Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Did R' Moshe Sherer ever "make Page 1 of the New York Times?"

Quite by accident, I came across this video of R' CD Zwiebel boasting to his constituents about Aggudah and its many accomplishments, including the $18 million in grant money for yeshivas that, to date, has not lowered anyone's tuition. About 40 seconds in, he says:
"...committed to following the tradition that Rabbi Sherer started when he went to testify in Congress and made page 1 of the New York Times."
As you know, mid-century American Judaism is a special interest of mine. Also, I'm always pleased to see Times articles about Jews.  So I went to the archives, in pursuit of the front page article about Rabbi Sherer --- and found it as soon as it was pointed out to me that Rabbi Sherer was also known as "Morris Sherer"

Here is the article:

NEW BILL DIVIDES SCHOOL-AID PLANS; Senate Gets Clark Measure to ...
Disagreement between Orthodox and secular groups of American Jews over aid to parochial schools was pointed up in testimony today by Rabbi Morris Sherer and ...
March 30, 1961

Please ignore what follows after the jump. I was wrong. The correct explanation was #3.

MINOR QUIBBLE: The mention of Rabbi Sherer and his picture (clean shaven, aside for a stylish little 60s mustache) are actually on page 16. The article does start on page 1. Also the article isn't, as charecterized, about Rabbis Sherer's trip to Washngton, but about the debate over a bill that would allow the government to fund parochial schools. Rabbi Sherer , the article says, "supported the Catholic case for Federal help" Ironically, his organization now supports the "Catholic case" for measures the make it harder for victims to sue their molesters. 

--- and came up empty.

Now, there are several possible explanations:

1. The evil Jew-hating Communists at the Times deleted all mention of the article, as part of their campaign to make Orthodox Jews look stupid. (Unlikely)

2. I didn't perform the search correctly (Possible)

3. In the article, the Rabbi's name is spelled differently. (Possible, though I did look for "Moses" Sherer, too.)

4. Rabbi C.D Zweibel repeated an institutional myth (Probable, and I hasten to add, a misdemeanor, not a capital, offense) (Agudah, like any organization has loads of myths, the most famous one being that all of American Jewry sat on its hands doing nothing during the war years, with the exception of  Saint Mike Tress, founding father of Agudah, and the only American Jew who gave a damn about the Europeans.)

5. Rabbi CD Zweibel created an institutional myth (Possible, and a somewhat more serious crime against the truth.)

My bet, for the record, is on #4.

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