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Russell Says Jews in America Are Not Using Their Power

Charles Edward Russell, occupying the pulpit of Temple Israel of New York, declared Friday night that the Jews in America are not using their power. The famous publicist, Pulitzer prize winner and, more recently, biographer of the Polish Jew, Haym Salomon, had chosen as his subject: “The Future of Judaism as a Christian Sees It.” But he devoted much time to the presentation of Judaism and outlined five ways in which Jews could use their power.

“First, there are about four million Jews in the United States and about one-and-a-half million in New York City, and yet you do not exercise the civic power which you should,” said Mr. Russell. “There are notable exceptions but I speak of the generalities. You do not take part in civic life as you ought to. You say: ‘but I am not desired.’ Ah, but you are needed. Your place in the world is to uphold righteousness and conquer oppression. Forget the past. Here lately you celebrated your 275th anniversary of the coming of the Jews to America, but you were here before then. You cannot be good Jews without being good citizens.

“Second, you have a great cultural mission in this country. The greatest composers and orchestra leaders are Jews. In every European capital you can go to a concert for twenty cents. How far could you get for twenty cents at the Metropolitan Opera House or Carnegie Hall? If one could get the Jews aroused one could get music as easily as one could get the sun.

“Third, Jews will know. You should use your influence to prevent our educational institutions from turning into mere training schools, and the students from becoming mere cogs in this mad orgy of production. You should keep culture in the schools.

“Fourth, you should make your slogan: ‘a university education for everybody or nobody.’ We are now building up a class of educated aristocrats.

“Fifth, the Jews should be champions and defenders of peace. There should be no movement for peace without you Jews, because you have back of you this wonderful preachment of peace.”

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