JUDAISM AND MODERN SOCIAL- ECONOMIC PROBLEMS
BY ABRAHAM CRONBACH
OUR title is as meaningful for what it excludes as for what it includes. The word "modern" excludes the historical Jewish past. The word "religion" excludes secular Judaism, and much of contemporary Judaism is secular, that is, non-religious or anti-religious. For this reason, such names as Marx, Lasalle, Trotsky, Liebknecht, Gompers, Hilquit, Hillman, Abraham Epstein, Sidney Webb, Joseph Fels of Single Tax fame, Emma Goldman, Rosa Luxemburg, Josephine Goldmark, and their hordes of Jewish followers will have to fall outside of our theme. Though their leadership in the direction of social-economic innovation is far from negligible, we shall for the same reason have to forego consideration of the Jewish social workers. The labor movements and the novel economic experiments of rehabilitated Palestine will, for the same reason, lie beyond our purview. Nor may we expand upon the Jewish names that are ever cropping up in civil-liberties controversies. Arthur Garfield Hayes, Felix Frankfurter, Waldo Frank, Samuel S. Liebowitz, Amy Schechter are only the most conspicuous.
Again, the tendency to differentiate between charity on the one hand and basic economic alterations on the other warrant our excluding the fertile domain of Jewish philanthropy and benevolence. We are further debarred from treating those grievances borne by Jews as Jews, such as discrimination in the matters of employment, immigration, clubs, schools, and hotels and, in certain foreign countries,