Dr. Wise Sees Jews of America in Unsafe Economic Position
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Dr. Wise Sees Jews of America in Unsafe Economic Position

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Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, preaching yesterday at the Free Synagogue in Carnegie Hall, asserted that the Jews of the United States are not safe.

“In speaking of the safety of the American Jew,” he said, “one does not think of physical safety, of the personal safety of the individual Jew. There may be the completest physical safety for the Jew and still the Jew may be unsafe.

“I mean by that that the American Jew is unsafe if he must be ceaselessly fearful that at every turn he, as a Jew, must equivocate and compromise and dissemble and surrender. The American Jew is not safe if he must feel that he dare not be as completely and unequivocally and rejoicingly Jewish as any member of any other racial or religious group has pride and joy in his racial or religious heritage.”


Dr. Wise attacked economic anti-Semitism of public utilities in New York, charging there are today between 200,000 and 300,000 jobs in the city “which no Jewish man or woman can hope to occupy.”

“If 200,000 jobs are definitely and permanently shut to Jews— and the number is probably much larger—then 60,000 or 70,000 young Jews are denied their rightful part and share in the world of industry,” the speaker continued. “This denial makes life unsafe for them insofar as it unjustly burdens and handicaps and exposes them to moral temptations to which some of their number are bound to succumb.”

Turning to the German situation, Dr. Wise declared the German Jew today under the “hideous” regime of Hitlerism is inwardly safer than before the days of Nazism.


“He knows where he stands and once again he deeply believes that he is a member of a great and ancient and honorable people. As a result of this inner security, he may even take pride in the circumstance that he is under attack because he stands for the things which Hitlerism opposes.”

The speaker called upon all civilized peoples, “and above all to Christendom,” to see to it that the Jew is not given “a crushing sense of insecurity.”

“The safety which I crave for the American Jew,” he said, “is something more than mere physical safety. I would have the Jew understand by reason of the attitude of the vast number of non-Jews that the Jewish minority is as safe as any non-Jewish majority in American life, is as jealously watchful of the security and the dignity and the honor of the Jew as the Jew himself.”


Jews, or any other minority in America, are safe because the United States government is not a pure or absolute democracy. This was the view expressed yesterday by Rabbi William Margolis at Congregation Ohab Zedek, 118 West Ninety-fifth street.

“Current exposures of subversive, anti-American forces in this country may have struck a note of terror in the hearts of Jews and other minorities who live and thrive here by the grace of American democracy,” said Rabbi Margolis. “Yet I emphatically believe that no minority in America is ever in danger, because of the very fundamental nature and construction of the United States ideal in government.”

He declared that the founders of the nation established a true representative-democratic republic which protects the minorities and predicted that “American leaders today and tomorrow will annihilate the wild impulses of pagan ‘isms,’ the opposite and discordant ideas of which can never unite with basic, truly democratic principles.”


“The festival of Chanukah is a reaffirmation of the ideal of human liberty against oppression,” said Rabbi Louis I. Newman at services yesterday at Congregation Rodeph Sholom, 7 West Eighty-third street. “George Washington and other leaders of the Revolution took courage from the example of the great Judas Maccabeus who liberated his people from the yoke of the imperial oppressor.”

Rabbi Newman urged those of his hearers who believe that dictatorships will continue in power to turn to the books of history and read how “with effort, organization and valor, it is possible for freemen to overcome their persecutors, however great the numbers arrayed against them.”


Rabbi Israel Goldstein, speaking at Congregation B’nai Jeshurun, 257 West Eighty-eighth street, said the “vicious poison” of anti-Semitism is being felt in the United States. The movement of hatred against the Jews, he declared, is not a spontaneous one but is organized and directed.

Dr. Goldstein called for organized and unified self-defense, asking:

“Must we wait for a pogrom to bring unity into the Jewish camp?”

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