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May 21, 1976 - Image 23

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1976-05-21

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


May 21, 1976 23

New Face on the Problems of Intermarriage

`Ecumenical' Weddings in New York

chapel at the United Na-
tions Church Center has in-
creasingly become a place
for inter-faith marriages in
New York. According to a
recent New York Times ar-
ticle by Shawn Kennedy,
more than 60 percent of the
more than 400 hundred
marriages performed there
annually are between men
and women of different
According to Rev. Melvin
Hawthorne, chaplain at the
UN Church Center, "The
chapel offers a neutral set-
ting. Some couples find they
can't be married in church,
in a temple or synagogue be-
cause their religions don't

recognize or permit mar-
riages outside the faith
there, and come here."
"And often," he contin-
ued, "they don't want just a
civil ceremony or there is
family pressure for the
marriage to be some type of
religious ceremony or serv-
Though the Church Cen-
ter, built in 1965 by the
United Methodist Church,
serves as headquarters for
various religions that have
"official observer" status
at the United Nations, the
affililation between it and
the United Nations is more
spiritual than official. And
even though it is called the
UN Chapel, it is not part

Ecuadorians Learn of Israel
History, Zionism From Envoy


(Copyright 1976, JTA, Inc.)

QUITO — On April 12,
the second day of the Catho-
lic holy week that falls be-
tween Palm Sunday and
Easter, the Women's Club
of the International YMCA
sponsored a discussion and
series of films on the Holy
Land. The meeting, at-
tended by more than 100
people, was held at the
Evangelist Lutheran
Church and featured Itzhak
Sheffi, Israeli Ambassador
to Ecuador, as the keynote

Sheffi opened his remarks
by explaining that, "ac-
cording to an "old proverb,
Israel is the center of the
world and Jerusalem is the
center of Israel." The am-
bassador's free ranging dis-
cussion was the latest at-
tempt on the embassy's part
to take the story of Israel's
history and culture to the
Ecuadorian people.

Just the day before he
presented an 18-volume set
of the Encyclopaedia Ju-
daica to Dr. Armando Pe-
santes, chancellor of the
Ministry of Foreign Rela-
tions, who accepted the gift
on behalf of the Ecuadorian
government. The presenta-
tion fulfilled one of the con-
ditions of the recent cul-

and • scientific
exchange program signed
between the two countries
in February of this year.

Sheffi's verbal tour be-
gan with a quick summary
of Jewish history and led
into an explanation of
Zionism. He said that,
"Zionism began with the
birth of our people and cul-
minated in the establish-
ment of the state of Israel
in 1948. It (Zionism) was a
movement of dispossessed
masses, a positive move-
ment . . . that was and is
the defense of our people's
culture and history."

The talk turned to the
kibutz system, which was
described as a voluntary
cooperative form of commu-
nity where everything de-
pends on its members.

The audience asked many
questions ranging from how
does a student arrange to
study in Israel to what limi-
tations does the government
place on Jewish immigra-
tion. Sheffi's answer to the
last question was greeted
with much favorable com-
ment when he said, "The
first law passed in 1948 was
The Law of Return.' We say
any Jew who comes to Israel
returns home to his country
because his leaving was in-

of the United Nations com- ernoon ceremony, for exam-
ple, between a Catholic and
Marriages between Ro- a Jew, a priest and cantor
man Catholics and Jews are officiated in the service that
the most common, Dr. Haw- included the blessing of the
thorne said, followed by rings, a Roman Catholic
marriages between Jews tradition, and ended with
and Protestants, Catholics the traditional wine cere-
and Protestants and finally mony of the Jewish faith.
marriages between Chris- Scripture readings from the
tians or Jews and members priest, the Rev. John Porter,
of various Eastern religions. were intertwined with an
Dr. Hawthorne considers invocation by the cantor in
the unions between Jews Hebrew.
and members of Islamic
Such marriage ceremo-
faiths to be "among the nies are no longer forbidden
most sensitive performed by the Catholic Church, but
the joint ceremony would
While marriages of any not be recognized by the
sort were not part of the Jewish faith. The cantor
chapel's original function, had agreed to co-officiate
interfaith marriages have because, he "believes" in
become somewhat of a spe- such marriages.
"This type of service is not
cialty. Interfaith couples,
desperately searching for a allowed in even reform syn-
place in the city to be mar- agogues," said the cantor,
ried, kept coming to the who did not want to be iden-
chaplain for help and even- tified. "But I personally do
tually the "special" services not feel that they are wrong.
were added to his regular I believe they are a trend
that can't be reversed or ig-
Besides the ceremony it-
self, which can cost $125 to
$175, depending on when it Hadassah Hospital
is performed, Dr. Haw- to Have Dedication
thorne offers premarriage
"There have been a lot of Visitors from the United
tears shed at this table," Dr. States and Europe are ex-
Hathorne said the other pected in Jerusalem June
day. "Very often, by the 12-28 for a two-week double -
time a couple comes to us to dedication conference of the
be married, they have run Daniel and Florence Gug-
into snags elsewhere. There genheim Rehabilitation
are family tensions or prob- Pavilion at Hadassah Hospi-
lems with their religions. tal on Mt. Scopus and the
We try to iron out these Siegfried and Irma Ullman
Building for Cancer and Al-
"We don't run a conveni- lied Diseases at the Had-
ence service here," he con- assah-Hebrew University
tinued, defending the three- Medical Center at Ein Ka-
month waiting period and rem, it was announced by
counseling sessions. "There Hadassah President Rose E.
are no package deals or Matzkin.
Faye L. Schenk, chairman
quickie marriages. In fact
we do turn down couples of the Hadassah Medical Or-
who seem too anxious."
ganization, said that
The chapel has a pool of "Hadassah decided to allo-
clergy — Catholic priests, cate the entire eastern wing
rabbis, cantors, Hindu pun- of the revived hospital on
dits, Islamic sheiks — who Mt. Scopus to the Guggen-
will perform interfaith serv- heim Rehabilitation Pavi-
ices, though many religions olion, with 49 beds for inpa-
do not allow them.
tients, 12 beds for intensive
The services are reli- care, a gymnasium, a thera-
gious and the liturgy of peutic pool, 'quiet' work-
both religions is combined; rooms, 'noisy' workrooms,
often clergymen from two treatment rooms with the
religions join to take part most sophisticated ultra-
in the same service.
sonic and short-wave treat-
In a recent Saturday aft- ment and electrotherapy."



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( Based on the characters of Sholom-Aleichem)

A Terrific Yiddish Musical With

Comedy-Songs-Dance Wit and Nostalgia

May 22 & 23

The Yiddish Theater Ensemble will join the Labor
Zionist Alliance for a performance of an original musical
comedy, Sholem Aleichem, Columbus," 8 p.m. May 22
and 23 at Oak Park High School. Participants from the
ensemble, include from left, seated: Shifra Lerer, Raizl
Bozyk and Susan Goldberg, and, from left, standing:
Sandy Levitt, Hershel Rosen, Zalmen Mlotek, Karol La-
towicz, Isaac Dogim and David Kary.

8 p.m.
Oak Park High School
Tickets: Borensteins Book Store,

Dexter Davison Market

Tickets available at the door

Labor Zionist 85 1-1 606
Sonia Popowsky 557-3994

Donation $4.00

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