Photo Credit:
Irma Lindheim

By the autumn of 1930, the majority of the playground’s sponsors decided to close it for good. Mrs. Lindheim opposed shutting down the facility, but her colleagues were convinced that, despite their noble intentions, the site had become too dangerous.

As Irma Lindheim’s experiences demonstrated, the notion that American Zionists ignored the Palestinian Arabs in the pre-Israel years is a myth. Not only were American Jewish leaders well aware of the local Arabs, but some, such as Mrs. Lindheim, were acutely sensitive to Arab concerns and invested considerable time, effort, and funds to improve Arab-Jewish relations.

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But no matter how deeply American Zionists yearned for peace, and even when they went so far as to radically revise their Passover celebrations in order to foster positive feelings toward the Arabs, their good intentions often went unreciprocated. (JNS)

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