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May 04, 1984 - Image 17

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1984-05-04

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

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

Friday, May 4, 1984

17

■ 111•1 ■

NOW AT

first. Therefore, the lessons of the
Holocaust are very simple:
"If you think it's coming, don't
run around giving lectures at univer-
sities about it. If you really think the
Holocaust is coming, go to Israel and
fight the last fight where you can ac-
tually fight it with guns. You can't
mount the Warsaw Ghetto in South-
field.
"If, however, you don't believe
that American society is quite that
..then you have a stake in keeping
moderate, revisionist and
inclusive, so that no major element in
American society gets sufficiently
angry to feel dispossessed and take to
the streets. Because if any major
element in America feels sufficiently

--E,‘F,Fiegss

angry, you aren't going to repress it
by calling the cops. There just aren't
enough cops.

I ONE HOUR PHOTO

"Early warning systems? There
are no such animals. I believe that all
of the so-called normal lessons from
the Holocaust are for the birds.
Nazism isn't going to appear in
America, if it ever does, with a guy
who looks suspiciously like Hitler
and other guys wearing, if not brown
shirts, green shirts. It's going to ap-
pear in a differnt guise.

)

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Florida U. professor out front
on Jewish issues. and Israel

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BY GIL SEDAN

Miami (JTA) — One usu-
ally does not look for adven-
ture in the background of a
university dean. That's
usually saved for novelists.
But Dr. Ralph Lowens-
tein, dean of the College of
Journalism and Communi-
cations at the University of
Florida, is a novelist — and
one of the few Americans to
have served as a combat
soldier in Israel's War of In-
dependence 36 years ago.
His students would find it
hard to believe. The dean of
one of the largest schools of
journalism in the United
States looks 10 years
younger than his 54 years.
And a lot of wars have
passed by the boards since
1948. However, Lowenstein
has always been on a fast
track. At the age of 24, he
was the holder of two uni-
versity degrees and a vete-
ran of two armies during
two wars. After service in
Israel, he also served in the
U.S. Army during the Ko-
rean War.
A native of Danville, Va.,
Lowenstein joined the Is-
raeli army in Paris after his
freshman year at Columbia
University. At 18, he was
the youngest American in
the army when he arrived
on a DP ship from Marseil-
les in July 1948. Ten days
after arriving in Haifa and
being smuggled ashore past
U.S. obserVers, Lowenstein
went into combat with the
79th Armored Regiment as
lf-track driver.
entral to whatever I am
or will be," Lowerstein says,
"is that Israeli experience.
As a very young man, I had
the opportunity to put my
life on the line for an ideal I
believed in deeply. Nothing
else in life could ever be
more challenging."
He adds: "I never really
considered that I had done a
lot for Israel. Rather, Israel
had done a lot for me. Israel
had given me a feeling of
worth, and a feeling
of con-
-

Ot

fidence. These were to stay
with me the rest of my life."
Lowenstein returned to
the United States in 1949,
graduated with his Colum-
bia class by going to school
in the summers, and then
received a master's degree
from the Graduate School of
Journalism at Columbia
University. He was later to
get a Ph.D. in journalism
from the University of Mis-
souri.
After working as a re-
porter in Virginia and
Texas, he became a jour-
nalism professor at the
University of Texas at El
Paso. Later he was on the
faculty at the University of
Missouri, and was a visiting
professor at Tel Aviv Uni-
versity from,1967 to 1968.
He has been dean at the
Florida university for the
past eight years.
- Lowenstein still has those
old feelings of worth and
confidence. His students
have won the National In-
tercollegiate Writing
Championship for six con-
secutive years, and his col-
lege was recently voted one
of the seven best journalism
schools in the nation by the
Associated Press Managing
Editors.
Unlike many Jewish fa-
culty members, Lowenstein
has a strong Jewish iden-
tity. He is adviser to the
Jewish Student Union at
the university of Florida,
and for many years was
chairman of the faculty
advisory committee for the
school's Center for Jewish
Studies. He serves on the
state Anti-Defamation
League of B'nai B'rith, and
received the State of Israel's
30th Anniversary Medal for
his leadership in the United
Jewish Appeal.
If someone is needed to
step forward and demand
that Jewish students be
permitted absences on the
Jewish holidays, it is likely
to b9 Lowenstein. If there is

a hostile anti-Israel letter in
the newspaper, it is usually
Lowenstein who writes the
answer. If one needs a
classroom lecture on Israel,
or a person to debate a pro-
Arab speaker, again it's
going to be Lowenstein.
"There are 236 million
Americans out there fight-
ing for their own interests,"
Lowenstein says. "Very few
of them care about Israel. If
they did, the six million
Jews in this country would
not have to be so single-
minded about Israel. But
since they aren't, we are —
and I need make no excuses
for it. The survival of Israel
is more important to me
than any other issue on the
American political scene."
Lowenstein's two chil-
dren attended Israeli public
schools during his year as a
visiting professor in Israel,
and his daughter later
attended the Hebrew Uni-
versity. Both children are
now married and are attor-
neys in Miami.
His wife, Bronia, is also a
"small-town" Jew. Hers was
the only Jewish family in a
town of 200 persons in New
Mexico. Bronia has been a
Hadassah leader in the
three cities in which the
Lowensteins have lived.
Lowenstein wrote a novel
in 1966 loosely based on his
experience as a soldier for
Israel. Entitled "Bring My
Sons From Far," it later
went into two paperback
editions entitled "A Time of
War."

Yeshiva U. law
center planned

New York — A grant
from the United Hospital
Fund of New York has been
awarded to Yeshiva Uni-
versity's Benjamin N. Car-
dozo School of Law to plan a
Center for Law and Health
Policy.

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