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Controversy Between Orthodox and Reform in Chicago Continues

September 13, 1926
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(Jewish Telegraphic Agency)

The method adopted by the Jewish Charities to subjugate the Moses Montefiore Hebrew school and force it to accept the tenets of the education committee of the charities was called “autocratic, not Jewish and un-American” by Rabbi Saul Silver of Congregation Anshe Sholom, who is also president of the Jewish Theological College and a leader in Orthodox Jewry of this city.

“Stopping the budget is an autocratic idea,” Rabbi Silver said. “It is neither Jewish nor American. No doubt neither the Moses Montefiore school nor the Charities is 100 per cent right in its contentions, but discontinuing the funds is not the means by which the end can be reached. Patience and education are the way. Forcing starvation will not help us attain the goal in Jewish education, nor will it help us to maintain a harmonious Jewry. If the men comprising the education committee are educators they know that Jews have never been frightened by the threat of starvation.

“There is no question that the Moses Montefiore School ought to make some concessions. Procedure at the Talmud Torah is not all agreeable and acceptable, and in some of its demands the education committee of the Charities is right, but the wrong means has been taken to gain the end desired.”

Referring to the case of the Marks Nathan Jewish Orphan Home which is at a deadlock in a dispute with the Charities regarding the acceptance of an annual bounty of $10,000 from the county Rabbi Silver asserted that the orphan home is right.

“Before the orphan home was under the auspices of the Charities it declined to accept county and state aid,” the Orthodox leader said, “and it demands its full autonomous right to continue to refuse such help. The home was founded twelve years ago at which time it adopted the principle which it now wishes to maintain.” The controversy has aroused considerable agitation in Chicago, giving rise to the charge which others declare is unfounded, that the Charities now being dominated by the reform element is seeking to strangle the Orthodoxy of Chicago’s Jewry. The action in attempting to withhold support from the Hebrew school is considered as the beginning of a fight to the finish to determine whether or not orthodoxy can maintain its rights and position. It is stated that the fight will lead into other branches of activities of the Charities.

The likelihood of a Din Torah, a rabbinical trial between Montefiore School and the Charities, seems at present somewhat distant. No date has been set for such a trial, nor has the Charities accepted “service” that is, it has not yet admitted its desire to be a party to such a hearing.

Dr. Alexander M. Dushkin, chairman of the education committee of the Charities, when asked for a statement said that he is waiting for a number of officials of the Charities who were out of town to return, at which time an official statement would be issued outlining the organization’s position in the matter.

A firm supporter of Dr. Dushkin is Rabbi Felix A. Levy, leader among the Reform Rabbis of Chicago, who declared that the action taken by the education committee was no doubt based on a thorough investigation and understanding of the situation, and if Dr. Dushkin thought it was right “it must be all right. Last Spring I heard that all was not well between the Charities and the Moses Montefiore school.” Rabbi Levy said. “At that time the report was that the Talmud Torah was unorganized in an educational way and that Dr. Dushkin was trying to modernize their methods. It was charged at that time also that the Moses Montefiore school had broken faith with the Charities by failing to keep certain promises and agreements made when the two charities. Orthodox and Reform, were united.”

Leonce Levy, a member of the staff of the New York “World.” received at the hands of Maxime Mongendre, French Consul General, the insignia and brevet of Chevalier of the Legion of Honor, conferred by the French Government.

Since 1919 Mr. Levy has held the order of Officer de I’Insruction Publique. He is United States correspondent of the Paris Matin.

Leon B. Kameneff, former Commissar of Trade in the Soviet government, has refused the appointment of Ambassador to Tokio.

JEWISH COMMUNAL ACTIVITIES

The new temple of Congregation Rodeph Sholom, Tampa, Fla., was dedicated last Sunday. The temple, which was designed by Fred James, is constructed of cream pressed brick and has a seating capacity of 650. It was erected as a cost of $75,000.

Rabbi Adolph Burger, Mayor Perry G. Wall. Dr. A. M. Bennett, in behalf of the Ministers’ association. Rabbi L. E. Grafman, Morris Falk, Henry Brash, David Stein and M. G. Rosenberg delivered addresses at the dedication exercises.

The new synagogue of the Congregation Agudath Achim Anshe Sfard, New Orleans, La., was dedicated on Sunday.

Harry M. Rusakof is president of the congregation.

The synagogue cost $65,000 and has a seating capacity in the main auditorium of about 500. Besides the main hall of worship, the building contains offices, a social hall and a kitchen.

The new Jewish Community Center, of Salt Lake City, Utah, occupying the residence maintained for a number of years by the late Col. E. A. Wall of that city, was dedeicated. Abut 400 persons attended the exercises.

Herbert Schiller, president of the B. F. Peixotto Lodge and president of the local Independent Order of B’nai B’rith, and a director of the center, acted as chairman. The principal speakers were Maurice Rapheld and Richard Gutstadt, of San Francisco.

The new center represents an investment of more than half a million dollars.

BREVITIES

A large bronze statue, “The Awakening,” by Maurice Sterne, New York artist, was installed in the Brooklyn Museum as the gift of Adolph Lewisohn.

Samuel Koenig, chairman of the New York County Republican Committee, and other Republican party leaders will probably support Attorney General Albert Ottinger for the Republican nomination for governor. It was stated that unless Mr. Hilles, Representative Odgen L. Mills or Dr. Nicholas Murray Butler will reconsider and consent to run, Mr. Koenig probably will support Ottinger.

A serious effort is in prospect to draft former Senator Nathaniel A. Elsberg as the Republican nominee for Governor it was learned after all day conferences in which Senator James W. Wadsworth participated. Senator Wadsworth is said to be urging the nomination of Elsberg.

Bernard Reich, New York realtor, was elected Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Times Square Trust Company at the last meeting of the board.

“Of the essays submitted by the students of the University of Illinois in the Prize Oration Contest conducted by the Department of Synagogue and School Extension, the following were awarded prizes: Leonard Cohen received first prize, Charles Schwarz second prize, and Francis Selwyn Clamitz third prize.

Rollin G. Osterweis, student at Yale University, is the only one who received a prize in his district in the prize oration contest conducted by the Department of Synagogue and School Extension. His essay on “How Does American Judaism Meet the Needs of the Educated Man” was awarded the first prize.

Rabbi Morris S. Lazaron, of the Baltimore Hebrew Congregation, will read an historical sketch at the celebration of Baltimore Day at the Sesqui-Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia today. The topic will be “The Significance of the Battle of North Point and the Bombardment of Fort McHenry.”

Jules L. Butensky, the well-known sculptor, is now convalescing after an operation made necessary by an accident which occurred to him recently while at Camp Madison, near Peekskill, New York. Mr. Butensky’s health had been poor for the past half year or so, and illness forced him to delay the completion of several important commissions, including a gold medal which was presented to Colonel H. A. Guinzburg by his friends on the occasion of his seventieth birthday in April last, and a memorial plaque in commemoration of the late Rabbi Emil G. Hirsch, for the Sinai Congregation, Chicago.

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