The Southern Israelite
The Challenge of Youth
(A ISetc Year 9 s Message)
By EDWARD M. KAHN
Executive Director, Federation of Jewish Charities
The pious Jew faces “Rosh Hasho-
na h" and “Yom Kippur” with great
8 we and expectation. He fears the
wor-t and hopes for the best. During
• he past year a good many of the
apprehensions became real, and a good
manv of the hopes failed of realiza-
\nti-Semitism in Poland, Roumania,
Hungary, Austria, and Germany has
declined. The dark forces of re-
a nd hatred have assumed men
acing. organized forms.
In the United States the Anti-Se-
, forces have experienced definite
I strong opposition, and, fortunate
ly. cannot report any gains.
Within the memory of the younger
generation the world lay devastated
v the ravages of war. Bled to the
re the world faced the ruin of civi
lization. Yet such is the aftermath of
war, that instead of being full of
compassion, mercy, and love, human
ity is full of hatred, envy, and bru
In times like these, the Jew is the
inevitable scapegoat. It has ever been
o all through the ages. And these
days are no exception. All the ills of
the world are ascribed to the Jew. He
!■> the world menace. The poor rabble
* buncombed into believing it all.
And believing it, fails to see the real
'Buses of the ills afflicting the world.
Battered by the unkindness of the
iK r es; ostracized by those whose ances
tors were swine-herds; persecuted
md oppressed by the mediaeval forces
"f the world, the Jew stands undis
mayed. He faces life with his back to
the wall, and says, “They shall not
The body can withstand pain and
'ufTering as long as the mind is free.
long as the heritage of Jewish
ulture is preserved the survival of
rid Jewry is assured.
Recently the world witnessed a
New ( hapter in the miraculous sur-
!\al of the Jew. Menaced by the blind
fury of savage fanaticism the Jewish
• '■uth of Palestine made the supreme
>acrifice defending the right of the
ew to ‘life, liberty, and the pursuit
True to the Jewish spirit, the Cha-
.ut2i m of Palestine are our modern
laccabees. But today, just, as in by-
* rne ^ mes ' ou r martyrs are those old
Js teachers of the Talmud and their
disciples in the Yeshivahs.
ir tyes turned toward the printed
• the ancient books of learning,
••arnu*^ with any weapons of destruc-
n ’ 1 Save up their lives because
brU *# er ? Jews - They were the sym-
the continuity of Jewish life
an u culture.
e burden of carrying on must fall
vantu younger generation. Jewish
L a m ^ st become the standard-
0,, v ° Ur tra ditions and culture.
a ■ 4 L? enta « e is and varied. It is
• at thing capable of growth.
in«nv\ m America we must find the
tlon and opportunity for the
preservation and further development
of Jewish cultural aspirations in the
synagogue and temple. In the Hebrew
School and Jewish Club, in the fra
ternal order and in the Jewish Center,
particularly in the last named, a dis
tinct product of American Jewish life.
The organization of the Jewish Cen
ter embraces all the elements of the
Jewish Community, Jewish history
and literature, Jewish art and folk
lore, and the opportunity for play and
recreation find ample place in its pro
This does not mean neglecting the
culture and traditions of America. The
public school system gives us all the
general background. The commercial
and industrial life of the nation affects
us all and standardizes our responses.
The social and cultural patterns of
America fit our measurements too.
We don’t want to be provincial. We
don’t crave separateness surrounded
by a ghetto wall.
As for the Jewish immigrant, his
physical adjustment is a mere matter
of time. He assumes the uniform out
er garb soon enough. As for his spir
itual adjustment to the American en
vironment, the writer believes that
this is a process of give and take.
True Americanization, then, is a so
cial and cultural process requiring for
success the freedom of action and in
From this standpoint, then, the Jew
has a contribution to make to the cul
ture of America. A contribution that,
fused with the other elements that
make up these United States, will en
rich the spirit of American cultural
The Jewish Center, in addition to
fostering the spirit and traditions of
America, must become the rallying
place for our Jewish youth. A place
where the aspirations of our people,
the ancient culture and new ideals of
the Jew, the problems of contempo
rary life, will receive the light of in
telligent discussion and understanding,
and perhaps lead to fruitful action.
Yom Kippur beholds a Spiritual Puri
The soul is cleansed for self-identifica
New hopes, new ambitions, new illu
Again endeavor to reach the unattain
Youth has courage and daring,
Age the wisdom to be sparing.
Striving, struggling, searching,
The unknown equation of human ex
Surrounded by the physical, the
Man makes a feeble attempt to attain
Failing, many surrender the struggle,
Judging all to be but a bubble.
Uphill on the road to fulfillment few
Below the masses to reality adhere.
for the moment—
—we wish our host
of Jewish friends
a Hearty, Happy
Tohn/on D u bo/e G>
‘‘There’* Something in a Name”