Toronto (Mar. 2)
(By Our Toronto Correspondent)
Are the Jews in Canada to have their own school system or are they to continue enrolling their children as Protestants in the Protestant schools? This question has been engaging the attention of entire Canadian Jewry ever since the highest court in Canada decided recently that the Jews have a right to demand the establishment of a separate Jewish school system on the same principle as the Protestant and Catholic systems.
Now that the legal difficulties have been overcome the problem has resolved itself into this: will the Jews in those sections where the Jewish communities are sufficiently large to justify separate Jewish schools make use of their newly acquired privilege to demand such a system? At the present time there is a division of opinion in Canadian Jewry on this matter. There are some among the Jews who are displeased with the decision of the highest court and, now that the decision has been rendered, they still contend that the Jews should not demand their own school system.
An example of this sort of divided opinion occurred in Toronto last week when an audience of 500 Jewish citizens gathered in King Edward Hotel to listen to a debate between members of the Academy Club and the Menorah Society of the University of Toronto on the subject: “Resolved that there be established in Canada a Separate School system for the Jews.” All six speakers were Jewish university students; the chairman was L.M. Singer, president of the Canadian B’nai B’rith; and the judges were A. Cohen, Sol Kaufman and Dr. A. Brodey.
The speakers of the Academy Club, upholding the affirmative, did not ask for a nation-wide system since, they pointed out, education was purely a provincial matter in Canada and besides there are provinces with but a very few, and in some cases, no Jews.
They accordingly centered their attention upon Quebec as a logical place where to begin the experiment. With considerable research data, the speakers showed how separate schools has been the salvation of the Jewish religion throughout the centuries, and how the absence of distinctive academic training had resulted in many countries in the complete disappearance of the Jewish minority. They proved the demoralizing influence that was exerted upon the moral consciousness of the Jewish child when he came in contact with Gentile teachings in the public schools and found conflict between them and the precepts taught in his home.
The debaters for the negative claimed that segregation into Separate Schools would result in fostering misunderstanding and prejudice between Jew and Gentile. The educational system in Canada was an enlightened and purely secular one, they said, arguing that Jewish parents need have no fear for the effects of general training upon the Jewishness of their children. Evidence was submitted from the general press to illustrate the antagonism aroused among Protestants against the endeavors of Catholics to further their Separate School system, and a similar and even accentuated reception was foreseen for the proposed Jewish system.
The decision of the judges was unanimously in favor of the negative. But what is more interesting and significant perhaps is the fact that a vote taken at the conclusion of the debate showed the audience to be divided equally on the subject. It is feared by Jewish leaders that until the Jews are agreed among themselves the favorable decision of the Canadian court will remain a dead letter.
JOINT DISTRIBUTION COMMITTEE WILL SUPPLY MATZOS TO RUSSIAN JEWS
Instructions to draw upon the relief funds of the Joint Distribution Committee allocated for Russia to the fullest extent possible to supply matzos for the Jewish populations of Charkow, Ekaterinoslav, Kiev, Odessa, Homel, Moscow, Leningrad, Minsk, Krementchug and Poltava were cabled to Dr. Joseph A. Rosen, head of the Agrojoint in Moscow, it was announced by Joseph C. Hyman, executive secretary of the United Jewish Campaign.
Urgent pleas have been received by the Central Relief Committee from Jewish leaders in these districts where distress is so acute that there is hardly a household that has sufficient means to buy a supply of matzos for Passover.
Reports from every part of the country received at National Headquarters of the $15,000,000 United Jewish Campaign indicate that the Jews of America are thoroughly aroused to the need for prompt action in order to help the suffering Jews of Eastern Europe, the suffering masses in Poland, Galicia, Bessarabia and Russia, a statement issued at the headquarters of the United Jewish Campaign stated.
UNITED PALESTINE APPEAL REACHES $3,000,000 MARK
Three million dollars of the $5,000,000 United Palestine Appeal has been raised, according to the announcement of Dr. Stephen S. Wise, Chairman of the United Palestine Appeal.
Outstanding in the record-breaking results of the United Palestine Appeal is New York City, which has just passed the million dollar mark and which is now preparing for the last stages of its campaign to raise its $1,500,000 quota.
New York is typical of practically every other community throughout the United States. Not a city but has bettered all previous contributions to Palestine, while many communities have raised five and ten times more than in any previous year, a statement issued at the headquarters of the Appeal declared.