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Digest of Public Opinion on Jewish Matters

June 5, 1927
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[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 fact that infractions of the Minorities Treaties, beside the political wrongs resulting therefrom, have “injured women and children and have been one of the causes whereby victims of immorality or of the traffic have obtained,” has been brought out by Lucien Wolf, Secretary of the Joint Foreign Committee of the Board of Jewish Deputies and the Anglo-Jewish Association. In a letter published in the London “Times” of May 16, Mr. Wolf writes:

“Owing to the Treaty infractions referred to, and also to misinterpretations of some of the nationality clauses of the government Treaties of Peace, a very large number of persons in the countries of Eastern and Southeastern Europe are now wholly without nationality. They are aliens, or rather outcasts, in the lands of their birth or –as the treaties have it–‘habitual residence’, and having no Government to protect them, suffer not only in their self-respect, but also from disabilities to which the ordinary alien is a stranger. Thus, as in the majority of these countries a very large preference is given by law to duly certified native labor, they are faced by almost insuperable difficulties in obtaining employment. The result, so far as women are concerned, is a not inappreciable augmentation of the volume of Eastern European prostitution on which the ‘traffickers’ batten.

“It should not be difficult for the League to put a stop to this subsidiary feeder of the traffic, seeing that it is the appointed guarantor of the Minorities Treaties,” Mr. Wolf declares.

LAUDS ARCHITECTURE OF SYNAGOGUES

That the numerous temples and synagogues which are being erected throughout the United States are distinguished for their architectural beauty and are expressive of the Jew’s racial genius, is the point emphasized by “Unity”, non-sectarian magazine of Chicago. In its May 23 issue the paper stated:

“The shrines of our Jewish brethren are as notable for their architectural appropriateness and beauty as for their sumptuous, almost gorgeous splendor. The money spent on these buildings, all given by generous donors, is almost incredible–$500,000, $1,000,000, $1,600,000 are the figures which leap out from the pages. Such sums might lead to execrable results. But almost uniformly the structures are models of taste, beauty, monumental grandeur, and practical utility. These new synagogues seem to us to be perfect specimens of their kind. They express in every line and color the racial genius of the Jew; they show forth for all to see the devotion of the sons and daughters of Israel to their faith, their pride in its glory, and their dedication to its ideals. Men and women who erect such altars believe in their religion! To enter these sacred buildings is to be moved with admiration for the Jews of America, and to be thrilled with a consciousness of their priceless contribution to our national life. Before such monuments to things spiritual prejudice must die, and brotherhood live anew forever.”

THE JEWISH PRESS OF AMERICA AND THE SCHOOL QUESTION IN CANADA

Exception to the attitude of a part of the Jewish press in the United States on the Jewish school question in Canada, which was an important issue in the recent Quebec elections, is taken by the “Canadian Jewish Chronicle” of Montreal. The paper, in its May 27 issue, observes.

“The Jewish issue evoked in our recent provincial elections has not passed unobserved in the American Jewish press. Most of the Yiddish Dailies have something to say editorially on the subject; nor are they more unanimous in their opinions than our own local community.

“To all it is clear that the situation is not one that we have created. An unforeseen constitutional development has caught the Jewish population in an awkward position. If Quebec enjoyed the same national school system as obtains in the United States, the issue would never have arisen in its present form. One aspect of it, however, concerns the thoughtful Jewish parent everywhere in America. That is the prevalent negiect of Jewish education and the consequent indifference to our own culture amongst our new generations of American-born children. This aspect of the problem faces all American communities where Jews reside.

“Just because in Quebec there are no common national schools, and because our school system is divided solely on racial, linguistic and religious lines, — English Protestant and French Roman Catholic–the desire to give our children a Jewish education can be legitimately united to the need to give Jewish children a proper status in the school system of the Province. Both ends lend themselves to a common solution in a separate Jewish school system.

“But the content is to us far more important than the form. If a modus vivendi can be arrived at, whereby a certain amount of Jewish education can supplement the current curriculum and our children admitted to the Protestant or Catholic schools on terms of national equality, we would be content to forego schools of our own for the present.

“But unless some solution along these lines can be worked out, removing the degrading anomaly in which we are enmeshed, it is futile for even one of these Jewish New York Dailies to remind us that we are not living in Poland or Roumania. and that it is wrong to inject Jewish nationalism into the elections of a free (sic) country. If this is a free country, as the ‘Jewish Morning Journal’ implies, it is precisely because its constitutional basis is the recognition of more than one national entity within its framework.

“Nor is it a correct inference to draw that the recent elections in St. Louis means that the majority of Jewish voters in that division are opposed to the ideal of separate schools. The actual Jewish vote recorded no such decision. Mr. Bercovitch’s majority was a small one, and subtracting from it the French Liberal vote, and those lost to the case of Jewish schools through its opponent’s possession of the machinery of the elections as a Government candidate, and the general apathy to the Conservative general platform, would indicate that no clear-cut referendum on the subject was obtained.”

Jacob Kirschenbaum, member of the editorial staff of the “Jewish Morning Journal” and active in a number of Jewish organizations in New York, was given a testimonial dinner following his recovery from a serious illness.

Mr Kirschenbaum was taken ill several months ago and underwent an operation. The dinner was given under the auspices of the Federation of Galician Jews, in which he is active as a member of the Executive Committee.

Philip Wattenberg, president of the Federation, acted as toastmaster and many Jewish writers and communal workers attended.

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