Asks ‘church of the Air’ to Halt Persecution of European Jewry
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Asks ‘church of the Air’ to Halt Persecution of European Jewry

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A suggestion that the National Conference of Jews and Christians arrange a protest meeting over the radio against "the new offensive which is being engineered against the Jews in Europe" was made yesterday by Rabbi William F. Rosenblum in his sermon at Temple Israel, 210 West Ninety-first street.

"Let men of international prominence be invited to speak on this ‘Church of the Air,’ all of them Christians—the President of the United States, the Cardinal at New York and men of similar stamp—and let them place themselves on record as Christians against the misrepresentation of Christian teachings abroad," Rabbi Rosenblum recommended.

The value of the broadcast, he said, would be its religious character, as opposed to previous appeals made on national lines.


"It will impress Germans little if Americans or Englishmen protest as such," the rabbi asserted. "They will reply that political considerations in one country demand what political considerations in another may reject.

"But even in this confused world, an appeal from Christians in one country to Christians in another should have some weight. The language of Downing street, of the Quai d’Orsai or of Washington may be foreign to the ears of German, Polish and Austrian citizens. But the language of Christ is universal, and American Christians are bound to be understood by the Christians of Central Europe."


Declaring that the teachings of Christ have "circled the centuries," Rabbi Rosenblum continued:

"Surely these words can now encircle the globe and electrify real Christians everywhere with the determination to keep their faith divine.

"Does this seem so gigantic a project? Not at all. If Hitler wished now to broadcast an attack against Christianity he could summon the radio facilities of the world to his aid. Should it be any more difficult to do so in defense of Christianity?"

Assimilation means one thing to European Jews and something quite different to the Jews of the United States, Rabbi Isaac Landman said yesterday in his sermon at Congregation Beth Elohim, Eighth avenue and Garfield place, Brooklyn.

In pre-Hitler Germany, Rabbi Landman asserted, the word meant total absorption of the Jews in the majority population. In the United States, however, it means that the Jew adapts himself to the institutions and the culture of his environment in every way excepting the religious.


"To say that in the United States assimilationists seek to sink their Jewish identity is to state that which is false and vicious," Rabbi Landman said.

"The groupings and the differences in outlook among the Jews of America are entirely due to the background of the European countries from which they or their fathers came to the United States.

"In mid-Europe, for instance, the grandfathers of the present generation of American Jews made reforms in the synagogue ritual and service; whereas the present generation of American Jews, whose fathers came from East Europe, are entirely averse to the introduction of reforms even in the American synagogue.

"These and many others are the reasons for the confusion in the issues that perplex or motivate American Jews."

Only 50,000 of the 2,000,000 Jews in New York are attending services in the city’s synagogues, Dr. Samuel H. Goldenson of Temple Emanu-El, Fifth avenue and Sixty-fifth street, told 700 members of his congregation Saturday morning.

The service commemorated his first anniversary as rabbi of the synagogue.

"What factors keep people unaffiliated and away from the socializing, moralizing and spiritualizing influences of this city?" Dr. Goldenson asked. His answer was that few people can "withstand the impact of their environment."


"In this city generations grow up to feel free to do exactly as they please. There are so many varieties of people living here that any individual can find a little coterie to support him in his thinking.

"Such a person remains indifferent to the responsibility of making this a better place in which to live."

New York is falling far short of its goal as the center of constructive influence, Dr. Goldenson said.

Rabbi Milton Steinberg of the Park Avenue Synagogue, 50 East Eighty-seventh street, lecturing before the Sunday morning forum on "What Are the Jews—Race, Religion or Nationality?" said the only valid description of Judaism is that of a religious civilization.

He denied the contention that the Jews constitute a race of complete racial purity, declaring persons of alien blood have attached themselves to the Jewish group all through history. He described the varieties of physical types among the Jews as a further demonstration that the purity idea is a myth.


Rabbi Steinberg said the test of Jewishness is not religion, "for a Jew remains a Jew even though he may become an irreligious person." He rejected the word "nationality" because, he said, it carries suggestions of divided political loyalty.

"The only characterization which holds water is that Judaism represents a religious civilization. That means that Judaism includes among its elements not only religion but the Hebrew language and literature, folkways and customs, folklore and ethics, and all the other elements which go to make up any civilization.

"Practically speaking, that means that the American Jew is the heir to two civilizations—the American civilization of the land of his residence and the Jewish civilization of his descent."

Adolf Hitler may seem to be muddling through, but the nations of the world must not be misled as to the German dictator’s pacific pretensions, Rabbi Louis I. Newman said in his sermon at Congregation Rodeph Sholom, 7 West Eighty-third street.

"The return of the Saar was expected," Rabbi Newman pointed out, warning that the development must be regarded as an additional reason for humanity’s vigilance against the Third Reich.


"After a pause," he said, "it is entirely possible that Hitler will launch a new offensive among German-speaking groups in Europe, which will embroil him with other powers.

"The Reich is isolated among the nations, and alliances have been formed to guarantee protection against a possible Nazi attack. Whatever the seeming tenacity of Hitler’s rule, liberals cannot look with sympathy upon his regime until he opens up the concentration camps and frees the prisoners, until … he ceases the propaganda against cultural and humanitarian values which have thrust Germany back into medievalism."

Deploring the tendency to exaggerated nationalism which he declared will lead inevitably to war, Bishop Francis J. McConnell of the Methodist Episcopal Church asked for better understanding among nations in an address yesterday at services of Temple Rodeph Sholom, 7 West Eighty-third street.

He asserted that there must be a "divided loyalty" among people—a loyalty to the respective nation and to humanity. "The great contribution of the Jews," he said, "is that they are loyal to the nations among which they live and to their own people." Rabbi Louis I. Newman conducted the services.

Gershon ben Eliezer Ha-Levi of Prague claimed in his account of his travels in the Near East about 1630 that he had seen three-eyed beasts, headless living men and other marvels.

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