Yiddish at Highest Uni. versity Levels in Israel
Hebrew U. Works on Dictionary, Holocaust
Bar-Ilan Has Comprehensive Yiddish Chair
JERUSALEM — The accounts of the demise of the Yiddish language are premature.
It is not dying and it is not dead," says Chone Shmeruk, professor of Yiddish at Hebrew
University. "It is alive and will live a long time, despite what the doomsters
The story of the Hebrew University's Department of Yiddish Studies is to a large
extent also the story of Chone Shmeruk. In 1951, when the university launched its first
course in Yiddish studies, Shmeruk was one of three stu-
dents in the department. Polish-born, he fled that country
on the eve of World War II and enlisted in the Russian
RAMAT GAN — Bar-Ilan University has inaugurated a chair in Yiddish language
and literature that will permit Bar-Ilan undergraduates and graduate students to
major in Yiddish for the first time. Six courses are being offered this academic year in the
initial program which will eventually include a projected total of 30 undergraduate and
graduate courses in language and literature. The program began with the official open-
ing of classes at the university Oct. 31.
It was not until 1949 that he was able to immigrate
to Israel. In 1953, Shmeruk was the only student to be
awarded a BA in Yiddish studies. By the end of the
1960s he was, as Prof. Shmeruk, appointed head of the
department, a post he held until 1980 (though he is
currently acting department head for one year). He
holds the Joseph and Ida Berman Chair in Yiddish.
Research on East European Jewry, the publication of
well-received books in Yiddish, and the compilation of a
major Yiddish-Hebrew dictionary are only a few of the
department's current projects.
The idea of a comprehensive Yiddish-Hebrew dictionary
dates back to the beginning of the century. But it is only
now, with the advanced means at the university's disposal,
(Continued on Page 6)
At a luncheon given by Bar-Ban University offi-
cials in New York last week, the chair's incumbent,
Prof. Gershon Winer, underscored the significance of
this academic innovation.
"The Rena Costa Chair in Yiddish Language and Lit-
erature at Bar-Ilan University will be the first Yiddish
chair in Israel to follow the pattern of other foreign lan-
guage departments in both American and Israeli univer-
sities," Dr. Winer said.
"At Bar-Ilan, Yiddish has now been placed on an equal
footing with English, French, Spanish, Russian, Arabic
and German and other foreign tongues. The courses will be
taught in the Yiddish language itself rather than in He-
Dr. Winer is a former professor at Brandeis University
and dean of the Herzlia Teachers Seminary in New York.
A highlight of the chair's activities, Prof. Winer
(Continued on Page 6)
on Road to
THE JEWISH NEWS
A Weekly Review
Commentary, Page 2
VOL. LXXXII, No. 11
of Jewish Events
Editorial, Page 4
The Jewish News Publishing Co.
17515 W. Nine Mile, Suite 865, Southfield, Mich. 48075 424-8833
$15 Per Year: This Issue 35c
November 12, 1982
Israel's Inquiry 'Open Book,'
'Blame' Exposed in Lebanon
Roman Entry Found
Near Damascus Gate
Public testimony by Prime Minister Menahem Begin and complete presentation of views on the
"massacre" and other events-during the Israeli presence in Lebanon, gave proof this week of the emphasis
on the "Open Book" image of Israel as a democracy, determined to continue the "morality" which had been
under attack in prejudiced quarters. -
The distortion of the "moralizing" effects of the Lebanese experiences was especially evident in a
report from Beirut to the New York Times by its correspondent, James Clarity, indicating that the
Christian Lebanese gdilt in the massacre was the major element under present consideration.
Clarity's extensive report summarizes the "shift" in what was hitherto total blame leveled at Israel in
these opening paragraphs of his cabled report:
, "Reluctantly, painfully and with a sense of guilt, more and more Lebanese, both Moslems and
Christians, are beginning to admit that Lebanese Phalangist militiamen were probably the
killers in the massacre at the Palestinian refugee camps in west Beirut in September.
"The official explanation of the government, given by President Amin Gemayel, is still that the
Phalangists had no role in the killings, that Israeli troops occupying the area around th_eSabra and Shatila.
camps were solely responsible for the deaths. —
"But the passage of time has opened some minds among the Lebanese :Stories about the Phalangist
involvement are beginning to spread quietly in living rooms. Local newspapers have been printing
accounts of the Israeli inquiry into the massacre, and these accounts repeatedly report the Phalangist role.
"A government investigation of the massacre is still underway, but its findings have not been made
(Continued on Page 5)
The recently unearthed Second Century Roman
gateway into Jerusalem, lower left, vies for attention
with the grand Damascus Gate, a major attraction of
Jerusalem's Old City since the reconstruction in the
16th Century by Suleiman the Magnificent. The
Roman entryway was one of three arches which com-
prised a triumphal entrance to the city built by Had-
PARIS (JTA) — Pope John Paul II has become the first
Pope to specifically renounce the Spanish Inquisition. Ad-
dressing scientists, academicians and cultural leaders- at
Madrid University last week, he conceded that the Catholic
Church had erred in its war on heretics which took the lives
of thousands of Jews and other non-conformists in 16th-
17th Century Spain and in other Catholic countries.
The Pope's remarks were much more to the point than
the general expression of regret for past religious persecu-
tions by Vatican Council II 20 years ago. He made them in
the course of praising Spain's contributions to world cul-
But, he observed, during times like the Inquisition, the
Church was guilty of "tensions, errors and excess" which it
views today "in the objective light of history."
(Continued on Page 8)
on platforms co-sponsored by
70 Detroit Social
and Religious Groups
make the annual
Jewish Book Fair
at the Jewish Center
a community festival.
Story, Page 11
Editorial, Page 4