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The Reader’s Forum

The editors reserve the right to excerpt all letters exceeding 500 words in length. All letters must bear the name and address of the writer, although not necessarily for publication.

To the Editor, Jewish Daily Bulletin:

In today’s editorial notes of the Bulletin, Mr. Herman Bernstein quotes Rabbi Milton Steinberg of New York having declared at a banquet of the Hadassah in Washington that the “position of the Jew in Europe was “completely impossible” and that Zionism was the “only logical answer that the Jewish world can give to its needs and problems.”

It is highly deplorable that a speaker entrusted to address an important meeting which was attended by the wife of the President, Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt and other important Washington personages and which was widely reported by the daily English press should permit himself to make such sweeping and ill-considered statements as Rabbi Steinberg did.

It is poor statesmanship to declare that the position of the Jew all over Europe is “completely impossible.” To declare, however, that Zionism was the only logical solution for the problems of European Jewry is a plain and misleading falsehood.

Rabbi Steinberg should know that Palestine, at best, can only absorb a small number of our people. How in the world can Zionism solve the problem of millions of Jews in central and eastern Europe who are now suffering from political and economic disabilities and persecutions? Instead of asserting with some satisfaction that the tragedy of European Jewry is a confirmation of Zionistic ideology, Rabbi Steinberg missed a splendid opportunity to plead at the Washington meeting for the moral and material support of the American government and American people to alleviate the tragedy of European Jewry and to assist in the removal of the very discriminations and persecutions of which the Jews of Europe are the innocent victims. Such half-baked statements only tend to discourage every other political and humanitarian effort which may be contemplated by well meaning liberal and democratic forces both in America and in Europe.

Arthur Meyerowitz.

New York,

Oct. 18, 1934.

UTILITIES AND DISCRIMINATION

To the Editor, Jewish Daily Bulletin:

Dr. Frank’s article, “Public Utilities and Anti-Jewish Discrimination,” in the Jewish Daily Bulletin of September 12 has come to my attention. Permit me to compliment him on the fact that he discusses calmly a matter which frequently is not so temperately treated.

He says: “Yet, as is well known, there exists anti-Semitic discrimination in the employment offices of the companies engaged in gas, electric and telephone service.” So far as the gas and electric companies affiliated with Consolidated Gas Company of New York are concerned, there is no discrimination as to race, color or religion in bring, retaining or promoting employes. The test is fitness for the job. We have in these companies representatives of many nations, races, colors and doubtless creeds. We have many employes who are Jews—some of them in responsible positions. How many, I don’t know because no question is ever asked as to an applicant’s or employe’s religion and so there is no record of the number of Jews any more than there is of the number of Methodists or Roman Catholics. We come to know an employe as a Jew through years of personal acquaintance or because that employe, being orthodox, observes the Jewish holidays.

As a sociological matter, we would not, and do not, discriminate against Jews. As a business ###tter, we could not afford to, for we would be shutting out of our companies people of ability and intelligence who might be the best equipped individuals for specific jobs.

F. W. Crone, Director Editorial Bureau, the Gas and Electric Companies Affiliated with Consolidated Gas Company of New York.

New York.

October 9, 1934.

AN UNTERMYER SUPPORTER

To the Editor, Jewish Daily Bulletin:

I would not trade one Untermyer for a thousand Rabbi Wolseys. Cosmic self-preservation compels the rabbi to prefer men with institutional devotion and reverence for ceremonial vestments. To the scrutinizing rabbi, Israel has room only for pious rabbis and their alumni. Admittedly rabbis are high-minded and well intentioned, their voices commanding and inspiring.

In a chaotic world, however, our spiritual advisers must be alive to the urgent necessities which confront us. Display of open courageousness, instead of the cringing, supplicating attitude expressed by Mr. Wolsey is now more imperative, lest our people sink deeper into the mire of defeatist ideology.

It befits us to emulate such giants as Spinoza or Einstein, if we want to emerge from our circumspect position, rather than heed our noble rabbi in believing that prayers of the individual alone, and perhaps of the rabbi from the pupilt, are more dignified, and to handle our detractors with silk gloves and turn to them the other cheek also.

Rabbi Wolsey might read to advantage, Abba Hillel Silver’s article of October 14, and meditate over the lessons to be learned from the virile pen of William B. Ziff.

Samuel Untermyer’s color of raiment does not concern us. Israel honors him for what he is and the service he renders.

Samuel Adler.

Brooklyn, N. Y.

October 16.

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