Saturday, March 28, 2009

II Jozef the father of Janusz Korczak Portraits of Famous Jews Moses Montefiore

Misza Wrobliewski right side of Korczak right picture

Cultural league dom sierot

dining room Dom Sierot

One of the orphans Szlomo Nadel?

The monographs crafted by Janusz father and uncle told of highly remarkable Jews who not accidentally propelled the world to higher consciousness. These proponents were part of the Jewish soul, so I have read, yet they were assimilated Jews steeped in Judaism, and philanthropists placed in positions to maximize their good to the then known world and the unfolding world.Montefiore and others fought with the force of virtue.Jozef expounded on these Jews as both loyal Jews and loyal citizens. The Polish citizenry would never countenance their status and regarded them with utmost suspicion which was not at all the general verdict of history. These brothers wanted to raise the level of Jewish and Polish consciousness soon forgotten in the pogrom activities that many Polish peasants engaged in. Such idealism was their obsession and a dangerous one for it focused the Polish mentality on the only too familiar and age old ancient preoccupation with raw anti semitism. This was the danger of their liberal intellectualism as it was termed in that it drew the attention to Jewry of the shtetls and to the ancient hatreds smoldering and awakened by the liberal intelligentsia. Note some photos of the activities of son Janusz in his activity with the orphanages with which he was involved. Consciousness was to be raised in a posthumous generation who truly appreciated the down to earth work he was obsessed in and not the flowery literature penned by his uncle and father, which precipitated consciousness of a sort, but Janusz' activities blared in one's face after the fact.

Jozef also collaborated with Jakub on a series of monographs called
Portraits of Famous Jews, in which they hoped to enlighten the public about
remarkable Jews of high moral character. (They later expanded this project to
include famous Poles.) The first volume was on Moses Montefiore, the exuberant
philanthropist and financial advisor to Queen Victoria, who traveled the globe
with his carriage, wife, and doctor in tow, distributing large sums of money to
poor Jews for hospitals and orphanages, never neglecting to slip something to
the sultans and czars of those lands for their own poor.
" Sir Montefiore is
a Jew and he never forgets it. But he is also an Englishman, and an exemplary
citizen of his country who fights not with the sword but with the force of
virtue, "
Jozef expounded in his flowery nineteenth-century Polish. This message
was one that both he and his brother would stress in all their writings: it was
possible to be both a loyal Jew and a loyal citizen of one´s country
. At the age
of eighty-four, in failing health, Montefiore had not hesitated to make a
strenuous trip to Jerusalem when he heard his fellow Jews were once again in
dire need. " Even though the journey is dangerous, nothing will stop me, " Jozef
quotes him. " Having devoted my entire life to my people, I will not desert them
now. "
Known as the "Brothers Goldszmit," Jozef and Jakub used writing as a
tool to educate and raise both Polish and ]ewish consciousness
. They wrote
numerous articles on the need to secularize Jewish education and upgrade Jewish
orphanages, and even turned their hand to fiction to address burning social
issues. One has only to read their stilted novels-Jozef´s on the need for
medical planning for poor Jews; Jakub´s on the plight of women driven to
prostitution-to understand why their dream of helping to create a genre of books
about Jewish life that would become part of Polish literature was doomed to
The Goldszmit brothers moved easily in the narrow stratum of
society made up of Polish and Jewish liberal intelligentsia. Their friends
included the most famous Polish writers of that period, many of whom created
Jewish characters in their novels with whom Polish readers could empathize. When
Jakub became editor of the Polish-language Jewish Kalendar, his Polish friends
contributed articles affirming their brotherhood with the Jews. The Kalendar´s
purpose, Jakub wrote, was to " enlighten Christians concerning Jews and Judaism
and to help bridge the gulf that still keeps the Jews separate. " But Jakub
infuriated the wealthy leaders of the small but influential assimilated Jewish
community with an article in the Kalendar criticizing their " spiritual poverty
." Labeling them a " class of religious hypocrites who do not believe in
anything ," he accused them of shirking their responsibility toward the poor
Jewish masses.

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