THE STORY OF THE JEWISH DEFENSE LEAGUE Page 248
Chapter 7: Aliyah: Time to Go Home
 
 
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248 The Story of the Jewish Defense League

btreasured a synagogue bulletin message from a Brooklyn brabbi of a well-known Conservative temple. Written around bthe time of the holiday of Purim in 1972, this modern Jewish bspiritual shepherd gives us the “lesson” of Purim:

b“More than any other holiday it is Purim which gives us bassurance that we Jews can live as a minority among the bnations. . . .

b“There is always Haman who spreads lies and manipu- blates the mob against us. There is always King Ahasuerus bwho knows little of Jewish contributions to his country or to bthe world’s culture and religion and is insensitive to our bworth, our rights, our faith. On the other hand, there is balways and everywhere an Esther and a Mordcai. They beducate Ahasuerus to use his government’s power benevo- blently . . .”

bIt is more than incredible, it is rather obscene that a bso-called rabbi, living barely twenty-five years after Ausch- bwitz showed how “well” the Jews can live among the bnations and how much the Germans “cared” for the Jewish bcontribution to culture and religion, could still write such bnonsense. But this was part of the problem that JDL faced as bit strove to make Jews cognizant of the dangers and impossi- bbility of survival in the Exile.

bI went energetically ahead now to organize an all-day bconference which would both discuss and publicize the need bfor emergency aliyah as well as set up a nonpolitical organi- bzation, with no ties to any group and no other goal except bthat of aliyah, to implement and realize the goal. I had spent ba great deal of time thinking of a name for the new organiza- btion and finally hit upon one that appeared to me to be the bmost fitting. It was Habayta, homeward.

bGathering together a group of JDL activists including bSheila Lidz, Benner and Linda Levine, Fay Lloyd, and bEli Schwartz, we organized an ad hoc committee and began bmaking plans for the conference to be held on May 7, 1972, bat New York’s McAlpin Hotel. Letters were sent to all JDL bmembers throughout the country, as well as to every Jewish borganization and synagogue; leaflets were handed out on bmajor campuses; and I devoted a full column in the Jewish b 

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THE STORY OF THE JEWISH DEFENSE LEAGUE Page 248
Chapter 7: Aliyah: Time to Go Home