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February 27, 1981 - Image 2

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Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1981-02-27

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2 Friday, February 21, 1981

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

Purely Commentary

The Standard Club Carved Noble Legacy for Detroit
Jewish Community ... British-U.S. Attitudes on the
Middle East ... Shylock Accented, Tarfut Temptation

By Philip
Slomovitz

Goodbye Standard Club! • . . Regrettable Communal Loss

The Standard Club now belongs to historical records as an institution that has
served the community well and could not survive under the new conditions that have
arisen in the land.
It served an important purpose. It was the meeting place for notables who were
welComed by the socially elite who could afford the expense of being associated with it.
It was a Jewish club in all respects. The members represented a group that was
compatible, therefore it had common links — in philanthropy as well as social functions,
and it therefore emerged as sort of a large family.
For three decades it provided hospitality for heads of major movements. Planning
sessions were held there for the Israel Bond campaigns as well as the United Jewish
Appeal (the major beneficiary of the Allied Jewish Campaign). In a sense, therefore, it
was semi-headquarters for the Allied Jewish Campaign.
It functioned in the era when kosher food was not a compulsion for the members. Yet,
when it hosted sessions for the Jewish Theological Seminary the demand for kashrut was
respected to the fullest. That is why men like Louis Finkelstein could feel at home there.
The Standard Club had an interesting predecessor. Some are still around who

Has Lord Carrington Come
to U.S. With Venomous Aims?

remember the Phoenix Club, then headquartered on Erskine and John R. It was an
exclusive club. The dignitaries of the first quarter of this century were members there.
They, too, were the philanthropically-minded. Men like Judah L. Magnes, who was the
creator of the first virtual kehilla in New York, the predecessor of the community
councils, and who was best known as the first president of the Hebrew University in
Jerusalem, came there to ask for aid for the Joint Distribution Committee.
To the Standard Club Chaim Weizmann had come in behalf of the Weizmann
Institute in Rehovot, two decades before there was a Jewish state, and Nate Shapero then
headed the local drive in behalf of the important scientific institute bearing the Weiz-
mann name. Later, Weizmann's nephew, Ezer Weizman, would be there in behalf of
Israel Bonds.
That's how it functioned, with honor and with dignity. There had been some talk
about "compatibility," because non-Jews became members. In the modern age it is
Jew who craves for the humanism that makes people compatible. Yet it could never`
other than the Jewish family-type institution. That's how it functioned. That's how it
gained for itself and the community it called its home. There may be some punning about
the "obituary" now being written. But the memory of it always will be glorious.

can be studied in advanced classes.
Now it re-emerged on television and the character of
Shylock was by a Jewish actor, Warren Mitchell.
He adopted a Yiddish accent. Should Yiddishists who
Lord Carrington, British Foreign Secretary, has not
are now in the process of giving new life to the language be
kept his views on the Middle East in secret. He has given
proud? But an acceptance in the wrong place creates revul-
encouragement to the PLO. He supports the Arab anti- Mordecai Kaplan, Jacob Marcus:
sion.
Israel position on Jerusalem and the settlements. British Two Giants in Our Generation
The producer of the televised version of "The Merchant
Jewry protests often against the policies he is instituting.
This generation can call itself blessed because of its of Venice" also is Jewish. Jonathan Miller defends his pro-
His visit to the United States has caused concern lest
ducing role. Is art for art's sake always acceptable? Morris
he bring his venomous position on Israel into the thinking scholars and spiritual leaders.
Even if a generation has only one of great stature, it is Schappes, the historian, editor of Jewish Currents, had
of the U.S. State Department.
what we considered a justified protest against portraying
It is no wonder that New York Times columnist a creative and contributing force in history.
When at least two, in a single year, can be selected for the Shylockian at this time, in a statement which was
William Safire should have registered concern, with a
quoted in this column Feb. 13.
warning, about the Carrington role, in a column entitled appreciation, the generation is twice blessed.
The New York Times reviewer of the "Merchant of Ven-
This is the situation this year, when two giants are to
"The Carrington Shadow." Safire exposes Carrington as "a
ice," John J. O'Connor, had interesting comment on the
darling of the American Left." There is the charge that the be honored in gratitude for having enriched our lives.
British-made production and the British-Jewish producer
The elder is Mordecai Kaplan, this year's centenarian.
British Foreign Secretary "has been seeking to promote the
as well as British-Jewish actor. He made this comment on
He is among the great of this century.
cause of Yasir Arafat in the Middle East."
the producer-actor relationships in the BBC televised
He has guided scores into the
There is a warning of the menace stemming in such
drama:
attitudes, and Safire proceeds to indicate that there is a Conservative Rabbinate and
It should be noted, though, that the British can
clash in the attitudes of President Ronald Reagan and has created an important reli-
be disconcertingly cavalier. A followup conversa-
British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Safire there- gious movement, the Recon-
tion between producer and star finds Mr. Mitchell
upon defines the conflict and the emerging situation in- structionist.
saying: "I don't consider myself totally Jewish
He has mastered the thought
volving Israel's role:
. . . I mean any religion that forbids you to eat
that Judaism is a civilization
Why is the British Foreign Secretary so eager to
oysters (and lobsters) can't be all good." The
and the proof is in his life, ser-
press his "initiative" to the detriment of the Atlan-
banter is clearly meant to be smartly sophisti-
mons, his lectures, his essays,
tic alliance, and the weakening of Western power
cated. It is horribly insensitive.
in the Eastern Mediterranean and Persian Gulf?
his books.
That's the fate of the Jew. He is different and he pro-
He is the man of piety who is
One reason was described by columnist Philip
vides material and he becomes an object for scrutiny by
now a pillar of strength at the
Geyelin in the Washington Post: ". . . a bid for
friend and foe. In "The Merchant of Venice" he is tempted
age of 100 in Jerusalem, the
European influence in the Middle East at the ex-
JACOB MARCUS
into apostasy and tarfut (being treife), and in 20th Century
Holy City which has become
pense of the United States."
his home after a lifetime of great achievements as rabbi, as portrayal his kashrut is ridiculed. Who does it best, in
Lord Carrington sees the road to influence with
teacher of rabbis in the Jewish Theological Seminary in imitation? Of course, also a Jew! Accepted philosophically,
Saudi Arabia and Persian Gulf states to be ap-
what an interesting role, the Jew's.
New York.
peasement of the Arab desire for a Palestinian
He is a blessing for the Jewish people and for mankind
state carved out of Israel. The Reagan Adminis-
whose highest ideals are incorporated in his teachings and
tration, on the contrary, sees the road to power in
his ethical codes.
the
military
protection
of
oil
be
the Middle East to
Jacob R. Marcus is another pillar of strength in Ameri-
states menaced by the Soviet military and subver-
can Jewry. At 85, his birthday to be observed on March 1, he
sive threat.
is a powerful factor in American Jewry's leadership in
percent last year, much
Those Carrington and Reagan approaches
By RABBI MARC H.
of it triggered by drug
historic research.
TANENBAUM
clash. If pursued, Carrington's appeasement of
(A Seven Arts Feature)
addicts who commute
He is a master archivist, and
the PLO will harm American interests; Prime
Boca Raton, Fla., is de- here to poach on the rich
as the directing head of the
Minister Thatcher cannot be unaware of this.
scribed in the tourist and comfortable.
American Jewish Archives he
When the Middle East subject comes up in the
brochures as the "watering
This glittering physical
retains for posterity the vital
Oval Office, President Reagan is expected to
place for the rich and paradise also has spiritual
records
of
American
and
world
make it clear that — contrary to whatever the
famous."
troubles. I was invited here
Jewish history.
Carter Administration might have secretly hinted
This is an elegant city of to address the Christian and
He is primarily the histo-
— the U.S. now considers the "initiative" to be
40,000 inhabitants, with Jewish leaders and found,
rian. Most of what is available
unhelpful and destructive of progress toward
plush resorts, lush exotic despite some notable excep-
as American Jewish history is
Palestinian autonomy.
plants, and pleasing tions, there was little effec-
the result of accumulations he
In furtherance of his policy to answer power
Spanish architecture of tive collaboration between
has supervised in the records _
with power, Mr. Reagan has quietly persuaded
MORDECAI KAPLAN
pink and beige stucco. It is the faith communities,
assembled in the archives in
Israel to accept the previously unacceptable —
Cincinnati.The score of books he has written on American called the "winter polo capi- especially with the large
the provision of F-15s to the Saudis that have the
tal of the world" and it is Fundamentalist churches.
history elevates him to leadership in this category.
capability of striking Tel Aviv. (Israel may be mis-
The most vital statistics, bigraphical information, the believed to have more mil-
Like other parts of South
taken to tolerate this added danger, but on such
development of American Jewry, the Colonial history and lionaires per capita than Florida, Boca Raton has
close security decisions it is difficult to instruct a
the eras that followed — the facts are the anthology of 200 any city in Florida, many of major concentrations -
grandmother on the sucking of eggs.)
years of American experience provided in large measure by them refugees from the Haitian refugees and n
In return for tacit acceptance of our arming the
hazards of New York.
rant workers who desper-
the labors of Jacob Rader Marcus.
Saudis, Israel will not only receive extra F-15s and
But the newspapers in ately need the care and help
At 85, he is alert to the cultural and academic needs of
other sophisticated weaponry to defend against
the American and world Jewries. At this age, already Boca Raton are filled with that religious leaders have
the untoward use of the U.S. arms supplied to the
glorified by a rich and creative life, he is working on two
controversy over a Sports been able to bring to rav-
Arabs, but the right to sell to Taiwan, Ecuador,
Illustrated article that de- aged Southeast Asian refu-
more books.
South Africa and other countries its Kfir jets and
Much more strength to a man of such immense crea- clares there is "trouble in gees.
other armaments produced in Israel with U.S.
this paradise." The article
If Christian and Jewish
tiveness!
components. Such foreign trade is needed to
deals with the growing leaders can be effective in
stabilize Israel's economy; still, the decision to
When Shylock Has Yiddish
threat to the environment relieving suffering
keep quiet reflects Israel's willingness to gamble
resulting from exploding thousands of miles over-
Accent and Eats Oysters
on Reagan's reliability.
Shylock is not a stranger anywhere. The anti-Semites building development of the seas, how come they can't
That reliability is on the line this week. If Mrs.
relish 'him. They have a term for "Jew" when they say formerly tranquil coastline. work together effectively at
Thatcher presses for Carrington's appeasement,
But there are also other home? Well, they made a
Mr. Reagan must push back; if she decides not to
"Shylock."
The evil character was even portrayed on the Yiddish kinds of troubles. The start recently, and if they
play Trilby to her Foreign Secretary's Svengali,
stage when the Yiddish theater was in its power. Some of Boca Raton police de- stay with it, they may still
the Anglo-American affiance and the free world
partment reports that be able to make something
the very great Yiddish actors knew how to define him.
will be stronger for it.
But the Shakespearean story remains evil, unless the crimes of burglary in- of a real human paradise of
That's how the characters line up. This is how Israel is
constantly needled. There is lots of advice for her. She needs history of the Jew in England in the time of Shakespeare creased more than 51 Boca Raton.
constantly

friends and when they arrive they are cherished. Perhaps
the American way, the sense of fair play will find its roots in
the negotiations the President conducts with the British
Prime Minister.

,

Trouble in Paradise: Florida
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