Hebrew Home (Editorial)
Southwestern Jewish Press December 25, 1953 Page 7
“Cast me not off in the time of old age; when my strength faileth, forsake me not.” Thus wrote the second of Israel’s kings in the immortal Psalms of David.
The concern men entertain for the problems of the aged has not diminished since that time. The atmosphere of everything one considers “modern” and “scientific” still leaves a significant portion of our population each year with the question of what to do with those who are no longer socially and economically productive.
Here in San Diego a small but resolute group did something about it some 8 years ago. Now they are asking the entire community to join with them in providing safe, adequate and pleasant facilities for those elderly citizens who need help to fulfill their need of shelter and to allay their feeling of loneliness and frustration. We must give them a sense of personal dignity, a climate of conditions of fair health, the security of a home, and present them with the opportunity to educate body and mind in the belief that age must not mean the cessation of fruitful activity.
The present home has been ony a partial answer. Now the Home leadership is seeking a more complete solution. They have foumnd a new site at 54th and University Avenue where a modern structure will be built to house 25 aged. It will also be able to enlarge its facilities if the need arises in the future.
It is now up to this community to assist the leadership of this campaign in its drive for funds. The aged at the Home and elsewhere will be listening with their hearts. Out of the community’s generosity will come the assurance of happiness during their twilight years.
Letter to the Editor
December 14, 1953
Southwestern Jewish Press
Dear Mac (Kaufman):
The editorial in your issue of December 11th, entitled “All Gaul Was Divided Into Three Parts,” was read with much interest. Although I am not a letters-to-the-editor addict, certain unwarranted conclusions are drawn in the editorial which require comment. If I did not know you better, I might almost assume that you have an anti-synagogue axe to grind! That impression might easily be drawn from the implications of your thoughts.
It is rather difficult to understand how a Thanksgiving Service sponsored jointly by three congregations—no matter what the attendance—can be cited as an instance of separatism or disunity. I agree with you that the sparse attendance was deplorable, but why not place the blame where it belongs? On the spiritual indifference and religious lethargy of the community!
If the attendance at this service was—to quote you—an embarrassing commentary on community cooperation,” what shall we say of the equally small attendance at the wonderful recital by Cantor Michael Loring, sponsored by the Jewish Community Center, or the mere handful who turned out to hear Rabbi Max Nussbaum, also on the Center Forum Series?
The conclusion is inescapable that the crux of the matter is the cultural immaturity and spiritual infantilism of the Jewish community. Apparently it requires dancing, cards or entertainment of the lightest and most inconsequential character to attract relatively large numbers.
But there is something more basic involved in your editorial, and that is the assumption that monolithic uniformity is the desired goal of a Jewish community. That mystic shibboleth, “unity,” covers a multitude of sins and embraces a vast area of sloppy thinking.
Does the existence of three Congregations—each with its own specific ideology and pattern of tradition—make for disunity? Then what shall we say of the Protestant communion, which is fragmentized a thousand fold? Or why stop with the Synagogue in the quest for the Utopia of unity? If you really want to be consistent, let’s abolish the Jewish Social Service Agency, United Jewish Fund, Hebrew Home for the Aged and Community Relations Council—and have their activities absorbed by non-sectarian Community Chest agencies! After all, don’t these agencies “separate” us from our fellow citizens of other faiths? Don’t they create “disunity” in the larger community? Andy why have four B’nai B’rith lodges, the Guardians, the Labor Zionists, etc., etc.? To use your own words, doesn’t this “separation” foster a “jungle Jewish Community?” Come now, Mac, you know better. Why apply a yardstick of mass uniformity to the Synagogue that you would regard as ridiculous if applied to any other Jewish institution?
My own personal record of laboring for genuine Jewish unity (as distinguished from a totalitarian uniformity)—remember, I have publicly endorsed the Jewish Community Center program when it is coordinated with the religious and educational program of the Synagogue—requires no apology of any kind. Therefore, I find it necessary to deplore the loose thinking which imputes to the Synagogue and its rabbinical and lay leadership the onus of responsibility for instances of disunity.
Take another, closer look, Mac. You’ll find that, historically speaking, the Synagogue and its religious message have constituted the strongest unifying factor in American Jewish synagogues—and at the Community Center, B’nai B’rith, etc., etc.—tell your fellow Jews to look within their own hearts for the real reasons, lethargy, indifference, and perhaps an overdose of the opiate called TV.
Maybe San Diego Jewry is far more unified than you suspect. Have you ever seen so many people so firmly united in their resolve not to be bothered?
Rabbi Morton J. Cohn
Unwarranted conclusions seem to be drawn by the good Rabbi. We are not in favor of a monolithic community; we are not anti-synagogue; and the Rabbi missed the point entirely. The concert and lectures drew more than 3 times the Thanksgiving service and as you say, it’s a long pull along the cultural road. The Synagogues have had an earlier start.
What the Rabbi missed was the point that all the organizations and agencies are now under one Federation and the President’s council, while the Synagogues still fail to form a Council of their own and refuse to go along with any other. This is unity? The Rabbis still stand accused of letting their own personal disabilities affect the growth of the spiritual and cultural life of the Jewish Community.
Southwestern Jewish Press December 25, 1953 Page 7
By Albert Hutler, Exec. Director United Jewish Fund
Many valuable and stimulating concepts came out of the General Assembly of the Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds held in Cleveland in late November. Top American Jewish leadership representing over 300 Jewish communities were present to assist in planning for 1954 and discussing the challenges which that year will present.
In the field of the aging (in which we in San Diego should most definitely be interested, considering the fact that we are going to build a new home for the aged in 1954) discussions centered around the fact that this was a community responsibility and not the responsibility of just a few individuals.. Care of the chronically ill aged, and non-ambulatory aging, is considered the most important problem in this field. Planners of the Home here in town, are beginning to take this into consideration, and in planning the new building are making plans for limited service to infirm, senile and chronically ill aged.
By the way, there is a great deal of misconception in our community about the Home for the Aged. There have been several remarks to the effect that everyone in the Home can afford to pay the full amount of maintenance for the Home. Yesterday I had to do some investigating for the Home, and found that out of the thirteen guests now living in the Home, more than 50 per cent are paid for by either the Department of Public Welfare, Old Age Assistance, or Blind Aid.
One major point in the field of Jewish education which should concern thinking leadership of our community is the fact that Jewish education is a community piece of business and not alone a problem for the Synagogues. Feature of the Conference was the session on “National Local Relations—Overseas Needs.” In reviewing the three year plan to help Israel which American Jewry passed late in 1950, it was found that the United Jewish Appeal through Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds, had received about $220,000,000 during the three years. Other Israel philanthropic agencies received an additional $45,000,000; Israel Bond subscriptions totaled $130,000,000; United States Grant-in-Aid Commitments amounted to $160,000,000; United States Government Surplus Commodity Grants were $23,000,000, Export Import Bank loan of $35,000,000 and then there were private investments.
America’s share of the three year plan was one billion dollars. Not counting private investments and U.S. Technical aid which was tremendously helpful to Israel in stretching the value of its income and resources, some seven hundred and seventy-five million dollars in cash was achieved in the three years.
This achievement would have been impossible without the centralized action of the Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds throughout the country. It is further suggested that the bringing home to Israel of the greater understanding of American fund raising methods, so that Israel can more effectively cooperate, is an added need.
A clearer distinction is still needed between the Israel Bonds as an investment and the United Jewish Appeal as philanthropy.
Again the question of multiplicity of services and campaigns was discussed. The three educational institutions in Israel were urged to combine into a United Campaign again including their drives for capital funds.
The Jewish National Fund no longer has authority to campaign except through blue boxes, since they are receiving money from the United Jewish Appeal.
The question of subsidies and administrative expenses for Israel organizations in America, is receiving action of the Council of Federations and Welfare Funds.
Progress also was reported toward lessening duplications in JDC-USNA, HIAS and all agencies dealing with immigration.
Professor Gardner Patterson, economist of Princeton University, gave a somewhat gloomy picture of Israel’s economic ills, but ended on a strongly optimistic note which indicated that Israel would grow into a stable nation economically.
His main point was that economic reforms are necessary and that human resources must be used more. Claiming that there is too much mechanization on the farms and a lack of use of the human resources of Israel as farmers, he stated that some method must be found to place people on the farms. This new movement to farms, will require more aid from Israel’s friends, but then only for a short time. But it is necessary that Israel make better use of labor market, since its main resource is people.
Though we think of Israel’s living standards as pretty low, the professor stated that they are higher than the country can afford—and higher than other poor countries such as Greece, Turkey and Italy. For a time these living standards, as low as we may think they are, must be lowered yet.
Rabbi Norman Salit, president of the Synagogue Council of America, gave the sermon at Saturday morning services, in which he discussed the Jews in Germany. He had recently returned from a trip there with other religious leaders—a group in which he was the only Jew invited by the German government. It was his feeling that the role of the Jews in Germany had dwindled almost to extinction;
There are 22,000 Jews left in Germany compared to 665,000 before World War II. The Jews of Germany, averaging over 50 years of age, have completely lost their spirit. Young Jews see no future in Germany and many are leaving for Israel. Only five Rabbis were found in all of Germany, and Rabbi Saluit holds little hope for the regeneration of the Jews of Germany.
Preceding stories were gleaned from the Southwestern Jewish Press
By Sheila Orysiek
SAN DIEGO–Many years ago I had a very ordinary day that changed my life. I was busy in the house, running about with mop and scrub brush cleaning and polishing. My baby son was happily murmuring to himself in his playpen, my husband was at work and the world seemed to be humming along. Then the doorbell rang.
A man identified himself as the friendly local Realtor and asked me if I was interested in listing our house for sale and buying a new one. He told me he would be only too happy to help out. I replied that we had no plans to sell our house. After a few minutes he looked at me with a mingling of disgust and disappointment and asked “Don’t you want to move up?” I said goodbye and closed the door. However, several minutes later I paused in my housekeeping activity, sat down and thought about it.
Exactly what did “moving up” mean? Probably meant a larger house with more rooms; more rooms for me to clean. More rooms to fill up with furniture. Our house was small but comfortable, easy to maintain, I could reach every window with just a stepladder and easily walk to the nearest store. It was very convenient. It is true we didn’t have a view, but then we were not in any danger of sliding down a hill after a heavy rain either.
Perhaps it meant living in a gated community with a homeowner’s association that wouldn’t allow a clothes line. I rather liked occasionally hanging the clothes outside. There was a certain mockingbird that sat in a nearby tree and we had had many delightful conversations. Maybe moving up meant having a three car garage instead of two. That would also necessitate a third car to fill it, which we didn’t need or two bigger cars which we didn’t need either.
As someone who loves to bake and cook (or at least I used to!) I had always wanted a large gleaming gadget filled kitchen. That is, until I knew someone who had one. Her kitchen was the size of my living room, dining room and kitchen combined. It looked grand. She spent a great deal of energy running from one end of it to another – from the sink to the refrigerator to the ovens, to the stove top – all the while making detours around the beautiful “island.” Meanwhile, in my little kitchen which is euphemistically called “a step saver” – I can indeed reach almost anything within a very few steps. I’ve come to appreciate that economy of movement.
Maybe moving up means living in a neighborhood with beautiful hills and no sidewalks, but then I would have to drive to take a walk somewhere else. Or a house on a steep incline so my son couldn’t ride his bike – or the sewage would have to be pumped up – with concomitant disaster if the electricity went down. Or a house so wonderful that every window and entrance had a security code and an alarm would go off if a protocol wasn’t observed whenever I wanted to open a window. I knew friends who had homes like that.
Or I could have a home large enough to need a weekly multiple maid cleaning service, a garden service, an indoor plant service, window cleaning service – that way I would have to schedule my activities so I could be home for theirs. I knew friends who had this, too. “Oh, I can’t go out to lunch – I have to be home for the indoor plant man.” Or another who had a home with such high beamed ceilings that the furniture had to be specially designed so as to aesthetically fit the space. She couldn’t just see a nice chair – and buy it.
Did moving up mean having more closets to fill? It could also mean room for a huge television screen. Then we could watch the world tear itself up on the nightly news in really big images. The problem with this moving up idea was that once one started on this climb there was no real end to it. There would always be someone else higher on life’s hill looking down. I knew a lot of people who because of their life style had to work overtime. Though my husband did occasionally work overtime it was never because of our life style. I hated the thought of pressuring him with this moving up thing. I had married him because I wanted to spend time with him, not for his earning ability.
Maybe moving up meant being happier. I looked around at my neighbors, all of them were sturdy, clean living, decent people and they seemed happy enough on the little street on which we all lived. They appeared to derive their contentment from the families they were raising, in the happiness of their children, their religious beliefs and the normalcy of their lives. I have learned a lot from my neighbors. I didn’t think that my religious beliefs, Judaism, meant moving up either. I knew someone very close to me who had been consumed with this moving up business and it had bedeviled her into a frustrating life. Her existence was a struggle made worse because she was never happy with what she had.
My son experienced this push to move up while still in elementary school as the children teased each other over what name brands of clothes and shoes they wore. I told him he could have the expensive name brands when he could afford to buy them. Though I could easily afford to buy these clothes for him, I didn’t see a particular need for an eight or nine year old to gad about in a certain brand of clothes which would be outgrown before it was outworn. And once when he did save up for an expensive name brand T-shirt and it fell apart in the first wash, he began to see that quality doesn’t necessarily reside in an inflated price tag.
I have come to the conclusion this need for moving up doesn’t exist. It is a figment of the imagination of an unhappy soul. Since I have lived for over four decades in my cozy, convenient house, I have obviously failed at the game of moving up. I think moving forward is a much better goal.
Sheila Orysiek is a freelance writer based in San Diego. Her email is email@example.com
WASHINGTON, D.C. (Press Release)–Prosecutors in the Office of Military Commissions announced on Friday they intend to ask the convening authority to refer new charges under the recently-enacted Military Commissions Act of 2009 against Abd al-Rahim Hussein Muhammed Abdu al-Nashiri, in connection with the bombing of the USS Cole in the port of Aden, Yemen, in October 2000. The bombing resulted in the deaths of 17 sailors and injuries to many more.
This announcement follows the attorney general’s determination on Nov. 13, 2009, that a military commission was the proper forum for prosecution of al-Nashiri.
The prosecutors are reviewing this and other cases identified by the attorney general as appropriate for trial in a military commission and anticipate making further announcements soon.
As part of the process of moving forward with the prosecution of al-Nashiri, on Nov. 19, 2009, in response to a request from the prosecutors, the convening authority dismissed without prejudice the pending charges against al-Nashiri. This dismissal without prejudice is a procedural action permitting new charges to be referred at a later time.
A charge is merely an accusation; an accused is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
Preceding provided by U.S. Defense Department
WASHINGTON, D.C. (Press Release)–Congressman John Shadegg (Republican, Arizona) issued the following comments on Friday after sending a letter signed by 25 other Members of Congress demanding that FBI Director Robert Mueller provide answers to questions about the halted investigation of Nidal Malik Hasan:
“While there are many facts still unfolding about what led Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan to carry out a mass murder at Ft. Hood just two weeks ago, there are some bold and alarming details that we must not ignore, and in fact, must address immediately.
“By not pursuing an investigation of Maj. Hasan months ago, the FBI was negligent at best and criminal at worst. According to reports, Maj. Hasan may have been psychotic, and he had allegedly been in contact with Anwar al-Awlaki, a radical Yemeni-American cleric accused by the U.S. of having ties to al-Qaeda.
“Congress must find out why the FBI did not go further in its investigation as well as define whether or not this was in fact an act of terror.”
Preceding provided by Congressman Shadegg
BERLIN (WJC)–The director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Mohamed ElBaradei, said on Friday that he believed Iran had not totally rejected the IAEA’s nuclear fuel plan, but that time was running out. “The ball is now in Iran’s court. I hope they will not miss this fleeting chance,” ElBaradei told reporters in Berlin. He said that the Iranians “needed to rise above their domestic conflicts” on the nuclear issue, and take a “minimum risk” in the interests of peace. “I hope to get an answer soon, within the next week or so.”
The IAEA chief also said that he did not want to see further sanctions against Iran, as they would only force Tehran into a more hawkish position. “It is a unique opportunity to move from sanctions and confrontation to the process of building…trust,” ElBaradei said at a press conference in Berlin.
On Thursday, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had brushed off international warnings after apparently rejecting a compromise deal on the country’s controversial nuclear program. However, Iran still has not made a formal written response to the IAEA’s proposal. On Wednesday, Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said Tehran would only accept the fuel deal if the swap of low-enriched uranium for nuclear fuel would be effected simultaneously, and on Iranian territory.
In Brussels, senior diplomats from the Group of Six Nations (Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States) met on Friday to discuss how to respond to Iran’s negative response to the deal.
Preceding provided by World Jewish Congress
BRUSSELS (WJC)—European Commission Vice-President Günter Verheugen of Germany has said that the EU should upgrade its political and economic relations with Israel – frozen after the Gaza war – again and grant Israel the same relationship status with Europe as Norway. “We should give Israel a long-term and clear credible European perspective,” Verheugen told a conference in Brussels marking 50 years of relations between Europe and Israel. While not an EU member state, Norway participates in the European Economic Area and in many of the EU’s programs, institutions and activities.
“Israel is for the EU not a country like the others. There is no other country in the world with whom we have such visible and invisible links. Israel is part of our own history, our own culture and our own life,” Verheugen said. We cannot deliver hard security to Israel but we can strengthen our economic and political relations”, Verheugen said. At the event, organized by the Mission of Israel to the EU and Germany’s Konrad Adenauer Foundation, Israel’s ambassador to the EU, Ran Curiel, said EU-Israel relations were based on a long shared history of the Jewish people and Europe “with its lights and shadows”.
Meanwhile, the leaders of the 27 EU member states have nominated Belgium’s Prime Minister Herman Van Rompuy as the first-ever permanent President of the European Union. The current British trade commissioner for trade, Catherine Ashton, will become the new EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and a vice-president of the European Commission. The changes in the EU institutions were brought about by the Lisbon Treaty, which aims at strengthening the union’s role in international affairs..
Preceding provided by World Jewish Congress
SANA’A, Yemen (WJC)–Agents in Yemen have reportedly arrested two men who planned to assassinate Rabbi Yahya Yusuf Musa, the head of the small Jewish community in the predominantly Muslim country, after he had criticized Shiite rebels in northern Yemen for fighting against the government in a television interview .
Musa told Reuters that he believed the men, who carried hand guns, had been sent by the rebels. Yemen’s tiny Jewish community has faced a difficult situation in recent years, underscored by the murder of Jewish teacher Moshe Yaish Nahari last year, in Omran, north of the capital Sana’a. A retired Yemeni air force pilot, was sentenced to death for the murder.
The ‘Wall Street Journal’ has reported that the US State Department recently flew nearly 60 Jews ot of Yemen and resettled them in the United States. According to the report, nearly 350 Yemenite Jews lived in the country before the operation. Those who have already moved to the US are likely to be joined by 100 more, while the remainder will most likely move to Israel. Reportedly, only 20 to 30 Jews have said that they want to remain in Yemen.
Preceding provided by World Jewish Congress