caused by the recent death of Israel Unterberg.
Judge Rosalsky has been actively identified with the Jewish Education Association from its very inception. He has helped to arouse interest in the vital need of Jewish education for the Jewish youth of our community. He has done much to enable the Jewish Education Association to carry on its work during the past thirteen years.
“We are going through a period of stress that is testing our moral fibre,” writes Judge Rosalsky in his letter of acceptance. “We shall emerge triumphant from this test by reason of the faith that is in us.
“The Jews, throughout their history, in addition to bearing their share of the general burden, have been compelled to undergo special trials and suffering. The Germany of today is only one milestone on the long road which the Jewish people have travelled. Let us be grateful that our own country is free from these brutal excesses of bigotry. But no less do we owe our children the duty of strengthening their characters by teaching them the faith of their fathersâ€”its practices, its doctrines and its idealsâ€”which, I am convinced, will make them better Jews, better Americans and happier human beings.”
The tragedy that has befallen German Jewry serves to emphasize the need of Jewish education and Jewish ideals for the Jewish youth. Many of the German Jews would have found it less difficult to bear their present sufferings, if they had known better the history, the ideals and the moral contributions of their own nation. They would not have lived in a fool’s paradise by imagining and trying to be what they are not.
A distinguished German Jewish artist, who declined to sing in the Wagner operas in Germany, even though the Nazi authorities were anxious to make an exception in his case, remarked:
“The unexpected blow that has been dealt to the Jews of Germany has convinced me that no matter what kind of a Jew you try to be or not to be, it makes no difference to the anti-Semites. To them all Jews are alike. Under these circumstances, I would rather be a good Jew than a bad one.”
This is a sensible recipe for Jews everywhere. Through Jewish education, through a knowledge of the Jewish past and of Jewish ideals, the Jewish youth would be better equipped to face the problems of today and of tomorrow with understanding and courage, and to play their role in the life of the community in the spirit of the finest humanitarian traditions that came down through the ages and that still hold good to this day.