Despite all the behaviorists may say, courage is not a physical but a psychic attribute: it resides not in the solar plexus but in the soul: it is not a matter of nerves but of character. Weak characters, small souls cannot be courageous: in the face of danger they lose not only heart but they love their head. But those other and rarer beings who possess an inner morale which triumphs over the weak flesh and which we call courage, they find in the face of danger untapped resources of their nature and derive from it a strength that makes them do truly astonishing things.
When Mrs. Bernard S. Deutsch, the charming wife of the President of the Board of Aldermen a few weeks ago was in a serious automobile accident, she did not do the thousand and one foolish things that an undisciplined woman might have done, but though painfully cut over her eyes, bleeding and shaken from the crash she saw as inevitable just a second before it happened, she walked into the hospital to be taken care of there. Later came the reaction, but in the moment of danger she was mistress of herself and the situation.
GENTLE AND STRONG
This is typical of Mrs. Deutsch, who combines in her personality the complementary qualities of gentleness and strength. Mistress of a beautiful home which is ultra modern architecturally and in its appointments but old-fashioned in its quiet restfulness. its charm, its homelikeness, mother of two little girls to whom she is a friend and comrade, wife of one of our leading citizens who politically and philanthropically works for the benefit of the community, she has yet a strong individuality of her own.
Mrs. Deutsch shares the activities of her husband, but her sharing is not merely taking part in, but contributing to the work that is done. While Mr. Deutsch is President of the American Jewish Congress, Mrs. Deutsch serves as treasurer of the women’s division. Together with Mrs. Louise Waterman Wise, the chairman of the women’s division, and her other associates she has been instrumental in creating Congress House, the beautiful, homelike club-house that is offered by the womanhood of America to German refugees as a loving token of sympathy and welcome.
Politically, too, she has been a capable assistant of her husband, working for him in his campaign and justifying in her own person her conviction that in the work of the world not sex but ability ought to be the determining factor.
“Look at the splendid work women are doing, for instance, in the municipal government,” she says. “They measure up to every standard, they are fully equal to their male colleagues. Women are just as able, just as had working, just as loyal as men: give them the chance and they will prove that sex has nothing to do with ability. Personality alone counts and is of value in men as well as in women.”
She speaks with especially warm admiration of the achievements of Mrs. Tulin, working in the Corporation Council’s office, of Miss Pearl Bernstein, of Mrs. Rosenberg, and the generous praise she bestows upon those women is as much a testimonial to her heart as to their mind.
Mrs. Deutsch is a graduate of Hunter and in her college days she was an enthusiastic worker for Hadassah. Now the American Jewish Congress claims her adherence. It appeals to her for the same reason Hadassah did: in working for it she works not only for the comparatively small circle of her own community, but for the rights, the happiness, the dignity of the entire Jewish nation.