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December 10, 1982 - Image 27

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1982-12-10

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


Boris Smolar's

Between You
. . . and Me'

Emeritus, JTA

(Copyright 1982, JTA, Inc.)

HANUKA MOODS: Hanuka, the Festival of Lights,
has in recent years -become the most popular Jewish holi-
day in this country after Passover, Rosh Hashana and Yom
Kippur. The eight-branch menora with its twinkling little
lights can now be seen in the windows of homes in
neighborhoods where they have never been seen before.
Hanuka greeting cards — some of them very artistic
and expensive — are now "big business" in the greeting
cards industry. The United Nations has this season issued
— through its Children's Fund — a very beautiful Hanuka
card in colors. This is the first time that a UN organ. has
printed anything in Hebrew characters.
No longer is Hanuka considered by Jewish children in
public schools "a Jewish Christmas."'In some public schools
one can now see Hanuka decorations side by side with
Christmas ornaments of a non-Christological nature. In
schools with a substantial Jewish enrollment teachers seek
to explain in the classrooms the difference between
Hanuka and Christmas telling the children of the suc-
cessful revolt of the Maccabees.
organizations consider it inadvisable for Jewish parents of
Jewish groups to recommend__to teachers and school boards
the introduction of either Hanuka programs or joint
Christmas-Hanuka programs in schools. At the same time
they are of the opinion that where such programs already
exist, any attempt to withdraw them may have negative
effects on intergroup relations.
There has been — and still is — bitter conflicts be-
tween various groups of parents, Jewish and non-Jews,
over school Christmas programs with strong religious con-
tent. Tension exists especially in the suburban com-
munities where newcomers — Jews and non-Jews — are
disturbed by the Christological content of some of the
Christmas programs. They consider them a violation of the
U.S. Constitution separating church from state.
Jewish parents do not object to their children's singing
in school such songs as "Jingle Bells" and "Deck the Halls"
or other songs which have no particular religious content.
However, they strongly object to programs which include
nativity plays, creches, sermons of the life and teachings of
Jesus, and prayers. They also object to holiday observances
in school with songs such as "Joy to the World," "Adeste
Fideles" and carols with a definite Christological content.
Jewish parents — as well as non-believers and adhe-
rents to non-hristian sects — are resentful and apprehen-
sive because their children are forced either to participate
in Christological observances or, what is equally hurtful, to
isolate themselves by non-participation. They do not want
their children embarrassed in the classroom by participat-
ing in such programs nor considered as outsiders by abs-
taining from such participation. They do not want their
children exposed to Christian doctrine.
Many public school administrations and individual
teachers have evidenced growing sensitivity toward the
objections of Jewish parents to the subjection of their chil-
dren to participation in holiday observances contrary to
their religious convictions. The National Jewish Commu-
nity Relations Advisory Council (NJCRAC) — constituted
of all major Jewish organizations and of more than 100
local Jewish groups in cities throughout the country
engaged in interreligious relationships — suggests semi-
nars and training programs for teachers in public schools to
assist them to foster regard for religious differences. At the
same time the NJCRAC also urges that serious violations
of church-state separation, and otherwise objectionable
religious practices and observances in public schools, be
vigorously protested and appropriate steps toward their
elimination be pursued, while cooperation with school
authorities in positive programs for teachers proceeds.

Germans Bicker -
on M.E. Policies


BONN (JTA) — Foreign
Minister Hans-Dietrich
Genscher told a group of
Arab officials that there is a
continuity in the Middle
East policy of the new West
German government
headed by Chancellor Hel-
mut Kohl and that of the
previous government under
Chancellor Helmut
Genscher, a member of
the Free Democratic Party
(GDP) who served as
Foreign Minister in both
governments, said Bonn
still supports the right of
the Palestinian people to
self-determination and still
adheres to the 1980 Venice
declaration by the heads of
the 10 European Economic
Community (EEC) member
states which, among other
things, called for the "asso-
ciation" of the Palestine
Liberation Organization in
the Middle East peace proc-
Genscher's remarks once
again underlined apparent
differences over Middle
East policy within the gov-
erning Christian Demo-
cratic Union-FDP coalition.
While Kohl appears to be
moving toward an im-
provement of relations with
Israel and plans to visit that
country next year, Deputy
Foreign Minister Juergen
Moelleman recently warned
Israel not to entertain the
"illusion" that Bonn's policy
has changed.


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Speaking at a fund rais-
ing dinner for joint scien-
tific projects conducted by
Israel's Weizmann Institute
for Science and France's
Pasteur Institute for Scien-
tific Research, Rosenne said

scientists and researchers
have continued working to-
gether on a large number of
subjects throughout the
Former Israeli President
Ephraim Katzir, himself a
research scientist at the
Weizmann Institute, told
the meeting that Israel
hopes these undertakings
between the two countries
will continue. Several
prominent French scien-
tists attended the gather-
ings as well as the scientific
seminar which preceeded it.

Seiko Quartz.
The one you trust.





Science Exchange Continues

PARIS (JTA) — Scientific
relations between Israel
and France have continued
unhampered even at "the
worst moments" in the rela-
tions between the two coun-
tries, according to Israel's
Ambassador to France,
Meir Rosenne.

Friday, December 10, 1982 21

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