Czernowitz (Apr. 5)
(By Our Czernowitz Correspondent)
The harm done to Roumanian Jewry by the uninvited, unfair and unauthorized “investigation” of the Jewish situation, by the American Colonel Lytton Ament, has already made itself but too obvious. It is a bitter trick of historic irony that at the moment when the Jews of Roumania are undergoing the vilest humiliations and violations of their rights an American, coming from a country which to the rest of the world has been the symbol of tolerance and democracy, has appeared on the scene to whitewash the Roumanian government and the perpetrators of the excesses which have aroused the civilized world. The only consolation to the Roumanian Jews is the knowledge that Ament came here on no one’s authority but merely employed the occasion of his honeymoon for a base purpose.
The Roumanian government press has known how to make use of Colonel Ament’s “investigation.” The official press has published the Colonel’s statement, giving the results of his effort, in which he declares that the Jewish leaders, whom, as is known, he questioned in the presence of Roumanian officials, denied that atrocities had been committed against the Jews in Roumania, and said that they are perfectly content and have no complaint to make. There was only one exception. Ament declares, and that was Rabbi Zirelsohn, whom Ament describes merely as “a member of the Kishineff city council.” The “investigator” declares, in his statement appearing in the “Indreptarea,” “Universul” and other official organs:
“Rabbi Zirelsohn requested a secret conference with me, which, however, I refused. In fact, he had no special information to convey to me.”
How did Colonel Ament know that Rabbi Zirelsohn, the venerable and respected Jewish leader, had no special information? This is a new method of “investigating.” The “Ostjuedische Zeitung,” Jewish organ of Czernowitz, terms it “mental telepathy.”
But Col. Ament’s report as published in the Roumanian papers is not only unfair in its misrepresentation of the Jewish situation, it is actually replete with falsehoods and chief of them is the assertion that Rabbi Zirelsohn was the only Jewish leader who did not express complete satisfaction with everything. We now have a letter in the “Ostjuedische Zeitung,” of March 29, from Samuel Rosenhaupt, an attorney and member of the municipal council of Kishineff who was among the Jews questioned by Ament. Rosenhaupt protests against the misrepresentation of his statements by Ament and the Roumanian press, referring especially to the anti-Semitic papers “Cuvintul” and “Romania Noua.” Rosenhaupt declares: “In reply to Ament’s question whether pogroms took place in Bessarabia, I said that this term is somewhat exaggerated. It is absolutely false that I said persecutions never occurred in Roumania.
“How could I possibly say anything of the kind when we are witnesses almost daily of anti-Jewish excesses?
“My only assertion was that in Roumania there had been no ‘pogroms’ such as took place in Russia. I merely affirmed the truth that in 1922 attacks on the part of the students against the Jews began and, unfortunately, took on ever larger and larger proportions.”
Colonel Ament’s “investigation” has done its work. Can denials and explanations by the Jews undo the harm of his “report” broadcast by the Roumanian press and officials?
Former Assemblyman Joseph Siegler of Newark has been appointed judge of the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court of Essex County. The appointment was made by Governor Moore and was confirmed by the State Senate.
Judge Siegler is a member of the board of directors of the Newark Y. M. Y. W. H. A. He served in the Legislature in 1919 and 1920.
Rabbi Max D. Davidson, of Asbury Park, N. J., was appointed Grand Chaplain of Free Masons for the State of New Jersey. Rabbi Davidson, who is 28, is said to be the youngest officer of the Grand Lodge in 140 years.
Miss Katharine Elkus, a junior at Vassar College and daughter of Abram I. Elkus, former Ambassador to Turkey, has been elected Vice-President of Philaletheis, the Vassar Dramatic Society, for the year 1927-1928.
JEWISH COMMUNAL ACTIVITIES
By a vote of 611 to 12, the members of Emanu-El Congregation of the City of New York voted Monday night to approve the proposed consolidation with Temple Beth-El. The meeting was held at Temple Emanu-El, Fifth Avenue and Forty-third Street.
A meeting of the congregation of Temple Beth-El will be held tonight for the purpose of voting on the consolidation.
Louis Marshall, President of Emanu-El Congregation, explained that the consolidation was favorable in every way and would mean that both congregations would be benefitted spiritually and financially. The ballot was then taken and the vote announced. Mr. Marshall received the congratulations of his friends after the meeting.
The agreement for consolidation provides that the members of the constituent corporations shall become members of the consolidated corporation which shall “give due consideration to and make appropriate provisions for the rabbis of the constituent corporations and shall in an equitable manner adjust any moral obligations incurred by them to their rabbis.”
The rabbis of Temple Emanu-El are the Rev. Dr. Nathan Krass and the Rev. Dr. H. G. Enelow. The Rev. Dr. Joseph Silverman is rabbi-emeritus. The rabbis of Temple Beth-El are the Rev. Dr. Samuel Schulnan and the Rev. Dr. Simon Cohen.
The property of Temple Emanu-El was sold last year for $6,500,000. The property of Temple Beth-El at Fifth Avenue and Seventy-sixth Street is said to be valued at $2,000,000.
The Bureau of Jewish Education of Boston, with the cooperation of over one hundred organizations, just concluded a Jewish Education Week in that city. Mass meetings of parents and children were held. A pedagogical exhibit was held at Temple Mishkan Tefila.