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November 05, 1976 - Image 6

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1976-11-05

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

Friday, November 5, 1976

b

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THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

Russian Group 'We Are Here'

Performers Acclaimed on 20th Anniversary

BY MOSHE RON

The Jewish News Special
Israel Correspondent

TEL AVIV — When the
artists group of more
than 100 youngsters of

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Russian immigrants, "We
Are Here" appears in the
Tel Aviv's Mann Au-
ditorium, the big hall is
packed with Russian im-
migrants.
Many of them have
started their struggle for
immigration to Israel
years before the Six-Day
War in 1967.
"We Are Here" repre-
sents 10,000 immigrants
from Russia who have
struck deep roots in Is-
rael and are employed in
vital jobs from Carmel in
Galilee to Beersheba in
the south. The group
gathers from all parts of
the country to prepare
their public performanc-
es.
We took part in one of
the newest performances
of the group in Yiddish and
Hebrew and could watch
the enthusiasm of the au-
dience in responding to
the Yiddish folk dances,
beautiful songs, witty
humorous sketches and
Hasidic dances.
The group was first -or-
ga.nized in Vilna 20 years
ago, when the Russian
Communist authorities
did their utmost to sup-
press Jewish culture,
Yiddish songs and Yid-
dish theater. The found-
ers of the group were de-
termined not to let the
Yiddish language and
culture perish. They es-
tablished a group of more
than 100 young artists
and amateurs, who were
members of dramatic cir-
cles.
Their example was
adopted afterwards in
Kovno, Riga and
Kishinev. The director of

the group was Berl
Tschossreks, a pupil of
the famous artist
Michails who was mur-
dered by the NKWD dur-
ing the Stalin regime.
The first performance
of the group took place
under clandestine condi-
tions. There were no
placards or
announcements, as there
was no Yiddish printing-
press in Vilna. The
announcements were
hand-written. The first
performance was one of
the greatest and moving
national events. A huge
crowd filled the hall and
reacted with enthusiasm,
pride and joy.
The Russian au-
thorities tried at first to
interfere with the activi-
ties of the group, but it
was impossible to stop.
They did not allocate any
hall for performances
until a mixed program in
Russian and Yiddish was
adopted.
When the group toured
other cities, it was ac-
cepted by thousands of
Jews, among them many
youngsters, who did not
let them leave the stage.
After five years of
struggle with the au-
thorities, the group was
allowed to perform in
Leningrad and Kiev.
Moscow was declared out
of bounds; the group was
not even allowed to take
part in the ceremonies
commemorating the 25th
anniversary of the upris-
ing in the Warsaw Ghetto.
The famous Yiddish
singer Nehama Lifschik
appeared several times
with the group.

MOSHE RON

After each concert, the
group added Hebrew
songs like "Hava Nagila".
Thousands of Jews sang
the Hebrew songs with
enthusiasm.

After the Six-Day War,
members of the group
started their struggle for
immigration to Israel.
They became active fight-
ers for aliya and were not
deterred by persecutions
of the Russian authorities.
Five years ago nearly
all members of the group
were in Israel with their
families. After the initial
stage of absorption and
finding 'housing and work
they completed Hebrew
courses. Then they de-
cided to renew their artis-
tic activity.
It was not easy to or-
ganize a group spread all
over the country. They
have personal economic
worries. They had diffi-
culty in raising funds for
their performances.
Members We Are Here",
Moshe Pionea, Mordechai

"We Won't Try To Sell You A far
We'll Help You Buy One!"

Shapir, Shaul Beilinson,
E la Ronen, Haim
Surassky, and Moshe
More, together with con-
ductor Lasslo Roth, mus-
ical director Aliza
Goldberg and the dance
choreographers Morde-
chai Sagewitch and Gab-
riel Levy, organized the
artistic work and the
group was invited for per-
formances in the U.S. and
Canada, where hundred.
of thousands attended
their performances.
They also visited
Europe and performed
during the Conference for
Russian Jews in Brussels.
"We Are Here" consid-
ered today as one of the
most successful artistic
representatives of Israel
and the millions of Soviet
Jews who wish to immi-
grate to Israel. On their
20th anniversary, a pub-
lic committee was estab-
lished to organize festive
performances and cere-
monies in Israel and
abroad.

Venezuela Praised
on Jewish Issue

NEW YORK (JTA) —
Commenting on his visit
to Caracas, Dr. Nahum
Goldmann, president of
the World Jewish Con-
gress, praised the
friendly relations exist-
ing between the Jewish
community of Venezuela
and the government of
that country.

He said that the gov-
ernment of Venezuela
which, he said, maintains
excellent relations with
both Israel and the Arab
countries, could play an
important and construc-
tive role in bringing
about a peace settlement
in the Middle East.

During his stay in
Caracas, Goldmann ad-
dressed a banquet in his
honor by the Confedera-
tion of Jewish Associa-
tions and a public meet-
ing organized by the
Zionist Federation.

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SERVICE OPEN

NEW YORK — Dr. Ad-
rian Kantrowitz, chair-
man of the Department of
Cardiovascular Survery
and Thoracic Surgery at
Detroit's Sinai Hospital
was the speaker at the'
1976 Harvest Luncheon
of the American Technion
Society's Women's Divi-
sion on Wednesday at
New York's Hotel Pierre.
The luncheon was held to
support medical en-
gineering research being
conducted at the Julius
Silver Institute of Bio-
Medical Engineering at
the Technion-Israel In-
stitute of Technology in
Haifa, Israel.

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