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Heritage Florida Jewish News
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April 6, 1979     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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April 6, 1979

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i !i:i. il / HERITAGE, Florida Jewish News, April 6, 1979 JTA Interviews A Nobleman de Rothschild Discusses Of Judaism wq iron Quy de Rothschild, head of the world- owas a child he used towalkon synagogue practically crossing Paris from in top hat and tails. family, used to troop behind my father to all part of my Jewish upbringing. ry values of Judaism might have changed, he said. as president of France's Central Social Juif Unifie (FS JU) and ailed Jewish Appeal, has come under "reach Jewish circles over an interview he Tribune, run by a Strasbourg-based resignation from his two community g said, among other things, that Is a mixed marriage and that he "feels a 'Opinions Telegraphic Agency, Guy de "1 feel deeply Jewish and I am in the diversity of opinions and of the Jewish community." to continue serving the French Jewish as they want me to do so and in BARON DE ROTHSCHILD whatever capacity they define and this for as long as my health permits. I belong to the category of Jews who are involved and devoted to the development of Judaism in all religious, social and cultural matters. 1 prayed for the success of Zionism in the days which preceded the second World War and the independence of Israel." De Rothschild told the JTA how together with his wife he demonstrated on Israel's Independence Day in May, ]948. "Together with Mrs: Mendes-France (the wife of France's Jewish Prime Minister), we marched down the Champs Elysee to celebrate Israel's birth." The Baron, a member of France's exclusive Jockey Club, has rarely, if ever, joined any other public demonstrations. "1 also avidly follow news from Israel and," he recalled, "during my stay in New York during World Warll used to be a regular reader of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency's Daily News Bulletin." He added with a smile, "1 still read it today." Personal Definition Of Judaism His personal definition of Judaism is "solidarity." He said: "This is the key word, solidarity with all those who are Jews, first with those in my own community, France, then with Jews all over the world and especially with those made to suffer because of their Jewishness. It also involves respect and help for Jewish culture, Jewish civilization and Jewish religion." De Rothschild first visited Israel in 1932 when he was 23. "1 toured the Jewish colonies, I went to see the Jewish settlements," he recalled. He has often returned since, once in 1945 while still serving as a Captain in Gen. de Gaulle's Free French forces. "It was one of my most moving trips to Israel, then Palestine still. The war was drawing to its end and I was having a seder in Kibbutz Ein Gedi with a young kibbutznick, Teddy Kollek, and a young writer, Arthur Koestler." Role Of Diaspora Jews The Baron was asked if he felt that Jews living in the diaspora have an obligation or the right to take a stand on Israers policy. "An obligation? Definitely no. A right, neither. I agree with what (former Israeli Foreign Minister) Abba Eban once told me: 'Only those who risk shedding their blood for Israel should have a voice in its basic policy matters.'" Guy de Rothschild feels, however, they can play a discreet role in trying to bring certain people together or help in the peace process. If his name were not Rothschild, would he still play such an important role in Jewish affairs in spite of his many other activities? de Rothschild was asked. "If my name were not Rothschild, I would be a different man, I would have had a different upbringing, a different basic education. As it is I cannot forget that my father, a keen horse racer, never let one of his horses run on a Saturday. "1 also constantly remember how my mother used to tell me nearly every day you must strive hard to be forgiven for what you are and what you have. I told my children the same thing. My grandchildren will hear it in their turn. I would not be what I am if I would not have passed my Bar Mitzvah with all the serious concern which it involved. Naming my son David should show something." Surprised At The Virulent Attacks The Baron is a slim man with light blue eyes, silvery hair and a world-wise smile, looking much younger than his 70 years. He runs his worldwide business empire from the sixth floor of the banking house that bears his name. A whole panel of his book- case is devoted to Judaism and Israel. De Rothschild is a little surprised at the virulent attacks levelled against his interview by the Jewish Tribune. It needs all kinds to make a world. Until now, he has received only some | 5 letters concerning his statement: 10 were against, five in favor. De Rothschild was elected FS JU president by its executive committee which was elected democratically by all the organiza- tion's members. "My continuing presidency is something between the committee and myself. My colleagues on this body know that I have for long advised them to start looking for my successor and that I had always been against overlong tenures in office. What I mainly regret is that the attack was not so much directed against me personally, as against the institutions I have the honor to serve." Refuses Israeli Matzos; tg Them to Egypt Joint Distribution to be brought to Egypt. matzos made in The matzos that were left in Cyprus will now s captain refused be shipped either to Israel or Rumania, or if a ship is not found to get them there before the captain of the Passover, back to Israel, the JDC said. matzos in Cyprus "Peace may have been signed in Washing- markings on ton, but efforts to bring Israeli matzos to Egypt, take them to hopefully, was the last victim of the state of war krnp on the bill of beeen Israel and Egypt," a JDC spokesman dise from Israel said. SPECIAL TO READERS OF HERITAGE /or peace. 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