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February 22, 1980 - Image 43

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1980-02-22

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

44 Friday, February 22, 1980

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

A First-Hand Look at the 'Boat People' of Southeast Asia

By BEN FRANK

(Editor's note: Ben
Frank, Rabbi Steven
Jacobs of Tarzana, Calif.,
and Elmer Winter of Mil-

waukee, Wisc., past
president of the Ameri-
can Jewish Committee,
visited Southeast Asia in-
January to learn of the

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plight of the "boat
people," refugees fleeing
the Communists in Viet-
nam and Cambodia.)

There are approximately
55,000 Vietnamese refu-
gees in Hong Kong and
400,000 throughout South-
east Asia.
The camp we visited in
Hong Kong is called Shum
Shui Po. It is composed of
quonset huts where whole
families of six or seven sleep
in one bed in large single
room; areas containing 300
people; a few concrete build-
ings of make-shift
classrooms; primitive toilet
facilities; and an unpaved
and rocky soccer field that is
often used as an assembly
point.
In a camp nearby, an
apartment usually reserved
for six persons holds 25
people.
Jacobs and Winter flew
more than 7,000 miles to see
Shum Shui Po and other
camps here and in Thailand
and to bring a message back
to America. At the end of
the tour, Jacobs asserted:
"My thousands of years of
Jewish history walks with
me in this camp. We have
been here before."
Both Jacobs and Winter
are actively involved in
helping the refugees in
their local communities.

Winter, who is also past
president of Manpower,
Inc. and experienced in
vocational training, of-
fered suggestions to the
officials of the camp to set
up vocational instruction
programs to prepare the
refugees for life in the
U.S. He said he hopes that
these programs not only
will occupy them while
they wait, but give them a
useful occupation for ab-
sorption in their new
home.

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Winter also is helping in
the formation of American
medical teams to come out
here and aid the sick and
the starving.
Jacobs feels that for the
last 10 years, Jews have
turned inward because they
felt that they have been
criticized. "But we must
remember," he asserts, "we
are compassionate children
of compassionate people and
our history demands that
we feed the hungry and
clothe the naked."

concern is recognized by of-
ficials at the American em-
bassy who, according to
Jacobs, are well aware of
the resettlement offers
made by his synagogue as
well as congregations
throughout the U.S.
As a spiritual leader,
Jacobs believes that the
American Jewish commu-
nity must become even

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The three of us were
taken on the tour of the
camp by K.L. Stumpf, direc-
tor of the camp and director
of the Hong Kong Christian
Service. He is a Christian
refugee from Nazi Ger-
many.
Over and over again, he
implored visitors to try to
speed up the process of re-
settlement, espeically from
Hong Kong.
In the midst of all this
human tragedy, one sight
that moved the two Jewish
leaders in the Thai-
Cambodia border area
which resounds with gun-
fire and shelling, was the
Red Magen David
emblazoned on the green
outfits of the Israeli medical
team.
"There are four or five
such teams throughout the
area," Jacobs said. "They
obviously are an inspiration
to others."
But, continued Jacobs,
Jewish involvement in the
caring for the starving, for
the refugees, is not limited
to the Israeli team. In
Bangkok, the capital of
Thailand, American Jewish

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Lawyers Elect
New Officers

David Kratze was elected
chancellor. of the Detroit
Graduate Chapter, Tau Ep-
silon Rho Law Fraternity,
at a recent dinner-meeting.
Other officers are: Oak-
land County Circuit Judge
Hilda Gage, vice chancellor;
Peter Bolgar, bursar;
Michigan Court of Appeals
Judge S. Jerome Bronson,
corresponding secretary;
and Arnold M. Gordon,
master of the rolls.
Advisers are: Michael
Anspach, David Citrin,
Norman Conn, Judge Nor-
man Feder, David
Goldman, Benjamin Grant,
Norman Letzer, Benjamin
Safir, Burton Shifman and
Steven Victor.

1973 War Film

CAIRO (ZINS) — Israel
and Egypt will co-produce a
$12 million film about the
1973 Yom Kippur War, ac-
cording to Israeli producer
Eddie Soffer.

Soffer says President
Anwar Sadat of Egypt has
approved the script and
given permission for Egyp-
tian army units to be used in
the film, "A Bridge in the
Suez."

more involved in the plight
of the boat people and the
starving Cambodians.
"As a Jew, I came away
from the Nazi Holocaust
with an obsession. It is from
the Book of Leviticus and
translated for me it says,
'You shall not stand idly by
while the blood of your
brothers and sisters cries
out to you from the earth.' "

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