Menu JTA Search

Digest of Pubic Opinion on Jewish Matters

[The purpose of the Digest is informative. Preference is given to papers not generally accessible to our readers. Quotation does not indicate approval.--Editor.]

A difference of opinion is voiced in the Jewish press of New York regarding the “Jewish issue” which was injected in the recent election campaign in Quebec. As has been reported, the Jewish candidate who made a Jewish issue of the question of separate schools for the Jews was defeated.

The “Jewish Morning Journal” (May 19th) commends the Jewish voters tor their stand in voting against the Jewish issue, although the paper believes that separate Jewish schools in the province of Quebec are a necessity under existing circumstances. “It was wrong,” we read, “to inject Jewish nationalism into the elections of the a free country. Quebec has its faults, perhaps more so than many other parts in the new world, nevertheless, it is not Koumania nor even Poland, and the Jew who tries to conduct the same politics in different countries is in the category of one who does not know how to differentiate between different things.

“It is possible that the Jews in the province of Quebec may be compelled to establish their own schools, because the Protestant school board to which they belong in the matter of education, refuses to give them the representation to which they are entitled, while on the other hand, it seems impossible to arrive at an understanding with the Catholic school board. But an evil from which it is impossible to extricate oneself should not be transformed into an ideal to be striven for. The ideal in the education of a free country is a general, non-religious education which is entirely secular, such as we have here in the States, the same for the Jews. Catholics and Protestants, with the freedom for each set to have parochial schools at its own expense if it desires.”

A different attitude is taken by the “Jewish Daily News,” which terms the defeat of the candidate who injected the Jewish issue, as “a victory for assimilation.” The paper describes the situation in Quebec as follows: “There are no public schools in Quebec in the sense as we know them in the United States, schools which are neither Catholic nor Protestant. At the time when this system was instituted, there were very few Jews in Canada and they sem their children, some to the Catholic schools and some to the Protestant schools, paying their school taxes to the Protestant school board. In time the Jewish population increased, but instead of realizing their disgraceful position, things continued the same way–until the Protestants began to show that they did not desire the Jewish children and complained that they were losing meney on the Jewish pupils, because the Jewish taxes were too small. Thereupon, a strange conflict arose: the Protestants declared openly that the Jews are not welcome in the Protestant schools, while the Jews strive to continue sending their children to the Protestant schools in spite of that. In a country where schools are divided according to religion, the Jews concealed their religion and sought to hide under the wings of another faith. Thirteen thousand Jewish children attend the Protestant schools, where they are not wanted, instead of attending schools of their own faith.”

A similar view is put forth by the “Day,” which regrets the outcome of the elections in Quebec. Tracing the developments in recent years in connection with the effort made by some Jews in Canada to secure recognition for separate Jewish schools and referring to the decision of the Supreme Court of Canada which has ruled that according to the School Act of 1903, such a demand cannot be granted, the paper concludes: “Thus, it appears from every angle that the only solution for this school tangle in Quebec is, Jewish schools. We approve of this demand because we believe that such a solution would mean the recognition of the Jewish nationality.”

THE PASSING OF SAM BERNARD

The death of Sam Bernard, noted American Jewish actor, is commented on editorially by the “New York Times” of yesterday, wherein we read in part.

“A mere glance at the long list of plays in which he figured, while winning his great and enthusiastic following, shows what range and what vitality he had. His departure diminishes the stock of innocent mirth in our theatre, which is not great enough to prevent the public from feeling that the American theatre might better have spared a better man that Mr. Sam Bernard.”

The House of the Florida Legislature passed an anti-evolution bill making it unlawful to teach in any public school in the State “any theory that denies the existence of God or the divine creation of man,” or to teach “in any way atheism or infidelity.” The vote was 67 to 24.

Violation of the provisions would be a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of not to exceed $100. The real fight on the bill is expected to develop in the Senate.

NEXT STORY