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longer say that we have not a Jewish question in America. We have. Before the war broke out, we were beginning to ask ourselves how we were going to deal with the mass of unassimilated eastern European Jews who were taking possession of Manhattan Island. None in America was worried about more Jews coming into the United States, but their continued and indefinite concentration in New York and a few other large American cities, where they became shopkeepers and middlemen, brokers and bankers, lawyers and newspaper men in overwhelming numbers, began to create the strong prejudice that undoubtedly exists against the Jews in our great centers of population. Had the Jews scattered all over the United States, and had they gone into the producing end of business, they would have been treated just as any other group from Europe which came to contribute its varied part to the development of the United States.
Our 300,000 Jews, representing the earlier immigration and its descendants, are to be found in all the States of the Union, as thoroughly Americanized as any element of our population, and have rendered services to the building up of our country far out of proportion to their numbers. Our 3,000,000 Jews representing the later immigration and its children, have already given many outstanding figures to community and national life. But the 3,000,000 are bunched and clannish.
The student of Jewish life in Europe has grave misgivings that the old story of putting the Jew within the pale is going to repeat itself in America. But if this occurs, it will be, as it has not been in the past, only the fault of the Jew himself.
This clannishness would eventually break down were it not for the deliberate efforts of Jewish leaders who are determined that Israel shall remain an imperium in imperio. If the Jews persist in maintaining a distinct ethnic consciousness and an exclusive community life, anti-Semitism will thrive in America as it has thrived in Europe. The American nation, itself the result of fusion, will not tolerate without protest a foreign element in it. For the Jew it is either into the melting-pot or back to the Ghetto.
The twofold pity of it is that the leaders of Jewish nationalism, as it is expounded to us in America, are creating a difficult and embarrassing situation for coreligionists whom they do not represent and who are unqualifiedly opposed to Jewish nationalism, and that the ideals for the sake of which they are stirring up animosity against the Jews are wholly irrealizable.
I have read through, with minute attention to every argument advanced and fact adduced, the articles of the Dearborn "Independent." The case against the Jews has three counts: that they are unassimilated and cannot be assimilated; that their first allegiance is to Jewry and not to the country in which they live; and that they are using their unique position as an "internation" to dominate the world. But the case rests upon the false hypothesis of Jewish racial or national and cultural solidarity. It is absurd to consider the Jews as a separate nation, linked together throughout the world by a national self-consciousness. It is the same mistake that misinformed writers make when
they speak of the menace of Islam. The Jews and Mohammedans have as radical differences of culture and ideals as Christians.
Just because they are Christians, one does not assume a community of spirit and a common culture to the French and Germans. And yet there is an equally wide, if not wider, gulf between Spanish-speaking Jews and Yiddish-speaking Jews. They hate one another like poison even in Jerusalem. Nor does Dr. Chaim Weissmann represent the Jews of Europe, as he said he did when he was in this country recently. At Cleveland, at the Zionist convention in June, Dr. Weissmann neglected to admit frankly that he was having the same trouble in Europe over Palestine funds and official representation that developed in America. Most American Jews, who have been swept off their feet by the Zionist propaganda, do not know about the meeting of leading rabbis who form the central council of "Agudas Yisroel." The orthodox Eastern Jews adopted at Vienna a protest against Article IV of the draft of the mandate for Palestine prepared by the British Government. These Jews refused to recognize the right of Dr. Weissmann's organization to be considered as the Jewish agency for coöperating and advising with the administration of Palestine. I know personally strictly orthodox rabbis in many European countries to whom Dr. Weissmann and all his works are as much anathema as they are to the Reform Jews in America.
Unfortunately, the Jews who are indifferent to or opposed to the unAmerican propaganda of the Zionists have until now kept quiet. By not actively working against Jewish na
tionalism, as it is being taught in the United States by men who do not understand American institutions and the spirit of American life, they have let silence give consent. Many American non-Jews have thus been led to believe that the Jewish element as a whole does not intend to become Americanized. Every day we read about the interest of the Jews in Zionism, and their eagerness to be citizens of a reconstituted Palestine. Why do we not hear the other side? The best way for the Jews to check the growth of anti-Semitism in America at the present moment is for every Jew who does not want to become a Palestinian to say so openly. The time has come for the Jews of America to refuse to tolerate the assumption of certain European Jews to act as spokesmen for the aspirations of the Jewish "race" or "nation."
If Zionism were purely religious, no American would say a word against it. But those of us who have read Ahad Ha'Am's "Al Parashat Derachim" know that Zionism, based on this influential writer's interpretation of it, is subversive to American citizenship. No Jew can be a follower of Asher Ginsberg (Ahad Ha'Am), and be a good American. Ginsberg in his essay considers Zionism as a means for deepening the cultural rather than the religious life of Jewry, and he believes that, while the majority of the Jews must remain outside Palestine, their attachment to Zion will enable them to be an international community linked together by the closest of ties.
Call it by whatever name you will and explain it as you will, the Zionist
movement tends to emphasize in the immigrant what makes him unfit for American citizenship. Jew or Gentile, the man who comes to this country and who casts in his lot with this country must make it his business to learn and to express in his life American ideals and to work for American interests. Our colonists and our earlier immigrants never hesitated to sever the ties that bound them to the country or the people of their origin. Otherwise, the United States would never have become a nation. What it means to be an American is taught in one of the books of the Hebrew Bible. The story of Ruth is an epic of Americanization. Whoever comes to us in the spirit of Ruth need not feel an alien. Whoever comes to us in the spirit of Ahad Ha'Am will always be an alien, and will breed aliens.
Confronted with anti-Semitism, what are American Jews going to do? Will they allow the newer element of their coreligionists to crystallize themselves into a community apart, worked upon to give their loyalty to Palestine and their money to Keren Hayesod, or will they fight the Zionist propaganda by dissociating themselves publicly from the movement and all its implications, and by enlightening the immigrants from eastern Europe concerning the duties and privileges of American citizenship?
The nineteenth century gave to the Jews full rights of citizenship in western Europe. In eastern Europe the Russian Revolution and the treaties after the World War brought sudden emancipation. Whether the gains are illusory or real depends in large measure upon the Jews themselves. They must choose between attachment to Palestine and attachment to the coun
try of which they are citizens. The time is poorly chosen to preach Zionism.
This is especially true in the United States, where we are a thousand times more sensitive about divided loyalty than we were before the war. If we overdid the stamping out of German and Bolshevist propaganda, fancying that it existed where it did not, it must be remembered that the provocation was great. When it comes to the rank and file of Americans, the Americanization issue is not cheap jingoism or left-over war hysteria. It is a means of preserving the unity of the United States, just as abolition, sixty years ago, was a means of preserving the Union.
The sponsors of the Jewish-nation idea are, in my opinion, enemies of American unity, and give journals like the Dearborn "Independent" weekly texts to use against their coreligionists. We Americans cannot afford to have any nationalist propaganda spread among our fellow-citizens, especially among those recently or not yet naturalized. Zionists will cry out that a man can be a good American and at the same time a fervent Zionist, but no involved and confused line of explanation and reasoning about the spirit and purpose of Zionism will convince American public opinion that a man who has two countries is a good citizen, or that a man can belong to two nations at the same time.
faith who may be nationals of another can ideals and interests. The Keren
country? With the rise of nationality in Europe this question was threshed out between different sects of Christendom. The Catholics of England were loyal to Protestant Elizabeth. The Catholics of France rallied to Protestant Henry IV, and then the Protestants of France rallied to Catholic Henry IV. Those who did not place country above religion were persecuted, and finally driven into exile. The American Christian is willing to say to the American Jew that in case of a difference with any foreigner, he would place the American Jew before the Christian foreigner. The tie is The tie is not religion, but nationality.
We are sure of the answer the 300,000 will give. Are we sure of the 3,000,000? The reason we are not sure is our fear of what the Zionist propaganda is accomplishing in preventing the Americanization of immigrants and in undermining the loyalty of others to American ideals and interests. We do not hold in abhorrence the Jews, but we do hold in abhorrence the Jewish nation. The existence of a Jewish nation, whatever connotation one gives to the term, means the existence of anti-Semitism, and as the Jewish nation flourishes, so will anti-Semitism flourish.
The split in the Zionist organization in the recent Cleveland convention confirmed our belief that a serious attempt was being made by Europeans to bring together the Jews of America into a formidable organization, imbued with a separate national consciousness, for purposes which, while we may not understand them clearly, are certainly not for the benefit of Ameri
Hayesod (Palestine Fund) was conceived by the majority at the last London Zionist conference as a tax or levy and not as a free-will offering. That was the revelation of 1920. And now in 1921 we learn that this money, a large portion of which is to be contributed by Americans, it is proposed to administer through an agency in which the contributors have little voice and no control at all.
The worst feature of Zionism is that its teachings make difficult of refutation the charges that the Jews are an international community, and that their presence as an unassimilated group in every country is in accordance with a plan to dominate the world.
In an eloquent speech at the Buffalo convention of Reform Congregations in May, Mr. Marcus Aaron said that Jewishness was a spiritual value, and could not be less than that. He was fortunate in his phraseology. Living, vital faith needs only symbols. When the Jews are dependent upon a material Zion for the preservation of their religion, the religion will have ceased to exist. The cultural Zion of Ahad Ha'Am demands what an American citizen cannot give. Every element in the United States must make its cultural contribution to the United States, holding nothing back, and no exception is made for the Jews. The religious Zion is within the heart of the worshiper. The cultural Zion is in the home of the American Jew, and what he gives and does outside must be a contribution to American life. There remains the political Zion. American Jews can have nothing to do with that. If they do, they are members of an international group and rightly subject to suspicion.
The Tide of Affairs
Comment on the Times
By GLENN FRANK
IS OUR RELIGIOUS LEADERSHIP BREAKING DOWN?
s the ministry losing its appeal as a career for men of mind and leadership? Is the pulpit to be deserted? Is Christianity-at least Protestant Christianity-to become voiceless in the United States?
Some weeks ago the "New York Evening Post" conducted an investigation that disclosed the fact that to-day there are at least five thousand vacant Protestant pulpits in this country, while Protestant theological seminaries as a whole continue to show a decreasing registration. This cannot be dismissed as merely part of a postwar educational slump in view of the fact that our colleges and universities turned out record-breaking graduation classes this year. These facts are, as the "Post" well says, of great social significance to the nation.
Certain facts brought out by this investigation should be summarized before any independent comment is made.
In the face of five thousand vacant Protestant pulpits, only about sixteen hundred prospective clergymen were graduated from accredited Protestant seminaries last June. It cannot be said that all these will enter the pulpit. Some of them will enter foreign mission fields, take up various forms of social work, or pursue
further studies. There were about an equal number of men and women graduated from such institutions as the Moody Bible Institute of Chicago and Los Angeles, but the graduates of such institutions are, in the main, men and women of negligible educational equipment, sincere, but ill-equipped, servants of the church. Many of them have had only a brief training after high school. Many of them will enter special forms of work in city missions and in itinerant evangelism. They will contribute little toward a solution of the problem of the vacant pulpit. Their theological training has been of the ultra-conservative sort that is likely to prevent their effective ministry to the mind of the modern man.
In June, 1920, the Protestant seminaries graduated eighteen hundred students. That was far below normal, but this year the total dropped to sixteen hundred, as just noted. Dr. Robert L. Kelley, secretary of the Council of Church Boards of Education in the United States, is quoted as saying:
There are scarcely 5,500 students in all Protestant seminaries to-day. This should represent merely the graduation total, while four times that number should be in undergraduate attendance if the supply were to equal the demand.