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September 09, 1983 - Image 93

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1983-09-09

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

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

A Very Happy and Healthy
New Year to All Our Friends
and Family

JERRY & ISADORA HELFMAN
& FAMILY

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May the coming year be
one filled with health,
happiness and
prosperity for all our
friends and family

MARION & MAX J. SCHAEFFER

To All Our
Relatives
and Friends,
Our wish for a
year filled with
happiness,
health and prosperity

SUSIE & JERRY GOLD,.
DAVID & STACY

To All Our
Relatives
and Friends,
Our wish for a
year filled with
happiness,
health and prosperity

MAX, LORRAINE, KAREN
& ROBERT GREEN

To All Our
Relatives
and Friends,
Our wish for a
year filled with
happiness,
health and prosperity

BERNICE & NATE SCHECTER

American Jewish Women Tells
Events of First Zionist Congress

By DR. DAVID GEFFEN

World Zionist Press Service

"Never will this day be
forgotten by those who were
fortunate to attend the
opening session of the first
Zionist Congress . . . Indeed
it was a wonderful day; its
significance will never dis-
appear from the annals of
the world's history, and it
opens a new page in Jewish
history of which posterity
may be proud .. .
"For it is the first time
since their loss of national-
ity that the Jews have made
a step to regain their inde-
pendence — their national-
ity. For the first time they
cease to be passive; they
have spoken today and the
words of Dr. Herzl and Max
Nordau will flash over the
wires and will be heard by
the nations."
With these stirring sen-
timents Rosa Sonnenschein
opened her on-the-spot
coverage of the Congress in
Basle. Attending-every ses-
sion, Mrs. Sonnenschein
captured the spirit of that
Congress for the 29,000
subscribers of her monthly,
The American Jewess:

A Zionist for many
years, evern before the
Congress, Rosa made it a
point to be in Europe in
the summer of 1897, and
then wrote to Herzl from
Carlsbad to ensure her
participation.

A fascinating personal-
ity, about whom too little is
known, Mrs. Sonnenschein
came to the United States
from Hungary. An experi-
enced reporter, she worked
from the Midwest, and won
a nationwide reputation.
Sensing the time was ripe
for a magazine for the
American Jewish woman,
she began publishing the
American Jewess in
Chicago in 1895 and kept it
alive for four years.

.

Mrs.
Sonnenschein
championed the Zionist
idea. Her husband, a Re-
form rabbi, was rabidly op-
posed to her position, but
she was a liberated woman
and wrote and spoke as she
thought.

Rosa saw her report of
the,Congress as a vehicle
for promoting Zionist in a
sector of American
Jewish life which was
basically opposed to it.
She reported many of the
details of the Congress,
which are not to be gen-
erally found in the
Anglo-Jewish press of
the time.

She not only reproduced
the highlights of Herzl's
opening speech, but also re-
printed Nordau's speech on
the "General Situation of
the Jews" in full.
She also reported on Dr.
Bodenheimer's suggestions
for the promulgating of the
Zionist idea via the press
and other informational de-
vises.
Quite important in Rosa's
mind was the impressiA
that she wanted to convey
— the cultured and respect-
able composition and image

of the Congress. "All ap-
peared in black frock coats
and white cravats," she
wrote, "the delegates as
well as the visitors. The as-
semblage resembled more
an English Parliament than
a Jewish Congress."

The second char-
acteristic was youth:
"The 182 delegates who
assembled at Music Hall
are mostly men between
30 and 40 years of age,
only a few delegates are
bent by years, but ...
they too are here to work
with fervor and
enthusiasm -for the
realization of a long
cherished dream."

She also tried to depict
the sense of urgency of the
Congress: "A plan was pro-
posed to make Hebrew
again a living language.
The enthusiasm became so
great that many in the Con-
gress seemed to imagine
that they were emigrating
directly from
Basle to Palestine."
At the beginning of her
report, Rosa stressed,
"without a word of prayer
the Congress opened its first
meeting" and "so far the
Congress has no religious
aspect." By the end of her
report, and of the Congress
itself, even Herzl realized
that the presence of a rabbi
was necessary.
"The closing scene of that
memorable convention
neared its end as the last
speaker, the rabbi of Basle,
mounted the platform. His
appearance was the signal
for cheers and applause;
when the audience had
quieted down, he told them
candidly that as yet he was
no4 deserving that
enthusiastic recognition;
that he had been an oppo-
nent to Zionism, and is as
yet not in perfect harmony
with the movement."

The rabbi was reported
as offering the declara-
tion which, hopefully, all
opponents would ulti-
mately utter: "In attend-
ing the three days' ses-
sion, he has spent hours
never to be forgotten,
that he as an Orthodox
rabbi, as well as his col-
leagues, had underrated
Zionism. But he now
realized the importance
of the movement, and has
lost the fear that Zionism
intends to abolish
Judaism."

Impressed as she was by
the Congress, Rosa could
not fail to point out to her
readers, "strange to say,
with this strong craving for
liberty and equality, the
Zionists began their pro-
ceedings by disenfranchis-
ing women."
Then she tried to put the
decision in perspective: "I
am sorry that I have to re-
late this fact . . . Some dele-
gates attending the Con-

No man can know himself
as he is, and all the fulness
of his nature, without also
knowing God.
—T. T. Munger

gress came from provinces
still adhering to antiquated
laws relating to women. It
was feared by the leaders of
the Congress that it might
disturb the feeling of that
element if women would be
admitted to vote . . . it re-
mains to be seen whether
this was wise policy."
Fortunately the dis-
enfranchisement vote did
not stop Herzl from placing
pictures of all the women
present on the official dele-
gates photograph.

Friday, September 9, 1983

May the coming

year be filled

with health and

happiness for

all our family

and friends

MARION & PHILIP SHLOM

Wishing all our family and
friends a year of
health and happiness

MR. & MRS. NORMAN ADELSBERG & SANDY

Wishing all our family and
friends a year of
health and happiness

Wishing all our family and
friends a year of
health and happiness

- A Very Happy and Healthy
New Year to All Our Friends
and Family

MICKEY, MAY & DEBBY SHORR

A Very Happy and Healthy
New Year to All Our Friends
and Family

SHIRLEY, NORMAN & ARTHUR SIEGAL

A Very Happy and Healthy
New Year to All Our Friends
and Family

JACK & SHIRLEY SONENBERG
& FAMILY

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