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January 04, 1980 - Image 2

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1980-01-04

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2 Friday, January 4, 1980


Purely Commentary

Polish Yiddish (sic!) Theater

Serious warnings must be issued to American Jewish
communities not to fall prey to propaganda implying that a
Polish Yiddish theater planning to tour the U.S. has either
acceptance or dignified credence.
For those who had the agony of visiting that theater
the mere attempt to have it tour this country is an insult. It
is true that the performances are in Yiddish. But the sub-
jects selected are nearly always in poor taste, offensive to
the Jewish viewers, aimed at propagandizing Communism.
Some 15 years ago, when there still were about 25,000
Jews in Poland, that theater in Warsaw already was
gloomy, the actors admitted after the performances that
they were not free souls, they were under submission to the
sponsors who apparently continue to this day to give the
impression that a Jewish undertaking has the kindness of
official endorsement.
A report in the New York Times from Warsaw, under
the heading "Yiddish Theater Alive Again in Poland," is
misleading. The theater referred to is always conducted
under non-Jewish direction with some non-Jewish actors in
the gloom-laden environment. There is nothing wrong with
ear phones being provided to the Warsaw audience for
those not knowing Yiddish in the depleted Jewish com-
munity. But the spirit that motivates that theater, its in-
sulting tendencies, the false claims of an effort to give new
life to Yiddish, are revolting.
As a matter of fact, Ida Kaminska, one-time genius of
the Polish Yiddish theater, was outraged by the Com :
munist influences and said so in her autobiography.
The NYTimes story about the so-called Yiddish thea-
ter revival, the report from Warsaw by John Darnton, in-
cludes this shocking revelation:
A current production of "Dusk," written in 1928
by Isaac Babel, presents a picture of a Jewish
community made up of avaricious, slovenly,
scheming degenerates. In one particularly strik-
ing scene, drunks stagger around the stage while
an old woman bursts into frenzied dance, expos-
ing her sagging breasts.
A 23-year-old film-maker, Rebecca Rotenberg,
who came here (Poland) to produce a documen-
tary about Jews in Eastern Europe, walked away
"When people come to this theater, they look
and say, 'So these were the Jews,"' she said. "And
what do they see? Drunkards and whores and
rabbis molesting women. The theater here is a
museum of Jewish life in Eastern Europe. At one
time it served a function of introspection for the
community, but now it's a museum. As a museum
it has a certain obligation to its subject ..."
Both "The Dybbuk" and "Dusk" are going to
Broadway in mid-February for a six-week run at
the Belasco Theater and then a tour of the United
The offensiveness is unquestioned. The sponsor-
ship is marked by a virulent antagonism to everything
Jewish, by a background aimed at mocking all of us.

This is not the type of theater to be welcomed by any-
one in this country. It is an insulting intrusion into
Jewish ranks. It should be judged as such when its
appearances are announced in our midst.

The 'Secular Palestine' Bluff:
Exposing the Terrorist Role

They are still at it, those who would demolish Israel.
They would fool people into believing there is a solution in a
"secular state." The blacks who assumed diplomatic status
on their visits in the Middle East recently often make it
their slogan.
Near East Report of the America Israel Public Affairs
Committee exposed at least one aspect of these tricks that
distort existing facts in this item:

According to PLO rhetoric, the organization
wants nothing more than to set up a "secular
state" in which Moslems, Christians and Jews can
live together in peace. By that standard, it would
be inconsistent for the PLO to talk of a jihad,
which is defined as "a war by Moslems against
unbelievers or enemies of Islam, carried out as a

religious duty."
But that's exactly what PLO chief Yasir Arafat
called for on Dec. 7 at a Beirut rally to show sol-
idarity with the Iranian revolution. Arafat's
speech was broadcast on the Voice of Palestine.
"The day will come when we shalt say: Join the
jihad for Palestine," Arafat said.
"I know that our Imam Khomeini will move
every individual capable of carrying arms to say
with us: Join the jihad to liberate Jerusalem, join
the jihad to liberate Jerusalem, join the jihad to
liberate Jerusalem, and make it a revolution until
Arafat also pledged his support to Khomeini.

By Philip

The Venom Originating in Warsaw Peddled as Art of the
Yiddish Theater . . . A Continuing Need to Counteract the
Diplomatic Barbs Aimed at Israel in Foreign Policy Studies

"Tell Imam Khomeini," he said, "to give us the
order and we will all obey and move to strike U.S.
imperialism and U.S. imperialist interests at any
time and in any place ..."
What the claimants of the "secular" bluff fail to under-
stand is that not too many people are as naive as they would
have the public believe. Whoever has any idea about the
events in Lebanon understands to what extent the prop-
agators of a secular state can be trusted.
There is clarity in the secular distortions. It calls out-
right for Israel's end and for submission to a new rulership
dominated by those now in the terrorist ranks. Therefore,
the propagators of such an idea are only fooling themselves.
The pity is that an American black should submit to such
proposals for a new genocide.

An American in Teheran
Is an American Is an American

Newsweek's list of "Our People in Teheran," the U.S.
hostages, includes Charles Jones:
All but one of the black
Americans held hostage at
the embassy were released
by the Iranians just before
Thanksgiving. The excep-
tion was Charles Jones, a
well-traveled teletype
operator, described by col-
leagues as outspoken and
more than a little abrasive.
"He probably shot his
mouth off," says an ac-
quaintance who worked
with him in Israel, Jones'
last assignment before
Teheran. "That's what got
him stuck. He sure as hell
isn't any spy."

There is enough comment in the comment that Jones is
He must have spoken his mind. He is black and wasn't
released with the others. He is one of two Detroiters among
the hostages.
What's the explanation and definition for an American
who is called abrasive? Simple: He is American, he is
American, he is American.
Perhaps he has a lesson for the Jacksons and their ilk.

George Ball's Negativism
Towards Israel in M.E. Articles

George Ball's previous importance in the U.S. State
Department forces most serious consideration of his atti-

tudes, which remain antagonistic towards Israel.
His current article in Foreign Affairs, thoroughly re-
viewed in this issue by Victor Bienstock, unhappily de-
mands counteraction. It forces a renewal of study of an
attitude which had strong influence in the State Depart-
ment and may retain that influence unless there is proper

repudiation of Mr. Ball's contentions.
There are too many assumptions in the views of Mr.

Ball which place Israel in a most uncooperative position.

The attacks on the contended lobbyism and the assertions

of undue influence in this country could well inspire re-
newed anti-Israelism. It is something to be on guard
against and the attitudes of a man once very important in
diplomatic ranks and still being judged with great respect
must be met with facts leading towards the protection of the
Israeli role in the Middle East. It is urgent that this chal-
lenge be met, both by Israel and her friends.

Louis LaMed, the Initiator
of Yiddish Literary Prizes

Louis LaMed was a hebraist whose linguistic roots
were in Yiddish.
As the initiator of the LaMed Prize in Yiddish Litera-
ture, he enabled a number of prominent Yiddish writers to
have their works properly circulated.
Some of the most noted Yiddish authors attained their
goals of seeing their works in print thanks to the LaMed

Prize. It became a symbol of major importance for many

The departed local leader in educational and corn-
munal functions also pioneered in establishing the Judaic
cultural lectures at Wayne State University, and several
others later pursued that task which enabled distinguished
Jews to interpret important Jewish historical occurrences
for the university audiences.
Mr. LaMed began his activities here, upon his arrival
from Poland, as a Hebrew teacher.
He earned a law degree, gave up the law for a business
career and devoted himself primarily to the advancement
of Jewish cultural projects. It is in that capacity that he
gained the esteem not only of the Detroit Jewish commu-
nity but of many on the national scene.

The Legacy of Three Jewish Women


(Copyright 1980. JTA, Inc.)

Nathan Ziprin is well
known to readers of the
Anglo-Jewish press. He is
the former editor of Seven
Arts Features, but there is
another special distinction
attached to him. Twenty
and 30 years ago there were
many Yiddish dailies. Be-
sides the Forward, there
was the Day, the Morning
Journal, the Tageblatt, the
Jewish Gazette. East
Broadway was a roaring
segment of the Fourth Es-
tate. While Ziprin wrote for
the Anglo-Jewish press, not
the Yiddish press, he was at
the same time deeply im-
mersed in the Yiddish press.
No one knew better the
Glatsteins the Margolises
and the other Yiddish
newspapermen that he and
his English writings served
in a way to make the Yid-
dish press known to the
English reader.
But now something
different has come from Zip-
rin's pen. A little work,
entitled, "A Tribute to
Stillness." It is a kind of "In
Memoriam" to his late wife.

The little work had its
origin, he explains, when
he sat down to answer the
letters of condolence he
received on her death. He
came to feel that perhaps
the array of his answers
was a better monument
than the stone slab over
her grave.

"Our love for each other,"
he writes, "was of a dimen-
sion that defies probing"
and the little book is obvi-
ously intended to relieve his
own heart.
Rose Ziprin must indeed
have been exceptional to in-
spire such feeling. She was
not a writer herself and
seemed not to aspire to spe-
cial distinction or great-
ness, but Ziprin found a
quality not unlike that de-
scribed by the psalmist,
when he wrote about a sim-
ple woman, "Give her the
fruit of her hands and let
her own works praise her in
the gates."
In all she did, writes Zip-
rin, "she was a statue of pi-
ety, which made itself visi-
ble in whatever she did,
whether standing over the
Sabbath candlesticks, with
her blue eyes to the flames
or when she trekked to suc-
cor the ill and/or when she
received visitors in her
home and lavished kisses on
all who passed our
threshold." In all of this,
Ziprin tells us, he perceived
a devotion and a quality
which could only be "the gift
of genius."
* * *
Yes, genius is of many
kinds. There passed away in
Jerusalem the other day
another Jewish woman,
Rachel Ben Zvi, the widow
of the second President of
Israel. She became famous,

President Anwar Sadat's
of course, as Israel's first
trip to Haifa was Dafna
Margolin. She is a young
Like her husband, Rachel
woman evidently still below
Ben Zvi had devoted her
the voting age and lives on a
whole life to the national
cause. She had worked not
When she arrived in
only for the attainment of
Cairo, Miss Margolin was
Zionism in its larger aspects
a motorcycle escort by
as well as for many minor
the Egyptian government.
activities whose aim was

is the pretty young
the enhancement of Jewish
woman from the kibutz so
life in its homeland.
popular in Egypt? The rea-
She died at the age of 92
son is simple. When Sadat
and had been active almost
visited Haifa, he was very
to the last. She had been ev-
impressed by a painting of
erything, from a school
himself done by her. We
teacher to an agricultural
seen a photograph of
worker. To help in the ag-
the painting and it is very
ricultural development of
Israel she went to France to
Miss Margolin tries to use
attend an agricultural col-
her art to advance her favo-
* * *
rite cause. She is interested,
she says, "in the chemistry
What of the younger
of people." In chemistry. the
Jewish women? The other
elements are related to one
day it was reported in the
another and she is in-
Israeli press that the first
private person to be invited terested in promoting
to visit Egypt after relations between people.

17 in Mass Bat Mitzva in DC


Fifteen months ago most of
the 17 women yearning to
celebrate their Bat Mitzva
didn't know "aleph" from
"bet" and the others were
almost equally illiterate in
On a recent Saturday
morning, however, they
read all the Haftorah and
the Torah portion of the

week in fluent Hebrew and

achieved their ambition to
the delight of their teacher,
33-year-old Rabbi Stephen
Listfield at the 110-year-old
Ades Israel Congregation in
Mid-town Washington.
The women ranged in age
from 23-year-old Abigail
Friedman, a Harvard
graduate studying law at
Georgetown University, to
Mrs. Sarah Bassin, 69, a re-
tired restaurateur.

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