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August 01, 1986 - Image 30

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1986-08-01

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

PURELY COMMENTARY

Harvard's Glory At Age 350

Continued from Page 2

the achievements of distinguished
Jews.
6. Enrollment of Jews in the
university should be limited to 15
percent and he resented Jewish
protests which seemed to interfere
with carrying this program
_ _ into
effect-at that time.
7. Judaism and Americanism
are mutually exclusive, Dr. Lowell
claimed.
When this program of an emi-
nent college professor is examined
20 years later in the light of what
now appears to be false prophecy,
we are compelled nevertheless to
recognize therein a condition
which is to this date part of the
unwritten numerus clausus that is
in force in numerous colleges and
universities in this country.
If there are those who today
will resent the unearthing of this
incident involving a man who had
passed away only a few weeks ago
let them recall the fact that
President Lowell was among the
leading Massachusett's citizens
who opposed the appointment of
Louis D. Brandeis to the United
States Supreme Court. To Lowell
is attributed the story of the
recommendation of an able
Jewish lawyer for appointment to
the faculty of the law school of
Harvard University of which Ros-
coe Pound was the dean and
under whom Felix Frankfurter
served as professor. When Lowell
learned that the person recom-
mended was a Jew he asserted,
"one frankfurter to the pound is
sufficient."
An incident has just taken
place at the University of Michi-

-

gan which unfortunately proves
that even today we have on the fa-
culty of some universities men
who harbor grudges and nourish
on prejudices. It is charged that a
Jewish candidate for the editor-
ship of the University of Michigan
Datty-w trlb i fuoo.i the appointment
because he is a Jew. The Univer-
sity of Michigan Daily, let it be re-
corded to the credit of its
courageous editors, carried the
following editorial in its issue of
Jan. 16, 1943: "BOARD CRIP-
PLES MICHIGAN DAILY."
"We always believed that hard
work, initiative and competence
were the criteria for promotion on
the Michigan Daily and that your
student newspaper, in the best
interests of the university, was to
be run for and by the students.
"Yesterday a faculty-
dominated Board in Control
showed us once again that this is
not true.
"They refused to appoint to a
senior position one of the most de-
serving applicants on the staff.
They refused to appoint a student
whose work both in quality and
quantity led that of other junior
night editors, and who was voted
in the top range by the staff he
would have had to work with.
"He was NOT appointed be-
cause he believed in telling the
truth, because he believed that the
Daily should be an active, con-
structive student newspaper un-
hampered by the whims of indi-
vidual board members, and, we
believe, because of his religion.
"The fact that Leon Gor-
denker did not receive an ap-

pointment is not all-important.
The reasons why he did not, the
haphazard manner in which the
board investigated the applicants
and the general attitude of the
board throughout the past year
ARE important.
"The only time some of the
beonauridnemini
g
erbeesrts in h
e m
the
w as
when they were, through one
means or another, attempting to
stifle the student thought ex-
pressed therein. Representing a
university which is supposed to
train young people to take their
place in a democracy, board
members have time and time
again shown that they are afraid
to let students think for them-
selves. On every local controver-
sial issue — and many national —
which the Daily has discussed in
its editorial or news columns, the
students have had to fight for the
right to reveal facts and express
opinions.
That the board's interest has
centered in this side of the Daily
alone is evident from the fact that
only two of them, to our knowl-
edge, have made an effort to
understand the organization of
the paper in which they are sup-
posed to have so great a responsi-
bility. The others have shown such
little interest that even yesterday,
when faced with the important job
of choosing the next editors of the
Daily, three of them did not exam-
ine the scrapbooks which con-
tained the year's work of the
applicants.
"One question asked of Gor-
denker in a pre-appointment

Louis Brandeis

interview, illustrates how little
some members of the board know
about the Dailyx:
"The questioner wanted to
know why, when Gordenker was
night editor of a certain issue, he
let an "objectionable" editorial
appear. After a year and a half on
the board, the member should
have known that the night editor
has absolutely no control over
what editorial appears in the
Daily;. The choice of editorials is

,

Religious Diversions

Continued from Page 2

tian, and Islamic traditions, his-
tory, and beliefs.
• To foster learning and
understanding, sharing and listen-
ing, trust and respect for dif-
ferences, and dispel stereotypes
about these major Abrahamic
faiths and their respective tradi-
tions.
The Greater Detroit Interfaith
Round Table is not the voice of
any particular religious group. We
seek to bring together persons wih
varying religious commitments as
peers in meaningful dialog.

The Greater Detroit Interfaith
Round Table is the local chapter
of the National Conference of
Christians and Jews. The goal of
our work is to build brotherhood
locally and nationwide by
strengthening interreligious and
interracial understanding and
cooperation.

In effect, this marks the end of a con-
flict. It anticipated Good Will among all
faiths. It introduces an aim for genuine
unity among citizens.
Now comes the contrast, created by
an unfortunate occurrence in the Ameri-
can Jewish community. An agency that
operated since World War I, for 69 years,
was shattered recently because a woman
who had trained as a rabbi had been
posted to active duty as a naval chaplain.
This is a result of the increasing tensions
that have been introduced in Jewish

30

Friday, August 1, 1986

ranks and appear to threaten even more
serious rifts.
To fully appreciate the complete as-
pect of the latest unity-shattering occur-
rence, it is best to quote the explanatory
report in the New York Times published
when the Commission on Jewish Chap-
laincy of the JWB was destroyed. The
NYTimes reporter, Ari L. Goldman, thus
gave an account of the occurrence:

The Jewish commission that
has approved rabbis as chap-
lains for the United States armed
forces since World War I broke
up yesterday over whether a
rabbi who is a woman can serve
as a military chaplain.

The breakup came when the
nation's major Orthodox rabbin-
ical group, the Rabbinical Coun-
cil of America, announced that it
was withdrawing from the 69-
year-old Commission on Jewish
Chaplaincy of the JWB because
Reform Judaism independently
approved a woman as a Navy
chaplain.

The woman, Rabbi Julie
Schwartz, 26 years old, of Cin-
cinnati, will be the first woman to
serve as an active duty Jewish
chaplain.
The breakup of the commis-
sion, which was composed of Or-
thodox, Conservative and Re-
form rabbis, reflects larger ten-
sion within the overall Jewish

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

community over such issues as
whether women can serve as
rabbis and whether Jewish
lineage flows from the father as
well as the mother.
The commission operated
under a voluntary arrangement
with the military, reviewing and
then recommending chaplain
candidates. In its absence, the
individual rabbinical bodies will
make their own recom-
mendations. The breakup does
not affect the many other educa-
tional and social service activi-
ties of the JWB, which was prev-
iously called the Jewish Welfare
Board.
The Orthodox announce-
ment was made by Rabbi Louis
Bernstein at the 50th convention
of the Rabbinical Council in Bal-
timore. "When they endorsed a
woman," Rabbi Bernstein said of
the Reform rabbinate, "we said:
`That's it. The commission on
Jewish Chaplaincy of the JWB is
finished.' "
In a telephone interview,
Rabbi Bernstein said he was
given unanimous support for the
withdrawal action by the 200
rabbis gathered for the conven-
tion. "We do not want to splinter
the Jewish community any
further than it is," he said. "But it
is quite clear that this was im- .
posed on us and left us with little

choice. Orthodox Judaism can-
not accept women rabbis."
The Orthodox believe that
men and women have different
religious roles. While most family
religious obligations fall on the
women, communal respon-
sibilities such as prayer and legal
representation in conversion,
marriage and divorce are the
man's domain. As a result, they
argue, women cannot serve as
rabbis.

The mere equating of the two de-
velopments could anticipate condemna-
tions. Yet the painful question remains
why Jews and Christians can extend a
friendly hand to Moslems, and Jews
cannot similarly embrace and assure the
unity that is so vital in life.
Orthodoxy need not and will not
yield on the question of women being
welcomed as rabbis and the patrilineal
commitment having become a Reform
Jewish commitment, with many Conser-
vatives having begun to endorse it. But
why deny the Orthodox rabbis the right
to serve as U.S. military chaplains?
Can't there always be a measure of coop-
eration among all Jews? Must the shock-
ingly regrettable events in Israel which
have become endorsements of violence
be initiated in this country?
Whatever the condemnations of the
suggested equation involving peoples of
all faiths, anything that leads to de-
humanizing relations among people and
destroying unity is shameful.

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