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March 07, 1986 - Image 2

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1986-03-07

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

- 2

Friday, March 7, 1986

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

PURELY COMMENTARY

PHILIP SLOMOVITZ

A Jacob Rader Marcus Day On The Jewish Calendar

Had there been a trend to set a
specific day on the Jewish calendar in
recognition of a distinguished personal-
ity — as in the American way in the
names of George Washington, Abraham
Lincoln, Christopher Columbus and Mar-
tin Luther King — such a candidate is
now on the scene and he defies competi-
tion.
Jacob Rader Marcus, who reached
his 90th birthday on March 5, is the
creative leader in important fields of
Jewish endeavor. He has certainly led
the way as an archivist and in that role
he has inspired contemporaries in all
faiths and certainly in the Jewish re-
search functions. Thanks to his directo-
rial genius in the American Jewish Arc-
hives, similar gifts are made by the
American Jewish Historical Society and
on the local scenes in archival thrusts at
Temple Beth El and Shaarey Zedek.
This is only one facet of the "Jake"
Marcus role as a creative personality, as
researcher and teacher, as author and
lecturer.
The records of American Jewish his-
tory would be incomplete and inadequate
had it not been for the numerous books
produced by Dr. Marcus. His forthcoming
four-volume record of American Jewish
history, soon to be published, already
indicates, in the advance information of
the result of his efforts in the 90th year
of his life, how a student can share the
results of his endeavors with the genera-
tions.
The communities of America already
had a taste of the historic morsels he has
been providing through the years. Few
lecturers have the comparative. attrac-
tions of being welcomed to audiences in
scores of areas .for a sharing with him of
the knowledge he imparts about Ameri-
can Jewry. He is the man who imparts
knowledge, often extemporaneously,
speaking an hour or more without notes,
because he is the best informed on the
subjects so vital for a knowledge of the
history of American Jewry and because
his age never hampered his eloquence.
He is always a delight, here and
elsewhere, when he arises to teach even
the largest audiences and the facts
are always fascinatingly bathed in
humor.
In the fascination of Personality
Marcus there is such a multiplicity of
characterizations that the admirers are
provided with knowledge, anecdotal
charm, appreciation of a native Ameri-
can's growth into spiritUal-cultural
domination.
Annually Jake Marcus prepares for
American Jewish readers a list of the
current year's anniversaries. This year's
sharing of such knowledge has special
significance. It deals with people, events
and seminaries.
. In a period in the history of this
country when organized labor confronts

a challenge to its successful continuity,
Dr. Marcus' reminds that "the American
Federation of Labor was established by
Samuel Gompers, a Jew, Dec. 8, 1886."
This will surely inspire many articles
about the AFL and Gompers.
Dr. Marcus lists major theological
movements that have anniversaries this
year:
"The founding of the Jewish
Theological Seminary Association, in
1886. (The Seminary opened in 1887)."
"Etz Chaim, an East European
Jewish Parochial School and Talmudic
Academy, was established in New York
City in 1897 and later it became part of
the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological
Seminary."
Included in the Marcus list is this
note about a famous leader: Death of
Richard James Horatio Gottheil, May 22,
1936, Semitic scholar and Orientalist,
who founded the first National American
Zionist Society and Zeta Beta Tau"
Fraternity." There is much to be said
about him as the first president of the
Zionist Organization of America and
what was for many years the leading
American Jewish university fraternity.
Interestingly, Zeta Beta Tau was very
anti-Zionist, in spite of the Zionist lead-
ership of its founder.
The Hasmonean initials of Zeta
Beta Tau remain in the Hebrew title
given the national fraternity by Prof.
Gottheil, "Zion (Tzion) b'mishpat
Tipode," — Zion shall be redeemed with
justice." (Isaiah 1:27)
Isaiah devotees must have hoped
that Prof. Gotheil would utilize the com-
plete 1:27 sentence in his ZBT designa-
tion: "Tzion bimishpat tipode v'shaveha
b'tzedaka" — "Zion shall be redeemed
with justice, and they that return of her,
with righteousness."
It stands to reason that the Marcus
list includes as a must the 100th an-
niversary of the Statue of Liberty. Much
is being written about it and more will
come about Emma Lazarus whose poem
made it even more famous.
Noteworthy in the Marcus list is the
recording of the anniversary of the death
of Ossip Gabrilowitch, Nov. 14, 1936. As
conductor of the Detroit Symphony Or-
chestra, Gabrilowitch gained recognition
as concert pianist and orchestra conduc-
tor. He.became deeply involved in behalf
of the then Palestine Symphony Or-
chestra. Born in Russia, in 1878, in an
assimilated family, he soon became a
dedicated supporter of the Zionist cause,
an advocate of movement for the revival
of the Hebrew language, a supporter of
the Jewish National Fund. He was the
son-in-law of Mark Twain and
encouraged his wife Clara Clemens in
her career as a concert singer. A great
deal will surely be written about him in
the year ahead.

Marcus' 'Ten Greatest'

As an appendix to his list of important 1986 Jewish anniversaries, Jacob
Marcus selected the following as the "Ten Jews Who Influenced World History":
Moses
Jesus
David Ricardo, the economist
Karl Marx
Sigmund Freud
Albert Einstein
Selman A. Waksman: streptomycin
Albert Sabin: polio vaccine
Jonas Salk: polio vaccine
Gregory Pincus: the pill

Jacob Rader Marcus

Included in the Marcus list are these
anniversaries:
1786
Tw0 Hundred Years Ago

Aaron Levy founded Aaronsburg,
Pennsylvania, October 4, 1786,
the first American settlement es-
tablished by a Jew.
1836
One Hundred and Fifty Years
Ago
Texas declared itself independent
of Mexico, March 2, 1836. Jews
were active in the establishment
of the new territory.
Birth of Simon Wolf, American
communal worker and Washing-
ton lobbyist, October 28, 1836.

1886
One Hundred Years Ago
Death of David Levy Yulee,
lawyer, railroad promoter, and
Florida politician, October 10,
1886. He served as United States
Senator from Florida in 1845, the
first Jew in the Senate. He
evinced no Jewish interests.
Death of Dr. Charles H. Lieber-
mannjtussian Jewish physician,
who attended President Lincoln
on his deathbed.
Morris Rosenfeld, notable Yid-
dish poet, settled finally in
America in New York City in
1886.

1936
Fifty Years Ago
Death of Peter Wiernik, February
13, 1936, Russian-born journalist
and American historian, chief
editor of the New York Yiddish

Morning Journal.

Death of Moses Zebulun Mar-
golies, August 26, 1936, distin-
guished Russian-born Orthodox
rabbi, a founder of the Union of
Orthodox Rabbis of America and
Canada.
Death of Isaac Max Rubinow,
physician, social worker, eco-
nomic statistician, September 1,
1936. He was a pioneer in the So-
cial' Security Movement.
The assembling of such data is
exemplary in the literary labors of
"Jake" Marcus. He is the superb fact-
finder as his approaching four-volume
historical record will surely prove. He is
the great fact-finder and there is great
dependence on his knowledge. As ad-
ministrator of the American Jewish Arc-
hives, with Dr. Abraham Peck as his
very able associate, he does not interrupt
rendering great service to Jewry and
America. His 90th birthday is occasion
for celebration, with cheers and salutes
to him by Jews everywhere.

Activism Of Youth
As 'Champions
Of Our People '

In the column dealing with the
anti-Semitic trends everywhere, with
emphasis on Russia and the Arabs
("Anti-Semitism and the 'Joke' From
USSR," Purely Commentary, Feb. 14), a
letter from Michigan Daily (University
of Michigan publication) by Eric Siegal
was utilized for a refutation of Arab con-
tentions they would not be anti-Semitic
because they were Semites themselves.
Siegal showed the fallacy of such a de-

fense. In a matter of days, this commen-
tator received a letter from Eric's mother

Continued on Page 18

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