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September 06, 1985 - Image 26

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1985-09-06

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

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26 Friday, September 6, 1985 THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

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books are remarkably free of
technical jargon and cliches,
and are enlivened by frequent
vignettes about pivotal per-
sonalities.
One gem of a profile in A
Certian People is of Irving
Shapiro, the former (and first
Jewish) chairman of Du Pont:

Part of the charm of this unas-
suming, Yiddish-speaking son
of a Lithuanian-born pants
presser is that he was not will-
ing to join every club that
wanted to make him welcome.
When the most socially
prestigious (and most re-
stricted) country club in Wil-
mington asked the new chair-
man of Du Pont to become its
first Jewish member, he turned
them down. 'I told them it just
would not be comfortable for
my wife and me to socialize
there,' Shapiro told (Silber-
man). it never occurred to
them that I might say no,'
Shapiro said with a smile.

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Silberman tells how Shapiro
had earlier invited his
superiors at Du Pont to his
son's bar mitzvah. "I never
realized there were rabbis who
did not have beards," several
executives told him. Silberman
completes his admiring profile
of Shapiro by reporting on his
service as both president and
campaign chairman of the
Jewish Federation of Dela-
ware, president of the local
Jewish home for the aged and
a trustee of the Jewish com-
munity center.
Shapiro "has been 'a Jew in
the streets' as well as at
home," an important point for
Silberman, who makes much of
younger Jews' willingness to
publicly identify as Jews now-
adays, in contrast with the
timidity of earlier generations.
He marvels over the comfort
with their Jewishness which
he sees manifested regularly in
the behavior of his own sons
and their friends.
[The Silberman progeny were
very much on their father's
mind as he wrote his book. The
dedication is to his first grand-
son, Matthew Josef Silberman,
the first member sd - the fifth
generaton of Silbermans in
America. An added inscription,
"Behold, our children are our
guarantors," further attests to
Silberman's satisfaction, by
and large, with the youthful
generation of American Jew's.]
The Shapiro stories are espe-
cially warm and flattering.
Similarly admiring sketches
appear in the book about other
business leaders such as
Gerald Greenwald, vice chair-
man and heir-apparent to Lee
Iococca at Chrysler, and Re-
uben Mark, chairman and
chief executive officer of
Colgate-Palmolive , Company.
Successful Jewish lawyers,
university presidents, intellec-
tuals, journalists and religious
leaders also people Silberman's
lively pages, as do some
non-Jewish per-
sonalities
Some readers may think Sil-
bermaii is too easy or the Rev-
erend Bailey Smith, the fun-

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