The Jewish Education Association comes of age next month. It will be thirteen years old December 2 and the occasion will be celebrated by a Bar Mitzvah party at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, at which will be present a host of men and women noted for their contributions to the political, economic and social life not only of Jewry but of the nation as well.
Not the least prominent among the persons who will help to celebrate the association’s thirteenth anniversary is its new president, Judge Otto A. Rosalsky, who has distinguished himself in all the fields listed above.
Long a champion of Jewish education for Jewish young, Judge Rosalsky has devoted much of his time and effort to bringing the Jews of New York City to an active realization of the necessity for such education.
On the eve of the Bar Mitzvah celebration, Judge Rosalsky, in an interview with the Jewish Daily Bulletin yesterday issued an appeal for support of the Jewish Education Association.
“Throughout the world,” he said, “Jewish life is being lived under conditions of great stress and strain. Even against the stormy background of Jewish history, the present appears to be a period of exceptional uncertainty, turmoil and danger. We are absorbed and preoccupied by the emergency problems that confront us. In most countries in the world, including our own, there are many Jews who are not only distressed but bewildered by the hostile forces that have raised their heads against us.
“In these circumstances, our anxious thoughts are naturally directed towards our children. What kind of world, we ask ourselves, will they have to live in? Are we preparing them to cope with the problems that are going to face them as Jews and as citizens of America? There are parents who think that this question is to be answered in terms of material possessions. Such possessions, they seem to think, will insure the happiness of their children under all conditions. But they are mistaken. Material possessions, important as they are, offer no guarantee of happiness and security in a vindictive world where established ideals and relations are being disintegrated. It is needless to enlarge on this truth. An ounce of example is more convincing than a ton of argument. Germany, today, offers us the example.
“Our history is our surest guide. Many a time in the past we were confronted with similar emergencies and dangers. Many a time in the past our ship was tossed about by bitter storms of malice and cruelty. Nevertheless, it sailed on. It carried a wonderful ballast; the ballast of our faith and our incomparable way of life. One word expresses it all: the word Torah.
PLEADS FOR FAITH
At all times Jewish life was like a deep ocean, its surface broken by storms, but calm and strong in its deeps.
“Does Jewish life today consist of surface only? Are its deeps no more? Were that so, our lot would be tragic indeed. As for our children, all our anxiety is futile unless the Jewish faith and the Jewish way of life is made part and parcel of their being.
“Our Jewish community of New York, not excluding its leaders, is not sufficiently aware of the magnitude of the problem of the Jewish training of our young. There are over 350,000 Jewish children of school age in the City of New York, of whom less than 100,000 are receiving Jewish instruction. All Jews, and our leaders in particular, should be deeply disturbed by these figures. We have nearly 500 Talmud Torahs and other Jewish schools and most of them are still engaged in a bitter struggle against the effects of the economic and spiritual depression. Thousands of parents, eager to see their children instructed in the