The Chicago Foreign Language Press Survey was published in 1942 by the Chicago Public Library Omnibus Project of the Works Progress Administration of Illinois. The purpose of the project was to translate and classify selected news articles that appeared in the foreign language press from 1855 to 1938. The project consists of 120,000 typewritten pages translated from newspapers of 22 different foreign language communities of Chicago.

Read more about this historic project.

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  • Jewish Advance -- June 21, 1878
    Confirmation (Editorial)

    One of the greatest triumphs of Reform [Judaism] is the introduction of the ceremony of confirmation on the Feast of Shavuoth. It is a triumph over the materialistic tendencies of the age inasmuch as it brings to the synagogue a number of worshippers who would ordinarily spend the day worshipping the Golden Calf--or Mammon.

    The ceremony of Bar Mizvah [ceremony of confirmation when a Jewish boy is thirteen years old], which is still maintained by Orthodox Israelites, is devoid of significance. The boy who has attained his thirteenth year is called up to the Torah and recites a blessing. Sometimes he also makes a speech which is concocted by the teacher in highfalutin language. Sometimes this happens on a Sabbath when the portion read suits neither the person nor the occasion. And 2if the Bar Mizvah gratified the private sentiments of the boy, there was nothing in the Orthodox ritual of a similar nature to impress the Jewish girl of her religious duties.

    The ceremony of confirmation has remedied these deficiences. It has elevated the idea of Bar Mizvah to a new height--giving it a greater significance in the eyes of Jewish boys and girls. Reform Judaism has saved Shavuoth for the synagogue. Otherwise it too would be lost to the synagogue--like the Sabbath days and the days of the other festivals [Editor's note: The writer is referring to the decline of synagogue attendance].

    One of the greatest triumphs of Reform [Judaism] is the introduction of the ceremony of confirmation on the Feast of Shavuoth. It is a triumph over the materialistic tendencies of ...

    Jewish
    I B 4, III B 3 b, I B 3 b, III C
  • Daily Jewish Courier -- May 12, 1910
    Parents and Children

    Who is responsible for the fact that our children are leaving Judaism in the New World? As I see it, it is the fault of the parents. Having been a teacher in a Sabbath school, I have had many experiences which justify my conclusion. I find that children are compelled to do things much against their own will. Very often the children are correct in their behavior, and when the parents are adamant, the children begin to lose respect for the parents.

    Children should learn to like to do the things their parents want them to do. There should be no compulsion. I include religious training [in this generalization also]. Our youth is taught to observe the Sabbath; yet, as soon as they grow older, they are asked to find work on the Sabbath and support the family--very often in instances where the family could manage without this meager support. Thus the child loses respect for both his religious training and his parents who had previously imposed this practice of observing the Sabbath upon 2him. How can we continue to teach paradoxes and still attract Jewish youth to Judaism?

    Anna Goldberg.

    Who is responsible for the fact that our children are leaving Judaism in the New World? As I see it, it is the fault of the parents. Having been a ...

    Jewish
    I B 3 b, II B 2 f, I B 4, III C, IV
  • Daily Jewish Courier -- December 08, 1910
    What People Have to Say by Anna Goldberg

    I have, on several occasions reminded the Jewish parents of their duties toward their children--[especially their duty] to give them a Jewish education. But this time I shall say something to the grown-up Jewish children.

    After hearing and seeing the way in which Jewish parents are mistreated by their grown-up children, I cannot but help pitying the parents in their plight. Now let us talk about the trouble and responsibilities the parents have in raising and training their children to maturity. Can't you sometimes picture in your own minds the strain and anxiety your parents have to endure while giving you the proper kind of rearing and training until you grow up? Most of the hardships in raising the child are,of course, expected of the mother. Many nights she does not get a chance to sleep. She does not eat in time--she devotes all of her energy and time for the comfort of the child. And when 2the child is grown he thinks that he was just raised up by himself--that the parents had no trouble whatsoever in raising him. The children usually take it for granted that the task of making good citizens out of them was just a simple routine matter, and that their parents had nothing to do with implanting in them the proper training which makes good men and women; in other words, the parents do not get any thanks from their children for all the hardship they have gone through in bringing them up to maturity. The children forget it, and never think anything of it.

    Those children who possess a higher degree of education, knowing that they are more educated than their parents, show great contempt for them and are ashamed of them. Most of the American boys or girls are ashamed of their parents because they are too "green" for them. Such children never think of the trouble and anxiety their parents had during the time of their training. Hence these children leave their parents.

    Now what about the children of the religious Jews? The pious parents who give their children a proper religious training are very sad when they see their 3children turn away from everything that looks Jewish. This is certainly a very, very sad feeling for the pious parents who value the Jewish religion higher than anything else in the world.

    In conclusion, I appeal to you Jewish sons and daughters: Think of your solemn duty toward your loving parents! Do not forget their kindness to you and the sacrifices they made during the entire time when you were Jewish citizens in the making! Honor, respect, and love your parents for the great good they did for you! Show them your appreciation in their old age and by showering your love and affection upon them--for that is the only pay they expect of you. Your parents are the best and only friends who can be relied upon. It does not matter whether they are American or "green" ones. Pay them [for their efforts] with respect, appreciation, and love--for that is all they expect of you!

    I have, on several occasions reminded the Jewish parents of their duties toward their children--[especially their duty] to give them a Jewish education. But this time I shall say something ...

    Jewish
    I B 3 b
  • Daily Jewish Courier -- December 19, 1910
    Theater Performances for Small Children

    When the schools are closed for the summer vacation and our children have nothing to do, the parents of these children must solve this problem [of leisure time]. Spending too much time outdoors is not healthy; staying inside the house all the time is not very good for the children either. So the family gets together and goes to see a theater performance. We Jews have a custom of taking our children to see a good show--not, however, always for the sake of the children. Gentile parents have a different approach to the matter: they go to the theater for the benefit of the children. That [practice], I think is a very good one. It is much more important for children to see a good theater performance than for grownups: a good performance impresses the child for it teaches him to be honest with his fellowmen and it builds up in the child's mind [a conception] of what is right so that when he thinks of the good things in life he will very likely be a good citizen and a good Jew.

    2

    To see a good performance in a theater means, most of the time, to see something which makes you laugh; when you laugh you are not angry; and when a person is not angry he is a good person. In other words, the theater teaches you how to laugh. The theater has many thousands of virtues; more than good books or a good environment. It is, therefore, a great pity that we have no children's theater in Chicago; not even a special performance for children. Of course, we Jews are not the only ones who have no theater for children in Chicago. The other nationalities have none either. Every city in the land lacks a children's theater. There is not even a special performance for the amusement of the children in any of our theaters.

    Our Jewish people in Chicago usually have special performances for the children on holidays. On Hanukah, in memory of the Maccabees, we Jews have a "Hanukah play". Also on Purim, when we celebrate the feast of Queen Esther, we have a "Purim play". This is all we Jews have to offer in the way of performances suitable for our young, Jewish generation.

    When the schools are closed for the summer vacation and our children have nothing to do, the parents of these children must solve this problem [of leisure time]. Spending too ...

    Jewish
    I B 3 b, II B 1 c 1
  • Daily Jewish Courier -- March 01, 1913
    Brain or Brawn? by Moses Levin, Principal of a Talmud Torah

    Parents and teachers interested in rearing children seek various methods by which to break bad habits and ugly gesticulations practiced by children and for punishing children for disobedience. They ask: "What methods can be applied thereto? Should the strap and the rod be used as in olden times, or should we merely speak to the child, appeal to his finer senses, point out to him as examples good children, and, thereby, awaken in him an inclination to do things correctly and an aversion to things bad?"

    Years ago it was considered futile to speak to a child so that he might reform his conduct. [It was believed] that the child was inclined to break and destroy everything within his reach; that he was disobedient; that he was unwilling to study; and that, in order to improve him, the rod was necessary.

    2

    This philosophy is a very simple one. The child, when punished by the rod, feels the pain and remembers it; and whenever his instincts dictate to him to commit another wrong, he recalls his punishment, and, therefore, refrains from committing the crime. As the child grows older, however, something proves to be wrong with the child. Beating and scolding accomplish nothing; in fact, they very often lead to bad results. The child who is brought up by the rod becomes obstinate and hard, and bears within his heart an everlasting hatred toward his father and his teacher.

    While it is true that punishment creates fear, as soon as fear disappears and the father or teacher is not present then the child again does as he pleases. It often leads to habitual concealment and denial of his acts. He loses faith in his parents and teachers. He no longer looks upon them as friends from whom he can find sympathy and compassion. Thus an abyss is formed between the child and his parents. In fact, the older the child gets, the stranger he becomes toward his parents.

    3

    A child who was raised by parents that beat, cursed, and abused him has no respect for them. He does whatever his mind dictates and his heart desires. He grows up without a true guide, without a leader; and even when he knows he is doing wrong, he will not have the courage to confide his troubles to anybody. Brawn as the sole means of rearing children is, therefore, not very wise.

    There is a proverb which says: A slap passes away, whereas a word remains. The maltreatment a child receives as punishment passes away, and its effects disappear with it. If, on the other hand, we spoke to a child and explained to him how beneficial it is to be good, acted friendly toward him, and praised him for his good acts, it would have more effect upon him than bodily force. Hearing other children being praised makes a child envious, and he seeks to earn praise himself--until he thinks that it is natural to be good. He looks upon his parents and his teachers who are friendly to him as people who are looking out for his welfare. He acquires a feeling of friendship for them, 4and becomes bound to them by the strong fetters of love and respect. He also confides to his parents everything--with all the simplicity of his childish heart.

    We must observe two things: (1) to break grown-up children of bad habits is harder than to teach the child good habits from the very beginning; and (2) there are no standard laws governing children which can be applied to all children alike. We cannot use one method on all children. Children of different parents, and quite frequently children of the same parents differ from each other in character and inclination. There are, of course, always exceptions to the rule. There are children who should occasionally be punished by bodily force; this should happen, however, very seldom.

    Above all, we must refrain from punishing a child with a hard instrument, such as wood. Even slapping a child is not very wise. Never punish a child when you are angry or aggravated. Wrath breeds wrath, hatred, and contempt. If physical force is necessary, we should use the utmost caution in applying it.

    Parents and teachers interested in rearing children seek various methods by which to break bad habits and ugly gesticulations practiced by children and for punishing children for disobedience. They ask: ...

    Jewish
    I B 3 b, II B 2 f
  • Daily Jewish Courier -- May 19, 1913
    Living Orpahns by Moses Levin, principal of a Talmud Torah

    We tremble when we hear the word "orphan." We become shocked upon learning that this or that child was left parentless. The compassion for the orphan among us (Jews) is very great; it is so greatly developed that we are ready, at any time, to do everything possible, or even impossible, in order to alleviate the orphan's afflictions, to soothe the pain he feels through his bereavement.

    We built a Marks Nathan Orphanage costing over one hundred thousand dollars; we provide the orphans with clothing, shelter, and education, e. g., Hebrew, music, and manual training. We seek for the orphan, the best father that money can buy. We make a rumpus when we think that something in being neglected in the Marks Nathan Home. We are always 2ready to fight for the orphan. In other words, we exert every effort to see that the orphan lacks nothing.

    However, we fail to conceive the idea that there are children having parents, so-called, who are much more unfortunate than those having no parents, and these children we many call "living orphans."

    Yes, many children have parents and still are orphans. The parents do absolutely nothing for the spiritual development of their children. How many thousands of Jewish homes will we find in Chicago where parents take very little or no interest in the moral or spiritual condition of their children? How many thousands of Jewish families are there among us who permit children to lie about the streets until 10 o'clock at night?

    3

    The street is the unfortunate place for these children. They pay strict attention to what other children do and among them are bad children who become leaders and in a short time they teach others ugly and profane words and vile acts. They also teach one another to steal, at first a piece of candy from a sow case, later something of more value, until they start picking locks, and consequently organize themselves into a gang of stick-up boys.

    And we see gangs of small Jewish boys - an organized group with a leader at the head - armed clubs, iron, and stones. One gang conducts war against another. These gangs of small children go out pirate chases. They capture small children, apparently as a joke, but they go through their pockets and take away their belongings.

    4

    It isn't sheer fantasy. It happened that a mother sent the (Hebrew school) tuition fee with her child, and he entered the school crying and explaining that a group of youngsters held him up on the way and took away his money.

    Small children play dice for money. They gamble on the side walks for many hours after school until late at night. It would be very good if they were out doors playing harmless games, if they were under the supervision of an organizer. But since they do not have this, and since therefore they prowl about the streets freely, it would be far better to send them to Hebrew school where their time would be occupied.

    5

    The children attending the Talmud Torah of private schools are not exposed to the street influence, but their number is so small in comparison with the number of Jewish children dwelling in Chicago.

    There are approximately 1,800 children enrolled in all the Chicago Talmud Torahs; five to six hundred children attend private Hebrew schools, and if we account for the two hundred children taking lessons privately we still do not reach the three thousand mark. This is the number of children in the city of Chicago, where 100, 000 Jewish families reside, who receive a Jewish education. The remaining thousands of children, who do not study Hebrew know very little or nothing of Judaism, and the majority of these children lie about and are brought up in the streets.

    6

    When visiting the public schools, we see that from eighty to eighty-five per cent of the Jewish children are registered in the schools of the various districts of the city. But the question confronting us is: do these children study Hebrew? In one school, where 1,300 are registered, there are 260 non-Jewish and 1,040 Jewish children attending, which could fill up two Talmud Torahs like the Woller Street Talmud Torah. Where do these children receive their instruction in Jewish studies? Where are these Jewish children?

    You will see them on the side walks and streets. You will see them wandering from one corner to another. They have their gangs and their captains. In order to be occupied they start fights. They even commit such acts as would eventually lead them to become vagrants, and suddenly the father finds out that his son is charged with theft and picking locks, and he can hardly believe it.

    7

    Every European father understood his duties in rearing his child. He sent him to Hebrew school; paid tuition for him. He sacrificed his life to raise his child as a Jew, as a respectable man of good manners.

    In his leisure time the father shared his company with the son. On the Sabbath and on holidays the father would examine the child's studies. He took interest in the child's conduct in the home, the synagogue, and the street. At each opportunity the parents taught the child how to conduct himself in society, when to speak and what to speak. On the other hand, the child always looked up to his father and obeyed him. There was always a strong spiritual relationship between father and son. The former would always influence the latter.

    8

    The Jewish child in America knows no authority, no guide. The father works long hours and has no time for that which we call children's education in the higher sense of the word.

    (Continued).

    We tremble when we hear the word "orphan." We become shocked upon learning that this or that child was left parentless. The compassion for the orphan among us (Jews) is ...

    Jewish
    I H, I B 3 b, II E 2, I A 2 a
  • Daily Jewish Courier -- May 20, 1913
    Living Orphans by Moses Levin, principal of a Talmud Torah

    How does the American father react towards his son? The father very seldom sees his son. He leaves early in the morning and when he comes home from work the child is either sleeping or out on the street. Neither Sabbath nor holidays exist. He is always on the hustle, bustle, harnessed down to his work just as the ox to its cart.

    And the poor mothers, who are enslaved, who have enough work to do in the house by preparing food and taking care of the babies, are highly pleased when the older children go out on the street to fulfill their hearts' desire.

    2

    This is how the Jewish family appears - like a ship without a rudder and the Jewish child - a living orphan. The only remedy for such children is - as was mentioned - to have them occupied in order to keep them away from the streets, by giving them a Jewish religious and moral education. To attain this, a beautiful school with modern instruction is needed. We are also in need of more teachers.

    The Jewish teacher in America has a twofold mission to fulfill:

    1. To teach Hebrew.

    2. He should take the place of the child's father as a guardian, friend, and authority to whom obedience, love, and respect should be shown. In other words the Jewish teacher should be the father of this living orphan.

    3

    The Hebrew school should supersede the home training. It is the only place where this child - the living orphan - acquires his knowledge of Hebrew. It is also the only place where he gets his religious and moral training, where he must get that which he lacks at home.

    And because our future depends upon the Jewish education given to our children we ought to register more children for Jewish studies. The more students we shall have in the Talmud Torah (the greater number of soldiers, the better the Jewish army the fewer Jewish names will be bound in the Juvenile Court records.

    The Talmud Torahs, which we have, cannot accommodate the number of registered students. There is no seating capacity for all these children whose parents want and demand that they be given a Jewish education.

    4

    Observe closely: Poor parents register their children in Talmud Torahs to acquire a Jewish education and they are rejected due to a scarcity of seats.

    Do you know that we already have 621 students in the Waller Street Talmud Torah? Seventy-two (72) students in one class room! And it is merely the first week of the semester.

    We are more concerned with the orphan who is parentless than with the living orphan.

    5

    By refusing to accept Jewish children in the Talmud Torah, we drive them out on the streets. We expose them to dissoluteness, and perhaps the result is that these turned-down children become thieves and it is also possible that with such conduct we turn them over to the missionaries who will certainly accept them with open arms.

    If a few Jewish children are sent to Pontiac, then we begin a rumpus by crying that the Jewish name is being ridiculed and disgraced! Please, worthy rabbis, wealthy Jews, welfare workers, the Chicago Jewish community, stop to think a while. You are evidently responsible for their presence there.

    How does the American father react towards his son? The father very seldom sees his son. He leaves early in the morning and when he comes home from work the ...

    Jewish
    I H, I B 3 b, II E 2, I A 2 a
  • Daily Jewish Courier -- October 08, 1913
    Warning to Women and Girls.

    In order to protect women and girls from brutal murder, John Helpin, detective chief, has issued this warning:

    "Do not make any rendezvous with strangers on the telephone.

    "Do not meet men in any out of the way places if such an agreement has been made on the telephone. It makes no difference who he is, since he may be impersonating someone else.

    "Do not ride in automobiles with strangers.

    "Do not believe every man who tells you he knows your girl friend."

    2

    All these "don'ts" are founded on the methods used by Spenser to lure his victims and which led to Miss Ligson's murder.

    George Hopkins, of the Morals Court says: "To do away with such deeds, women and girls must be warned. Twenty-five per cent of the population are subnormal, and therefore, girls should know well their companions and acquaintances and be especially careful of telephone calls from strangers."

    Judge Sabath believes mothers should be educated to rear their daughters properly. This would be the best possible protection.

    In order to protect women and girls from brutal murder, John Helpin, detective chief, has issued this warning: "Do not make any rendezvous with strangers on the telephone. "Do not ...

    Jewish
    II E 3, I B 3 b
  • Daily Jewish Courier -- October 31, 1913
    From Chicago's Melting Pot

    The seventh annual graduation exercises of the Devorah Sabbath School branch of the Bes Medrish Hagodol (the large school) took place Saturday evening October 25 in the Garfield Assembly Hall. Twenty-two children received their diplomas that day. Some were also presented with a "Tonach" while others were given honorary mention for excellence in their studies.

    Preparations for the evening were arranged by Miss Anna Coldberg and Celia Lavin, teachers of the school, who devote a good deal of their time to instilling all things Jewish into the hearts of the younger generations.

    Lawyer Israel Cohen spoke very impressively, praising the children for their accomplishments and appealing to the parents not to deny their children the education of the Torah, which brings the young people closer to their parents and to the Jewish nation. The second speaker, Mr. Tretchkie, superintendent of the Bes Medrish Hagodol, pointed to the importance of rearing Jewish children in the Jewish faith in a true Jewish manner.

    2

    The opening speech on the program was delivered by Miss Goldberg. Some of the girls sang next. This was followed by a selection by the Lvric Orchestra. The graduates gave short addresses in both the Hebrew and the Jewish. Mabel Schulman, Minnie Sternberg, Rosie Wallborsht, and Florence Yavitz amused the audience with song and poetry.....The children presented Miss Goldberg with a beautiful lavalliere and Miss Tillie Levin with a fine silver toilet set, as a token of their esteem to their devoted teachers....

    The seventh annual graduation exercises of the Devorah Sabbath School branch of the Bes Medrish Hagodol (the large school) took place Saturday evening October 25 in the Garfield Assembly Hall. ...

    Jewish
    II B 2 f, II B 1 c 3, I B 3 b, III C, IV
  • Daily Jewish Courier -- December 14, 1913
    Literary Discussions

    Anyone interested in Jewish literature, having an understanding of the profound value hidden in it or being impressed by its beauty and clearness, can see the approach of new stars on our literary heaven dispersing dense, dark clouds and illuminating Jewish life, now depicted by the pens of these new authors in a way that we can understand, discern, and admire. The artist sees life in more detail than the average person, for to him, more so than to others, is revealed the general combination of its separate phenomena. Each particular venture of a person is but a part of the whole; one link in the chain. To the artist an individual's deeds are due to environment, which influences his actions. When his deeds are presented to us, embodied in his work, we can understand and re-live all his past life as an actuality.

    But this is only possible in fiction, where the writer creates his own types and controls at will the characteristics and surroundings of his characters.

    New fiction in Jewish literature is of importance to us, for it indicates 2a new era in Jewish literature, with new interests and new inspirations. The two best novels to appear lately are, according to my choice, Marie, by Sholom Ash, and After All, by David Bergelson.

    Sholom Ash not only possesses color, unity, and glamour to picture "a village," but the power to analyze a whole epoch of Jewish Russian life in the Revolutionary days of 1905. With beauty and forcefulness he brings forth in his novel the joys and sorrows of that time; the sublime, self-sacrificing types, and the enslaved Jewish spirit, the heritage of an exiled people. But Mr. Ash has painted these types and characters too lightly, even if he has adorned them with strong, poetic wholeheartiness. One feels frequently, when reading the novel, that something is lacking. In spite of the fact that we become acquainted with the whole existence of his main character, "Marie," yet he fails to explain who she is, so that we cannot enter or become a part of her soul.

    The novel by David Bergelson, who deals with a much more complicated type, is so psychologically deep, has so strongly penetrated the soul of the small town "Mirel," that we are forced to live again each step of her innocent adventures.

    3

    The novels of Ash and Bergelson display their romanticism in descriptions of the passing of our aristocracy, the fall of our nobility. We Jews have no princes or lords, but we do have an aristocracy of illustrious nobility. And just as the present capitalistic world broke through the fetters of world feudalism, so, in proportion, has the rich in the Jewish small towns of Russia commenced to destroy Jewish lineage. Social heights were being attained by the illiterate, newly rich, whose only claim to any pedigree is money, and who ridicule the true Jewish aristocrats.

    We also have here another problem. The children, learning a strange culture (Russian), seeing the movement of an awakening world, become in the course of events estranged from their parents. They view the depth of their elders' genealogical pride, which is instilled in their own hearts, influencing their every actions, for they were reared in this atmosphere. But in a corner of their souls, they long for that world where there is a greater and unlimited happiness.

    This develops a twofold personality in "Mirel," which Bergelson pictures 4and clothes in the richness of his imagination. He brings before us the constant struggle of the small town elite: "Mirel," the spoiled, beautiful, rich girl with her pride, and "Mirel," the girl longing for happiness, the girl who imagines another world obliterating everything about the small-town.

    How well can Ash portray the rift between child and parent! When Hyman Rosenzweig hears his daughter speaking so enthusiastically to Misha in Russian, he feels the gulf between them widening. Only now does he realize how much of a stranger she is to him. He is ignorant of what she does or thinks. It appears that during her high school years she developed into a stranger, both to his language and his ways of thinking. This is not the same little girl, with the little curls, whom he held so often on his lap, who looked so adoringly up at her father. The little girl is a young lady, a person over whom he has no authority. It seems she has a contempt for him, nor does she consult him on books she reads, or even speak to him of things she speaks to "Misha." "Although I am intelligent, her father says to himself, "I know what are in books, and have even read Schiller's dramas."

    5

    This tragedy is reflected in both novels. Both keep throughout a definite respect for the old elite, who so royally crowned our Jewish life. Both Ash and Bergelson took the feminine type from homes of nobility, for only there can be found material for such artistic work. Both portray Jewish tragedies of parents and their children due to a deep gulf between the two. Thus far are the two novels parallel, although painted in various profuse colors. There are also many differences on which I will write in another article.

    B.

    Anyone interested in Jewish literature, having an understanding of the profound value hidden in it or being impressed by its beauty and clearness, can see the approach of new stars ...

    Jewish
    II B 1 e, II B 2 d 3, I B 3 b