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To the Editor, Jewish Daily Bulletin:
Mr. Hollingsberg’s letter in the Bulletin of February 4 in favor of a Jewish university in the United States brings home again the need for an educational environment here in which Jewish students may study in a favorable atmosphere, may feel welcome, instead of feeling apologetically on sufferance as part of a permitted quota.
Only what Ludwig Lewisohn terms our self-hate delays the development of Jewish schools. “If our children mingle only with Jews, how will they get on with gentiles?” parents ask fearfully. They do not realize that it is precisely those Jews who attain self-affirmation, who have the inner security that comes from knowledge of their natural heritageâ€”it is these who get on best with gentiles. The gentiles recognize them as a definite type and feel more at ease with them than with the negative, imitative assimilationists.
Customs change; some remain. Ideals change also; but some have extraordinary vitality. There is joy in finding a contemporary message in the prophets and sages of the past. There is an impulse to courage, to intellectual and spiritual striving, and there develops pride of race based on admiration, when we hear of heroic acts in the past and present, and study the wisdom of our learned. What no longer responds to the spirit of modern civilization we can reject; but let us at least know what it is that we are rejecting.
I am assuming that a Jewish university would include courses in Jewish subjects in addition to general courses and believe such a university should meet with support.
There is in Brooklyn a new type of Jewish school which I think would interest many of our readers. The Center Academy of the Brooklyn Jewish Center, an elementary school from kindergarten through eighth grade, offers in addition to a well rounded general course a correlating course in Jewish education, taught in a modern progressive way.
It is not a yeshivah. It is not a formal religious school. The allotment of time given to Jewish subjects is far less than in a yeshivah, and the methods in all studies progressive, centering around projects and following the child’s natural interests. It teaches folk ways, customs, Hebrew language, music and literature, history from Biblical times to contemporary times, current tendencies in Jewry and important world movements.
Graduates of this school, scattered through the city’s high schools, evince by their poise, freedom from self-consciousness, general knowledge and high scholastic standing, that the Center Academy has achieved its goalâ€”an integrated personality for the American Jewish child.
The school is being used as a model in other localities. It will gladly send details of curricula to any inquirer. Such schools should spring up in every Jewish community, so that more children may benefit from this remarkable experiment and produce a sound Jewry for the future.
Emily M. Rosenstein.
(Chairman, Parents’ Education Committee Center Academy)
Brooklyn, N. Y.,
Feb. 4, 1935.
SUGGESTS MATZO SHIPMENTS
To the Editor, Jewish Daily Bulletin:
I see that private companies are advertising the shipping of matzoh to Soviet Russia. I wonder whether some Jewish organization could not arrange with the Soviet Embassy in Washington by which Jews in Soviet Russia should be provided with matzoh on a large scale.
There are sufficient orthodox organizations in America which ought to care about supplying the Russian Jews with matzoh. If my memory serves me right, the Soviet government has never prohibited the sending of carloads of matzoh to Russia from Germany when the orthodox rabbis of Germany were interested in the project. Why shouldn’t the orthodox organizations of America be interested in utilizing the precedent Now is the time to think about it.
Hoboken, N. J.,
Feb. 1, 1935.