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June 17, 1977 - Image 14

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1977-06-17

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

14 Friday, June 17, 1977

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

IBM

Jewish Information Bureau Is Alive and Well

typewriters Selectric etc.

l'Add

'400

'n Type

342.7800 399-8333 342-1221

By ALBERT FRIEDMAN

man served for many years referral center, a guide to
on the board of directors the perplexed, as it were,
and as secretary of the Jew- through the entangling pro-
ish Information Bureau. He fusion of organizations and
is presently an editor of the 5agencies.
Jewish Week in Washing-
To explain who does what
ton, D.C.)
in American Jewish life
WASHINGTON—One today—and where and
morning several years ago, why—is no small service in
Judah A. Richards, an itself, when you consider
ebullient publicist and ad- that multitudes of Ameri-
vertising man, stepped into can Jews can't tell you the
the cluttered two-room of- difference between the
fice of the Jewish Informa- American Jewish Com-
tion Bureau at 250 W. 57th mittee and the American
St. - New York City. This Jewish Congress, or the po-
was the day when he was to litical distinctions among
arrange for the liquidation the various Zionist groups.

(Copyright 1977, JTA, Inc.)

(Editor's note: Albert Fried-

13 S. Main St., Clawson, Mi, 48017

585-0555

Rental — Sales of Convalescent
equipment, Everest & Jennings Wheel
Chairs, Ostomy Supplies — Hollister,
United, Davol, Coloplast Jobst
Garments, T.E.D. Stockings, Professionall i
fitting of Surgical Garments, Dr, Scales.;

WE ACCEPT
MEDICARE RENTAL ASSIGNMENTS



Abe Cheraw, Says:

,mr-

;

,,,,

WE BUILD FURNITURE
THAT NOT ONLY SUITS
YOUR TASTE AND .
NEEDS BUT 'FURNITURE
THAT FITS YOU. WE
BUILD FURNITURE THE
EXACT SIZE YOU WANT.
BEFORE YOU MAKE ANY
DECISION ABOUT YOUR
FURNITURE -YOU
OUGHT TO CALL ME. I
CAN DO MORE FOR YOU.

ARTISTIC
UPHOLSTERERS INC.

5755 SCHAEFER RD.
(1 block North of Ford Rd.)

Dearborn
LU 4-5900
Open Daily 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

• • •
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ABE CHEROW,

President

CALL LU 4-5900

of the small, busy agency.
His father, the late Bernard
G. Richards, founded it in
1932.
. The elder Richards,
known to thousands as
BGR, had died in 1971 at
the age of 94 after somehow
keeping the agency afloat
in shallow financial waters
for 39 years. The coopera-
tion of friends and some
modest grants had been
helpful but, for the most
part, the bureau's survival
was a tribute to the per-
ennial enthusiasm and de-
termination of BGR.
Primarily an information-
dispensing agency, that
daily answers inquiries of
astonishing variety and
scope from Jews and non-
Jews in every walk of life,
it also provides students
and scholars with materials
and working facilities—
however limited—for study
and research. Not least, it
functions as an information

•0• 0 00 0 00000 0 000000.

•• o °
• •
• •
••

• •
• •

S • S
S

o • •
• •
• •
• •
• •
• •

NEW!

A COMPLETE HAT STORE AT NORTHLAND

WHY DRIVE DOWNTOWN when you can see it all at the
fabulous NORTHLAND HATTER--the most complete hat
store in the Detroit area! We've got ZILLIONS of hats. All
the latest styles. All the greatest colors. All the best-known
brands and accessories.

AMERICA'S MOST FAMOUS BRANDS
AT GRAND OPENING SPECIAL PRICES!

• • •
S
• ••
••

• •

° • .
• •



• • •

• • •
•••••••••••••aililiri•••••••••• •

NORTHLAND CENTER

Located between Flagg Bros. Shoes & Rose Jewelers

The range of requests for
information that deluges
the bureau by mail and tele-
phone may be appreciated
by the following traffic of a
typical week:
A woman in Romania
wanted to know how she
could find the address of a
relative in New York; a
television program director
asked whom to contact for
help for a program on Jew-
ish holidays; a grand-
mother wanted to know
what agency she should con-
tact to help her settle in Is-
rael; a Texas fundamen-
talist preacher requested
the titles of some recent
books on Jewish history and
Israel; a student wanted to
know the transliterated
spelling of several Yiddish
words; a young Christian
student i wanted to join a
Hebrewt class; a Jewish stu-
dent in Boston asked for
help for a term paper on
the Jewish attitude toward
birth control; and a can-
tor's wife asked where
there are courses in Hebr-
ew calligraphy—and so it
goes.
Obviously, the bureau's
usefulness did not end with
the demise of BGR. In-
quiries continued to arrive
uninterruptedly, as they
had throughout the past 45
years and, in fact, a stead-
ily increasing volume was
evident.

So Judah Richards found
that he couldn't, in good
conscience, dispose of the
bureau by distributing its
book collection to family
members who wanted /them
and donating other mate-
rials, including valuable
clippings, many from pub-
lications long defunct, to
Jewish research and educa-
tional agencies. In con-
sultation with his sister,
Ruth Eisenstein, Richards
decided that the bureau
must endure.

He therefore applied his
considerable organizational
skills and his long expe-
rience in the Zionist move-
ment, as well as his per-
suasive outgoing temper-
ament, to the enterprise
and, on occasion, reached
into his own pocket to meet
deficits. He rounded up
many friends in public life
and, with their counsel and
support, set forth plans for
an expanded, multi-faceted
membership organization.
Richards called upon dis-
tinguished scholars, some
of whom had served the bu-
reau din the past, to join an
advisory council. And no-
tables from the rabbinate
and the worlds of business,
literature and the profes-
sions were recruited to aug-
ment the bureau's board of
directors.

With continuing grants
from' several foundations
and institutions, and moder-
ate membership dues, the
bureau managed to finance
a learn-and-earn program
for a rotating staff of young
researchers, each knowl-
edgeable in varied aspects
of Jewish life: Jonathan
Waxman, Bruce Graeber,
Jeffrey Kaplan, Ellen Fried-
land and Claire Sauerhoff,
graduate students in Jewish
studies, and .others.

pendent and nonpartisan
identity—in New York City.
Nothing came of his occa-
sional efforts to negotiate a
satisfactory arrangement
so, toward the end of his
life, he concluded that the
bureau would have to be de-
cently dissolved.

Plans call for additional
part-time student research-
ers, the leasing of added of-
fice space, the up-dating of
the bureau's files and the
acquisition of essential of-
fice equipment, including a
duplicating machine. In the
works is a series of semi-
nars featuring scholars and
communal leaders from a
cross-section of American-
Jewish intellectual, cultural
and organizational life.

Judah Richards' accom-
plishment in saving the bu-
reau can only be appre-
ciated by those who remem-
ber the role of the founder.
BGR had devoted his lif
an effort to bring unity
coherence to the turbulent,
individualistic cross-cur-
rents of American-Jewish
life. As a founder and organ-
izer of the American Jew-
ish Congress and an associ-
ate of many leading Jewish
personalities in the rabbi-
nate, the professions, and
the arts, he was a sharp ob-
server of the events of his
time.
In addition, he was a col-
lector of clippings, period-
icals and data of all kinds
that are still available as
the raw material of modern
American Jewish history.
In fact, the bureau's
major asset during his life-
time was BGR himself, es-
pecially his streamlined ap-
paratus for recall. He was
a human retrieval system
without peer. Even in. his
905, he could dredge forth
names and dates that col-
leagues 50 years younger
had forgotten. When answer-
ing telephoned inquiries, he
seldom had to consult files
or books; his astonishing
memory was always on tap ,
for instant information.

Plans are also afoot- for a
45th-anniversary celebra-
tion. Another major project
will be the reissuance of
the bureau's quarterly pub-
lication, Index, a newsletter
designed to keep readers
abreast of the enormous out-
put of print media dealing
with matters of Jewish in-
terest. Purchase of addition-
al reference materials is a
further part of the overall
plan.
Richards and his associ-
ates hope to accomplish
many of these objectives on
an outlay for 1977 of under
$18,000—hardly • a princely
budget.
Needless to say, the bu-
(It should be noted that
reatfs upbeat outlook would
have delighted Bernard G. BGR was also an ,in-
Richards. In his later tellectual gadfly, whose roll-
wit was always
years, he had become less icking
ready to puncture pompo-
than sanguine about the 'Sides
and absurdities in
agency's future, because it high places.
His articles on
existed almost as a one- the issues and
problems in
man operation and because Jewish life—along
his
funds had always been diffi- dialogues centering with
on the
cult to get.

1.414,

From time to time, he
had considered the transfer
of the bureau intact to an
academic institution or to
arrange for its in-
corporation with other
agencies. However, he did
not want to• accept an offer
that would entail the bu-
reau's relocation outside
the New York metropolitan
area, the center of Jewish
population, and even less
did' he relish- any . arrange-
ment whereby the bureau
,would be absorbed s by .a
large organization. If the bu-
reau were to survive, he
felt it had to retain its inde-

droll character Keidansky
and his lively companions—
gently ridiculed the as-
sorted idiocies of his time.)

The Jewish Information
Bureau cannot be the same
today as it was during the
pervasive directorship of
BGR. But it is as dynamie
and useful as ever.
Having survived four _and
a half decades on a lean fi-
nancial diet, it appears . to
be in excellent health. Its
vital functions are sound,
its heart is in the right
place and its prospects are
bright. In short, it seems
destined for new decades of
effective service.

Mexican Jews to Fight Blasi.

MEXICO CITY (JTA)—A
growing Arab propoaganda
drive against Israel and the
Jewish people in general is
a matter of increasing con-
cern to the local Jewish
community. The subject
was on the agenda of a spe-
cial meeting of the execu-
tive board of the Central
Jewish Committee Tuesday
at which recent examples
of Arab propaganda' were
cited.

Marwan Tahboub, the
local representative of the
Palestine Liberation Organi-
zation, was interviewed at
length in Revista de Riv-
istas, a weekly produced by

the Excelsior publishing
house.

Tahboub was also inter-
viewed in the daily Heraldo
de Mexico where he was
quoted as saying that only
the establishment of a
"democratic secular Palesti-
nian state" could bring a
just peace to the Middle
East.

The daily Excelsior pub-
lished a statement by Dib
Seman and Mohammed
Mustafa Bulhosen of the
"Arab League of Mexico,"
declaring that Israel has
shown "its true face to the
world" by electing "terror-
ist Menahem Begin" as its
Prime Minister.

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