An attempt to inject the religious issue into the present presidential campaign and the references in some quarters to a “Jewish vote,” are discussed in the Jewish press on the Pacific Coast. The opinion is unanimous that a Jewish vote in the United States is a myth. Those who undertake “to deliver” it to any party are guilty of gross misrepresentation.
The “Jewish Transcript” of Seattle writes:
“The fact remains that the racial issue, the conflict between the old American and the newer immigrant stock the latter of which is represented almost entirely by Catholics and Jews–is being made an issue in this campaign, and as a result of that we may see pretty soon the most bitterly fought presidential campaign in American political history of the last half-century. And those who are forcing the issue are not the Catholics and Jews of recent immigration origin, but some of the leaders of the older American Protestant stock.
“Ever since the national conventions the Catholic press has in a very dignified and laudable manner refrained from any propaganda whatsoever for either one of the presidential candidates, arguing only for one thing–religious tolerance. The same has been true of the Jewish weeklies in this country that are printed in English–at the very start of the campaign we have all insisted that American Jews as such have no reason to vote enbloc for either Hoover or Smith, that each and every American Jew should judge the candidates in his capacity as an American citizen and that racial and religious considerations should not determine his judgment.
“Well and good. We still insist on such an appraisal on the part of our fellow-Jews. But the question that we are asking ourselves today is “Will our Methodist. Baptist and other Protestant leaders allow us as the campaign progresses to forget the racial and religious issue? Will the ‘Oregonian’ print more editorials like the one we have quoted above? Will American Jews be forced into one political camp as a result of a display of prejudice and bigotry by those whom we expect to know better?”
“We hope this will not be the case–but the signs today at least are not very encouraging.”
The “Scribe” of Portland, Ore. states:
“So much emphatic denial is being made in the Jewish press that there is such a thing as a Jewish vote that we almost feel derelict in our duty not to have added a word. Politics is a popular sport, especially quadrennially; but this year it threatens to be unusually vehement. The tumult and the shouting gather headway. John Roach Stratton, the Aimee McPherson of New York, is leading the blatant crusaders against the Democratic candidate. A few more Strattons and Smith is certain to go over the top.
“The idea that there is a Jewish vote may find ready credence among those who accepted the psychopathic emanations of the defunct Dearbonr Independent. Any Jew knows that it simply ‘aint so.’ There is hardly a single political issue upon which Jews will unite. Distinctions of economic social, religious and national origin, annihilate possibility for unified political action. Nevertheless in the large cities efforts will be made by local Jewish bosses ‘to deliver’ votes. The number affected, however, will be of little consequence.
“The campaign will be unique. For the first time in many years there will be a distinguishing issue–the Volstead Act. Shall control of prohibition be a state or national measure? The two candidates are both of unusual personal interest and merit. The temptation, however, to express a preference must be stoically resisted. We must follow the fine example of Andy Gump and praise both candidates to the skies and piously wish that ‘the best man may win.’”
APPEALS FOR RABBI POLACHEK FUND
Upon the demise of Rabbi S. Polachek, senior Professor of Talmud at the Yeshiva, Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary and Yeshiva College, a unique spiritual personality and one of the internationally recognized rabbinic scholars, whose untimely death, stirred devoted Jews throughout the world, to mourn the irreparable loss, and who left a wife and five children, unprovided for, a fund for the support of his family was inaugurated by the Yeshiva and the Agudas Ha-Rabbinim. Those who desire to contribute to this fund, may send their checks to Rabbi M. S. Margolies, 25 E. 86th Street, New York City.
Dr. B. Revel,
Rabbi, Isaac Elchanan
New York, Aug. 28, 1928
A Jewish Students’ House in the neighborhood of Temple University similar to the one on the campus of the University of Penn sylvania will be established by the Philadelphia branch of the United Synagogue of America. The establishment of the students house was made possible by a gift of Mr. and Mrs. John J. Harrison of that city.
Rabbi Mortimer J. Cohen, president of the Philadelphia branch of the United Synagogue, stated that steps will be taken at once to make the new Students House available for use in time for the coming scholatic year.