Friday, March 1, 1985
THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS
of the Lubavitch
BY ANNE Y. MEYERS
Special to The Jewish News
or starters, it has to be pro-
nounced correctly — Lu-ba'-
vitch. Lubavitch is actually
the name of a small village in
Russia where this Chasidic
Jewish movement was centered for
over a hundred years. "The name
Lubavitch is actually like the Ameri-
can Philadelphia, City of Love,"
Yitschak Kagan says, and the sect of
Orthodox Jews he belongs to believes
in joyous celebration of their Jewish-
Kagan is a Lubavitch rabbi. He is
public relations director at the
Lubavitch Foundation of Michigan.
He works outreach to "irreligious"
Jews, writes a pamphlet called A
Thought for The Week, counsels people
about their problems. He founded
Chabad houses in Ann Arbor, Grand
Rapids and is in the planning stages of
one in Flint. He travels around the
country for speaking engagements.
He also hosts two radio shows.
"The radio program is just begin-
ning to take off to a new and better
track," the rabbi says.
"It began in 1968. I was made
aware of the fact that according-to-FCC-
regulations every radio station is re-
quired to give some hours of public
service time. They often do one-minute
public service announcements.
"Whatever minutes or hours are
left they.. give to religious programs.
ChristianTaiths have known this and
taken advantage of it for many years.
The Jews, unfortunately, hadn't been
good at using the time.
"I sent out a blank cover letter.
The Jewish community did not have a
eceived word from
Kagan soon received_
program director Paul Cannon at
WKNR — now WNIC — that they
were interested in the show.
"They (WKNR) had wanted to ex-
pand their religious broadcasts and
were prepared to give me a half-hour a
week," Kagan remembered.
"Now, we are the only religious
Jewish program in the state of Michi-
gan — nothing else with religious
thought, philosophy and teachings,"
the rabbi explains.
Although Kagan had a lot of ex-
perience in public speaking, he was
new to radio. "Paul Cannon used to
run the microphone, etc. . . ." Kagan
says. "The show was very stiff and
formal at the beginning. We used to be
stuck between the Christians and the
Islam programs. After a year or two we
began to grow and I began producing
the show on a tape recorder."
Due to funding cuts, the station
could no longer supply the show with
the technical assistance. Kagan
learned to do the minor technical work
and produced his show without help
He knows how to "run the board"
but still describes himself as an
amateur. Recently, however, the show
— The Jewish Sound — got a boost
from Jerry Liebman, president of
Specs Howard School of Broadcasting.
"I'd like to make a professional
sounding program," the rabbi stresses.
"They (WNIC) moved my time to 11
p.m. Sundays and I have a second show
at 6:15 a.m. Sundays on WMJC" for 15
minutes. Specs Howard has donated a
studio and an engineer and the
Lubavitch Foundation is going to ad-
vertise the shows more heavily.
Few radio stations spend the
funds to measure the size of listening
audiences for public service broadcast-
ing. Rabbi Kagan's programs are no
exception. A few listeners have told
him that they caught his program
while switching stations, but the rabbi
says that most responses to his shows
Kagan feels that his show is
unique because of his use of music.
"There has been an explosion in
Jewish music," he explains. "Hosts of
young groups have taken a Jewish
message to young people." Recordings
by The Megama Duo and The Diaspora
Continued on Page 34