making a com-
eback. There have been re-

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Jewishness. Converts who
took Judaism seriously in
our study indicated that
being a good Jew means be-
come a 'religious' Jew" — a
recognition by the convert
that there is no way for him
or her to become part of the
Jewish folk to which the
born Jew is heir auto-
matically.
Huberman declared that
"it is unrealistic to expect a
convert to suppress all of the
feelings and memories
which have developed over
his or her lifetime. He cited
the comment of a conversion
class participant that "I
don't want to give up my
childhood memories, such
as my feelings toward nuns.
I can't deny what happened
years before. They were
pleasant memories."
The study pointed up a
largely ignored fact — that
religious conversion can be

"very difficult and painful"
and frequently "a trying
emotional experience." Re-
spondents in the UAHC
study indicated they usu-
ally felt guilt. One respon-
dent said "I turned my back
on the tradition that nur-
tured me. I may be losing
the truth. Celebrating
Passover not Easter makes
me feel guilty."
Such guilt feelings, the
study found, are "often
exacerbated by the con-
vert's Christian friends.
These friends often tell the
convert that he is crazy or
an outright traitor for con-
verting." After such abuse
from friends and family, the
converts "expect to be wel-
comed with open arms by
the Jewish community.
When they are not accepted
with cordiality," the con-
verts feel deeply hurt by the
Jewish rejection.

Maccabi Jewish Sportsmen
in Israel and the Diaspora

By JANET MENDELSOHN

JERUSALEM — The
"People of the Book" have
also chalked up an impres-
sive score for themselves in
the fields of physical educa-
tion and sports in our time.
Helping to develop this
physically fit Jew is one of
the main precepts of the
Maccabi World Union,
founded in 1903, and today
much stronger than ever.
One of the Maccabi's most
well known projects is the
Maccabia Games, now
held in Israel every four
years. These Jewish,Olym-
pies represent the ze'lith of
sports performance for
young Jews, and the Mac-
cabia has attracted tens of
thousands of participants
from Jewish communities
large and small since its in-
ception in 1932.
After every Maccabia,
it seems that participants
decide to stay in Israel or
plan to return to the
Jewish state as new im-
migrants. One of the most
famous of these new olim
is Tal Brody, who led the
American basketball
team in the seventh Mac-
cabia Games in 1965, only
to return to Israel several
years later as a new im-
migrant himself.
As captain of the Israeli
Tel Aviv Maccabi basket-
ball team in 1976, Brody

helped lead the team to the
European Cup cham-
pionship.
The founders of the 75-
year-old Maccabi organiza-
tion sought to deepen the
identification with the
people and land of Israel
and as early as 1900 Mac-
cabi clubs developed in this
spirit in Russia, Eastern
Europe and the Arab na-
tions of the Middle East.
The year 1895 marked
the establishment of the
first Maccabi club in Con-
stantinople, Turkey, and
within a decade, Jewish
sportsmen had organized
themselves into clubs in
Bulgaria, Salonika, Au-
stria, Yugoslavia, Germany
and Israel. Inspired by their
ideals, many of these mem-
bers of Maccabi joined the
ranks of early pioneers,
immigrating to Israel to
help build and settle the
country.
Today, the Maccabi num-
bers 250,000 members in 45
countries.

EL
AL

Schreker, the composer's
wife, with Schreker himself
conducting.
A fascinating, fin-de-
siecle figure, according to
Davis, Schreker wrote
music that "luxuriates opu-
lently somewhere between
Mahler and Berg. It has a
very individual flavor
owing primarily to his un-
usual treatment of chroma-
tic harmony, a process that
pointed to a totally different
future from Schoenberg's
12-tone system.
"The operas themselve_
are extremely effective the-
ater pieces, works that
might well find a sympathe-
tic audience in this coun-
try."

Words of comfort, skill-
fully administered, are the
oldest therapy known to
man.
—Louis Nizer

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