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June 22, 1984 - Image 4

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1984-06-22

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4 Friday, June 22, 1984

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

THE JEWISH NEWS

Serving Detroit's Metropolitan Jewish Community
with distinction for four decades.
Editorial and Sales offices at 17515 West Nine Mile Road,
Suite 865 Southfield, Michigan 48075-4491
TELEPHONE 424-8833

PUBLISHER: Charles A. Buerger
EDITOR EMERITUS: Philip Slomovitz
EDITOR: Gary Rosenblatt —
BUSINESS MANAGER: Carmi M. Slomovitz
ART DIRECTOR: Kim Muller-Thym
NEWS EDITOR: Alan Hitsky
LOCAL NEWS EDITOR: Heidi Press
EDITORIAL ASSISTANT: Tedd Schneider

OFFICE STAFF:
Marlene Miller
Dharlene Norris
Phyllis Tyner
Pauline Weiss
Ellen Wolfe

ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES:
Drew Lieberwitz
Rick Nessel
Danny Raskin
Seymour Schwartz

PRODUCTION:
Donald Cheshure
Cathy Ciccone
Curtis Deloye
Ralph Orme

(c) 1984 by The Detroit Jewish News
(US PS 275-520)
Second Class postage paid at Southfield, Michigan and additional mailing offices. Subscription $18 a year.

CANDLELIGHTING AT 8:53 P.M.

VOL. LXXXV, No. 17

Year of Maimonides

An historic date, marking the anniversary of one of the very great
savants in the records of Jewish experience, is an event for worldwide
recognition.
The 850th anniversary of Moses Maimonides, the great codifier ofJewish
law whose views and interpretations continue to dominate Jewish studies,
makes the current year an occasion for observance in Jewish communities
everywhere.
Moses Maimonides was born in 1135 in Cordoba, Spain, on the eve of
Passover, and the celebration of the 850th year since his birth commenced on
the Passover of this year and will continue until the Passover of 1985.
Some communities have already begunto observe the event, and it is to
the credit of the Chabad Lubavitch movement in this community that it was
among the initiators of the observances. .
On the local scene, the daily Chabad radio programs — with the
exception of the Sabbaths and holidays — emphasize the philosophic
teachings of Maimonides and inspire questions on the many subjects covered
in the Maimonidean scholarly legacies.
Thus, a very important purpose is served both in retaining the interest in
interpretative scholarship, in the guidance provided in confrontations with
commandments that need authoritative defining. It is not only in benefiting
from Maimonides' Guide to the Perplexed but also in the perpetuated
commentaries On vital Jewish matters as well as on the status of Jews
throughout the world in the time of Maimonides — as in hisLetter to the Jews
of Yemen — that the great scholar of more than eight centuries ago now draws
renewed inspiration from the celebrants who give emphasis to his name.
The role played by the Detroit Lubavitch movement ,in this inspiring
celebration merits commendation.


Pride in fair play

Interpretation of the latest developments in American political activities
as an experience in moral pollution, especially in relation to ethnic and racial
aspects, is cause for concern and a compulsion to render deeper study to the
continuing activities. Especially disturbing is the prevailing view that
anti-Semitism has become a major issue in the Presidential election and the
repetitive references to the bigoted aspects of an embittered campaign
therefore adds to the mounting aggravations.
It is undeniable that the sensationalized prejudicial elements in an
American political contest assume a role of ugliness.
There is, however, a much more repulsive factor that needs to be
considered. A supporter of one of the candidates for the Democratic
Presidential nomination stooped to warning that in two years there will be a
racial war in this land. That resort to prophecy did not state that such
calamitous events "may" occur. It was stated as inevitability. Since it was
predicted on a racial basis, condemnation of it must come from racially
affected elements in the population. Anyone, black or white, uttering such a
prediction, must be relegated to the irrational in the American society.
There is such a blessing as fair play that always dominates the American
spirit. This principle is applicable to all Americans. The indestructible
principle remains a guiding code for all Americans.
Therefore, the fears injected by the intrOduced prejudices must be judged
as intolerable. Their very injection in a political campaign is inexcusable.
Fair play remains. the guiding spirit for this nation.

00.

V. 0 .•

Argentina elections may trigger
revolution in Jewish community

BY DR. JUDITH LAIKIN ELKIN

Special to The Jewish News

The democratization of Argen-
tina, which has produced a tremen-
dous explosion of political and artis-
tic energy on the national scene, has
provided the context for possible
democratization of the Jewish com-
munity of Buenos Aires as well. For
the first time in decades, there has
been a serious challenge to the exist-
ing leadership of the AMIA (Associa-
tion Mutual Israelita Argentina).
Call it a confrontation, call it a
rebellion, call it a demand for re-
newal, it is a political opening long

AMIA is the most
venerable, the most
comprehensive, and
certainly the most visible
of Jewish organizations.

desired, too long postponed, and one
not likely to close up before positive
results have been achieved.
AMIA, successor to the Khevra
Kadishe Ashkenazi of this city, has
been the "address" of the Jewish
Community of Buenos Aires for close
to a century. Although it holds itself
to be modelled on the acient kehillah
of Poland, it is nowhere near as all-
encompassing. It never included the
Sephardim, and congregations other
than the Orthodox have had no say in
its governance. In the 1950's AMIA
excluded the communists, and in the
seventies, a new generatimi of leftists
and activists abandoned the kehillah
in order to plunge into national poli-
tics. Still, at 90 years of age, and
28,000 members, AMIA is the most
venerable, the most comprehensive,
and certainly the most visible of
Jewish organizations.
In one of the stranger quirks of

Dr. Judith Laihin Elkin is a professor of history
at the University of Michigan and president of
the Latin American Jewish Studies Associa-
tion. At present, she is in Buenos Aires as a
Fulbright scholar, where she observed last
month's elections first hand.

contemporary Jewish politics, elec-
tions to office in AMIA are conducted
along Israeli party lines. That is, the
voter in Buenos Aires faces the choice
of the same parties as does his coun-
terpart in Tel Aviv. The system of
lists prevails, with the voter choosing
between List "A" and List "B", but he
(almost all the voting members are
men, since one must be "head of a
household" in order to vote) cannot
choose among candidates, which are
pre-selected by the parties.
Hard on the heels of the October
1983 victory of the Union Civica Rad-
ical party, bringing Raul Alfonsin to
the presidency and democracy to the
country, AMIA announced its own
elections. None had been held since
1978, as those scheduled for 1981
were never held, in conformity with
conditions prevailing under the dic-
tatorship. Six parties submitted lists
of candidates. Of these, the front
runner and obvious winner was Av-
oda, an amalgam of Mapam,
Hashomer Hatzair, the Jewish school
system, and Fraie Shtime, a
Yiddish-socialist newspaper. Avoda
has dominated AMIA for years, gar-
nering 44 percent of the vote in the
last election.
The other parties this time
round included Likud-Herut, Agudat
Israel, Mizrachi, and a grouping of
General Zionists. But the real news
was the appearance of a new party,
called Brera (Alternative). Brera was
born of a coalition- of Comunidad Bet
El, the Conservative congregation
led by Rabbi Marshall Meyer, the
American-born human rights advo-
cate; and supported by Neuva
Presencia, a Spanish language
weekly of Jewish content with a
modern editorial outlook. Brera ran
full-page ads in community news-
papers and bombarded Jewish as-
sembly halls with leaflets. Having
organized itself just 60 days before
the May 13 election, Brera hoped to
win at least one-quarter of the vote.
They won just 17 percent. Only one-
quarter of AMIA members voted:

Continued on Page 10

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