Statement by Albert J. Amateau Z"L
on the Book "La America"
Albert Amateau 1890-1996
My good friend, Dr. Abraham J. Peck, managing editor of the THE AMERICAN JEWISH ARCHIVES, has seen fit to add a footnote to the profile I wrote of MOISE GADOL, published in the Spring-Summer edition of the ARCHIVES. It reads: "For a published assessment of MOISE GADOL, see Marc D. Angel's LA AMERICA, the Sephardic experience in the United States."
The uniformed reader may thus be led to believe that Marc Angel's essay is a factual assessment of MOISE GADOL, of LA AMERICA, and/or an authentic account of the Sephardic experience in the United States.
Dealing as it does with the history of the communal and cultural strivings of the Sephardic immigrants from the Ottoman Empire, it becomes absolutely essential that the facts be definitely stated and correctly recorded.
1. Marc D. Angel was born in mid 1940's in Seattle, Washington. He never knew Moise Gadol who had died in the late 1930's. The small Sephardic group of Seattle, and all small groups in other cities of the United States, were limited in their knowledge of Moise Gadol by what they perused in LA AMERICA, which Gadol published and controlled.
2. Their opportunity to judge Moise Gadol and assess the benign motives he advocated in his publication was limited to Gadol's constant self-serving and self-promoting statements he published in LA AMERICA.
3. Only the large groups of Sephardic immigrants and their leaders in New York had the opportunity to compare Moise Gadol's actions with his constant self-serving broadsides. The New York groups became aware that Moise Gadol misused his publication to promote or to deprecate communal leaders, communal plans and activities as he fancied, and/or his ulterior motives dictated.
4. Marc Angel entered the service of Shearith Israel congregation in New York at age 25, long after Moise Gadol had died, yet he perceived Gadol as an heroic, audacious pioneer, the first to publish a Judeo-Espaniol weekly, intent on promoting the welfare of the Sephardic immigrants in the United States; as a benevolent leader willing to risk his all to advance the cause. Marc Angel disregarded the fact that the Sephardic groups in New York rejected Gadol and refused to support his publication and his schemes of leadership.
5. Also, Marc Angel failed to read through the archives of other Judeo-Espaniol publications, published almost simultaneously with LA AMERICA. Had he done that, he would have discovered many articles critical of Gadol's self-promoting blares, refutations of his claims, and exposes of Gadol's duplicity and ulterior motives.
6. Marc Angel failed to seek the opinion of contemporaries who had known and dealt with Gadol, and who had the opportunity to assess his pretenses of benign motives for his claims.
In the light of these disclosures it becomes clear that Marc Angel's essay, entirely based on Gadol's self-assessment and self-pitying laments, is a travesty of history.
As a contemporary and collaborator of Gadol in his initial efforts, before his real motives were discovered, the profile I wrote is based on authentic facts. That profile recites the real history of the communal and cultural strivings of the Sephardic immigrants in the United States.
Albert J. Amateau
© FASSAC, Duplication is prohibited.