[The purpose of the Digest is informative: Preference is given to papers not generally accessible to our readers. Quotation does not indicate approval.-Editor.]
The act of the Polish Minister of Education, annulling the secret circular of the previous Grabski government regarding a numerus clausus against Jewish students in Poland, is declared by the New York “Day” to be an act of good will that is nevertheless unsatisfactory, as it will not solve the problem. The paper, in its Sept. 25 issue, explains the situation thus:
“The ordinance of the Polish Minister of Education demonstrates merely the goodwill of the present Polish government, but not that the numerus clausus is once and for all abolished in principle and in fact. In principle, it is not abolished, because, just as a circular of the present government has nullified it, so likewise, a circular of another government can revive it. And with every change of government-something which happens frequently in a parliamentary country-the Jews will have to be on guard lest their rights to education be taken from them again. And in fact the numerus clausus is not abolished, because even Grabski’s secret circular merely substantiated an existing fact…. The autonomous universities used their own ‘judgment’ and on their own responsibility instituted a numerus clausus against Jewish students. Nor will these universities now hasten to comply with the circular of Pilsudski’s Education Minister.
“Only when ministers and officials,” the paper concludes, “who act against the national constitution-which guarantees equality to all citizens-will be drastically punished for their behavior, will legislation-by-circulars cease, and then the Polish Jews will feel secure in their rights.”
A SOCIAL MIRACLE
Summer vacationing and “week-ending,” which have become so popular among the Jews, are indicative of an important revolution in the life of the Jews, especially those of New York’s East Side, declares Michael Gold in the “Nation” of Sept. 29.
Describing a Jewish workers’ vacation camp in the Catskills, the writer recalls that a generation ago no one on the East Side took a vacation, and goes on to say:
“There has been a revolution on the lower East Side in the past decade. I am a young man, but I have witnessed a social miracle with my own eyes. The sweatshop, once the dark symbol of the utmost in proletarian degradation in this country, has become the source of the finest labor movement in America. There are now about 150,000 organized needle-trades workers in New York, and they are militant, high-spirited, and intelligent, the vanguard of every progressive movement in this country. They average better wages now than school-teachers, they have infinitely more democratic control of their jobs than have newspapermen, and they have built up a richer and intenser mass culture than that of bank presidents or Greenwich Villagers or even Theater Guild audiences. The Jewish workers have climbed at last from the Ghetto, and have cast off the sad, self-pitying melancholy helplessness of the Ghetto, which many minor poets consider so spiritual, but which has been a curse to the Jews for centuries. Their revolution has taught them to be their own saviors. Among other things, they now take vacations.”
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.