The Detroit Jewish News March 19, 1943 issue.

After reading the March 19, 1943, issue of the JN, I thought I might write about local issues this week. If you’ve followed my columns for the past year, you already know the war is still raging, and the Allies and American Jews and their leaders are worried about what to do with all the refugees from Europe.

The front page had an article about the many Jews from around the United States serving overseas as Red Cross directors. While so many of the reports in the JN since the war began focused on men and women serving in the Armed Forces or in the British military and workforces in Palestine, this article reminds the reader that plenty of Jews were doing lots of good deeds in non-combat roles in Europe. Indeed, the Red Cross, then, as it does today, was a leading force in providing support and aid to those suffering from disasters generated by both natural, and in this case, human causes. 

The main story regarding the Red Cross directors, however, was about Detroiter and former Jewish Social Service Bureau Aide Betsy Spalter. Her photo is front and center. At that time, Spalter was serving as Red Cross personal service director in Great Britain. 

And, check out page 13 for a cute photo of Temple Israel’s prize winners in the Purim Masquerade Contest.

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Finally, the really big news! The Detroit Jewish News was 1 year old! It had survived its first year of publication when many new journals, newspapers and magazines did not. And, as we now know — it survived and prospered for another 75 years and counting. What did we learn from its first year of printing news for and about Detroit’s Jewish community? More on that next week.

Want to learn more? Go to the DJN Foundation archives, available for free at