2 Friday, March 9, 1984
THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS
Threat to Libertarian
Principles in Delusions
Over Prayer Proposals
President Ronald Reagan, the Rev. Jerry Falwell and
many more appear to be on the road to triumph in their
advocacy of legalizing school prayers. They are said to have
the support of more than 80 percent of the American people.
The highest principles of genuine religious freedom
have never been stifled and the legacies left for all genera-
tions, by Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and the
memorable leaders in the ranks of the founders of this
nation, have until now not been stifled. Therefore, the hope
that these voices will again be heard.
In every generation there is the need to emphasize that
the glory of American traditions appeals for retention and
strengthening of the ideals which made the home the castle
where people can pray freely; and the church, mosque and
synagogue remain the revered and respected centers for
attaining the highest spiritual ideals. There is a threat to
those freedoms the moment a conflict is introduced between
them. This is exactly what is happening in our nation's
The present status of the responsiveness to the Sup-
reme Court's consistent rulings against the introduction of
religious practices into the public schools, is explained in
the Wall Street Journal (March 5) by Stephen Wermiel. He
calls attention to an experience in Little Axe, Okla. and the
description merits complete quotation:
Three years ago, two Little Axe mothers,
JoAnn Bell and Lucille McCord, began receiving
complaints from their children about religious
meetings in the school. -On Thursdays, the chil-
dren said, after being dropped off at the school at
8 a.m. by the school bus, they had to wait outside,
often in the cold, while a small group of students
held religious meetings inside. The meetings,
often attended by teachers, featured football
stars and gymnasts brought in from the nearby
University of Oklahoma to talk about the impor-
tance of Christianity in their lives.
"The kids felt excluded from something be-
cause they didn't want to go to the religious meet-
ings," Mrs. Bell says. Says Mrs. McCord: "Older
kids were telling them if you don't come to the
prayer meetings you're going to hell."
The small, growing community, which today
has about 950 children in kindergarten through
ninth grade, still bears the scars of the lawsuit the
two mothers filed in May 1981 to halt the meetings.
Last March, a federal judge in Oklahoma City
ordered the Little Axe schools to cease the
morning-prayer gatherings. Before that, Mrs. Bell
was attacked by an angry school employee in
1981. She and her husband and three children
also were burned out of their mobile home in a
suspicious fire. •
Both the Bell and McCord families now have
moved to Harrah, east of Oklahoma City, and the
case remains on appeal before the Federal Appe-
als Court in Denver.
Says Mrs. Bell: "If a teacher presses beliefs on
children, and the children know they have to lis-
ten and respect them, it causes problems if they
have a different religion at home."
But Bill Scott, president of the Little Axe
school board, says local children are being de-
prived" of their freedom by the judge's ruling.
"My son should have the right to say grace
and to pray," says Mr. Scott, father of a sixth
grader. "Where a student wishes to say his beliefs,
why should I prohibit him?" Mr. Scott says that if
the appeals court overrules the district judge "the
children will have their meetings again."
Appended to the Wermiel review of the status of the
disputes is the following, related to the Oklahoma commu-
But, says JoAnn Bell, the 'former Little Axe
resident, "It's a very strong feeling with me that
religion has no place in the schools. It's my right
as a parent to educate my children on religion,
and it's no business of the state or the federal
The threat to genuine religious freedom and liberta-
rian ideals should be apparent. Yet, the voices of the past
are yet to be repeated in the process of confronting a
President who makes introduction of religious practices a
plank in his appeals for re-election. He has associates in the
effort to sacrifice the freedoms that have been sacred for
Therefore, the need for powerful voices to relegate the
repeated proposals to total rejection by the American spirit
for undiluted liberties.
Jefferson-Madison Legacies, Voices of Religious
Liberties Are Threatened Under Leadership of
the President . . . 'Hymie! Image and Human Dignity
To Every Hyman .
. . . in All Climes .. .
. . . with a `I-Iymie' Comfort
Apple Hymie incident: why did all the national Jewish
movements get excited over the appellation Hymie? Only
the mothers of every son named Hyman, who conscien-
tiously treat their darling sons as Hymie, should have
objected, It would have been sufficient for Jesse to
Were there really so many who were aware that Hymie
and Hymie Town were the desperate slurs of a desperately
miscalculating candidate for President? Perhaps a few of
the elders in this generation will recall that when Jews
were hounded they were Sheenies, Izzies, Jakeies. In the
intervening years of harmonizing, the terms were either
totally abandoned, often forgotten, and if one resorted to
the use of "kike" he often blushed.
In any event, if Jesse were to apologize for the Arafat-
Yad Vashem sins it would more glorious. Now, accompany-
ing his apology to Hymie with a declaration for a coopera-
tive black-white-Jewish status, he gains in stature. That's
how a Presidential candidate should act.
Were you, Dear Reader, ever saluted as a "Hymie?"
If you are a Hyman, who genuinely earns this appella-
tion, then it is indelible in your memories.
There is a Hyman everywhere. You'll meet him
wherever a Hayyim was named Hyman. And the sound of
the affectionate calling of Hyman is universal: where there
is love in a Hyman domicile there is a Hymie.
Suddenly, someone creates a stench, without realizing
the failure to appreciate and recognize the significance of a
nickname. Instead of conceding universality, a deluded guy
attaches it to one large city and calls New York "Hymie
That's unheard of: The devoted mothers in Detroit and
Kalamazoo and Cleveland and Dallas, who fondly call out
to son Hyman with the affectionate Hymie, have reason to
resent being ignored: wherever there is a Hyman there is a
Hymie — and he is everywhere!
The Presidential candidate who was, perhaps uncon- Weep for Lebanon!
There was an approach to peace in the Middle East.
sciously, responsible for the reduction of the Hyman role to
the Big Apple at the expense of the universal Hyman name,
Amin Gemayel abrogated it!
now does more than apologize for it. He gives emphasis, as
Syria assumed controlling power!
all responsible Americans must, to the responsibility to
Israel does not gain by it. The major sufferer is Leba-
unity in the country's constituency, to the closest relation- non herself?
ships between blacks and whites, and therefore between
Agonized by it is the Christian world which must be
blacks and Jews.
judged as a target in a tragic battle between fanatics of two
The chief Jesse Jackson errors in human relations faiths battling for power, with the very concept of faith and
remain his embrace of Arafat and his non-too-
freedom the victim.
compassionate comment on Jerusalem's„and world Jewry's
Tragically, the U.S. credibility is also the sufferer.
Poor Lebanon! How that nation, with such a great
In retrospect, there is a puzzle in the Jesse Jackson Big record for civilized humanism, sits solitarily .
Fifty Isolated, Elderly Jews from Detroit
Enjoy Purim With Adat Shalom, JVS VIPs
By YONA DRASNIN
Jewish Welfare Federation
Gathering recently to
share an afternoon of
friendship, a Purim feast
and holiday concert were
members of the Adat
Shalom Synagogue Sister-
hood and their guests, some
50 Jews who live in De-
troit's inner city.
They are participants in
the Jewish Vocational Serv-
ice Project Outreach VIP
(Volunteers for Isolated
People) program; the guests
were invited by the sister-
hood for the second consecu-
Most of the clients, or
"haverim," have no family
or friends. The majority are
elderly, many of them men-
tally and/or physically im-
paired, and some have been
institutionalized. They live
in boarding houses and
nursing homes. Without
their VIP friends who visit
on a regular basis, they
would have little or no con-
tact with the outside world,
and none with Judaism.
Project Outreach was
initiated in 1980 with a
grant from the Max M.
Fisher Jewish ComMu-
nity Foundation of
United Jewish Charities,
the senior agency of the
Jewish Welfare Federa-
tion. JVS is a member
agency of Federation and
a recipient of Allied
Jewish Campaign funds.
served a Purim luncheon
that they had prepared. The
holiday meal included
gefilte fish, noodle kugel
and, of course, haman-
Betsy Winkelman, sis-
terhood president, and the
program committee mem-
bers greeted their guests,
dined with them and an-
swered questions about the
Lunch was followed by
the singing of festive Purim
songs, led by Adat Shalom
Cantor Larry Vieder and
Youth Director Marc An-
The group was then
treated to a concert. Adat
Shalom nursery school
students, their heads
adorned by the crowns of
Purim kings and queens,
proudly sang about Ha-
It was then time to spend
a few minutes in the syna-
gogue's small chapel. It is
so rare that our haverim
have a chance to go to a syn-
agogue, to see and experi-
ence the things that are so
familiar to us," Project Out-
reach staff worker Faye
Menczer explained to the
"Transportation is a
major problem for our
haverim," she continued.
"They want to be with other
Jews and attend Shabat
services and synagogue
programs, but can't get from
Detroit to the suburbs and
Adat Shalom Executive
Director Alan Yost wel-
comed the haverim and an-
swered questions about the
synagogue. He then re-
moved a Torah scroll from
the ark, walked among the
guests and encouraged
them to perform the mitzva
of touching the soft velvet
cover and then placing their
fingers to their lips.
As the haverim were
helped into their coats,
sisterhood members dis-
manot" bags of gifts
supplied by synagogue
members. In the bags
were hamantashen, fruit, Pam Salba; Renee Lieber-
soap, make-up and per- man is program vice
fume for the women and president Sisterhood com-
ties*and cologne for the mittee members who
worked on the Purim party
VIP volunteers Ed Kahn were Rose Diamond, Lilyan
and Marilyn Betman rode Finer, Ethel Goldenberg,
the buses with the haverim, Ruth Gould, Sylvia Helfer,
assisting them on and off. Roslyn Katzman, Charlotte
Other Project Outreach Nussbaum, Elaine
volunteers attending the Rosenblatt and Trudy
Purim party were Joe Weiss.
LaPides, VIP volunteer
coordinator; Rose Baggle-
There is a need for more
man; Bessie Chase; Gertie VIP volunteers and for
Golinbursky; Inga Jordan; Jewish organizations to
Ben Morton; Pearl Morton sponsor programs for the
and Lilian Schwartz. thaverim. For information,
Adat Shalom Sisterhood call Mrs. Menczer at JVS,
chairman of the day was 833-8100.
In the top photograph, Adat Shalom Executive
Director Alan Yost pauses for a Project Outreach
havera to touch the Torah. In the bottom photograph,
VIP volunteer Marilyn Betman escorts one of the
guests to the party.