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September 14, 1984 - Image 28

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1984-09-14

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Friday, September 14,,1984THEKTAQI:t dg#ISHLNpAIS



Report shows Arab and Moslem
activities on the rise in Brazil



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Sao Paulo (JTA) — Projects
ranging from the establishment of
a "Muammar Qaddafi" nursery to
the dissemination of Islam by an
associate of the Ayatollah Kho-
meini are signs of a discernable
growth of Arab and Moslem ac-
tivism in Brazil during recent
months, the World Jewish Con-
gress reported last week.

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In Curitiba, a representative of
the Ayatollah Khomeini, Al Said
Mohammad al Tabatabai, has
been in the city since the begin-
ning of the year, according to the
leading newspaper, "in order to
disseminate Islam in all of Latin
America and to work among the
Brazilian Moslem population." A
43-year-old former professor of
theology, the newspaper de-
scribed him as "a close associate of
Khomeini who chose him espe-
cially for this mission."
Previously, the Sao Paulo press
had given broad coverage to a

"congress of Palestinian organ-
izations of South and Central
America and the Caribbean,"
which brought together 235 dele-
gates for a three-day meeting in
support of the PLO.
The PLO has officially recog-
nized missions in Cuba, Mexico,
Nicaragua, and Peru. In countries
like Brazil and Bolivia, it has
representatives without recog-
nized status, and is now trying to
extend its activities to the south-
ern part of the continent.
According to the WJC, PLO
propaganda has been most effec-
tive in penetrating student and
labor union circles. It was, in fact,
a popular union leader known as
"Lula," who was one of the most
enthusiastic supporters of the Sao
Paulo Palestinian Congress.

B'nai B'rith Women blast resolve

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The Latin American branch of
the WJC cited increasing press
coverage for such activities in the
cities of Brasilia, Curitiba, Rio de
Janeiro and Sao Paulo.

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Washington (JTA) — The
president of B'nai B'rith Women,
Beverly Davis, has reacted to
plans of the parent B'nai B'rith
International (BBI) to open its
membership to women with a
blunt warning that "we will take
all steps necessary to preserve our
independence and our member-
A resolution containing that
proposal was adopted at the B'nai
B'rith International Convention
last week. Davis said the 37 BBW
delegates to the convention "came
to the convention with a mandate

given them by BBW leadership in
33 cities across the country, urg-
ing a firm stand in opposition to
the resolution."
She added that "we have fulfil-
led our mandate by making oppo-
sition clear."
In her statement, Davis said the
BBW is "an independent Jewish
women's organization, with its
own program and priorities,"
which "has served and will con-
tinue to serve as a respected and
important voice for Jewish
According to Davis, the resolu-

tion read: "Commencing January
1, 1987, full and equal member-
ship in B'nai B'rith shall be made
available in accordance with a
plan that shall be presented for
approval at the next international
convention of B'nai B'rith in
A resolution embodying that
proposal was approved at the BBI
convention last week, but the
B'nai B'rith has not yet officially
released the resolution. A B'nai
B'rith spokesman said that it will
be released as soon as the wording
is checked out.

Oswego revisited: refugees
reunite after forty years

New York (JTA) — Forty years
after their Aug. 3, 1944 arrival at
New York harbor as refugees
from Hitler, some of the 982 sur-
vivors who were sheltered at Os-
wego, N.Y. returned here to reun-
ite, remember, and share their
stories with families and friends.
The Oswego refugees are
unique, because they were the
only Jews rescued by America and
brought here during World War
II: 872 of the refugees were
Jewish, and the rest were
Catholic, Protestant, Greek Or-
thodox, or of mixed marriages.
In a "humanitarian gesture"
that was never repeated,
President Franklin Roosevelt
agreet to bend immigration rules
for this one group of survivors
from 18 countries. Sailing from
Naples on the troopship Henry
Gibbins, they were brought here
in a convoy of warsips, with pris-
oners of war and wounded
The refugees were interned for
18 months at Fort Ontario, an
abandoned army camp in upstate
Oswego, udner the jurisdiction of
the U.S. Department of the Inter-
ior. In order to be accepted for re-
scue, each of the refugees had to
sign papers agreeing to return to
his or her country of origin after
the war. Only a special directive
by President Truman prevented
their deportation in Dec. 1945.

Gruber, then special assistant to
Secretary of the Interior Harold
Ickes, was sent by him to Italy to
escort the refugees to America.
With love and compassion that
went well beyond the call of duty,
she became their symbol of hope
had salvation in America. Forty
years later, the mutual love was
still evident, and her title of
"Mother Ruth" was repeated by
many of those at the reunion.
Gruber's book, Haven, describes
some of the survivors so vividly,
that one expected to meet them 40
years later and find them as they
were in 1944. But 40 years have
brought with them better circum-
stances and tow generations of
All of the survivors had 40
years of changes to report to each
other, and for the most part, they
were success stories; among them
are a vice president of the Ameri-
can Stock Exchange, a composer
of classical music, a pathologist,
an anthropologist, film makers,
artists, psychologists, and owners
of large and thriving businesses.
Gov. Mario Cuomo, who has al-
ways emphasized that he is a child
of immigrants, attended the reu-
nion and said: "Whatever debt the
(Oswego) refugees had to this,
state, they have repaid." He spoke
of their contributions to the city,
the state, and the "great strength
of our nation." He also referred to
the "anonymous heroism of a

small number of Italians," right-
eous gentiles who harbored some
of the refugees during the war.
A permanent Holocaust exhibit
being planned for the New York
State Musuem in Albany will
highlight the experience of the
Oswego survivors. According to
New York State Senate Demo-
cratic Leader Manfred Ohrens-
tein, chairman of the advisory
board for the exhibit, the unique-
ness of Fort Ontario as the only
sanctuary for Jewish refugees in
the United States during the
Holocaust is an important part of
the history of the state.

Israel Consul in Rio
honored by Brazil

Rio de Janeiro (JTA) — Eliahu
Tabori, the Israeli Consul Gen-
eral in Rio, was made honorary
citizen of Rio de Janeiro State in
recognition of the fact that he
"mastered the Portuguese lan-
guage in the short time he has
lived in Brazil," less than a year.
Tabori received the honorary cer-
_ tificate of citizenship from the
President of the State Assembly,
Paulo Ribeiro, at a ceremony in
the building that houses the legis-


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