Steeled by Adversity: Essays and Addresses on American Jewish Life

By Salo Wittmayer Baron; Jeannette Meisel Baron | Go to book overview

20 Reordering Communal Priorities *

We have come together to consider with utmost seriousness the grave challenges now confronting American society at large and the Jewish community in particular. I am not a preacher of fire and brimstone threatening his audiences with dire results if they fail to follow his path to ultimate salvation. On the contrary, I have always been accustomed to look for silver linings on the darkest horizons. Since this particular session is held in connection with my seventy-fifth birthday, you all realize that I have lived through all the great crises of the twentieth century, a century which will be memorable in the history of man for its catastrophic upheavals. Yet, I have remained a firm believer in the vitality and adaptability of man, and particularly of the Jew, and his ability to pioneer along uncharted paths in meeting every new challenge as it arises.

In the preceding essays 1 I have tried to show that the recurrent crises in American Jewish history, which in some respects went back to the very discovery of America by Columbus, have always been met creatively by the respective generations. I have also discussed past Jewish communal pioneering in this country and the enormous debt of gratitude which the present-day magnificent

____________________
*
Address delivered on November 14, 1970, under the auspices of the National Foundation for Jewish Culture and the Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds at the latter's 39th General Assembly in Kansas City, Missouri. It appears here greatly enlarged and revised substantially in the form published by the Council under the title "Transmitting and Enriching the Heritage of Judaism."

-552-

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Steeled by Adversity: Essays and Addresses on American Jewish Life
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page ii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Acknowledgments *
  • I - Introduction 1
  • 1 3
  • II 13
  • 2 - American and Jewish Destiny: A Semimillennial Experience 15
  • 3 - American Jewish History: 26
  • 4 74
  • 5 - The Emancipation Movement And American Jewry 80
  • 6 106
  • 7 127
  • 8 - The Image of the Rabbi, Formerly and Today 147
  • 9 - Palestinian Messengers In America, 1849-79: A Record of Four Journeys 158
  • Appendix I 243
  • Appendix II 246
  • III 267
  • 10 - United States 1880-1914 269
  • IV 415
  • 11 417
  • 12 454
  • 13 - Some of the Tercentenary's Historic Lessons 473
  • 14 - Some Historical Lessons For Jewish Philanthropy 485
  • 15 - Cultural Pluralism Of American Jewry 495
  • 16 506
  • 17 - The Jewish Community And Jewish Education 518
  • 18 - American Jewish Scholarship And World Jewry 532
  • 19 542
  • 20 - Reordering Communal Priorities 552
  • Abbreviations 573
  • Notes 575
  • Index 693
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