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January 25, 1985 - Image 28

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1985-01-25

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Friday, January 25, 1985




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Continued from Page 1

every state. But those regions
where unemployment was
still relatively high, like
Michigan and Ohio, showed
According to Nancy Frum-
kin, of the ADL's Michigan
Region office in Detroit, the
seven incidents in the state
last year included three cases
of vandalism against
synagogues. In September, a
smoke bomb was reportedly
hurled into an Oak Park
synagogue during weekday
evening services. (The ADL
declined to identify the
synagogue.) The Livonia
Jewish Congregation and
Cong. Beth Tephilath Moses of
Mt. Clemens were vandalized
in separate incidents in Oc-
A private home in Grand
Rapids and two stores in De-
troit were daubed with racial
and religious epithets last fall,
Frumkin said. The home is
occupied by a Jewish family
but neither of the two stores is
In addition, the ADL re-
ported, an unidentified Jewish
group received two threaten-
ing letters within the last six
There were no verbal or
physical assaults against
Jewish persons reported in
1984. In 1983, Lobenthal said,
a Jewish high school student
in Michigan was assaulted by
a youth who claimed he had
been assigned to beat up Jews
in the school.
The national survey, based
on the data supplied by the
ADL's 30 regional offices in
the U.S. and prepared by its
Civil Rights Division's re-
search department, cited a
total of 715 incidents of van-
dalism, an increase of 6.7 per-
cent over the 1983 total of 670.
Thirty-two of the 715 inci-
dents were described by the
ADL as serious crimes which
included 17 cases of arson and
attempted arson compared to
13 in 1983; three bombings, as
compared to none in 1983; one
attempted bombing, the same
as in 1983; and 11 cemetery
desecrations, compared to
nine in 1983.
The ADL said in the cate-
gory of other assault§ or
threats, tabulated separately,
there were 369 incidents, an
increase of 5.4 percent over the
1983 figure of 350. The survey
showed New York experienced
237 episodes of anti-Semitic
vandalism, followed by
California with 99; Maryland
with 69; New Jersey, 56; and
Florida, 51. Overall, 32 states
and the District of Columbia

were involved in the incidents.
The large Jewish population
in New York and California is
not the only reason those
states consistently report the
most 'anti-Semitic incidents,
Lobenthal said. "The higher
visibility of the Jewish com-
munity in those areas is defi-
nitely a contributing factor."
The executive director added
that New York and Los
Angeles have more Jewish in-

The seven incidents
in Michigan last year
included three cases
of vandalism against

stitutions than most com-
munities and therefore, more
targets for vandals.
Nathan Perlmutter, ADL
national director, said the
1984 figures were "disturbing
because they reverse a two-
year decline."
But he noted that the 6.7
percent increase was far
smaller than the 19.2 percent
increase in 1980 and 15.8 in-
crease in 1981. There were 84
persons arrested by law
enforcement authorities in
1984 in connection with 51 in-
cidents, the ADL said, com-
pared with a total figure of 115
persons arrested in 55 inci-
dents in 1983.
Meanwhile, Lobenthal
cautioned that the survey is
not necessarily an accurate
barometer of actual hatred
towards Jews in. the United
States. "Because the audit is
based on reported incidents,
fluctuations in the figures
may indicate an increase or
decrease in awareness of
anti-Semitism and not anti-
Semitism itself."

Interfaith Event

Rome (JTA) — More than 200
Italian Christians and Jews, both
scholars and non-academics par-
ticipated in the fifth annual
Jewish-Christian Colloquium
held last month at the Benedic-
tine Monastery of Camaldoli.
"The Gift of the Torah" as an in-
tegral part of the religious heri-
tage of both Christians and Jews
was the theme of the gathering.
Dr. Leon Feldman, consultant
on inter-religious affairs for the
Synagogue Council of America,
addressed the colloquium on "Liv-
ing the Torah — American
Judaism Today." Other speakers
at lecture sessions, discussions,
and workshops included Jewish
and Catholic specialists in and
authors of works in Jewish

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