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November 02, 1984 - Image 101

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1984-11-02

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THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS Friday, November 2, 1984 101


Local programs on prejudice
are available to school groups

affects us. It brought things out
into the open."
Zack adds, "We'd love to see all
school districts, public, private
and parochial, implement mate-
rials that would sensitize stu-
dents to prejudice and help them
understand how easy it is for
things to get out of hand."
The ADL School Committee can
be reached by calling the ADL De-
troit office, 962-9686, and asking
for Nancy Frumkin.


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s ure

Dolls for

"Doll lady" Judy Poger holds Mahatma Ghandi and Benjamin


Special to The Jewish News

I'm a high school social studies
teacher. We will soon begin a unit
on prejudice. Are there any mate-
rials available through the Jewish

Three organizations offer a
variety of services to promote
understanding and sensitivity be-
tween ethnic, racial and religious
groups. The Anti-Defamation
League (ADL), B'nai B'rith
Women's Dolls for Democracy and
the Holocaust Memorial Center
offer a wealth of programs,
audio-visual and print materials,
speakers and educational consul-
According to Nancy Frumkin,
assistant director of ADL's De-
troit office, ADL is the country's
largest producer of human rela-
tions materials. A free, 70-page
catalogue produced through
ADL's national office, is a
teacher's dream. Films,
filmstrips, video-cassettes and re-
cords, as well as a variety of
printed materials are available
for a minimal rental or purchase
The materials are organized
under general topics, including
prejudice, ethnic and minority
studies, politics-left, right and
middle, the Holocaust, anti-
Semitism, and Jewish-Christian
The catalogue has materials
suitable for school children of all
ages. While more is available for
junior and senior high school
grades, many materials are
geared toward or are adaptable
for primary grades. Frumkin ex-
plains that the major therrie run-
ning through most kindergarten
through sixth grade materials is,
"You and I are different, but it
doesn't make me better."
The Michigan ADL has an
active Schools Committee whose
purpose is to act as consultant and
liaison between ADL resources
and public and private schools.
The committee reviews ADL
catalogue materials, advises
teachers and administrators, pro-
duces local progams and develops
curriculum guides to deal with
local problems and traditions.

Barbara Weinstein and
Stephanie Zack, ADL schools
Committee co-chairmen, em-
phasize ADL's easy accessibility
and willingness to share, rent or
sell catalogue materials. Both
women have previewed much of
the catalogue's materials and can
recommend specific films or
books, implement an ADL course
curriculum, or lead a workshop
for teachers or students. They can
also suggest an appropriate
speaker from the local ADL
Speakers Bureau.

Materials and
programs on
prejudice are
provided by the
League, B'nai B'rith
Women and the
Holocaust Memorial

In the past, the ADL Schools
Committee has stepped in with
materials to ease potentially
tense situations in Detroit area
schools. Stephanie noted two
situations at separate schools
when information via films and
books were needed to work out
difficulties Chaldean and Russian
Jewish children were encounter-
ing with fellow students.
Last year, the committee led a
workshop for Temple Israel's
seventh and eighth grades.
Breaking into groups of ten, an
ADL member led a discussion of
situations the students had wit-
nessed involving prejudice. They
also viewed several ADL video
cassettes. The workshop ended
with student-created slogans and
skits which showed their new sen-
sitivity toward prejudice.
Weinstein explains the work-
shop's benefit, "Our program gave
the students insights they might
not have had as to how prejudice

Dolls for Democracy is a unique
program that promotes brother-
hood and the ideals of democracy
through dolls and stories.
The program began 30 years
ago under the auspices of the
ADL. For the last 25 years it has
been one of B'nai B'rith Women's
national programs.
Judy Poger and Lorraine
Cooper chair the Detroit area pro-
gram. They and their committee
are known to area school children
as Doll Ladies.
Thirty-three dolls make up the
Detroit collection. Each hand-
made doll is a miniature replica of
a famous humanitarian repre-
senting a variety of races, reli-
gions, ethnic groups and social
classes. The nine-inch dolls have
painted plaster faces and are
dressed in detailed, handmade
They were selected from a
variety of fields: science, social
science, arts and literature,
sports, ministry, teaching and
Included are Martin Luther
King, Father Flanagan, Jim
Thorpe, Jane Addams, Anne
Frank, Jackie Robinson, Eleanor
Roosevelt, Albert Einstein, Flor-
ence Nightengale and Mahatma
A Doll Lady will choose five or
six dolls for a 45-minute presenta-
tion. Additional time is spent at
the end to answer questions. Most
presentations are conducted in
individual elementary school
classes so that the Doll Lady can
build a strong rapport with a
limited number of students.
Poger explains her role as_a
"story teller, trying to draw chil-
dren into the lives, to help them
experience what each person went
Both Poger and Cooper have
found that children become emo-
tionally involved in the doll
stories. "Whenever I tell the story
of Anne Frank," Poger says,
"there are tears in the audience. 4
The injustices Jackie Robinson
faced bring the honest emotion of
anger from the children."
Cooper feels the program "in-
spires children with the knowl-
edge that greatness is not the
characteristic of any one group.
We encourage them to believe
they can be anything they want to
Last year, in addition to many
public and private school pre-
sentations, Poger took the dolls to
the Shrine of the Little Flower in
Royal Oak for 13 presentations,
before a total of 300 children. She
emphasizes the programs's im-

Continued on next page


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