JANUARY 27, 1954
NEW YORK, Tuesday—For an artistic treat I highly recommend "The World of Sholom Aleichem," now playing in New York City. He was a Jewish master of the short story and Arnold Perl has dramatized two of his works—one a charming folk story called "A Tale of Chelm," and the other, "The High School." A third play is by I.L. Perez and is the best known, having been the first story by a Jewish author to be included in an anthology. It is called "Bontche Schweig" and is most unforgettable. The last line will linger long in the memory of anyone who sees it.
Of course the most delightful character is Mendele, the bookseller, who trundles his books down the theatre aisle in a baby carriage, with the bell ringing as he trudges along. He took me back to the days of my girlhood when I was much more familiar with the Lower East Side than I am now. He so evidently likes his books, and he tells the audience about each play, and one feels sure that she would have loved Mendele.
Because these writers were Jewish, do not get the idea that these plays are not in themselves of importance for all of us to see who enjoy a truly artistic performance. Everyone should see them and remember that in the cast, which, by the way, is an interracial group, there are Catholics, Protestants and Jews playing the various parts.
It recalls to those who have known other countries perhaps the ghettos of Europe. It seemed to me more like the East Side of my girlhood than like much that one sees there today, but there is a quality of all-timeness about the writings and the performance which will make young and old, I think, appreciate the meaning. I doubt if anyone can leave the small Barbizon Plaza without having a sense of being deeply moved, as well as having enjoyed an evening of near artistic perfection.
On Saturday we held our first National Issues Committee board meeting and I think it was a very fruitful one. The main thing, of course, which faces a new committee is to find supporters for an idea which is being tried out. This furnishing on a regular basis of educational information covering the most important issues of the day in brief and understandable form seems to some of us very important.
Most of us get many learned pamphlets and sometimes they are very difficult to understand for the layman and they take too long to master. We can reach these sources of information in the NIC and try to condense and simplify for the average reader.
The first bulletin issued met with an extraordinarily encouraging response all over the country and all of us are hoping that this will be the case on all of our publications. There is much confusion today and it is a time when clear thinking for the citizens of a democracy is most important.