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January 29, 1982 - Image 15

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1982-01-29

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

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

U. . JewsVisit Isolated Falashas

Arab Investments in U.S.
Probed in AJC Periodical

NEW YORK — The
potential danger of large
scale Arab investments in
the United States, particu-
larly in the energy sector, is
the subject of an article in
the new issue of _Petro-

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By RICHARD GIESBERG

Impact, published by the
American Jewish Commit-
tee's Institute of Human Re-
lations.
According to the article,
the government-owned
Kuwait Petroleum Co.
(KPC), in acquiring the
Santa Fe International
Corp. of Alhambra, Calif.,
last year, may also have
gained control of a Santa Fe
subsidiary, the C.F. Braun
Co., a major international
engineering and construc-
tion company.
Braun, which holds secu-
rity clearances from the
U.S. government, had
worked on design and
engineering projects for
facilities producing
plutonium for nuclear
weapons.

NY Group Homes

First Manicure

NEW YORK (JTA) —
The New York Federation
of Jewish Philanthropies
has opened nine of a
planned 18 additional group
homes for the Jewish re-
tarded.
There are an estimated
40,000 Jewish retarded in
the New 'York area.

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(Copyright 1982, JTA, Inc.)

(Editor's note: Richard
Giesberg, who led a dele-
gation to Ethiopia re-
cently, is co-chairman of
the Commission on
Urban Affairs of the
Community Relations
Committee, Jewish Fed-
eration Council of
Greater Los Angeles.
They traveled by plane,
Land Rover and horse-
back for two days to visit
remote Falasha villages.)
We picked our way down
the gorge for six hours, de-
termined to reach the vil-
lage and fighting off our
exhaustion until we finally
spotted it nestled in the
hills Even at that distance
the village stood out in con-
trast to the green hillside,
its poverty apparent to the
naked eye. Falashas are
sharecroppers and do not
own the land they cultivate,
but must give large portions
of their crops to the owners
of the land.
As we entered the village,
one of the elders met us and
was incredulous when he
heard who we were al-
though one of our group
spoke to him in Amharic.
The other villagers also re-
mained skeptical when they
heard we were American
Jews who had come to visit
them since no foreigner had
been there since before the
revolution, seven years ear-
lier.
We took off our slides as
we entered the synagogue
— a primitive round stone
structure with small open-
ings left for windows and a
straw-covered roof. But
when they took out their
Bible, we were overjoyed to
discover that despite their
isolation, they would be
reading the identical Torah
portion that Jews all over
the world would read on the
coming Shabat.
When asked whether
anyone in the village
spoke Hebrew, a young
boy took out a Hebrew
hook and began to read.
Suddenly we all felt very
close to them, via the
slowly read but clear He-
brew words read by the
boy. It was a very emo-
tional and powerful mo-.
ment for all of us, the
realization that we had

found Jews in this fara-
way remote village,
tucked into a mountain
gorge, who believed in
Judaism as we do.
When they discovered
that we knew the Bible and
Hebrew and Israel, their
disbelief in our Jewishness
began to fade. We asked
them whether they wanted
to go to Jerusalem, and we
heard a uniform and excited
"yes" throughout the crowd.
Finally, when we told them
we were all friends of Yona
Bogale, the learned pat-
riarch of the Falashas, and
that we would be seeing him
in Jerusalem the following
week, there was no longer
any question of who we
were. We left the village
that night, and retraced our
journey to Gondar and
Addis Ababa.
There we met with sev-
eral Falashas who had. re =
cently lived in villages near
Gondar and heard their
stories. They told us how
they had tried all their lives
to serve their communities,
with few resources and al-
most no support from
abroad.
They told us how recently
many of the leaders of the
community had been ar-
rested, accused of being
Zionist ringleaders and CIA
agents, and tortured. Their
schools had been closed, and
the villages were cut off
from contact with the out-
side.

MINEMI
VISA
MEM

4

CLEVELAND (JTA) —
An illustrated 12-page edu-
cational supplement has
been prepared and distrib-
uted by the Cleveland
Jewish News about the first
trial in Cleveland of a man
convicted of being a Nazi
war criminal who had lied
about his Nazi past to be-
come an American citizen.
Cynthia Dettelbach,
Cleveland Jewish News
editor, said the publication
was preparing a related
videotape and slide pre-
sentation on the trial for
classroom and organiza-
tional use. The supplement
is entitled "A Moment in
History: The Demjanjuk
Trial."

They were desperate in
their pleas to us. Never in
recent years had they been
so systematically isolated,
intimidated and oppressed.
They looked to us for help,
but we received the clear
impression from the way
they spoke that they feared
that we would forget about
them, just as so many vis-
itors had in the past.

First Meeting

UNITED NATIONS —
The new Secretary-General
of the United Nations,
Javier Perez de Cuellar, of-
ficially received Edgar M.
Bronfman, World Jewish
Congress president, at the
world body's headquarters
on Jan. 20, marking., the
first meeting the recently
elected UN chief has held
with Jewish organizational
leadership.

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Friday, January 29, 1982 15

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