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September 10, 1976 - Image 64

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1976-09-10

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64 Friday, September 10, 1976


Detroit's Cultural, Social Service Experiences
Reviewed in Elazar's 'Community and Polity'

Greater Detroit Jew-
ry's progressive educa-
tional tasks, the philan-
thropic activities, the
neighborhood changes
and other aspects of
changing community
climates receive special
attention in the impres-
sive social studies,
"Community and Polity
— The Organization and
Dynamics of American
Jewry," (Jewish Publica-
tion Society), by Dr.
Daniel Elazar.
In these extensive re-
views of communal ex-
periences are included
recollections of an early
Struggle in Detroit bet-
ween the Jewish Com-
munity Council and the
Jewish Welfare Federa-
The author of this vol-
ume describes the con-
troversy which culmi-
nated in a battle for
memberships on the
board of governors of
Federation, the latter re-
taining communal
hegemony. That struggle
now is a matter of a for-
gotten past but in Dr.
Elazar's work it is a fac-
tor in community de-
Dr. Elazar, a former De-

troiter, son of Albert
Elazar who had served as
superintendent of the Un-
ited Hebrew Schools, and
Mrs. Elazar, presently is
on the political science fa-
culty of Temple University
in Philadelphia and also
heads the Institute of
Local Government at
Bar-Ilan University in Is-
Dr. Elazar's theme in
his "Community and Pol-
ity" is best defined in this
excerpt from his intro-
duction to his studies:
"It is customary to
think of American Jewry
as a community. That re-
latively neutral term has
been accepted . . . as ap-
propriately descriptive of
the corporate - dimensions
of American Jewish life,
embracing within it both
the strictly religious and
the not so clearly religi-
ous dimensions of Jewish
existence, the ethnic ties
of individual Jews, and
the political strivings of
Jews as a group . .
"It is the way of com-
munities to develop a
political dimension if
they are to survive, and
since (American) Jews
chose to survive as a
community, they slowly

began to forge a polity
appropriate to American
conditions: voluntaristic
limited by the reality of
Jewish integration into
American life, and far
from exclusivist in its go-
als, but no less genuine
for all that. -
Special attention is
given by the author to the
development of the United
Hebrew Schools in Detroit
and the system's incorpo-
ration as an agency of the
Jewish Welfare Federa-
analyses of developments
in Detroit, Dr. Elazar
makes these comments:
"Where Jewish com-
munity councils were or-
ganized, a struggle of
greater or lesser inten-
sity developed between
them and the federations,
which lasted from the
mid-1930s to the mid-
"In some places there
was a merger of the two
bodies: in Los Angeles the
Jewish Federation-
Council of Greater Los
Angeles was created. In
others, like Detroit, there
was a standoff, with the
Jewish Community
Council withdrawing to

public-relations activity
almost exclusively."
Comparing Cleveland
and Detroit, Dr. Elazar
said that suburbaniza-
tion in both has pro-
ceeded to the point where
there are almost no Jews
residing in either Cleve-
land or Detroit proper.
"This situation, which is
still relatively unusual in
the larger American
Jewish communities, de-
spite strong tendencies in
that direction in virtually
all of them, is now begin-
ning to have an influence
on the character of Jewish
life in both. In one sense it
has stimulated already-
active federations to en-
gage in even more .plan-
ning and intervention into
the location of Jewish in-
stitutions than is true in
the case of any other com-
"The Cleveland federa-
tion is making a major ef-
fort to preserve a critical
mass of JewS in Shaker
Heights, where the prin-
cipal Jewish institutions
are located; for Shaker
Heights has now become
an inner suburb and is
beginning to suffer from
the same problems of
out-migration that trans-

Modified Kfir Israel's Plane of the Future

than a year after it intro-
duced the Kfir (lion cub)
jet fighter, Israel Air-
craft Industries has come
out with an improved
version, the C-2.
The plane is distin-
guished from its pre-
decessor by two delta-
shaped "Canard ." wing-
lets, which give it added
maneuverability in air
combat and ground at-
tack, according to a
Jerusalem Post story.
Israel Aircraft Indus-
tries claim it is superior
to all comparable first-
line fighter-interceptors
and multi-role aircraft
now in service. Only one
fighter has a similar de-
sign — Sweden's Saab
Viggin, which also has
Canard winglets, but is

slower, with a top speed of
Mach-2 (twice the speed
of sound), compared to
the C-2's Mach-2.3.
The C-2 is said to equal,
if not better, aircraft far
more advanced, sophisti-
cated and expensive than
the Viggin — including
Dassault's F-1 (Mach 2.2);
Lockheed's F-15 (Mach
2.3), which Israel has or-
dered; and even General
Dynamic's F-16, which Is-
rael is reportedly consid-
ering as its plane for the
One of the most im-
pressive features of the
C-2 is its price tag —
about $4.5 million, or half
the price of its cheapest
Austrian test pilots
have flown the plane, and
an Austrian Air Force

purchase order of 24
without increasing its
planes is considered small combat silhouette.
The manufacturers
The Kfir's modifica- have also been consider-
ate of the pilot's comfort
tions include reinforced
and safety in the cockpit
landing gear, the Canard
winglets, a completely design, and have pro-
re-equipped cockpit and vided an emergency ejec-
highly sophisticated elec- tion system which can
"shoot" the pilot out even
at zero speed and zero al-
The principal innova- titude, so that his chute
tion, the Canards, give will have time to open and
extra maneuverability in land him safely.
tight turns — vital in dog
By resorting to a pro-
fights and evasive action. ven power plaint — the
It also adds low-speed Phantom engine — in
performance qualities, combination with one of
such as reduced rolls on the finest delta-wing de-
landing and takeoff with signs plus the Canard
heavy loads.
winglets, the designers
• The Kfir has variable feel they have combined
offensive and defensive the best ingredients
weaponry, carried exter- available, and believe the
nally, as well as ex- Kfir C-2 is twice as good
tended-range fuel tanks, •as the U.S. Phantom jet.

Israel's new Kfir C-2 jet fighter plane.


formed Cleveland proper
a decade and a half ear-
"The Detroit federa-
tion has attempted to in-
fluence the direction of
the movement of the
Jewish population by
buying land and locating
institutions very early in
the resettlement process,
thereby not only holding
down costs but also in-
fluencing Jewish settle-
ment patterns by loCating
institutional complexes,
in key places.
"At the same time,
there is no question but
that increased subur --
banization and fragmen-
tation of the Jewish popu-
lation among a number of
suburbs has served to en-
hance congregationalism
in both communities and
to deplete the communal
leadership pools as well.
"Despite their many
points of similarity, Cleve-
land and Detroit have
taken different paths to-
ward communal integra-
tion or the linkage of the
several spheres. In De-
troit only two congrega-
tions emerged from the
nineteenth century as mul-
tigeneration institutions
capable of maintaining the
loyalty of members across
the years, one Reform and
one Conservative.
"The principle com-
munal agencies, on the
other hand, have been in
existence since the turn
of the century, separately
but cooperatively. Each
has developed a substan-
tial constituency of its
own, including both sup-
porters and users.
"The Detroit federa-
tion was created by the
coming together of con-
stituent agencies, which
included the central
agency for Jewish educa-
tion, so that from its ear-
liest days Detroit Jewry
had established the prin-
ciple of communal re-
sponsibility for Jewish
education with proper
community support."
"In both Cleveland and
Detroit certain fucntions
are performed jointly by
the synagogues and the
federation or its agencies,
such as neighborhood re-
habilitation in Cleveland
and Jewish education in
Detroit. The Detroit fed-
eration has also developed
an ambitious advance-
planning program.
"The characteristics of
a linked community are

best demonstrated by the
Jewish educational situa-
tion in Detroit. There the
United Hebrew Schools,
the Federation's educa-
tional arm, has provided
afternoon supplementary
education for the corn-
munity since 1919, serv-
ing the majority of t'
who avail themseic
Hebrew-school educa,..on
at all levels.
"While their schoolFf.
are part of a centrally di-
rected system, many are _-
conducted on synagogue
premises and in partner-
ship with the congrega-
"In the postwar period
the United Hebrew.
Schools helped subsidize
synagogue construction
by prepaying on long-
term classroom leases,
thus providing funds for
the congregations to
build new buildings.
"In turn, synagogues.
that have entered into a
partnership with the Un-
ited Hebrew Schools do
not maintain their own
Hebrew schools but in-
stead send their children
to the appropriate
branches of the United (-2
Hebrew Schools, whether
on their own premises or
n of .
"Thus it was through the
community's involvement
in education that in-
stitutionalized links were
formed with most of the
synagogues in the city,
links that held fast until
suburbanization began to
lead to the proliferation of
independent congrega-
tional schools."
The reference to De-
troit as a city already
nearly without Jews is a
bit exaggerated. While it
applies fully to Cleveland,
there still are some 4,000
Jews living in several De-
troit inner-city areas and
the Elazar picture on
that score is unduly
This book, in effect,
constitutes a full-scale
portrait of the "mosaic"
of the American Jewish
community: fund-raising
mechanisms, the
decision-making process,
the network of social-
welfare agencies, the re-
ligious .structure, the role
of women, cultural or-
ganization, and the activ-
ity on behalf of
Included are (
histories of all the Major
American communitie•:
In a special appendix,
Prof. Elazar analyzes the
response of American
Jews to the Yom Kippur_ -/
War of 1973.
Finally, there is a dis-
cussion of the postwar
trends that have marked
American Jewish life: the
almost total integration
of American Jews into the
general society, the
emergence of Israel as a
prime focus for Jewish
identity, the transforma-
tion of Jewish religious
life so as to conform to'
American modes, and the
revival of the sense of
Jewish ethnicity.

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