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February 10, 1989 - Image 38

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1989-02-10

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Call Me 'Dated'

Continued from Page 2

ten. She wrote many poems of deep
Jewish interest.
Lee A White had a special role. We
respected his insistence that the "A" be
without a period. He conducted classes
at the University of Michigan School of
Journalism and the Jewish Center and
was sort of an historian.
The daughter of Lee A White,
Virginia White, had an interesting
career for several years with the Jewish
Welfare Federation. She was publicity
director of the Federation and the
Allied Jewish Campaign and a mighty
good one with a deep understanding of
her duties.
The Detroit News reportorial staff
boasted of a dynamic personality in Ben
Wigder. Assigned to the "federal beat"
he covered most important government
cases and major occurrences which were
important nationwide and statewide for
more than two decades.
A journalistic product of the Univer-
sity of Wisconsin, his journalistic career
was a blessing for his newspaper and
this community. Ben covered many
Jewish communal events and was per-
sonally active in the Jewish National
Fund, the Zionist movement, and Tem-
ple Israel.
Mrs. Wigder was deeply devoted to
efforts of aid to the retarded and her
training as a social worker was valuable
to the movement. She was a leader in
organizing homes for the retarded on a
non-sectarian basis.
Wigder was a close associate of
James L. Devlin in the coverage of
federal news for the Detroit News.
Devlin also had many assignments
relating to Jewish interests and he
covered the several important public
assemblies that were addressed here by
Chaim Weizmann in pre-Israel Zionist
Schermerhorn owned and managed
before it became a Hearst newspaper.
Schermerhorn Senior was a Prohibi-
tionist. His son, James Jr., loved his
drink. He often came to Detroit with me
from Ann Arbor on the Interurban
Trolley. We were both on the Michigan
Daily editorial staff. He always had Sen-
Sen with him to dilute possible beer or
liquor odor upon meeting with his dad.
Both were unprejudiced newspapermen,
I remember them with delight.
From the Detroit Free Press I
secured a very able staff member for
The Detroit Jewish News. In the years
when my staff was very limited — often
not more than two — I needed a city
editor. Robert Clifton, who was assis-
tant church editor of the Free Press,
became my chief assistant. Bob was a
great perfectionist. He never permitted
deviation from fact and perfect grath-
mar. Because he was not Jewish he had
a particular adaptation because he
studied and became knowledgeable, as
he had already done in applying to his
Free Press duties.
Bob's association with me for three
years proved my knack of having been
able borrow talent from the available
While the late Paul Masserman was
not a permanent member of The Jewish
News staff, he was a frequent con-
tributor. After a successful career with
the Detroit Times he became the PR man



for the Jewish National Fund and for
Israel Bonds. I counted him as an
associate in many respects, especially
in the fame he earned as a co-author of
a History of the Jews of America. It has
been out of print for more than 20 years.
A Detroit Times man who had an
important Jewish News assignment
was Victor Packman. He was greatly
respected on his newspaper's copy desk.
He filled in for me when with the
limited help I employed, he served as
part-time- city editor. He filled in in that
capacity when I covered the Eichmann
trial in Israel. In two or three hours on
an afternoon off from the Times, Vic
was able to prepare two days' copy. He
was the fastest copy desk man I had
ever met.
Vic was very loyal and a friend.
That's how all my associates emerged
in their tasks with me.
It is very clear that I always had a
very close association with my jour-
nalistic conferers and their newspapers.
These are the intimate recollec-
tions. The list may be inexhaustible. Ad-
ditions are available from many who
were campus correspondents for the
Detroit newspapers. One who is un-
forgettable is Prof. Lawrence Seltzer
who represented the Free Press as
University of Michigan reporter. I
always tell him, as we now reminisce
together, that he would have made as
brilliant a journalist as he was the
economist and university professor.
The two Detroit newspapers are
merging, but none will dissociate from
me and our community.


Continued from Page 2

strayed for a time into the adver-
tising field. In later years he
specialized in business writing,
also contributing to the national
magazines. For nearly 10 years
he was associated with H.M.
Nimmo on the Detroit Saturday

Accuracy and reliability
were the watch-words by which
he steered his journalistic
course. When Nathan quoted a
man, it could be depended upon
that the quotation was correct.
He had the reputation of never
violating a confidence. As a
result, for many years he was a
confidant and close associate of
many prominent Detroit
businessmen. In recent years
many of his business articles
have been printed in pamphlet
form and given wide distribu-
tion. Also he has handled a
number of large financial and
realty advertising campaigns.
On Sept. 15, 1919, Mr. Nathan
became executive secretary of
the Detroit Stock Exchange, and
proceeded to reorganize the in-
stitution and lay the foundation
for the present prestige of the
exchange and for the public con-
fidence in which it is held. He
still occupies the secretaryship
of the organization.
Mr. Nathan is active in com-
munity affairs in many direc-

tions, having headed young
men's welfare organizations,
served on church boards, war
relief organizations, etc. He is at
present a member of the board
of the United Jewish Charities,
one of the organizers of Clover
Hill Park Cemetery and an of-
ficer of the Men's Club of Tem-
ple Beth El. During the war he
served in Liberty Loan cam-
paigns on the publicity commit-
tees, writing several page adver-
tisements on Liberty bond in-
vestment. Within the last year or
so he served a term on the board
of the Better Business Bureau.
As a public speaker, Mr.
Nathan has achieved con-
siderable reputation in Detroit,
being in demand by lodges,
clubs, public school classes and
even by churches of various
He has always gone on the
theory that "the more a man has
to do and is willing to do, the
more he can accomplish?' Thus
it is not surprising that he has
been involved in so many ac-
tivities of a public nature.
Mr. Nathan's hobbies are
baseball and golf. He is a
member of the Redford Country
Club (now the Franklin Hills
Country Club), and being also a
member of the hay-fever frater-
nity, golfs away the hay-fever
season in the White Mountains.
He was married on Oct. 2,
1907, to Miss Abbie Jeanette
Levey. They have one child,
Doris Ruth, a pupil at the Lig-
gett School since her
kindergarten days.

Tell Eminence
Of Israel Notables

Biographies are vital to the
knowledge and understanding of
events affecting us — the memories of
the past, the present as it may affect
the future.
Biographical literature con-
tributes informatively to the assembl-
ing of knowledge assuring understan-
ding of the events that result in
historical analyses. Evidencing it is
the publication almost simultaneous-
ly of the life stories of three of the best
known Israeli leaders — Jerusalem
Mayor Teddy Kollek and two Prime
Ministers, David Ben-Gurion and
Golda Meir. Their stories are sup-
plemented- by scores of sketches ap-
pearing in many publications.
In all instances, biography
develops onto the experiences of
events that occurred in Israel and the
supplementary happenings that in-
fluenced the state-building before the
emergence of Israel and the many
that developed in statehood.
In the history of Israel's struggles
to assure a cooperative spirit among
all faiths while protecting the
sovereignty of the Jewish state,

Jerusalem Mayor Teddy Kollek will
have established a record more color-
ful thin that of any other of his con-
temporaries. He continues to struggle
for a difficult-to-attain task. Yet he
carried on with courage, never sub-
mitting to collapse, yet always seek-
ing an accord to attain a workable
community spirit. In Teddy Kollek —
Mayor of Jerusalem (Bessie/Harper
and Row), Naomi Shepherd portrays
a tough personality who struggles to
confer with the most controversial fac-
tors in the Holy City of all faiths.
In every respect, Kollek still
meets with antagonism — Jews as
well as Christians. Yet, he pursues an
aim to establish the accord so vitally
The Kollek experiences include
endless threats of violence. The ultra-
Orthodox prove menacing. Arabs are
filled with venom. There are the an-
tagonisms from many religious
Confronted with them, the
courageous mayor has kept seeking a
way to establish a sense of realism,
searching for elimination of violence.
The able biographer has compil-
ed many instances of occurrences.
Overhearing threatened attacks on
Arabs by a couple of Orthodox Jews
he brought the group to his office,
pleaded with them for hours, averted
one calamitous threat.
When Moshe Arens, then in
charge of the military in Israel, came
to Jerusalem with military police,
Kollek would not meet with them. It
was his way of rejecting resort to force.
Such are among the many scores
of actions by a man of courage seek-
ing peaceful accord in the midst of a
threatened situation in the Holy City.
The Shepherd biography
describes Kollek as an "extraordinary
mayor." Her biography is extraor-
dinary. It is a vast field of research
with the studies of human conflicts,
religious disputes, sociological tests.
It is an emphasis on the courage of an
elected official with aims to create
tranquility yet being hampered by his
own kinfolk.

'Golda' As Master
Over Leadership
In Labor Zionism

Ralph G. Martin doesn't say so in
these few words in his Golda Meir —
The Romantic Years (Schribners) that -
she had the eminence of leading the
leaders in Labor Zionism. His
320-page biography of the famous
woman actually reveals such a role.
In The Romantic Years, Golda
Meir, who became one of the world's
most famous women by reaching in-
to the prime ministership of Israel, is
described in her dominant roles. As
an advocate of the Poale Zion prin-
ciples, as a pleader for the Zionist
cause, as spokeswoman for Jewry at

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