THE JEWISH PARADOX by Nahum Goldmann


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Triumphs and admonitions of a wandering Jewish macher: a Goldmann treasury for readers not acquainted with his formal, full-length 1969 autobiography. As a stripling, Nahum Goldmann coolly raised funds for a projected multi-volume Encyclopedia Judaica in German, Hebrew, and English; at the apogee of his career, he met secretly in London with German chancellor Konrad Adenauer to arrange for the unprecedented reparations payments to Germany's victimized Jews and the struggling new state of Israel. For much of his life he was president of the World Jewish Congress (and, more briefly, of the World Zionist Congress too), but, thanks partly to a private fortune, he's never had to toe an official line. He excoriates Ben-Gurion & Co. for failing to integrate the Israeli Arabs into the economy and insists that the Jews cannot remain ""an independent minority inside the Arab world."" He decries the weakness of the Jewish ""interior front"" and advises World Jewry, led by Israel, to take a more creative, revolutionary role (""if someone were to ask me the meaning of Judaism, I would say that it is nonconformism""). But you don't have to be Jewish to learn from Goldmann's experiences. Apropos of negotiating with Tunisia's Habib Bourguiba, he remarks: ""I have always felt that the best moment for establishing links with revolutionary leaders is when they are in captivity; later on, when they are in power, they never forget who visited them in their darkest hours."" An immodest man of uncommon attainments.

Pub Date: Sept. 11th, 1978
Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap