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The Southern Jewish weekly. [volume] (Jacksonville, Fla.) 1939-1992, August 12, 1949, Image 4

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn78000090/1949-08-12/ed-1/seq-4/

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Page Four
Ethel “Teddy” Moscovitz
(Continuing its policy of offer
ing guest writers for this column
while Mrs. Moscovitz is on vaca
tion. the Southern Jewish Week
ly this week presents Rose Ent
man, wife of the director of the
River Garden Home for the He
brew Aged in Jacksonville. Mrs.
Entman says that her only claim
to distinction is her husband and
their two handsome sons, Step
hen and Mark.
The Sidney Entmans have lived
in Jacksonville for the past three
and a half years, during which
time they have become active
members of the community.
Prior to their coming here they
resided in New York where Mrs.
Entman assisted in surveys on
child behavior. She also con
ducted a personal counseling col
umn for a popular magazine.)
* * * *
I know it will seem strange that
I sit on the sands of Neptune
Beach in July and think of
Christmas. I must explain how
that happens. Just before I came
out to the beach, one of my
friends showed me a clipping
from a local newspaper, concern
ing a “scandal” in which a Jew
ish girl was prominently involv
ed. My friend lives in a hotel in
downtown Jacksonville. She de
scribed the pointed inquiries
from the other guests, the day
the news item appeared, as to
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whether she had seen the evening
paper, and she was uncertain re
garding her treatment of the
matter.
About a week ago, I began to
read in our daily newspapers and
in some magazines, so-called
"paid advertisements", a series of
articles sponsored by a large na
i tional organization. The articles
! were designed to "debunk" many
convictions which uninformed
people have about the particular
religious group of which their
I
membership is composed.
And that is how I came to be
thinking of Christmas in July,
i Every year, after the December
P. T. A. meeting in the public
schools, the Jewish mothers
1 come out of the auditorium
where they have just seen Jew
ish children participating in the
Christmas play, singing out the
I words, “Christ the Saviour is
| born”. Some are resentful, others
apathetic, many perplexed and
uncertain. No mother wishes to
set her child apart by going to
i the teacher to ask that her child
be excused from participating in
the play. No one is even sui'e
! whether it would be desirable to
have Jewish children excluded
from the program.
I had never been confronted
with this problem before. I grew
up in a concentrated Jewish
community such as you find in
most of the larger cities in the
North. It may be difficult for
anyone who has never lived in
such a community to know how
it feels to attend a school where
there are so many Jewish child
ren that lesson plans are geared
to take into consideration the
absence of a large part of the
class on Jewish holidays; or to
walk out on a Jewish holiday and
find not a single store open and
see everyone about you dressed
in holiday garb; to hear Yiddish
spoken almost as much as Eng
lish in stores and in the streets;
to hear snatches of Jewish radio
programs through open windows;
to see lighted Candles in home
after home on Friday night. In
such surroundings, while there
are Christian neighbors a few
streets away and in school with
: you. playing with you, and shar
i ing general community activity
with you, you are at least met
half way because there are so
many of you that there is a re
cognized need to understand you
and to make necessary adjust
ments to your way of life.
I can see no more objection to
the participation of our Jewish
children in the portrayal of the
Christmas story than in their
participation in a play about
Confucionism, or Shintoism, or
Buddhism, or ancient Greek
forms of worship, or the religious
rituals of the American Indian.
Our dereliction lies in the fact
that while we are learning about
them, we are not bringing our
story to them. Truly, the indi
vidual mother who has misgiv
ings about her child’s appearance
in a Christmas play or the single
Jew living in a downtown hotel
cannot do an educational job
with the teacher or school or
hotel guests by herself, nor
should she. That kind of educa
tion is a job for an entire Jewish
community.
The Jewish community in the
South is a scattered one. We
cannot, as Jews, live close to
gether and it is very questionable
whether that would be desirable
even if we could. But we can
join together and we can put our
heads together. Here in the
South, where fascist type groups
spring up periodically to take
their places beside the old stand
by, the Klan, a program of en-
THE SOUTHERN JEWISH WEEKLY
lightenment is obviously needed.
In this post war period, if com
petition for jobs should become
keener, possible converts to such
poisonous thinking would be
available in greater numbers.
Yet in Jacksonville, one of the
largest cities in the South, and
boasting one of the most active
Jewish communities both in the
development of its local facilities
and in the measure of its assist
ance to world Jewry, there is
lacking a positive educational
program for non-Jews.
Our Public Relations Council is
doing an effective piece of work
in the community, but its role is
primarily a remedial one. They
lack the time and the manpower
to function on a preventive level.
Yet how much better it would be
to avoid “incidents” rather than
to have to correct them later. If
we could present an interpreta
tion of some of our festivals and
religious practices so that non-
Jews could know about the ideals
of peace and freedom and broth
erhood which they connote, how
much less we would have to de
bunk later. If - we could point
out from out history, past and
present, the accomplishments and
aims of our people on a scientific
and cultural level, how much
greater their understanding of
our emphasis on scholastic
achievement and disproportionate
numbers of college applicants.
And if we could bring them the
cold facts and figures about the
economic advantages to all, of an
unprejudiced policy of employ
ment and professional participa
tion, how much better than hav
ing to seek legal means to fight
OaOBOBOBOBOBOOOBODOE3ODOnO
D AN INVITATION TO SOUTHERN JEWRY g
o Q
D e o
g Say ... jj
g Happy New Year |
g TO RELATIVES AND FRIENDS J
o THROUGH Jj
g Tlie Southern Jewish Weekly 5
0 Your greeting in the 1949 Rosh Hashonah issue of The Southern Jewish
D Weekly will reach practically all your relatives, friends and acquaintances g
in the South on September 23rd, just prior to the Jewish New Year as
2 holidays. ||
|| It will save you the bother and expense of sending individual greeting
0 cards—or cut down on the number you usually send.
Q Greetings from out of town readers ESPECIALLY invited. P
o _ j
It will evidence your interest in Z
U the general Jewish community. It IT PACTS ONLY 2
O is the ORIGINAL, logical and WWM * M
D easiest way of expressing your good Si 00 S
wishes to all those dear to you. * S
o
Dfill out this 2
COUPON AND THE SOUTHERN JEWISH WEEKLY
O mail at once p - °- Box 9M - ■ F'«**• 0
. Enclosed find SI.OO for which please insert my New q
M Year's Greeting Card in your 1949 Rosh Hashonah edition, jj
H Name 8
CALL Address .... If
2 9-7990 U
Ci tY 0
0 If your subscription is due, won'tyoupleaseadd $3 to your cheeky jj
discriminatory practices. I do
not hope that education will do
all these things, surely not at
once. Education is a long range
program. But it is never too soon
to begin.
Such a program could be more
simply executed if we availed
ourselves of the facilities which
the Anti-Defamation League puts
at our disposal. The League has
a paid professional staff who are
engaged in public opinion re
search. and who have produced
and developed a wide variety of
media for disseminating anti
discriminatory propaganda. To
facilitate reaching school child
ren with interfaith messages,
they have designed school book
covers, blotters, comic books;
they have produced moving pic
tures for various age groups and
have printed in sheet music form
and made recordings of the
"friendship songs". For distribu
tion among adults, there is no
end of reading material ift inter
esting pamphlet form. For pub
lication in local periodicals, they
have impressive advertising sug
gestions and there are excellent
cartoon suggestions for posters
and other uses. They have pre
pared several series of radio
broadcasts of short plays acted
by well known stars. There are
outlines for interfaith seminars.
I know this sounds like over
whelming propaganda. I do not
propose that we attempt all
these things. I only outline the
many possible channels through
which this life-giving democratic
thought can be fed to the sense
of brotherhood which reached its
peak during the war period and
Friday, August 12, 1949
will diminish in the absence m
the dramatic “common cause”
Who* would implement such ,
program? Well, it is a big Pro
ject and in fairness to the men i
do not feel that we should expect
them to undertake so large a pro
ject while they must carry 0 *
their business or professional ac
tivities daily. The challenge i|
there for one of the women's or.
ganizations to recognize the need
to volunteer its services to the
Public Relations Council, and
utilizing all available facilities
and community resources, to pm
into effect in Jacksonville, a pos .
itive program of democratic edu
cation.
ADMIRATION
A poor Jew once visited the
private Rothschild cemetery at
Frankfort. He stood gazing in
rapture at the beautiful tomb
stone erected over the grave ot
the founder of the Rothschild
fortune.
“Tsk, tsk,” *he finally said.
“That’s what I call living.”
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(New Store)
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