for a Jewish state in Palestine. The 1947
U.N. plan to partition Palestine into a
Jewish state and an Arab state brought
some cheer among diaspora Jews, but
Slomovitz recognized the fragileness of
the proposal as Arab forces openly pre-
pared for war rather than co-existence.
In a Purely Commentary published
on May 14, 1948, Liberation Day in
Palestine, Slomovitz, feisty as ever on
behalf of his beloved Israel, looked for-
ward to "the end of Jewish statelessness','
but candidly outlined the myriad of
hurdles: British perfidy, an Arab attack,
impaired infrastructure, underfunded
government, Jew-hatred in the diaspora.
He even cited the U.S. government
playing "a shabby trick on justice and
fair play to make an about-face on the
"The defeat of the abortive trustee-
ship plan may be held against us, but we
should be ready to indicate that we have
saved the good name of America by
effecting a defeat for injustice," he wrote.
Slomovitz urged Detroit Jews to
celebrate the founding of Israel and
the Haganah freedom fighters at a May
16, 1948, rally at Central High School.
"Let us resolve that we shall continue
to fight for justice and decency — thus
upholding the highest principles of
Americanism," he wrote.
Jewish News readers responded, with
22,000 people turning out.
In 1998, on the 50th anniversary of
Israel's statehood, industrialist Max
Fisher, a titan of the Jewish world from
his vantage point in Detroit, told the
Jewish News: "People were very excited.
The founding of the state was very
important." Fisher would become found-
ing chair of the Jewish Agency for Israel
when its predecessor folded into the
government of the new state.
May you continue to inform, educate
and entertain us for 70 more.
THE OFFICERS &
BOARD OF DIRECTORS, STAFF,
RESIDENTS & FAMILIES
state. "We have had a share in the build-
ing of the prospering community that
has welcomed hundreds of thousands of
dispossessed and stateless fellow Jews,"
the by-then almost mythical figure in
Jewish journalism wrote in an editorial.
"It has been our privilege," he added,
"to be living witnesses of, and partici-
pants in, the historic task of facilitating
the treks toward liberty by escapees
from persecutions and of seeing the
emergence of a proud people, which
defies further threats to its existence."
His 1978 book Without Malice:
Selections from the Writings of Philip
Slomovitz (Wayne State University Press,
Detroit) opens with "My Credo, Without
Malice." In it, he discussed how "I do not
`hate' Arabs" but rather "deplore their
enmity and the failure to grant Israel
the right to live." He affirmed, "Zionism
remains a major principle of my life."
Despite increasing local demands for
limited dollars allocated by Federation's
Annual Campaign, local feeling for Israel
remains strong as evidenced by involved
chapters of such diverse pro-Israel orga-
nizations as the Zionist Organization of
America, American Jewish Committee,
Jewish Community Relations Council
and Ameinu — and by a May 6, 2012,
turnout of 1,500 for the communitywide
March for Israel. And despite a falling
population, Jewish Detroit ranks high
among American Jewish communities
in sponsoring Israel missions at all age
Judge Avern Cohn of the U.S. District
Court in Detroit is a keen observer of
local Jewish history. He experienced
Slomovitz's affinity for Israel up dose in
the late 1950s while chairing a daylong
meeting of Jewish
National Fund boost-
ers at the Dexter-
Davison JCC in
Purely Commentary would become
Detroit. "The Jewish
Slomovitz's outlet for keeping
Yisrael, the State of Israel, and by exten-
in the same
sion world Jewry, on the Michigan
Jewish community's front burner.
Slomovitz was an early supporter of the
Jewish Telegraphic Agency to upgrade
Slomovitz's name buoyed fund-raising
the non-local content of Jewish newspa-
initiatives on behalf of the Technion-
pers. And he would go on to help found
Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa
the American Jewish Press Association
and Bar-Ilan University in Ramat Gan.
and the World Federation of Jewish
Beyond his embrace of Zionism,
cared deeply about Jewish
In 1961, Slomovitz went to Israel to
Detroit. He and his wife, Anna, helped
cover firsthand the sensational trial of
found JARC for developmentally
Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann, one
disabled people, including their son
of the Holocaust's major organizers.
In 1967, Slomovitz looked back on the Gabriel, and co-founded the Detroit
Jewish News' first 25 years. He recounted chapter of the National Conference of
Christians and Jews. He earned the
the paper's role as a watchdog, propo-
nent and fundraising force for the Jewish Jewish Federation of Metropolitan
70 is THE NEW 50
JEWISH 5ENIoR LIFE
46 June 14 • 2012
Love For Zion page 45
You have been the eyes and ears of
our Jewish community, recording the
events that have shaped our lives
these past 70 years.
Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
A Pi CI in