Page 6 - Boca ViewPointe - September '19
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Page 6, Viewpointe                                                 September 2019


      Just In Case You Missed It                         a government-funded Jewish grammar school in Makó, which      The assimilated Pulitzer’s efforts to distance himself
                                                         significantly reduced the importance of Jewish tradition. Each   from his Jewish background seem deliberate; he married
      By Bob Kronish                                     member of the Pulitzer family was registered by the official   an Episcopalian, raised his children as Protestants, never
                                                         community Jewish registry as “Israelitic” under religion and   expressed any particular religious views (except perhaps
      Joey The Jew                                       as “Jewish” under nationality. Pulitzer’s numerous political   Enlightenment-type skepticism), and never seemed to identify
         Author’s Note: Although                         enemies and journalistic competitors referred to the publisher   with anything remotely related to the faith of his ancestors.
      several sources were surveyed                      as “Jewseph Pulitzer,” and caricatured him with a huge   Yet, perhaps because his life was indelibly marked by the
      while researching the article                      hooked nose.                                      anti-Semitism he experienced growing up in Hungary, he
      below, the most valuable                              Pulitzer used the clout of his newspaper to bring the Statue   not only crusaded to expose anti-Semitism in Russia, he also
      one was found in The Jewish                        of Liberty to New York Harbor, to defeat a proposal to charge   donated huge sums of money to Jewish victims of Russian
      Press. The author. Saul Singer                     pedestrians for walking across the newly opened Brooklyn   pogroms and staunchly supported the unjustly convicted
      was also the co-author of a                        Bridge, as well as to acculturate the waves of new Jewish and   French artillery officer Captain Alfred Dreyfus.
      book reviewed in this column                       other immigrants to the new country. As a permanent legacy,      Though his Jewish background undoubtedly played an
      several years ago titled Startup--Nation, about the   he endowed the Columbia University School of Journalism   important role in shaping his lifelong dedication to social
      proliferation of the start-up companies that had developed   and the Pulitzer Prize.                 justice, these acts in support of Jews may be attributed to his
      in Israel. He died about two years ago.               Pulitzer’s ambivalence toward his Judaism proved no   inherent sense of social justice rather than to his Judaism.
         Here’s a story that sounds like it just happened yesterday:   defense, however, against the anti-Semites. After leaving   Today, however, he is best remembered for establishing the
      New York’s leading newspaper accuses the president of the   Hungary to join the Union army during the U.S. Civil War   Pulitzer Prizes (1917) through the bequeath of prize money
      United States of corruption and the latter sues the paper’s   (1864), when he served in a German regiment under General   to Columbia University to recognize American achievements
      publisher for libel. Striking back, the publisher declares in   Philip Sheridan (his passage to America was paid for by Union   in journalism, photography, literature, history, poetry, music,
      an editorial that his newspaper “cannot be muzzled.”  recruiters), he was almost court-martialed for defending   drama, and cartooning. As mentioned above, he also donated
         That confrontation actually happened in the first decade   himself against the anti-Semitism of his fellow soldiers and   money to found the Columbia School of Journalism. Perhaps
      of the 20th century, pitting President Theodore Roosevelt   officers.                                equally  important,  however,  Pulitzer’s life  stands  as a
      against Joseph Pulitzer, a Hungarian Jewish immigrant who      After the Civil War, he made his way to Missouri where,   metaphor for Jewish achievement and success in America in
      had lifted The newspaper The New York World to the rank   after working as a waiter, taxi driver, and caretaker of mules,   the face of vile and unremitting anti-Semitism.
      of most influential newspaper in New York and the broader   he became a journalist, was elected to the state legislature as
      United States.                                     a Republican, went to law school, started a law practice, and      For copies of this and other articles that have appeared in
         In  one  of  his  numerous  crusades,  Pulitzer  charged   quickly gave it up after purchasing the St. Louis Dispatch   this column, go to Send comments
      Roosevelt with orchestrating a $40 million cover-up of corrupt   (1878); through it all, he was still called “Joey the Jew.”  to 
      practices in the building of the Panama Canal. Roosevelt
      retaliated by demanding, in an address to Congress, that the
      government perform its “high national duty to bring to justice
      the vilifier of the American people.” Not cowed, Pulitzer       Boca Pointe Community Association, Inc.
      proclaimed, “Our republic and its press shall rise or fall
      together.” After three years of legal battles, the US Supreme   6909 SW 18th St., Suite A120
      Court ruled for Pulitzer, arguing that even the president was   Boca Raton, FL 33433     A special Thank You to our monthly volunteer contributing writers
      not above the law. (Now where have we heard that?)    Office (561) 395-7551 Fax (561) 395-5936  Steve Handwerker  Halli Moore  Judy Goldstein
         Pulitzer  was  born  in  1847  in  Mako,  a  town  on  the   Email:  Arlene Rodman  Harold Katz         Frank Weinstock
      Hungarian side of the border with Romania, as one of eight   Website:  Bob Kronish     Harriet Rubin        Lin Schader
      siblings. But only he and one brother lived to adulthood. His   Access Control           Mort Mazor       Jack Kulick          Justin Mocha
      first ambition was to become a soldier, and at 17 he migrated to   Operator: (561) 395-3392  Arthur Kravitz  Elaine Rubinson   Barry J. Haberman
                                                                                               Judith Levy
                                                                                                                Anne Gannon
                                                                                                                                     Peter Sachs
      America and immediately enlisted in a German-speaking unit   Voice mail system: (561) 395-3369  Dr. Ronald J. Meyers  Elyse Weintraub Brown  Steven L. Abrams
      of the Union Army in the final year of the Civil War. Pulitzer’s                         Lisa Sileo       Helen Karpel         Rochelle Wilensky
      first postwar job was shoveling coal, but he soon embarked on   Staff                    Rayna Becker     Hillary Reynolds     Sheila M. Cooperman
      his journalistic career through a German-language newspaper   Kathleen O’Donovan, General Manager  Lori Deibel  Oris Martin
                                                           Lisa Cammaleri, Assistant Manager
      in St. Louis. On the side he taught himself law and became   Yvonne Rivera, Administrative Assistant  George Steinman  Robert Weinroth
      an investigative reporter.                           Justin Mocha, Director of Security    The views of the writers of the various articles in this newspaper do not
         In 1881 he struck out for himself and founded the St. Louis                           necessarily reflect the views of the Boca Pointe Community Association. The
      Post-Dispatch, pledging to “oppose all frauds and shams,”     Viewpointe of Boca Pointe is the newspaper   Association nor the individual writers are not responsible for claims or promises
      and promoting a writing style of short, snappy paragraphs.   of Boca Pointe Community Association, Inc.   contained in any advertising material appearing in the Viewpointe. Such claims
                                                           Please  direct  all  questions,  comments  or
      For starters he published the names of all tax dodges in St.   articles for Viewpointe to lisa.cammaleri@  and promises are the sole responsibility of the individual advertiser.
      Louis — and in those rugged days, he was not surprised when
      his managing editor shot a critic of the newspaper.
         Two years later Pulitzer had accumulated and borrowed
      enough money to purchase the New York World for close
      to $400,000, proclaiming the paper’s policy by observing
      “Accuracy is to a newspaper what virtue is to a woman.”                                                           62 Marina Gardens Drive
      Around the same time he married the beautiful Kate Davis,                                                            Palm Beach Gardens
      an Episcopalian and distant relative of Jefferson Davis, the
      leader of the Confederacy during the Civil War. The marriage
      of a member of the Southern aristocracy to an immigrant Jew
      apparently was not considered as scandalous as it would be
      in a later century.                                                                                                   Private Gated Community
         A leading national figure in the Democratic Party, Pulitzer
      was elected as a New York congressman, serving one term                                                               Upscale, Urban Lifestyle
      (1885-86). Today, however, he is best remembered for
      establishing the Pulitzer Prizes (1917) through the bequeath of                                                       Walking Distance to
      prize money ($500,000) to Columbia University to recognize
      American  achievements  in  journalism,  photography,                                                                 amazing Dining,
      literature, history, poetry, music, drama, and cartooning.                                                            Boutiques and Carmines
      He also donated money to found the Columbia School of                                                                 Gourmet Market
      Journalism. The school then established the Pulitzer Prize.
         Until recently, historians blindly accepted Pulitzer’s                                                             Private Patio,
      dubious account of his ancestry – that “his father was a   Location . Location . Location                             Great for Pet Owners
      Hungarian Jew from Budapest and his mother “a devout
      Roman Catholic.” Though he was generally reticent when it                                                             Maintenance Free
      came to discussing his ethnic and religious origins, he told
      biographers he was Jewish only on his father’s side and that                                                          bene ts of a Condo with
      therefore, in accordance with the matrilineal descent rules of                                                        the privacy of a
      traditional Judaism, he was not really a Jew.                                                                         Town Home
         However,  due  to  contemporary  research  into  his
      background, no doubt remains that his mother, Elize Berger,
      was born to a family of Jewish traders in Pest and raised
      there as a Reform Jew. Among other evidence, researchers
      have uncovered any number of official records, including
      passports and issued passes that conform Pulitzer’s mother                                     CALL TODAY!
      was a Hungarian-born Jew.
         Moreover, recently discovered Hungarian-Jewish archival                                    561.312.7790
      materials show that Pulitzer was born in Makó and was
      circumcised on the eighth day after his birth; that he received   www.                             Quiet Patio Location
      a traditional upbringing as a Reform Jew; and that he attended
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