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January 21, 1983 - Image 25

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1983-01-21

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

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

In this society there are
very few spontaneous ac-
tions.

Right III Your

Own Driveway!

By RON SEIGEL

The late Abby Schiffer
was a poet, a lawyer and a
dedicated feminist. She has
also become a part of De-
troit's history. This spring
Detroit neighborhood
people will be honoring her
place in history by dedicat-
ing a new building called
"Schiffer Tower" in the
Freedom Place Housing
Development she helped to
create.
Abby's community ac-
tivism begin in the 1960s.
People around Wayne State
University were protesting
that poorly planned urban
renewal programs were
tearing down homes with-
out providing any place for
displaced families and older
people to go.
Abby joined their fight as
a Wayne State University
student and unlike many

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FRESH. AIR SOCIETY

10th ANNUAL
TAMARACK JAMBOREE AND REUNION

Sunday, January 23, 1983
1:00 - 4:00 p.m.

Jewish Community Center (Shifman Hall)
6600 W. Maple Rd., W. Bloomfield, Mi. 48033







Door Prizes • Refreshments
Carnival Booths
Craft Workshops • Games with Prizes
Tamarack T-shirts on Sale • Camp Movie
Slide and Video Tape Shows
• Parent Coffee Room

All Children Are Invited
All Activities Are Free of Charge

college activists, she never
left the area after gradua-
tion.
In 1978 Abby was
elected co-chairperson
of the district council in
her University City "A"
area, sharing leadership
with Mildred Smith, an
elderly black housewife,
different yet very similar
to Abby, an almost
legendary figure who
saved her own neighbor-
hood around Hobart
Street in the '60s.
Abby helped get through
a strong agreement with the
Stanley L. Berger Man-
agement Co. to build new
housing with federal help at
a development called Free-
dom Place, on Warren and
John C. Lodge, to replace
the homes that were de-
stroyed.
She helped get through a
strong memorandum of
understanding with the
company assuring good liv-
ing conditions, accessibility
to people of all races and in-
comes, and she won a com-
mitment to get a badly-
needed shopping center
which the city had promised
for years.
To make sure agreements
would be lived up to, Abby
set up firm provisions
ensuring a measure of
community control.
In a time of intense
community conflicts,
Abby held the council to-
gether. She was a strange
mixture of gentleness
and poise, logic and sen-
sitivity, complex sophis-
tication and simple
goodness. She touched
people in different fac-
tions more than she ever
realized.
I remember a note she
once wrote the district
council, stating she would
be absent from a meeting to
observe the Day of Atone-
ment, making her views
known on a fiercely debated
issue, proposing a logical
compromise.
I could not help but feel
she related this holy day to
her own efforts at establish-
ing peace and a sense of
community.
During Passover, I could
not help but feel she related
the biblical story about the
Jewish escape from slavery
to her own efforts for those
hurt and oppressed in De-
troit's inner city.
Just before the start of
1979, I gathered enough
courage to ask Abby
about her religious ideas.
She told me she attended
Temple Israel.
Then she said in a lighter
tone, "Happy New Year —
Common Era."
Ironically, that "new

Normalization?

TEL AVIV (ZINS) —
Trade between Israel and
Lebanon reached $8 million
per month in November and
December. Israel exported
more to Lebanon in those
two months than it did to
Egypt in the last year.

Friday, January 21, 1983 25

Technion Scientists Using
Plants to Gauge Pollution

HAIFA — In a program
year," 1979, will always go designed to develop an ef-
down with me as the year fective air pollution early-
Abby died.
warning system, Technion
Last year, her co-chair, scientists have set out care-
Mildred Smith, also left us, fully selected plants over
but in their work and extensive areas near the
teamwork both gave the Haifa refineries.
community something to
The work is based on re-
build on, so that new crea- search recently concluded
tive people coming in could by a team of scientists at the
use their own style and Technion's Faculty of Ag-
make further progress.
ricultural Engineering, in
As people work to provide cooperation with the He-
decent homes and brew University's Depart-
neighborhoods for children, ment of Atmospheric Sci-
the elderly, families, single ences.
men and women, Abby
The Israeli program has
Schiffer will be remem- shown that plants can pro-
bered.
vide an economical method

for long-term monitoring of
pollution in extensive
areas.

Emulation is a noble pas-
sion.

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