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January 01, 1982 - Image 15

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1982-01-01

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



Friday, January 1, 1982

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

15

Israel's Consul General in NY Leads Hectic But Rewarding Life

By YITZHAK RABI

NEW YORK (JTA) —
What does it mean to be Is-
rael's Consul General in
New York, the largest
center of Jewish population
in the world?

For Naphtali Lavie, Is-
rael's Consul General here
since last September, it
means an overwhelmingly
tight schedule of meetings
and appointments with
Jewish leaders, Jewish or-

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ganizations, media rep-
resentatives and various
individuals and officials.
"Since I assumed my post,
I have not had one free
weekend," Lavie said in an
interview with the Jewish
Telegraphic Agency. He
hastened to add, however,
that his work and his con-
tacts are a source of great
satisfaction. "The contacts
are with Jewish organiza-
tions and Jewish leaders
who are highly sophisti-
cated, with a deep under-
standing of the Arab-Israel
conflict and Israel's inter-
nal problems," Lavie said.
Dealing with American
Jewry is not a one way
street, he observed. "It is
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ious levels where both
sides learn from one
another," Lavie stated.
He said his contacts with
the American Jewish
community include all
shades of opinion within
that community — from
Reform to ultra-
Orthodox, from intellec-
tuals and academicians
to grass roots leaders.
Although he has been
here only four months,
Lavie said that he has been
deeply impressed with
American Jewry. It is, he
observed, "a warm Jewry,
on the leadership and on the
grass roots levels alike, a

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Jewry deeply committed to
Jewish identity and to the
state of Israel." This com-
mitment, he said, is expres-
sed through their organiza-
tions, educational institu-
tions, and community and
religious activities, as well
as the high level of in-
volvement in America's so-
cial and political life.
The 55-year-old Polish-
born Lavie served from
1970 to 1977 as spokesman
for the Ministry of Defense
and adviser to both Moshe
Dayan and Shimon Peres
during their tenures as De-
fense Ministers.
From June 1977 until as-
suming his post in New
York, Lavie was spokesman
and adviser to Foreign
Ministers Dayan and Yit-
zhak Shamir. Prior to serv-
ing as a government official,
Lavie was for many years a
journalist and news editor
for Haaretz.
The Consul General
was asked for his view on
the problem of yerida,
considered by some to be
one of Israel's greatest in
recent years. He said:
"I do not have reliable
statistics on the number of
Israelis living here. Some
estimate it as being in the
50,000 range. While others
say there are some 150,000
Israelis here. On a whole,

Jewish Schools
Up in Amsterdam

AMSTERDAM (JTA) —
The Education Ministry has
approved the establishment
of a kindergarten and
elementary school by the
Liberal Jewish community
which will be the third
Jewish school in the
Amsterdam area.
The ministry subsidizes
all schools, secular and de-
nominational, provided
they have a minimum
number of pupils.
That provisibn was
waived for the new school,
to be known as the Leo
Baeck School, at least for its
first few years.
It was established by pa-
rents who do not want to
send their children to either
the ultra-Orthodox "heder"
or the Rosh Pina school,
both of which accept only
those youngsters whose
mothers are Jewish by
halakhic standards or who
have been converted by an
Orthodox rabbi.
Many of the children of
the Liberal congregation do
not fulfill that requirement.
It is expected that one of the
three schools may be forced
to close down eventually be-
cause of the relatively small
number of Jewish children
in the Amsterdam area.

raelis "as long as they feel
themselves to be Israelis."
He said that he considers
the Israelis in America as
citizens who are "on vaca-
tion" from their own coun-
try and from the obligations
of living there. "I intend to
keep in touch with them,"
Lavie said.

this is a very saddening
phenomenon, especially
when among the yordim
there are young men and
women who were born in Is-
rael and are part of Israel's
flesh.
Lavie added that as Con-
sul General he is going to
treat all Israelis here as Is-

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