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September 22, 1978 - Image 15

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1978-09-22

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

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

The 'Give and Take' of Romania's Jews

By LYNNE IANNIELLO

ADL Bulletin

BUCHAREST — There
are soldiers with bayonets
on nearly every corner of
Bucharest. They stand at
attention and watch — no
one is sure exactly what
they are watching. Perhaps
the worn-looking women
who wear long aprons and
slowly sweep the streets,
stooping again and again to
pick up refuse.
Perhaps the gypsies who
sell flowers from little
stands which constitute the
only businesses in the
Socialist Republic of
lomania not owned by the
government. Perhaps the
people as they go to and
from work, or shop in stores
which carry identical mer-
chandise at identical prices,
or sit during the long after-
noon siesta in one of the
many beer gardens.
The main streets of
Bucharest are clean and
bustling. _There are monu-

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ments and memorials to the
Soviet soldiers, airmen,
engineer troops, "Homeland
Heroes" and "Heroes of the
Struggle for the People's
and the Homeland's Liberty
for Socialism" who "liber-
ated" Romania from fascist
domination. There are
museums and sports cen-
ters. There are monasteries
dating as far back as the
16th Century, Greek and
Russian Orthodox
churches, a Lutheran
church — and 12
"synagogues" with daily
services.
"The Jewish commu-
nity and the government
get along," the Chief
Rabbi says. "We give and
take, they give and take
— the Jews are happy,
the Communist Party is
happy • • •"
His well-trimmed pointed
beard bobs up and down as
he apologizes for his heavily
accented English. The
beard is white, but he is not
an old man. His name is
Moses Rosen.
He celebrated in July the
30th anniversary of his
election as Chief Rabbi, a
post which gives him a seat
in the Romanian Parlia-
ment.
Over the past 17 years,
with full government sup-
port, Rabbi Rosen has -been
instrumental in the emigra-
tion to Israel. of nearly
300,000 Romanian Jews,
including 597 rabbis. He is
one of only three rabbis who
remained.
He has also achieved
government support for
the security of the 60,000
to 70,000 Jews he de-
scribes as "the remnant
of the Jewish community
in Romania — proud
Jews who maintain
Jewish institutions, love
Israel and are at the same
time loyal Romanian citi-
zens." There is a Jewish
community house which

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serves kosher meals, a
newspaper published
fortnightly in a govern-
ment printing shop in
Romanian, Yiddish and
Hebrew, a Yiddish
theatre, a 60-page calen-
dar with more than half
its pages filled with
Jewish history.
The anniversary obser-
vance in July was at the
120-year old Choral Tem-
ple, the largest and best
maintained of the 12
synagogues in the Jewish
quarter.
Its cobblestone courtyard
was crowded with congreg-
ants and visitors; also
soldiers and government
"security" guards.
Romanian television re-
corded the event. The
speeches lasted five hours.
At each of the frequent
mentions of President
Ceausescu's name, the
entire congregation stood
up, though a congregant
whispered to an American,
"Sit, sit, you don't have to be
afraid."
The delegation of the
Anti-Defamation League

Jewish Museum
Calendar Printed

The Jewish Museum
Calendar for 1978-1978 has
- just been printed. This year,
more than half the photo-
graphs are in full color. On
the cover is a 19th Century
miniature depicting a fam-
ily celebrating Rosh
Hashana.
Within is an art collection
— Abraham and Isaac by
Rembrandt; a Hanuka lamp
from • Holland; Isador
Kaufman's "Friday Eve-
ning," in warm, quiet colors;
illustrations of textiles from
the museum's recent ex-
hibition, "Fabric of Jewish
Life;" and much more —
flawlessly reproduced and
suitable for framing.
This large wall calendar
(12 1/2x23, open size) con-
tains 15 months (October
1978-December 1979). Both
the Jewish year and the
Roman year are clearly
indicated, as well as all
major holidays, Torah
readings and candlelight-
ing times. There is ample
room for making notes.
This marks the second
edition of the prestigious
Jewish Museum Calendar.
The publication has been
chosen for the second year
in a row as a selection of The
Jewish Book Club.
The Jewish Museum
Calendar is available at
bookstores and from the
publisher Cahill & Co., 145
Palisade St., Dobbs Ferry,
N.Y. 10522. There is a
charge.

of Bnai Brith had also
met with Romanian offi-
cials. The officials talked
about political and eco-
nomic relations with Is-
rael, about the large
number of Jews permit-
ted to emigrate, about the
freedom of those who had
stayed, about Rabbi Ro-
sen's anniversary — and
about Romania's need to
import American
technological assistance
and to export textiles and
finished products.
"We give and take, they
give and take," Rabbi Rosen
had said.
It is a game whose un-
written rules are under-
stood by all the players. For
"the remnant of the Roma-
nian Jewish community,"
the name of the game is sur-
vival.

Friday, September 22, 1918 15

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