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August 31, 1984 - Image 27

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1984-08-31

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

WEig - -

August 31, 1984 di

1

Israelis and Jesse Jackson
could end an African famine

,

and his prestige in the black
world to help bring the Afri-
can 'governments into line
and to convince the farmers
to go along with the new di-
rection. The Israelis would
come in with their agricul-
tural skills to teach others
the methods that have pro-
ven so successful in Israel.
Many African countries
still retain favorable
memories of Israeli teams
which trained African
people in industrial and ag-
ricultural techniques and
helped them set up trans-
portation, distribution and
communications facilities.
The Israeli-African coop-
eration was almost com-
pletely ended when Arab
pressure following the Yom
Kippur War forced most of
the African nations to break
off relations with Israel. Is-
rael is slowly rebuilding
these old ties and African
students are again found re-
ceiving training in Israeli
institutions.
Over the decades, the
basis of Israeli agriculture
has shiftedirom the tradti-
tional kibbutzim and
moshavim producing
primarily to feed their
members to agrobusiness,
farming on much larger
land units for foreign mar-
kets.
The kibbutz and moshav
are becoming anachronisms
in basic agricultural units
in modern-day Israel and
the most prosperous are

ID. & VISA
PHOTOS

those that have developed
workshops and industries.
These absorb their excess
labor since increasingly,
with modern techniques,
the output of the Israeli
farm worker has increased
and the nation's food needs
can be met by a much
smaller farm force. In the
past 25 years, Israel has in-
creased its food production
twelvefold.

Many agronomists be-
lieve that the methods de-
veloped and used so suc-
cessfully in the Israeli set-
tlements can be trans-
planted to the African vil-
lage and that the African
farmer can be trained to
produce enough food even-
tually to feed the continent.
In the United States, one
farmer feeds 72 people; in
Israel, one farmer feeds 55.
If only a fraction of that suc-
cess could be achieved in Af-
rica, the picture of the
entire continent could be
redrawn.
Israel has a reserve of
qualified farmers to staff a
peace corps to take the Is-
raeli agricultural example
into the villages of Africa,
set up pilot projects, train
the native farmers in the
techiques that have enabled
Israel to overcome climate,
soil and.water problems and
work with them to create an
agricultural system that
will statisfy their basic food
needs.

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BY BEN GALLOB

eruv is seen as a particular
boon to the members of Beth
Aaron, many of them com-
prising families with small
children.
Because eruvim often are
adaptations of existing
functional devices, such as
the poles and telephone
wires of the new eruv, it is
— except for Orthodox Jews
—, one of the least known
ritual devices in American
Jewish life, usually becom-
ing manifest when a dispute
develops among resident
Jews among whom there
are some who consider such
devices archaic.
Cong. rieth Aaron has
created an "eruv hotline"
for Jews wishing to know if
the eruv is operable on a
particular Shabbat. Plans
also are being made to in-
stall a lighting system at
the synagogue. A green
light will indicate when the
eruv is in operation. A yel-
low light will indicate when
it' is not. An eruv can be-
come inoperable if a portion
of it is damaged by weather
or other causes. Under
Jewish religious law, a con-
tinuous inspection of the •
eruv is mandated.
Copyright 1984, JTA Inc.

WI II III

COLOR
PASSPORTS

NJ eruv is county's third

Another eruv, in effect a
ritual fence which. permits
Orthodox Jews to carry
small items on the Sabbath,
has been established for the
growing Orthodox commu-
nity south of Route 4 in New
Jersey, the third in Bergen
County. (An eruv for the
Detroit area is currently in
the planning stages.)
This eruv, which serves
the 150-member Cong. Beth
Aaron, is in fact a series of
existing telephone wires
and poles that surround the
area. Dowels — circular
frames—were placed on top
of some of the poles to meet
the ritual requirement of a
fence having doors, accord-
ing to the Jewish Standard.
A recent bulletin from the
congregation described the
purpose of the eruv as that
of allowing the carrying of a
book or a prayer shawl to
the synagogue, as well as
permitting the wheeling of
a baby carriage. Under
Jewish religious law
(halachah), caning any ob-
ject on the Sabbath is for-
bidden. The eruv is a legal
device which is viewed as
easing the restrictions of
such religious rules without
breaching them. The new

•1 NNE
111

INSTANT

BY VICTOR M. BIENSTOCK
Special to The Jewish News

There's a big job open for
Rev. Jesse Jackson that
would assure him a place in
history as a great
humanitarian and savior of
millions of his people. His
partner in this noble adven-
ture, ironically, would be
the people of the State of Is-
rael.
Millions of Africans are
suffering from a growing
famine as drought, which
last year destroyed much of
the food production of cen-
tral and southern Africa,
moves across the sub-
Sahara. Africa's capacity to
feed itself, regardless of
drought conditions, has
been falling steadily be-
cause of misguided govern-
ment policies which have
diverted agriculture from
subsistence farming to
production of cash crops for
export. In the past two de-
cades, Africa's capacity to
feed itself has fallen 20 per-
cent and is continuing to
drop at a rate of about 1.5
percent a year.
Instead of growing food
for themselves and their
families, with the surplus
sold to nearby villages and
towns, Africa's farmers
have been steered over the
years into production of
cash crops for export and
have become dependent on
food imports for their own
subsistence. With the fall of
commodity prices on the
world's markets, the Afri-
can countries simply ha-
ven't been able to realize
enough from the sale of
their cash crops to pay for
the food they must import to
live.
The UN Food and Ag-
riculture Administration
estimates that Africa would
have to double its food prod-
uction in this decade to be
able to feed itself. It de-
scribes the continent's
chances of achieving self-
sufficiency in food by the
year 2000 as "slim."
The African food problem
breaks down into two dis-
tinct phases. The first of
these is immediate relief —
the provision of food to pre-
vent starvation and death
and to cope with child.mal-
nutrition.
The second phase should
be the re-education of the
African governments to
alter their present disastr-
ous policies of concentrating
their nations' agriculture
on cash crops for export and
to seek instead to make
their lands self-sufficient in
food.
As local food production
grows, a distribution sys-
tem would have to be de-
veloped so that the farmer's
surplus can help feed the
population in the towns and
cities.
This is where Jesse
Jackson and the Israelis
come in. Jackson would use
his great persuasive skills

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