Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The things they used to put in the newspapers

Nowadays, no self-respecting paper would run a puff piece like this, and certainly not one that did nothing but announce the names of wealthy people who had made sizable donations to an marginal college.

I wonder how these wealthy people would feel if they knew Orthodox Jews, today, generally believed that the 1920s were a time when no one in America cared about Orthodox Judaism, or Orthodox Jewish law. 

In my imagination, I can almost hear Samuel Levy shouting, "You know-nothing jerks! We cared about Orthodox Judaism and Orthodox Jewish law to the tune of $62,700,000 in 2010 dollars using the Consumer Price Index as a means of calculating the relative value of a dollar! So there!"

I looked Samuel Levy up, and found that he was also a member of NYC's Board of Education during the 20s and 30s. In his 1953 Times obituary Levy is given credit for being "instrumental in changing school rules and regulations for that Jewish students could observe their holy days without penalty." 

Another big name on the list is Nathan Lamport,who died in 1928 at the age of 74, and gave Yeshiva $300,000, but the most noteworthy name, I think, is Harry Fischel founder of the Uptown Talmud Torah, founder of the Hebrew Free Loan Society, charter member of National Jewish Welfare Board, and one of the original five incorporators of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee

May their memory be a blessing.

Search for more information about great, forgotten Jews at 4torah.com.

No comments: