Friday, February 22, 1985
THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS
Learning the Lesson of Avoiding Guilt When Confronted with Relief Duties
Climaxing an anticipated additional
philanthropic triumph, as the annual
fund-raising tasks approach their peak, it
is well to apply the lessons of the past to the
present duties. For a number of years ac-
cusations have been hurled at Diaspora
Jewry that it failed to assert itself suffi-
ciently in efforts to rescue victims of
Nazism and that there was indifference
while the crematories were emitting the
stench of burning bodies.
There is a renewed challenge now in
behalf of another segment of Jewry, this
time a comparatively small one. Neverthe-
less it demands response. If there should
develop silence and failure to respond to
the obligation to help rescue Ethiopian
Jewry, the group that now resents being
called Falashas because it means stran-
gers, then there again will be the menace of
being charged with a sense of guilt. It must
be avoided and a people known as
Rahamanim bnai Rahamanim — the corn-
passionate children of a compassionate
people — will insure that the urgent needs
will not be ignored.
Lessons Of The Past
There are interesting lessons to be
learned from past experiences. These are
taught in large measure by the records
being compiled by this community. There
are intriguingly fascinating evidences of a
past when the appeals established prece-
dents for the present and when generosity
had unique measures for testing the
human identification and the responses by
generations less affluent than the present.
The invitation to the testing is pro-
vided here in reproductions of news stories
and editorials from the Detroit Jewish
Chronicle which became a part of the De-
troit Jewish News three decades ago. In the
Chronicle, which was published as an
eight-column newspaper, something that
was common at the time, there appeared,
on the first page of the issue of May 8, 1931,
three items: an appeal, editorially, by this
columnist who was then the Chronicle
editor; the main story announcing the Al-
lied Jewish Campaign in a three-column
head, and a report of endorsements of the
drive by Christians and Jews in a two-
The editorial is reproduced here, espe-
cially because it is as applicable today as it
was then, except that for Palestine, toward
the end, there should be substituted Israel.
The main story, dated May 8, 1931,
merits the special emphasis because of that
year's campaign goal. It was for $215,000.
Now, in a $21,000,000 budget, there are
ten contributors of more than $200,000
each. If those who add to their recorded
gifts what they gave to Project Renewal are
counted, the donors of $200,000 and more
are 12 in number.
It is the editorial appeal to which spe-
cial attention should be called, without
treating it as this columnist's "conceit." It
called for action with emphasis on the
needs. Apparently it was necessary to re-
sort to the emphasis expressed. There is
added proof of this judgment that this col-
umnist wishes to indicate. It was the plead-
ing and begging that became necessary in
behalf of the Zionist-inspired cause, the
urgency of creating a home for the home-
less, the historic obligation of redeeming
Now we go back another decade to re-
vive the earliest of the Zionist appeals.
The Keren Hayesod was established
as the Palestine Foundation Fund by Dr.
Chaim Weizmann during his visits to this
country, commencing with the 1920s. In
1922, the Keren Hayesod published a
small pamphlet of 89 pages, 2 1/2 inches
wide, 3 1 deep. It was entitled The Greatest
Romance in History: The Stonebreaker. It
was the story of a wanderer trekking his
way to the land of hope, Palestine, in order
to end his miseries under persecutions and
It was unsigned, but this writer had a
close affiliation with Keren Hayesod, its
creations and leadership, and he knew and
admired its author. The Greatest Romance
in History was written by the very promi-
nent author, Maurice Samuel, and this was
the concluding appeal in that pamphlet,
which could be called propaganda but was
in reality the outcry of the People Israel for
succor, for relief which depended on self-
Do Justice Unto Your Fellow-men!
BY PHILIP SLOMOVITZ
EDAKAH, the Hebrew word for charity, in literal translation as
well as in traditional interpretation really means justice. It is
the Jewish demand and command for righteousness, for the type
of benevolence which inspires a readjustment of the inequalities of life.
Zedakah, thus interpreted, makes charity a duty and a responsibility.
It makes the rich responsible to the poor, the well-to-do to the shelter-
less, the homeless, the helpless. This Jewish ethical code finds em-
phasis in the following sentence from the Mishna:
"He who prevents the poor from reaping the corners of the field or
the gleanings of the harvest, or in any way withholds that which has
been assigned them by the law of Moses, is a robber, for it is written:
`Remove not the old landmark, and enter not into the field of the
T NO TIME in the history of Jewish appeals for funds was the
cry for Zedakah as serious as it is today. Conditions have
arisen demanding justice for the poor, for the starving, for the
homeless, for the unemployed. Not charity, but justice demands for all
who have some possessions, no matter how little, a share in some great
and noble effort which will aid in relieving the trying conditions
created by the present depressing crisis.
At lease five thousand souls depend for sustenance upon the suc-
cess of the Detroit Allied Jewish Campaign. Some claim that double
this number are in want for bread and in need of shelter. Only hearts
that have turned to stone will dare to refuse the appeal for funds in
their behalf. The Emergency Relief Fund, the Jewish Old Folks Home,
the House of Shelter — these are the three dominating local causes
whose appeals should be sufficient to make the present drive a success.
But these relief causes are not the only ones on whose account the
Allied Jewish Campaign should prove a great triumph for the
Continued on page 6
help. Maurice Samuel's appeal as a conclu-
sion to The Greatest Romance in History:
Who Will Rebuild The
In America more than three
million Jews have found the free-
dom and prosperity denied their
brothers of Eastern Europe.
To their place of comfort and
security comes the trumpet call:
"The Jewish Homeland is to be re-
built. Who will rebuild it?"
Who will find the men and
women, the advance guard?
Who will 'find the means for
The young Jews of Europe are
ready to offer their lives.
Will you, the Jews of America
offer the means?
Thousands and tens of
thousands of pioneers are waiting.
They are waiting for the means
with which to reach Palestine. The
strongest of them have tramped
across half a continent. When they
reach the sea they must stop. From
the ports to Palestine money alone
can carry them.
And how shall they be received
Houses are needed to shelter
them. Schools are needed to take
care of their children. Ploughs are
needed, that they may till the soil.
Banks are needed, machinery is
needed, tools are needed, hospitals
And they have nothing — only
their bare hands and their uncon-
Who will build these schools
and houses for them, if not you,
Jews of America? Who will give
them ploughs and tools and
machinery, if not you?
Three-quarters of the Jewries
of Europe are in ruins. In all the
countries the war has left intact
there are not half as many Jews as
You alone, then, must prepare
the way for the pioneers. In your
hands lies the destiny of our
For it is now or never!
Either the Jewish State rises
now out of the ruins of the war, or it
will never rise. Either the Jewish
people is redeemed today, or its
exile is eternal.
Tens of thousands of young
Jews are ready to offer their lives
in an effort to end the long tragedy
of our people.
Will you offer the means?
Shall the greatest romance in
history close in darkness and fail-
ure,or in glorious success?
It is for you to say. It is for you
to write the last chapter with your
A dozen peoples groaning
under" the yoke of foreign rule
found their liberty with this war.
None of them suffered so long
as the Jewish people. None of them
have clung so desperately to the
hope of redemption.
And to the Jewish people lib-
erty is offered, too. But that liberty
must be paid for in human lives
and in gold.
Continued on Page 6
ALLIED JEWISH CAMPAIGN FOR $215,000 OPENS SUNDAY
NIGHT WITH DINNER AT HOTEL STATLER; GOV. BRUCKER
AND RABBI NATHAN KRASS TO BE PRINCIPAL SPEAKERS
Aaron DeRoy, Campaign Chairman, to Preside Over Illustrious Gathering Which Will
Include Outstanding Jewish Leaders and Many Distinguished
Non-Jewish State and City Public Officials.
EDDIE CANTOR AND DR. ALBERT EINSTEIN TO APPEAL FOR
CAUSES INCLUDED IN CAMPAIGN FROM THE TALKING SCREEN
Enthuiiasm Aroused for Drive Brings Co-Operation from Many Elements in Community,
Including Non-Jews; President Hoover Endorses J. D. C.; Detroit Drive
Endorsed by Jews and Non-Jews.
54 Years Ago
The record of philan-
thropic activities repro-
duced here from Page One
of the Detroit Jewish
Chronicle of May 8, 1931,
includes the editorial on
the left and the two main
headlines about that year's
Allied Jewish Campaign.
COMMUNAL LEADERS r
ENDORSE CAMPAIGN -1\
Non-Jews as Well as Jews Approve of Causes Represented
in Allied Drive; Governor Brucker and Mayor
Murphy Head List of Endorsers.