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May 16, 1980 - Image 11

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1980-05-16

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

Friday, May 16, 1980 11

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

The Jews of Yugoslavia' Part of JPS Series

PHILADELPHIA — "The
Jews of Yugoslavia: A
Quest for Community"
(Jewish Publication
Society) is a pioneer study of
a little-known part of the
modern Jewish world that is
at once unique and a micro-
cosm of European Jewry as
a whole.
Coming together only
after World War I, with the
creation of the Yugoslav
state, the Jews of Yugos-
lavia differed among them-
selves in origin and outlook,
ecting their antecedent
ritages in both the Otto-
man and Habsburg em-
pires. Their story can be
seen as a quest for commu-
nity, to forge a unity of
communal purpose and
endeavor.
Comprising Yugoslav
Jewry were traditional
Sephardim as well as Re-
form and Orthodox
Ashkenazim. Integra-
tionists, Zionists and
Sephardic nationalists as
well vigorously participated
in the dominant Jewish is-
sues of the day.
Like their non-Jewish
neighbors — Eastern Or-
thodox Serbs, Roman

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Catholic Croats, and
Muslim Bosniaks — the
Jews of Yugoslavia, too,
were learning to co-exist
in their new homeland,
within a single geopoliti-
cal unity but amid con-
siderable regional diver-
sity.
The present study focuses
on the three largest Jewish
communities in Yugoslavia
— Zagreb, Belgrade and
Sarajevo. Part One traces
the development of Jewish
life in each of these centers
and analyzes the socio-
economic situation of the
various groups of Jews.
Part Two examines com-
munal affairs on both the
local and national levels,
and also explores Jewish

An epilogue discusses the
impact of the Holocaust and
the prospects for the future
of the Yugoslav Jewish
community.

Based on Serbo-Croatian
sources and extensive ar-
chival research, "The Jews
of Yugoslavia" is an
enhancing addition to the
JPS roster of historical and
communal studies. Other
recent history titles from
JPS include "The Jews of
Arab Lands: - A History and
Source Book" by Norman A.

Stillman; "The Jews of
Georgian England, 1714-
1830: Tradition and Change
in a Liberal Society" by
Todd M. Endelman; "The
Jews of Argentina: From
the Inquisition to Peron" by
Robert Weisbrot; and
"Strangers Within the Gate
City: The Jews of Atlanta,
1845-1915" by Steven
Hertzberg.

The Detroit Club of North
Miami Beach will meet 7:30
p.m. May 29 at the Wash-
ington Federal Bank Build-
ing, 167th Street and Sixth
Ave., N. Miami Beach.
Joseph Milgrom,
entertainment chairman,
has arranged the program.
Refreshments will follow.
Guests are welcome. There
is a charge.

By HEIDI PRESS

Sarah Kay Cohen Smul-
lens says we can learn from
crises in our lives and to
prove her point she has just
written a book that is sure
to help others.
Her book, "Whoever Said
Life Is Fair?" is her testa-
ment to "how people could
cope and grow and make life
as fair as possible." The
Charles Scribner's Sons-
published book is written in
journal form — not a how-
to, but a collection of per-
sonal and other people's ex-
periences on how to pick up
the pieces after suffering a
tragedy.
In Detroit last week to
promote the book, Mrs.
Smullens talked about how
the writing of the book kept
her afloat while she was
going through "the most
painful and loneliest time in
my life," a divorce from her
first husband and the lonel-
iness that accompanied it.
Unable to sleep be-
cause of the difficulties

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she faced owing to the
divorce, she spent her
nights writing. She had
not planned to publish,
but consented when a
friend encouraged her.
"I wanted the book to be
real and honest. I wrote
about all the unfairness
that life taught me existed. I
hope it can help one who is
going through a crisis."
Mrs. Smullens said the
book takes on a human di-
mension. "It is from deep in-
side of me. My kids call it
their sister-brother."
A psychotherapist who
writes a column for the
Philadelphia Inquirer, the
soft-spoken Mrs. Smullens
incorporated items from
that column in the book.
She said she wanted to show
that "no matter how terrible
something is you can learn
from it . . . it can't be all
bad."
For example, in the
book she describes a
situation in which a client
is unable to cope with the
fact that she will lose her
child to illness. To help
lessen the pain, Mrs.
Smullens offered the
client a letter from a
mother who already lost

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"The Jews of Yugoslavia"
was written by Harriet Pass
Freidenreich, an assistant
professor of history at Tem-
ple University. She holds a
PhD in history from Colum-
bia University and has pub-
lished a number of articles
dealing with Yugoslav and
Viennese Jewries.

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A Gentle Lady Helps Others Cope
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organizational and cultural
activities. Part Three treats
forms of national identity,
involvement in political
life, and official government
relations with the Jews.

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a child, but found solace
in remembering all the
happy times they had
when the child was alive.
Coming from an Or-
thodox Jewish family, Mrs.
Smullens was grateful for
her Jewish training and
called it "an essential part
of my life." Although she is
no longer Orthodox, she still
retains the traditions of her
upbringing.
He two-week promotional
tour includes visits to
Pittsburgh, Cleveland,
Chicago, Minneapolis, Col-
umbus and Cincinnati.
Asked how she feels
about the response the
book is getting, she said:
"I am humbled ... some-
thing that pained me so
much turned into such a
joy. It will make the sleep-
less nights worthwhile."
A gentle lady with a sin-
cere desire to help others
find justice out of life's in-
justices, 'Sarah Kay Cohen
Smullens will achieve that
goal since she has faced
crises and conquered them,
and all who come in contact
with her will be grateful for
the experience of having
met her.

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Sadat to Set Date for Talks

JERUSALEM (JTA) —
President Anwar Sadat of
Egypt said Wednesday that
he would decide this week
upon a date for the resump-
tion of the autonomy talks
which he suspended indefi-
nitely last week. In a major
speech to the Egyptian Par-
liament, Sadat said he de-
cided to resume the talks
after a telephone conversa-
tion with President Carter
on Tuesday.
The Egyptian president,
however, said he was con-
vinced that the talks would
not succeed by May 26, the
target date for an agree-
ment on autonomy for the
Palestinian Arabs on the
West Bank and Gaza Strip.
In his four-hour speech in
which he abolished martial
law, Sadat also attacked Is-
rael's policy of building set-
tlements in the occupied
territories and insisted that
East Jerusalem was part of
the West Bank.

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Former U.S. Secretary of
State Henry Kissinger told
an Anti-Defamation
League dinner in New York
last week that the au-
tonomy negotiations were
not the key to solving the
problems of the Middle
East.

He hoped the autonomy
talks between Egypt, Israel
and the United States will
succeed, but claimed that
"even then we will be just at
the beginning" over the na-
ture of jurisdiction in the
West Bank.

Michigan Group
Meets in Florida

The Michigan Floridians
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May 23 at the Hollywood
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