Sunday, July 24, 2011

Mistaken Attribution part 2

In my previous post, “Mistaken Attribution,” I was trying to show that scholars and those who claim to be serious intellectuals need to properly cite and credit their sources. One can not just put words in someone's mouth. One needs to make proper citations for everything. Many writers claimed that Milton Himmelfarb made the aphorism, “Jews earn like Episcopalians and vote like Puerto Ricans.” Since last week I’ve had an e-mail conversation with his daughter Miriam Himmelfarb, who did additional research.

In his July 15, 2011 column in the Jerusalem Post, "The "vote like Puerto Ricans" question " ( Shmuel Rosner, writes about my blog article. (1)  He does not mention my name or give a plain text citation for my blog article. I wrote in a comment that he as guilty of not citing sources as much as all those who pretend to quote Milton Himmelfarb. All of the comments to his article talked about voting. None understood my point concerning lack of citation.

Let me give examples of what students have tried to use for citations. 1) "Yahoo News" as an author; 2) a publisher as the author; 3) not able to figure out which name was the author's last name or first. One may quote a news story, but it does have an author. If no author is given, it should be entered under title. It seems that teachers don’t understand this concept. My training in cataloging means my basis for entering authorship or attribution uses Anglo-American Cataloging Rules.

Except when the author is a corporate body, the author and publisher are not the same. When the student wanted to list a book published by Alcoholics Anonymous in the bibliography, I guided her to the library catalog and showed her what the professional cataloger recorded for the entry. The author’s name is “Bill W.” The correct entry in the bibliography is: W., Bill.

The third case is a ringer. Even looking at the abstract and what ProQuest advised for the citation, we couldn't figure out which name was the author's last name. The author had a foreign name that was not familiar to us. We found his Facebook page. After seeing he was born in Bangladesh and living in England, we then could figure out the correct order to his name. We then knew the ProQuest citation suggestion was not correct.

Over the weekend I talked to some of my professor friends. They all say that getting correct citations is important. One told me about reviewing students' works and spending a lot of time telling them to write down their sources and correctly cite them.

I heard from David Pollack (Associate Executive Director, Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) in New York), via e-mail who knew Himmelfarb. David said that perhaps Himmefarb used the quote in his speeches after all it was similar to what he wrote in several places. If he did say something in a speech, those who wanted to use his quote could have cited the speech. The citation could be something like, "in a speech on July 17, 19xx Milton Himmelfarb is reported to have said, 'XYZ.'" No one referred to a speech.

I received an e-mail from Milton Himmelfarb's daughter Miriam Himmelfarb. She asked him directly in a January 2004 e-mail if the quote was his. He did not confirm that he said the exact quote.

I quote from her e-mail and his reply:
In January 2004 I wrote my father an e-mail to ask if he had actually said that Jews earn like Episcopalians and vote like Puerto Ricans. His reply:

Analyzing the vote in the 1968 presidential election, and relying on the demographer Donald (?) Bogue's Population of the United States, I wrote--as near as I can remember--"Jews have Episcopalian bank accounts and Puerto Rican voting habits." (2)

Dr. Donald J. Bogue worked for Population Association of America and the University of Chicago. Currently is a professor emeritus. He was well known for his studies of population, demography, and human ecology. For more information see the web sites about him and

Himmelfarb is referring to the book Population of the United States (Glencoe, Ill., Free Press [c1959] ) It has been updated and the most recent version is dated 2010.

In talking to a lawyer friend at breakfast last Monday about correct citations he told me of a case he worked on. The opposing attorney wanted to use a case as a precedent. Not only could she not produce the correct citation or a copy of the case, she incorrectly interpreted the legal situation. She did not know the law or the relevant cases. The judge couldn't allow an argument without a basis.

While academic writing is not the same as a court case, scholars need to be care to document what they write and create citations for their quotes. Remember Stuhlman's Rule of Citations ==>; Citations must be reversible, meaning I should be able to look up and verify your citation. The corollary is APA style does not follow Stuhlman's Rule.

Here is the summary of what Miriam Himmelfarb reported about her father’s quote.

Miriam was able to discover some more sources concerning the quote. In Jews and Gentiles (New York : Encounter Books, ©2007. a collection of Himmelfarb’s essays edited by his sister, Gertrude Himmelfarb), there is an essay called "Jews, Episcopalians, Puerto Ricans."
On p. 211 it says: "After the 1968 election I wrote what was eventually to become an anonymous aphorism, that Jews had the incomes of Episcopalians but voted like Hispanics ('Is American Jewry in Crisis?' in Commentary March 1969)."

This indicates that "'Is American Jewry in Crisis" is the source we are seeking. That article appears as "Crisis" in The Jews of Modernity (Basic Books, 1973).
On page 91 Bogue is mentioned, and there are some sentences related to this issue, but not identical to the famous line:

1. "But on the one hand, we know that Jews have voted left of their bank accounts."

2. "Jews voted like the Mexicans of the West and the Puerto Ricans of the East--the poor, racial minorities."

I also found this in the Introduction to Jews and Gentiles (the Introduction, including the footnote, were written by my aunt Gertrude Himmelfarb):

On page vii, footnote 2: In “Jews, Episcopalians, Puerto Ricans,” the “anonymous aphorism,” as Himmelfarb described it (p. 211), refers to Hispanics rather than Puerto Ricans. In an earlier article making the same point, the reference was to Mexicans and Puerto Ricans (“Crisis” [1969] in Jews of Modernity, p. 91). He himself generally used the term Puerto Ricans, and it is in that form that the aphorism is now familiar.

Miriam tried to find out more about her father generally using the term Puerto Ricans (3)but had no success.

This leaves two possibilities according to Miriam and I agree:
1. He used the line orally but did not record it in writing.

2. Someone else paraphrased what he said.
There is no way of making this determination with 100 percent certainty without documentary evidence. No one has admitted to have heard him say the exact quote and his e-mail does tend to indicate that that phrasing was not his.

As in the first article the statement is a reasonable summary of what he said. Just because Himmelfarb was right and others summarize or paraphrase his words it does not release people writing about him or his work from giving proper citations.


1. For Shmuel Rosner and everyone who want to cite my article here is my advice. For a bibliography use: Stuhlman, Daniel D. “Mistaken Attribution” Kol Safran July 7, 2011. Web. [date of access]

“Kol Safran” is the name of the blog and corresponds to the name of the publication. If one does not know the authorized version of my name, check my name against the author authority entry in Library of Congress. MLA style does require a city of publication. Since the author and publisher are the same there is not need to use “n.p.” or repeat the name. MLA does not require a URL since they claim the URL could change. I recommend using the URL for a blog because as long as the blog exists, the URL will not change and after the blog ceases to exist the URL can be used with the Internet Archive ( to find the article. The Internet Archive only indexes web sites by URL. The access date is important because sometimes the articles change.

I do not advise the use of APA style because it violates Stuhlman’s Rule for Citations. For an in text citation I recommend : “Mistaken Attribution” by Daniel Stuhlman found in the blog Kol Safran, July 7, 2011

2. In Bogue’s book on pages 705-708 he discusses the income levels by religious group. The median income of heads of households for Jews is $5954. The closest Christian group is the Episcopalians at $5000. The next group, the Presbyterians, is $4586. However, Bogue summaries his finds as: “Education is a much more potent factor than religious preference in determining the income level of households …” Since Jews have a much higher level of education compared to other groups the income level is higher. This is not a 100% correlation. 23.% of Episcopalians completed at least 4 years of college while only 21.8% of the Jews completed 4 or more years. The Presbyterian rate was 12.8%. Himmelfarb was right to say that Jews and Episcopalians had similar incomes.
The general Kol Safran blog comments now include a recommendation for citation.

3. In a recent exchange with catalogers on AUTOCAT, they discussed the problem in the ambiguity of the terms Spanish American and Hispanics. In conversation nuance and context can clear some of the ambiguity, in library subject headings there is no easy way to distinguish an immigrant from Spain , a person who speaks Spanish , and someone from a Latin American country. Using a search engine to search by keywords would lead to even more ambiguous results. The first hits are for the Spanish-American War because results are based on a algorithm of popularity or likelihood of correctness. On screen six of the search results we finally get a hit for a site not related to the war.

Monday, July 11, 2011

New President Interview -- Part 8

Creating a Community*

Q>; Jonathan Sacks in his book, The home we build together said, “ Society is the home we build together when we bring our several gifts to the common good.” Previously you said that Sacks’ theory of society has influenced your theory of management. Would you elaborate?

A> Sacks talks about how we live in a diverse society and need to build a community. His lessons work for the classroom as well as the administrative
Visiting scholar, Asher Lopatin, giving a lecture

aspects of the College. In the classrooms when I was in elementary school, the teacher was the authority and the students were the sponges to absorb knowledge and the soldiers to follow orders. Many college classes were large lectures where the teacher gave a lecture on the model of the “sage on the stage.” These classrooms did not consider diversity. Students who didn’t comply were either disciplined or made to leave.

Now I tell faculty that most courses should be on the model of respecting the knowledge and gifts of each student. If the teacher wants to pour in knowledge, the lecture hall is an inefficient venue. Students do not retain enough form lectures. In the “common good” model, students are given assignment to prepare them for the classroom. In the classroom the teachers guide the students to understanding the materials and learning to be critical thinkers. Part of the class time is lecture but a bigger part is the exchange of ideas. Assignments are given to enable students to learn on their own and explore the subject in depth. The balance between the learning activities will vary with the subject being taught. For example the humanities lend themselves to more discussion than the lab sciences.

There is a passage we say in the Jewish prayer book based on the Talmud Berakhot 64a. “Students increase peace in the world ... great shall be the peace of your children. Read here not your children, but your builders.” The words in Hebrew for “children” and “builders” vary only by the sound of the first vowel. This is a profound lesson for both teachers and managers. First, we have to teach our students and staff the basics or groundwork. By turning them into people who can create we increase peace. For American society that means we working toward a nation of learners who can live together in peace. On the institutional level it means we create a College that is creative in solving our challenges as members of a community. The goal of the College is education, but along the way we are community members with family and personal lives. The College community is not built for us, but with us as contributing, creative members.

Sometimes the “sweat equity” of students is the hard work of studying and learning so that they master a subject. They earn their role in the College community and the larger community with their actions outside of the classrooms.

Q> Is the College a society, a community or both?

A community is a group of people who build something together. At a meeting (administrative or classroom) the encounter is face-to-face. Meetings can be times to complain, report on previous actions, exchange ideas, or build. For the organization to be effective the meeting has to give people tasks for working together toward a goal. They have to walk away from the face-to-face meeting with something to work on side-by-side. Side-by-side activities accomplish more for community building than talking to people. The ideal administrative meeting would have a common goal and at the end a clear procedure for the next step. For example everyone would have a task to perform before the next meeting.

We just celebrated Independence Day. The United States, unlike most countries, was based on a dream. The Declaration of Independence was the codification of that dream. It was a covenant for a community to be united for a common good. It had no force of law. Rejoicing in the memory of the event that created this county is not a religious event. A college is not a state, but we have some of the aspects of a community based on a covenant.

The covenant is written in our mission and in the idea of what education is for the city, state and country. Education’s goal is to create informed citizens for our multiple intertwined communities. The College’s mission is to provide the resources for education. The resources consist of the physical (buildings, grounds and equipment), the human, and the intellectual. The College does provide a large range of services to help students and faculty do their job of education. However, the College is but one agency within the city and large community.

As a community, the College seeks to provide its members with a co--responsibility for justice, kindness, and compassion. We are not all equal. There is a hierarchy in the organization and students have different role in the organization that faculty and staff.

We are not a society. A society is a self-perpetuating home. Our goals include insuring students graduate. They have a limited time on campus and then must move on to the next step in their lives.

As a community we do have to recognize the diversity of individual gifts. Rule is not by fiat. Consensus building is an important part of leadership.

Q> On an everyday practical level what is being done for community building?

For students any club, sport, or student group is an opportunity to make a community. I learned a great deal about cooperation and team work from participating in a team sport and from playing in musical groups. The star player or performer can go only so far without support from a team.

For faculty and staff I will encourage them to participate in committees and groups that share in the governance and planning for the college. I will encourage groups to implement decisions so that we can move forward in a way that works rather than stumbles.

While the mission is to graduate students, we hope to have a lifetime connection to the students through alumni associations. We offer several kinds of services for graduates and hope they will support us with many kinds of support. We office library privileges and placement help for members of the alumni association. We offer networking opportunities for connecting graduates for business, professional, and social opportunities.

Q> How has the concept of peer reviewed journal articles evolved?

A> The standard in academia especially in the sciences is for professors and researchers to seek peer review of research. The manuscripts submitted for publication are reviewed by experts. Usually the process is blind review with neither party knowing the identity of the other. A prestigious publication will receive many more manuscripts than they can use. For example the New English Journal of Medicine publishes about 5% of the articles submitted. Replication of results of experiments is an important part of scientific process. This reminds me of the reasons God didn’t get tenure. 1) His only written work did not have any citations and was written in ancient Hebrew; 2) His only experiment, creation of the world, can not be replicated; and 3) He refuses to meet face-to-face with any students or colleagues.

In the social sciences and humanities blind peer review is less important. Experiments cannot be replicated like recipes. In the era of blogs, web pages and Wikipedia peer review can be almost instantaneous. For example: earlier this week, a professor in Brooklyn and a librarian in Frankfurt read my blog article. They sent comments and I was immediately able to verify the comments and make changes to my article. If this were a print publication changes would take months and the reader of the unchanged article would probably not know about the changes. I am doing a better service to my readers by making immediate changes. While I did not make a mistake, the added information clarified two points I made. Sometimes letting people read or hear preliminary results enables me to make corrections before publication.

While academics like peer-reviewed and scholarly journals, we have to look at additional types of publications. Professors who publish blogs and web sites that are connected to their teaching and research interests should get the same recognition and credit as those who publish in the more traditional venues. However, a short 500 word blog entry is not the same as a 5,000 word article 50,000 word book. A 500 word carefully researched and documented article is not the same as 500 word opinion piece written in a half hour. A stream of conscience or opinion blog entry is not the same as an academic entry. A blog can be less formal than a journal article, but still needs evidence and citations to be taken seriously. We have to judge the publications on their own merits not on artificial designations.

*Part eight of an imaginary interview with the newly appointed president of the College. Note this is just for your information and amusement. Any connection to a real college president is strictly coincidental.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Mistaken Attribution

If enough people claim something is true, can we believe it to be true? Recently a query on H-Judaic, a list serv for Judaica, asked for the source of the “Jews earn like Episcopalians but vote like Puerto Ricans.” Many people have attributed this statement or aphorism, “Jews earn like Episcopalians but vote like Puerto Ricans” to Milton Himmelfarb.

When quoting someone usually we put the statement in quotation marks and in academic publication a citation or source is supplied. However, no one can give a citation probably because he never wrote it. Milton Himmelfarb (October 21, 1918 – January 4, 2006) worked for the American Jewish Committee for more than 40 years. He was one of the editors of the American Jewish Yearbook and a contributing editor of Commentary Magazine. Commentary frequently published his editorial opinions and commentary. Even the New York Times obituary (“Milton Himmelfarb, Wry Essayist, 87, Dies” / by Joseph Berger, January 15, 2006) and an article in the New Republic (April 21, 2005 “The Bashing of Bolton, &C / Jay Nordlinger ) attributed this statement to him.

Table from American Jewish Yearbook 1983 p. 117

Himmelfarb's observations on Jewish voting patterns goes back at least to an opinion in the December 1960 issue of Commentary, “In the community: Jewish vote?” In this article he talks about Jewish self-interests and voting. In general he says that Jews take liberalism as their own because it is in their self interest. He never mentions “Episcopalians” as a group. In June 1973 in the Commentary article, “The Jewish Vote (Again)” he talks about the Jews voting according to their own self interests. He says, “… American Jews had become economically to resemble the Episcopalians, the most prosperous of all white groups, their voting behavior continued to be most like the voting behavior of one of the least prosperous of all groups, the Puerto Ricans.” Which is the closest to the aphorism that everyone claims Himmelfarb wrote. Himmelfarb stated that if Jews were voting by economic self-interested they would have overwhelmingly voted for Nixon. They did not. Some of his ideas on Jewish voting also appear in his book, The Jews of modernity (New York, Basic Books, 1973).

Why do so many people think that Himmelfarb said the aphorism? First, it seems to be a concise condensation of many of his writings on Jewish voting patterns. Second, it gives credence to the observation. However, I question the need to put the statement in quotes. I could find nothing in American copyright law that forbids false attribution of statements or works. Some statements that were made famous by Benjamin Franklin were no created by him. Some statements attributed to Mark Twain and even famous rabbis were never authored by them. By attributing a statement to a famous person the true author is both modest and trying to make the statement more important than it is. False attribution and misrepresenting an author’s is not allowed under the Australian Copyright law. (Copyright Act of 1968 section 195 AD).

The statement does not misrepresent Himmelfarb’s ideas, but I question if it is even protected by copyright. Obvious facts, lists, and directories are not automatically protected. If you make a list of ingredients, a shopping list, or list of facts they are not automatically protected. If you were to read a table that had a voting report of elections broken down by groups and made the statement, “Jews vote like Puerto Rican New Yorkers,” this would be a reports of facts. It would not be protected by copyright. Likewise if you read government earning statistical report and said “Jews are in the same economic earning group as Episcopalians,” this would be an obvious fact that is not copyrightable. Before you jump on my case, the context of how you use the facts may make them copyrightable. If the statement was part of a larger work and this was analysis, it would be probably be protected. Short sentences out of context are usually not protected.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Searching for the Prussian Emancipation Act of 1812


On H-Judaic, a list serv for professors of Judaica, a retired professor who is writing a book wanted to find the text of the Prussian Emancipation Act of 1812. I thought this would be an easy search using Google. I was mistaken. A search in English yielded many books and articles that mention this edict and portions of the text, but not the full text. The professor said that she had a summary of the text in English, but wanted the full text.

Since this was a complicated search, I hope that you can learn some of the search tricks that I need to use to find the text. I first had to read up and understand this edict. This was the document of emancipation for the Jews of Prussia issued by King Friedreich Willhelm III. The people of Prussia felt this was a reward for the achievements that Jews accomplished in Prussia. In other countries the rulers imposed citizenship and rights to the Jews. The edict eliminated most of the anti-Jewish laws that had existed from the Middle Ages. This edict ended the Middle Ages and its limitations on human rights. It was a great step toward modernity.  . The edict allowed Jews most freedoms of citizens and  required them to adopt family names.  Strangely,  since they couldn’t be university professors, some Jews were encouraged to convert. Foreign Jews who married Prussians were not granted all the rights as citizens. The provisions of the 1812 edict were not enforced uniformly in the Kingdom. For example the city-state of Lübeck expelled Jews who has settled there during the Napoleonic era.(1)

Prussia in 1812 was a German kingdom that included the cities of Berlin, Brandenberg, Hanover, and Frankfurt am Main, Frankfurt an der Oder, Koenigsberg, and Breslau. Prussia existed from 1701 until Germany’s defeat in World War 1 in 1918. It had very irregular borders and islands of other states were completely surrounded by Prussia. It was the biggest and most populous of the German states. The borders changed in 1805 and 1807. Today parts of Prussia are in Germany, Poland, Lithuania, and Russia. During the aftermath of World War 2, many areas no longer had a German character. For example the city of Königsberg, largely destroyed in the war, was renamed Kaliningrad (Калининград)in 1946. Königsberg was the city’s name from the year 1255.(2)

Since the edict was Prussian law I searched for a law book with the text. I found the compiled law of Prussia in Gesetz-Sammlung für diu Königlichen Preussischen Staaten., (Collected Royal Laws of the Prussian State) but strangely the volume that covers 1812 is either missing or never existed. The volume covering 1806-1810 was published in 1822 in Berlin. (3)

After I understood something about the edict I could return to use Google. By doing a search in German using Google books I found the complete text of the 1812 Emancipation Act in the book, Der Entwurfeiner Verordnung über die Verhaltnisse der Juden in Preussen und das Edikt vom 11. Marz 1812 / von Moritz Veit. Leipzig : F. A. Brockhaus, 1847, starting on page 27. It is printed in German Fraktur font. Here's the link for finding the book with Google books:

Here is the link for finding the book with Google books

Another copy is available from Freimann-Digital-Collection of Frankfurt University Library

The Salomon Ludwig Steinheim-Institut für deutsch-jüdische Geschichte at the University of Duisburg-Essen has a digital archive of text that includes a plain text version of Moritz Veit’s book (

According to WorldCat, this book is only available in electronic format. However, I have learned that the book is available in Frankfurt University Library-Judaica Division.

This was not a quick search. Google is a great tool, but the search required an understanding of the search terms in both English and the original German and a brief lesson in what this document is and its significance. During the search process I read many articles on the topic and checked encyclopedias for background. Without the background I would not have known that the result was correct.

1> There are many articles and books that discuss the emancipation of Jews in German lands,  Examples are:  “The process of emancipation from the Congress of Vienna to the revolution of 1848/49,” by Arno Hertzog  in Leo Baeck Institute year book XXXVII 1992 p. 61- 69 and “The terms of emancipation 1781-1812,” by H.D. Schmidt in  Leo Baeck Institute year book I  1956.  Modern Judaism and historical consciousness : identities, encounters, perspectives, by Andreas Gotzmann and Christian Wiese  ( Leiden ; Boston : Brill, 2007) see chapter 12 Jewish historical culture and Wissenschaft.

2>  One of the challenges of  the geography of Europe is that cities have changed countries and names very often.  Frequently cities had German, Polish, Russian and Yiddish names. The catalog of Jewish Theological Seminary Library list more than 150 books published in Königsberg and none from Kalingrad.

3>  Note added on July 7. Since the original publication I received additional information from Bonnie Anderson: the University of Iowa Law Library has a copy of the Gesetz-Sammlung fűr die Königlichen Preussischen Staaten, 1806-65. Thanks also to Rachel Heuberger of Universitätsbibliothek Frankfurt a. M (Frankfurt University Library) for providing information about this item in their collection.

Notes received from Reina Wiliams:

The subject line of this email grabbed my attention immediately. I am working as an Online Librarian at a proprietary school. Yesterday, I was helping a student in chat, and he was angry he could not search the library databases like Google. He even submitted a feedback form saying how dissatisfied he was with the library web resources. He stated he could just Google his topic. This student fails to realize that the web resources may not be credible or accepted by his instructor. Librarians at the very least have to be present to teach students how to evaluate web resources.