The period between Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, and Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, is a time of deep reflection and acute introspection. It is also a time for remembrance of the history of the Jewish people, a history that mingles glorious triumphs and bitter humiliation and loss. Jews worldwide ask themselves if they have done all they can to repair the world and, because the only honest answer to that question is No, resolve to try harder in the year to come.
It is therefore appropriate that during these “Days of Awe” we offer Were We Our Brothers’ Keepers? The Public Response of American Jews to the Holocaust, 1938-1944 by Haskell Lookstein, an important work that explores in depth the American Jewish response to the Holocaust as it occurred. By examining contemporary Jewish press accounts of such events as Kristallnacht, the refusal to allow the refugee ship St. Louis to land in America, the uprising in the Warsaw ghetto, and the deportation of the Hungarian Jews to Auschwitz, Haskel Lookstein provides us with an important perspective on the way in which events are reported on, perceived and interpreted in their own time.
Rabbi Lookstein has been deeply involved in issues of concern to the Jewish community. He was Chairman of the Greater New York Coalition for Soviet Jews, President of the New York Board of Rabbis, President of the Synagogue Council of America, Chairman of the Rabbinic Cabinet of National UJA, and member of the Board of the Joint Distribution Committee. His works have appeared in numerous publications in the US and Israel.
- Richard Curtis