Categorized | Adventures in SD History

Adventures in San Diego Jewish History, September 11, 1958, Part 5

Revival of Chassidism Advocated
By Rabbi Moshe Maggal
Southwestern Jewish Press, September 11, 1958, Page 18

Whenever Judaism had been threatened with a stagnation or degeneration, its life force issued new vitamins and new ideas, which soon rejuvenated its body — and the life cycle started anew.

We are able to witness this regenerating process very often in our continuous history.

In the 18th Century, Rabbinic Judaism became – a system of booklore -and dry religious formalism. The mind was illuminated, but the heart remained cold.

The masses of our people did not yearn for light to illumine their reason but yearned instead for warmth to set the “heart” aglow.

As a revolt against excesses of intellectualism, the Chassidic movement came into being. Chassidism brought into Judaism a fervent stream of religious enthusiasm, which replaced Talmudic rationalism with exalted religious sentiment.

Again history, repeats itself! Today we witness the same excess of intellectualism in Judaism. While our masses are yearning for “religious life-elixir’ — for the satisfaction of their hearts’ yearnings — they are getting, instead an outpouring for the mind.

Indeed, we have great Rabbis in all three branches of Judaism, but their greatness lies in intellectualism, not in heart.

Therefore, one need not be too surprised to witness so many of our brethren seeking for religious warmth in the other cults . . .

Chassidism once again could do much to revitalize our Judaism, Through Chassidism, people would once again find joy in Jewish expression — movement that could kindle a dimming light , of religious fervor.

According to Chassidic doctrine, man is saved by faith and not through mer e religious knowledge.

The founder, the Bal Shem Tov, said, “It is necessary to serve God with a cheerful and happy frame of mind; sadness and sorrow darken the soul. Once you believe you are the child of God, how can you sink into a gloomy frame of mind?”

We need a revival of Chassidism, in modern dress, but with an inner meaning that is yet the same.

The soil of our time is ready for the seeds of Chassidism by any great soul who dares to plant upon a barren land of Judaism.

*

Sweetness of Life
By Rabbi Marcus S. Simmons, Temple Beth Sholom, Chula Vista
Southwestern Jewish Press, September 11, 1958, Page 19

Near midnight on Dec. 31 of each year, Scots assemble in the public squares of their cities, sing a metrical psalm, hear a few words of exhortation from a minister of religion and wish one another “a guid ne’er” (a good New Year).

This is a variant of the English sentiment, “I wish you a happy New Year”.

We Jews dip an apple in honey, thank God for the sweetness of His providence and pray that His will to renew unto us the sweetness of life which comes from a good Torah-conscience, may be our experience, at is was the experience of Israel, to whom shule was a second home.

On the eve of the Jewish New Year I clasp in spirit the hand of my fellow humans everywhere, and I pray that we may all experience throughout our lives the sweetness and satisfaction of the Good Moral Life together.

*

Holy Day Theme on Two TV Programs
Southwestern Jewish Press, September 11, 1958, Page 19

Religious self-examination, a central theme of the High Holy Days, will be emphasized on two Holiday television programs presented by the Union of American Hebrew Congregations.

On Sunday morning, Rabbi Julian F. Feingold of University Synagogue will speak on the In God We Trust program over KTLA (5) at 8 a.m. His subject will be “The Strength of Weakness” and will have a Rosh Hashanah theme in keeping with the holiday that begins that evening. Appearing with him will be the synagogue’s Cantor Samuel G. Broude.

Rabbi Leonard I. Beerman and Cantor William Sharlin of Leo Baeck Temple will project a Yom Kippur theme on the KNXT (2). Light of Faith program Sunday, Sept., 21, at 9:30 a.m. This will come two days before the holiday.

Reform temples throughout Southern California affiliated with the Union of American Hebrew Congregations will provide any available seats to the High Holy Day Services, primarily for the benefit of out-of-state visitors and servicemen, it was announced by Louis A. Chase, UAHC Southern California Council President.

Any inquiries regarding services and seating may be made by calling the UAOC, in cooperation with the California School of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, will also provide student-rabbis for smaller congregations which do not have their own spiritual leaders.

*

Back at Home In Same Role
Southwestern Jewish Press, September 11, 1958, Page 21

Mrs. Rose Bugaisky, 78, served as a practical nurse at the Jewish Home for the Aged during a decade ending in 1950, when, she retired. In 1954, she again entered the Home, this time as a resident, but missed ‘the joy of helping others.”

The Home has allowed her; to become a part-time volunteer in the infirmary, where she now spends her “happiest hours performing a useful role for fellow residents.”

*

Mental Film Series
Southwestern Jewish Press, September 11, 1958, Page 21

A series’ of’ films on mental health, followed by a discussion led by an eminent specialist, ended last week as the first joint venture between the Jewish Community Center and the Mental Health Association.

“The significance of this series is not only in its, success, but mainly in the co-operation between these two agencies” said William Schwartz, president of the Jewish’ Community Center.

The series was attended by more than 300. The joint planning committees are discussing another series. Contemplated in the near future is a program in conjunction with the Jewish Social Service Agency on Family Life.

*

Rassco Justifies Early Vision
Southwestern Jewish Press, September 11, 1958, Page 22

The vision of Drs. Chaim Weizmann, Jacob Ruppin and Abraham Granott is revealed in the phenomenal growth of one company in Israel in the 25 years of its existence, as described in the special anniversary issue of the American Israel Chamber of Commerce.

It is the story of private Investment in an underdeveloped land, and of a company which founded and developed 50 Agricultural settlements, built 50,000 housing units, planted and sold 10,000 dunums of new citrus groves for private settlement and investment.
The company is RASSCO, owned by the Jewish Agency since 1934. Set up in the ’30s to foster rural and urban settlement. Rassco has branched out as the largest private construction company in Israel.

It has also become the leading contractors for the building of American institutions in Israel, such as Kfar Silver for the ZCA, Bar Ilan University for the Mizrachi, the B’nai B’rith Children’s Home at Jerusalem, the Hadassah project at Kfar Vitkin, the Louise Waterman Wise Youth Hostel, and the new building of the Hebrew University.

In addition, Rassco built and helped finance the Landsmanschaft projects for Shelters for Israel, the Naschelsher Society, Novy Dor, United Romanians Society, Maramarosh Federation and others.

With statehood for Israel a reality, Rassco opened offices all over the world, living up to its reputation as the trusted investment counsellors of Jews all over the world. In the United States, the American affiliate is the Rassco Israel Corp. with the specific responsibility for channeling American investment dollars into the Israel’s expanding and profitable economy.

Direct participation by American Jews in the economic affairs of Israel has now become the vital means to protect continued survival. The dearth of private capital and mortgage money severely hampers and restricts the eager productive forces.

Recognizing the productive genius of the Israeli continues to be a slow process for the many friends of the dynamic democracy. They are inclined to lump together everything that goes there as philanthropy. They lose sight of the fact that withholding partnership may also result in needless strangulation.

The urgent need for housing has found Rassco in the forefront, building and financing immigrant housing. The most recent project is Kiryat America, 1600 units in the newest suburb of Jerusalem, available to Americans for investment participation with exceptional options.

Rassoo’s 25-year record in the – service of private initiative, free enterprise and middle class settlement has earned for this company a high reputation for responsibility, solidity and sound business administration.

At the same time, the link with the Jewish Agency is a steady safeguard of the national interest which inspires the business policy of Rassco.

For the convenience of California friends, Rassco maintains permanent offices at 5410 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles 36, WEbster 3-5667, to serve as a link between participants and their holdings in Israel.

&

JDC Cites Aid Given Distressed
Southwestern Jewish Press, September 11, 1958, Page 22

The Joint Distribution Committee major American agency aiding distressed Jews abroad, provided assistance to 195,490 needy Jews in Israel, Europe and the Moslem world, including thousands of refugees from Egypt, Hungary, Poland and other countries, the 1957 JDC Statistical Abstract discloses.

Nearly 100,000 were Jews from Moslem countries, where JDC aid continued to reach more than one of every five Jews. These included men, women and children in Algeria, Iran, Morocco, Tunisia, and other areas.

The 12th annual issue of the Statistical Abstract, prepared by the JDC Research Department under the direction of Dr. Boris Sapir, also indicates the continued large-scale assistance provided by Malben, the JDC Welfare program on behalf of aged, ill and handicapped newcomers to Israel.

In 1957 JDC aided more than 36,670 persons in Israel.

*

Fete Holy Days
Southwestern Jewish Press, September 11, 1958, Page 22

A Rosh Hashanah celebration will be held on Wednesday, Sept, 17, at 2 p.m. in the Henry Weinberger Auditorium of the Westside Jewish Community Center, 5870 W. Olympic Blvd.

*

Westside Team to Play Series in Ensenada
Southwestern Jewish Press, September 11, 1958, Page 22

Volleyball players of the Westside Jewish Community. Center, Los Angeles, will participate in a series of international matches when they travel to Ensenada on -Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Sept. 11, 12 and 13.

The Westsiders will meet the Mexican National team, an all- star sextet representing the Mexican Volleyball Federation.

A three games out of five match will be played each afternoon at the Ensenada Sports Palace. Sellout crowds are forecast, as volleyball is one of the major sports in Mexico.

The contest will be a return engagement for at least one of the players — Gene Selznick, coach and captain of the Westsiders. He played with the United States in the Pan American Games at Mexico City in 1955, when the Mexicans finished second to America.

Selznick was chosen “Player of the Tournament” for volleyball in the Pan American Games. This award went onto a table which has stretched to accommodate a large number of  awards during the past decade.

Selznick made the All-American with the Center team which was: third in the National in 1957 and second in 1958.

*

Probably Arab Dog
Mongrel Mangled Morale
By Tom Tugend, Heritage Staff Writer
Southwestern Jewish Press, September 11, 1958, Page 24

My Friend Bill was one of the handful of Americana who went to Israel in 1948 to fight in an “Anglo-Saxon” unit, composed of volunteers from English-speaking countries. I called him a few days ago.

“Bill,” I said, “Heritage wants a story about Rosh Hashanah in the Holy Land. What we need is something significant and touching, with an ending so subtle that only the most sensitive readers will grasp the point.”

Unfortunately, Bill is one of those people who go through world-shaking events and come out remembering only a trivial episode or an insignificant anecdote.

So I wasn’t too surprised, only a little disappointed, when all he could recall about Rosh Hashanah, 1948, was the following incident, which, as you will see hardly a story at all.

One night before Rosh Hashanah 10 years ago, a scrawny brown dog joined our unit near Jerusalem, and followed us to the mess hall, the training ground and to quarters.

On dull evenings, the barracks genealogists analyzed the probable strains fused to produce the dog. Some claimed to detect a definite shepherd strain, while others insisted on a terrier background.

One day Jo-Jo, a gangling Canadian, brought the dog to a unit meeting and officially proposed him for adoption. That a sabra, even a canine sabra, should display such affection as had the dog, clouded the judgment of many, and by majority vote he was accepted into the unit.

A few realists eloquently opposed the adoption, but their cool reasoning was overcome by emotional appeal* such as “man’s best friend is his dog,” and so forth.

Jo-Jo maintained stoutly that the dog’s cosmopolitan background guaranteed his racial broadmindedness, and that decided the issue. The dog was named “Little Jo-Jo” after his initial sponsor.

When Harry a South African, stepped on Little Jo-Jo the next day and broke the dog’s right front leg, the man sympathized deeply with the dog’s plight.

A driver with high priority orders raced to Tel Aviv, and by popular consent the company fund donated 7 pounds, out of a 7 pounds, 50 mills fund, toward the mongrel’s hospital bill. Three weeks later, Little Jo-Jo rejoined us at Bcersheba, amidst restrained jubilation.

When two days later Little Jo-Jo went to sleep under a truck and didn’t wake up until the wheel had passed over his right hind leg, it gradually dawned on the more penetrating that the dog lacked an elemental sense of self-preservation.

Rather arbitrarily, it was decided to collect 17 piasters a man to restore the dog to its former state of semi-paralysis. There were some high-flown declarations about “collective responsibility” and “taking care of the older members of the unit”. But all this bombast could not prevent gradual formation of a hard anti-canine corps.

During the following week, Little Jo-Jo tripped up three men, forced two command cars to a screeching halt, pulled down one radio and wetted beds. After the last fiasco, the enraged bed owners threw him out the window. Miraculously no legs were broken, but the dog took to sulking in park corners.

This new mood so alarmed a few sensitive animal lovers that they decided to send Little Jo-Jo to a canine psychiatrist. The dog lovers were influential men, but sufficiently wary of public opinion not to mention their project to the rest of the unit.

When the bill came in, the restless grumbling of the anti- Little Jo-Jo faction erupted into open revolt. Men not always distinguished for hard work announced violently that they did not sweat for 3 and 1/2 pounds a month to support an imbecilic dog.

In strong language, they denied the dog’s natural right to existence and went so far as to accuse the mongrel of purposely attaching himself to a unit of simple-minded and generous “Anglo-Saxons” to keep up his parasitic existence, if to no avail. A bare majority professed to recall dogs of their childhood, pointed to the success of the Lassie pictures, produced maudlin stories of dog heroics from the Hearst papers.

Little Jo-Jo returned with a triumph gleam in his eye. The next day, he disappeared.

Whether he has done in by a thrifty soldier or whether the dog felt that we had been sucked dry is still a matter of speculation.

Perhaps he went over to the enemy to sabotage that army for a while. As of a late date, Little Jo-Jo had not been seen again, and his fate remains one of the unsolved questions of the Israeli war effort.

Happy Rosh Hashanah . . .

*

S.D. Rabbi Hits ‘18’
Southwestern Jewish Press, September 11, 1958, Page 24

The marshalling of Southland political, religious, economic and civic leadership forces against the attempted enactment of a so-called “right to work” law in this state moved forward impressively today with the first naming of members to the general. Southern California Committee against Proposition 18.

Robert Fenton Craig and John Anson Ford, co-chairmen, of the committee; announced a list of more than 100 .well-known persons, many of whom already have been appointed, to county groups working against Proposition 18.

San Diego leaders are Armistead Carter, Rabbi Morton Cohn, Alex Corey, William. Enright, Hugo Fisher, Murray Goodrich, Edgar B. Hervey, William Hill, Burton J. Jones, Charles Karpinski, Ken Keller, Oscar C. Lundberg, . L. Nunn, B. H. Patterson, John Riley, Paul S. Ruckle, Ed Schwartz, Charles Stalker, Edward M. Stringer, Bowen Van Voorhees, Sam Venich, William Wenke, Vincent Whelan, Cy Cassidy, Frank Curran and Ralph DeFrance.

*
Preceding compiled by Sam Chessler and Nico Laqua

 

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