As the grandson of Holocaust survivors and the son of Penny Waga who was born in a DP camp in Poland, I have always struggled with checking the box labeled “white” when asked about my “race”. A recent article in Discovery Magazine, which asks “Are Jews White?” highlights the theory that Jews are a people of their own.
“There are no superior nor inferior ones, for every race has its own qualities, features and its own combination of characteristics .. In my eyes, all people are equal. Of course, I love my people above all but it isn’t ‘superior’ to my mind,” Jewish leader Ze’ev Jabotinsky once said. As a follower of Jabotinsky, I would point out that these words from 1911 were spoken long before this mantra was accepted in the mainstream.
A private family foundation has given over $9 million in food to the Hawaiian Gardens (California) Food Bank, $100,000 to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, and $6,000 to the ABC Adult School for ESL classes. The Irving Moskowitz Foundation is a charitable, non-profit foundation dedicated to improving and enriching the lives of people guided by the concept that ‘He who has saved one life, it is as if he has saved the world.’ Yet, these donations, don’t receive much media attention.
Where the foundation of Irving Moskowitz – a self-made multi-millionaire who lost 120 relatives during the Holocaust – does receive attention (mostly negative), is when it chooses to use his hard-earned money to help his own people in Israel. Despite the criticism Moskowitz proudly explains, “what could be more natural for a person with [my] upbringing than to want to help his people in Israel who are being surrounded by people that want to destroy the country.”
With summer nearly over, I have had more time than usual to read, so I want to re-recommend some great Jewish and Zionist books I recently re-read:
- The Revolt — by Menachem Begin
- Every Individual a King: The Social and Political Thought of Ze’ev Vladimir Jabotinsky — by Raphaella Bilski Ben-Hur
- Perfidy – by Ben Hecht (about European Jewry during the Holocaust)
- Lone Wolf – by Shmuel Katz (a biography of Ze’ev Jabotinsky)