64 Friday, January 25, 1980
THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS
A Documentary History of United States Jewry Is
Contained in New Marek-Published 'Holy We Lived'
at the time. They point to when her father, the emi- places of the actors and
A dramatic story of the having been named the get crippled. When I was a
the struggles, the idealism, nent Labor Zionist leader literary giants also receive
experiences of the immig- main selection of the Jewish boy we played rabbit, chas-
the determination to ac- Nahum Syrkin, devoted due attention. Cafe Royale
rants who came here at the Book Club, an alternate ing each other, hide-and-
himself to the upbUilding emerges again as the
beginning of this century title offered by the Book of seek. Later we stopped. If a quire American ways. In of the great movement in famous meeting place
fact, in the early years of
unfolds in the reconstruc- the Month Club, a selection grown boy played rabbit in
the ranks of Socialist which has an indelible
tion of an exciting era in the of the History Book Club Russia they would think he Jewish mass settlement, Zionism.
mark in history. -
there was an eagerness to
history of American Jewry and a Jewish Publication had lost his mind. Here in
The memoirs in this
educated America adults become assimilated.
as told by Irving Howe and Society selection.
In the documentaries will family life, noted per- volume include those of
Many are the aspects of play baseball. They run after
Kenneth Libo in "How We
Christians who .
Lived" (Richard Marek Jewish life portrayed picto- a leather ball like children. I be found a score of impor- sonalities,
tant explanatory notes on scenes, the Howe-Libo work studied and commented
rially and depicted in the want my boy to grow up to be
the manner in which Jews fascinates and perpetuates
The recollections in this author's essay. The reader a mensh, not a wild Ameri-
ences. Among them are
volume are documentary is introduced anew to the
experiences relating to sition from immigrant to William Dean Howells
and their significance gains Yiddish theater, to the ac- head off
ideological concepts affect- the present communal sol- Hutchins Hapgood and
The Bintel Brief advises:
emphasis in the photo- tors and actresses who in-
idity of American Jewry. others.
graphic collections that eluded some of the most
"How We Lived" will be
An interesting example The accompanying photo-
lend realism a notable notable in stage history, baseball and play it well, as
is the memo by Marie graph of Hester Street is reviewed, discussed, will be
period when the helpless several having gained fame long as it does not interfere
a subject of interest as a
Syrkin in which she de- exemplary.
victims of oppressions pro- not only in the Yiddish the- with their education or get
Not only the personalities volume that will earn its
scribes her home life
vided glory for the Ameri- ater but also in English them into bad company.
Half the parents in the when she was a child,
can ideals embraced by productions on Broadway.
There were the Adlers, Jewish quarter have this
newcomers to these shores.
and problem. Chess is good, but
"How We Lived" is a the
memorable addendum to Thomashefskys, and there the body needs to develop
the earlier Howe-Libo vol- was Muni Weisenfriend also. Jews are the most edu-
"World of Our who became famous as Paul cated nation in the world;
the American press writes
Muni on stage and screen.
They came to seek a about this all the time. The
Of interest is the
By DAVID SCHWARTZ
boys want to be boxers
authors' concern that the haven of refuge and they
(Copyright 1980, JTA, Inc.)
brings pleasure and brings
historic events of the helped build it. It was not and the Jews — debaters.
pain and also sometimes
Now that 1980 is here,
Baseball develops the
early decades of the 20th a land filled with gold
feelings of guilt. There is a
it's a good time to
Century should not re- and silver: they had to arms, legs and eyesight. It is maybe
new book just published in
main a myth. They are struggle for it; but they played in the fresh air. The say 100 years or so — say to
London: "Palestine Immi-
correct in assuming that attained their goals in really wild game is football 1880.
Policy Under Sir
the romantic occur- education, in industries. — the aristocratic game in
Herbert Samuel" by Moshe
Perhaps they also were the colleges. Accidents and
rences, the dramatic ex-
Moussek. Samuel was a fine
been around the world visit-
periences, the courage of naive, as may appear in the fights occur in football, but ing, among other places,
Jew named by the British
the builders of an im- description of the Bintel baseball is not dangerous.
government to begin the
pressive American Jew- Brief columns in the Jewish Many are the questions Jerusalem. It was the first
making of Palestine into a
ish community could Daily Forward. In the that were posed to the For- time a President of the
be speedily forgotten. treatment of this journalis- ward and the topics dealt United States had visited
Samuel and many of
"How We Lived" helps tic experience the authors with every conceivable Jerusalem.
At the Wailing Wall, a
the other top Zionist
fortify memory and keep reproduce samples of ques- problem that confronted the
we are told, fa:
the record straight re-
vored a "go slow policy"
garding an immigrant the Forward editors, in- tions offer excellent data on thank him for a mitzva he
in the beginning. The
people that has emerged cluded among them this the approaches to the im- had done in helping his
door was not to be wide
daughter get married. It
from the many struggles query and the answer that migrant's problems in the was
really very nice of
open to all Jews who
into a creative folk, a
"How We Lived" is filled Grant to send this
wanted to come. The im-
It makes sense to teach a
people with traditions,
Czarist inspired pogroms
migration was to be
aspirations fulfilled, aims child to play dominoes or with records of expressions Jerusalem Jew a check for against the Jews in Russia
to "the absorptive
chess. But what is the point
based on high ideals.
occurred and the great wave
capacity of the country."
The merits of "How We of a crazy game like sues that confronted the her get
This, it was felt, was the
Lived" are evident in its baseball? The children can community of immigrants
Well, one day, Simon Jews to this country began.
Wolfe, who was a leader
So the 1880s brought _ The Revisionist leader,
of Bnai Brith in Washing- freedom to many Jews.
Jabotinsky, on the other
ton received a letter from
It was at this time that hand, was for admitting all
the Jerusalem Jew ask- the typewriter and the who wished to come. The
ing him to see "the King
emerged. conservative view prevailed
of America" and try to get telephone
About 1890, an official of and now, it is felt, many
from him a little money the Patent Office ex- thousands who perished
for a dowry for his
pressed the view that all under the Nazis could have
daughter. It was a great
of the great inventions escaped if the doors of Pales-
mitzva, he explained, to
had been made and little tine had been opened then.
help one marry his
The Jabotinskys were ac-
was to be expected in the
future of any great sig- cused of being blind to the
Wolfe was so amused by
nificance, yet after that realities of life. In this con-
the letter he showed it to
came even greater inven- nection, a story told by
Grant. "Is he serious?"
tions, the radio and the Jabotinsky at the time is
asked Grant. Wolfe an-
airplane. The modern age pertinent. It happened in
swered that there was no
was born and in the case the beginning days of World
doubt the Jerusalem Jew
War I, said Jabotinsky. A
was and he explained to of the Jews, an ancient child suddenly became very
Grant all about mitzvas. state was revived.
For 2000 years, Jews had ill and the distraught
So Grant took out his check
prayed for the fulfillment of mother decided there
book and wrote a check for
the prophecy of the revival no hope unless she could
$25 which was sent to the
bring the child to a hosptial.
Jew in Jerusalem. So Grant of the Jewish state and that
On account of the bomb-
was not only the first too was to be accomplished ing of London streets, there
President to visit Jerusalem in the century which has
were no street lights and the
but the first to do the just passed.
mother carrying her child
New York City's Hester Street, 1898, in a New York Historical Society photo- mitzva of helping a Jew
was unable to find her way
graph, is one of the many picutres included in the Marek Publishers volume, "How marry off his daughter.
and 1980 was phenomenal to the hospital. She asked a
We Lived," by Irving Howe and Kenneth Libo.
Upon his return from the
in achievement, but alas, few of the passersby for di-
world tour, there was a
there is another side to the rections but they were as
boom for a third term for picture also. Never before much in the dark. Finally
Grant for President, but it had the world seen destruc- she saw a man walking with
did not succeed. Perhaps the tion and savagery on such a a cane. She asked him.
public didn't know about mass scale as in the same
"Follow me," he said, "I
the mitzva or perhaps it
period. The period of great will take you to the hospi-
was due to the fact that the invention and achievement tal." He was a blind man
Jewish vote was then small.
was also the period of two used to the darkness.
However, very soon thereaf- world wars and of the un-
ter, there was to be a great speakable barbarity of the Jabotinsky, the blind may
increase in the Jewish vote.
be the best leaders.
Jewish Life in 1880. A Time
of Achievement and Destruction