Commentary Magazine


The Jewish Family

To the Editor:

The time has come when it seems a little patronizing and beside the point for correspondents to give COMMENTARY a passing pat on the back. By now your magazine has become a cultural fact of the greatest importance, excellence, and stability. Whatever American culture survives these corrosive years will most certainly be strongly influenced if not dominated by the newly and remarkably expanding Jewish cultural energies. In view of this, I should think that your readers would view the opinions expressed by Mr. Alvin Johnson in his letter in the January issue with considerable awe. Mr. Johnson’s letter is the first published recognition I have come across of many vital facts, the most important of which is contained in the sentence: “The Jewish baby has the great advantage of a family system focusing attention upon the child and approving and encouraging every advance it makes.”

Although there are many isolated cases of a similar care for children in non-Jewish families, the result is very seldom cultural. More and more, American schools and family systems have been approaching the condition of a stockfarm, in which proper diet, sleep, fresh air, and healthy competitive sport comprise the entire significant regimen. . . .

One has only to observe the frank archaism and despair in the pages of the Atlantic to understand Mr. Johnson’s point. I say that the Jewish community should recognize this change with awe because it is too great an advantage to be exploited carelessly or recklessly, and too obvious a fact not to be understood as such by everyone.

R. W. Flint
Montreal, Canada

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