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June 07, 1974 - Image 45

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1974-06-07

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

NEws..

TNT

Friday, June 7, 1974-45

BREVITIES

Garelick's Galler y will
have an EXHIBITION AND
SALE Sunday through June
29 at the gallery. Contem-
porary American graphics,
including etchings and litho-
graphs, will be displayed.
Among the artists to be ex-
hibited are Desow-Fishbein,
Richard Florsheim, William
Gropper, Jack Levine, Harry
McCormick, Ben Shahn, Sari
Sherman and Raphael Soyer.

.

RY FREEDMAN

Orchestra and Entertainment

647-2367

Hours Sunday are from 2 to
6 p.m. Daily hours are from
9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. For
information, call the gallery,
645-2266.
* *

Oakland County Parks and
Recreation Commission an-
nounces the opening June 19
of the SUMMER BALLET
DANCE CLASSES at Water-
ford-Oaks Activity Center,
2800 Watkins Lake, Water-
ford Township. Barbara Rice
will teach beginning and in-
termediate classes for girls
4-6 and modern dance for
girls 7-12. Registration is
open to all girls in Oakland
County. For information, call
858-0913.

School Is CLOSING
For The Summer
And Sp Is

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' •

Synagogue

Editor, The Jewish News:
The letter by Jeanette
Buchman in the May 31 issue
of The Jewish News offers
an example of the miscon-
ceptions that many Detroit
area families hold about the
synagogue.
Her statements and her
questions are shared by
hundreds of other families
who, at the present time,
comprise the 50 per cent of
our Jewish families who are
not affiliated with any syna-
gogue.
These are the families who
have chosen not to join a
synagogue but feel no guilt
or have no qualms when they
have occasion to use the
facilities of a congregation
or the services of its rabbis.
Several points must be
made:
1) Synagogues, in the
broad sense, are communal
institutions, but they are not
supported by community
funds.
2) The synagogue exists
and functions and flourishes
because of members who un-
derstand that without their
financial and physical com-
mitment there would be no
synagogue at all.
3) Every synagogue has a
budget it must meet in order
to carry out its program.
Thus, there must be a base
dues (or membership fee)
that is expected from all of
its families. This does not
mean, however, that - all
families pay the same dues
rates.
Mrs. Buchman asks: "Why
do the synagogues make
their memberships so high
that people can't afford to be
members?"
It takes more dollars now
to perform the same services
as previously, and at a time
when we should be adding
significantly to our program,
we don't dare add an item to
the budget for fear of raising
membership costs still high-
er.
I believe that the crux of
the problem rests with Mrs.
Buchman's question on being
able to afford membership.
I predict that there is not
one congregation in the De-
troit area — be it Orthodox,
Conservative or Reforni —
that would bar from mem-
bership any family that could
not afford to pay the usual
dues fee.
But what does it mean not
to be able to afford?
Should we revert to the
biblical tradition of the tithe
— giving a tenth of our ma-
terial gain for the susten-
ance of our faith?
Would Mrs. Buchman be-
lieve that 2 per cent of in-
come is too high a price to
pay for synagogue affilia-
tion? This is more consistent
with what the actual needs
of the synagogue are. Is this
more than anyone can af-
ford?
As we've heard so often
these days, we live in an age
of affluence. Items that once
were considered luxuries are
now felt to be necessities.
Paradoxically, the syna-
gogue, once considered by
our parents and grandpar-
ents as a necessity, too often
is now considered to be a
luxury.
No family in the commu-
nity should be made to feel
that they are second-class
members of any synagogue.

But anyone who considers
Bar Mitzva a meaningful
Jewish experience with no
thought to the perpetuation
of his faith beyond Bar
Mitzva has made of himself
a second-class Jew.
Whenever I read or hear
a statement that a family
has been denied membership
in a synagogue for financial

LETTER BOX

reasons, I think back to a
time in our own history when
we accepted for membership
a family in desperate finan-
cial circumstances. They
were never in a position to
support the temple financial-
ly as did others. But two of
their children became presi-
dents of our youth group. No
congregation can risk such
a potential loss — and none
would.
FRANK L. SIMONS
Administrator
Temple Israel

Editor, The Jewish News:
Pertaining to the mother
who protested about the high
cost of a Bar Mitzva for her
son:
To all indications, the
mother wanted her son's Bar
Mitzva to take place in a
large beautiful suburban
synagogue, especially as she
mentioned that Detroit area
synagogues are more inter-
ested in their buildings, than
the Bar Mitzva boy.
As a matter of fact, there
are only two Conservative
synagogues in Detroit, and
neither one of these would
have refused her, and be-
sides, the synagogue build-
ings are not the most ex-
pensive type, and I am sure
that she did not contact Beth
Moses Synagogue.
The mother mentioned the
kidush, and she misunder-
stands one thing: No matter
how many friends she in-
vites, she also invites the
congregation, especially on
the Sabbath, and the larger
the synagogue, the more it
costs for the kidush repast.
I hope- that her letter has
not misguided other mothers
in such a situation, because
every synagogue, large or
small, finds it their duty to
hold Bar Mitzvas, regardless
of circumstances . .
JOSEPH SHAPIRO
Member
Beth Moses Synagogue

Editor, The Jewish News:
While I can only relate
what is true in my own con-
gregation, I am reasonably
certain that this applies to
most congregations : If there
is a family sincerely inter-
ested in identifying with a
congregation, there is a
membership chairman or
committee that is willing to
accommodate within the
budgetary allowance of that
family. Anyone—and I mean
ANYONE — who does not
belong to a synagogue on the
claim that he cannot afford
it, is using this as an excuse
to shirk community respon-
sibility.
If the child is going to
Hebrew school "to study for
Bar Mitzva" I am convinced
the ceremony is not an honor
but a meaningless exercise.
Education is important, not
the rote recitation of a

Haftora; putting on Tefilin
denotes Jewish continuity,
not a synagogue ceremony.
What is so important in
having a Bar Mitzva on Sab-
bath? With many legal holi-
days on a Monday or Thurs-
day and an occasional Rosh
Hodesh on Sunday we have
had at our synagogue an in-
creasing number of Bnai
-Mitzva on days other than
Sabbath which have been
more meaningful in terms of
educational preparation and
more economical in terms of
celebration; and truly en-
joyed by all.
I think we need a long hard
look at the Bar Mitzva cere
mony, per se, and a more
serious attempt to convince
the unaffiliated that they are
welcome if only they desire
to belong to a synagogue.
JAMES I. GORDON
Rabbi, Young Israel
of Oak-Woods

that synagogue's board and
its rabbi solved the problem
—even covering the kidush
expense. Mrs. Deutch af-
firms that an open-door
policy for such needs is re-
tained by Rabbi Schnipper
and Beth Moses.
(George Bass, president of
Downtown Synagogue, said
his congregation also will ac-
commodate parents who can-
not afford the costs of a Bar
Mitzva. He said that, in gen-
eral, Downtown Synagogue
charges less than one-third
of the going rate for a Bar
Mitzva service for nonmem-
bers.)

-

* * *

(Editor's Note: The • Flint
Temple Beth El Bulletin of
June 3 discusses the rabbis'
perennial problem of pro-
viding services for nonmem-
bers and comes to the con-
clusion that the rabbi's chief
responsibility is to dues-
paying members. Rabbi Ar-
nold I. Sher of Park Avenue
Temple, Bridgeport, Conn.,
was quoted as saying:
"Many of those who choose
not to join a synagogue do
so because they do not be-
lieve either in the importance
of the synagogue or its cen-
trality in their lives or in the
life of the Jewish commu-
nity. It would be a simple
issue except that many times
these same families\do call
upon the rabbinate to offer
services that are needed."
Rabbis responding to the
question made allowances
for those who cannot afford
to join a synagogue.
(Other letters and numerous
calls to The Jewish News
were related to this issue.
One caller, Mrs. Paul
Deutch, told of a financially
distressed widow with three
children, one of whom was
prepared and anxious for a
Bar Mitzva. Mrs. Deutch
contacted several leading
synagogues, but to no avail
— until she reached Rabbi
A. Irving Schnipper of Beth
Moses. Unanimous action by

Chattanooga Times.
Officer, A. S. Ochs

CHATTANOOGA—Adolph
S. Ochs, retired treasurer
and a director of the Chatta-
nooga Times, died May 29 at
age 79.
A former president of the
Southern Newspaper Pub-
lishers Association, Mr. Ochs
was a nephew of Adolph S.
Ochs, who became publisher
of the New York Times in
1896.
Starting in the newspaper
business as a reporter, Mr.
Ochs rose to city editor, man-
aging editor and general
manager before becoming
secretary-treasurer of the
Times Printing Co. in 1931.
His father, Milton, was man-
aging editor and later vice
president of the Chattanooga
paper.

Fight fire with fire, and
craft with craft. — Henry
Wadsworth Longfellow.

Rd&

May 24—To Mr. and Mrs.
Norman Nickin (Gloria
Gutov), 26136 Franklin Pte.,
Southfield, a daughter, Jodi
Kara.
* * *
May 23—To Dr. and Mrs.
Herschel Leib Schlussel
( Toby Etta Engel), 16980
Jeanette, Southfield, a daugh-
ter, Judith Rena.

*

* *

May 23—To Mr. and Mrs.
Gene Zager (Susan Miller),
18603 Flamingo, Livonia, a
daughter, Kimberley Renee.
* * *
May 17—To Mr. and Mrs.
Martin D. Edelman, 26421
Harding, Oak Park, a son,
Justin Kyle.

* * *

April 27—To Mr. and Mrs.
Harvey Sherman (Barbara
Schneider), 23500 Kenosha,
Oak Park, a daughter, Eliza-
beth Renee.
* *
April 26—To Mr. and Mrs.
William C. Panzer (Sharon
McCoy), 21630 Westhampton,
Oak Park, a son, David
Mahler.

* *

To Mr. and Mrs. Sheldon
Eskow (Diane Segal), 1686
Graefield, Birmingham, a
daughter, Emily Rachel.

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