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May 10, 1985 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1985-05-10

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3 1 ii :


Friday, - May 10, 1985



Serving Detroit's Metropolitan Jewish Community
with distinction for four decades.

Editorial and Sales offices at 20300 Civic Center Dr.,
Suite 240, Southfield, Michigan 48076
Telephone (313) 354-6060

PUBLISHER: Charles A. Buerger
EDITOR EMERITUS: Philip Slomovitz
EDITOR: Gary Rosenblatt
BUSINESS MANAGER: Carmi M. Slomovitz
ART DIRECTOR: Kim Muller-Thym
NEWS EDITOR: Alan Hitsky

Lauri Biafore
Joseph Mason
Rick Nessel
Danny Raskin

Marlene Miller
Dharlene Norris
Phyllis Tyner
Pauline Weiss
Ellen Wolfe

Donald Cheshure
Cathy Ciccone
Curtis Deloye
Ralph Orme

,,c) 1985 by The Detroit Jewish News (US PS 275-520)
Second Class postage paid at Southfield, Michigan and additional mailing offices.
Subscriptions: 1 year - $21 — 2 years - $39 — Out of State - $23 — Foreign - $35



A Crucial Difference

Some final thoughts, post-Bitburg.
For all of his well-turned phrases in speeches at Bergen-Belsen and the
Bitburg Air Force Base last Sunday, for all of his pledges never to forget,
President Reagan never came to grips with the basic point that infuriated so
many Jewish and non-Jewish Americans: that there is a very real difference
etween the victims and the victimizers, between the murdered and the
The President "toughed it out" by making good on his promise to visit the
Bitburg cemetery, but he was wrong in doing so. Elie Wiesel's gentle advice,
unheeded, may have been unwise politically but it was morally correct: "That
place, Mr. President, is not your place. Your place is with the victims of the
And for all the talk of the 47 SS men buried at Bitburg, let it not be
forgotten that it was not only the SS who murdered Jews but German soldiers
as well who went out of their way to slaughter Jewish men, women and
The Bitburg episode was a needless and painful one, but let us move
forward now, ever vigilant to recall the facts of history, however painful, but
equally prepared to seek out new paths toward peace and reconciliation.

Priority For Schools

An invitation to the community headlined "Let us celebrate 65 years of
accomplishments together," emphasizes anew the obligation to provide
priorities for learning while living up to the obligations of assuring a
mutuality of interest by the generations.
The 65th anniversary of the United Hebrew Schools, to be observed
towards the end of this month, renews the appeals that are often made during
fundraising and which should be on the calendar of Jewish interests at all
Drastic changes have occurred since the school systems were coordinated
here on a major scale. The day school movement has taken root while the
five-day-a-week program has been drastically reduced.
Nevertheless, the central theme in educational tasks remains
paramount under the Torah slogan: "Thou shalt teach them diligently unto
thy children" (Deut. 6:7).
In no other fashion can the Jewish kehillah claim to have elevated
Jewish standards of functioning spiritually and culturally as anAm Ehad, as
a united people.
Unless the children are provided with the knowledge so vital to an
understanding of needs and obiligations to peoplehood, there will be greater
danger from indifference and ignorance than from all the menacing outside
elements that may arise to threaten Jewish existence.
The United Hebrew Schools have a cherished record for notable
achievements. Many of the community functionaries attained their
introduction to Jewish traditional identifications in the communal schools.
The anniversary now being observed is a time to remember as well as to
rededicate the community to the programs so vital to self-respect and to the
dignity of respecting history and traditions.
The United Hebrew Schools earn the salutes of the community and the
system's leadership has widest congratulations intermingled with wishes for
ever-greater success.


Constitutional Convention:
Opening Pandora's Box


Special to The Jewish News

The Jewish Community Council
of Metropolitan Detroit would like to
express serious concern regarding
some of the resolutions being consid-
ered by the Michigan House of Repre-
sentatives Appropriations Committee.
I refer particularly to . . . petitioning
the United States Congress to call a
convention for the purpose of amend-
ing the U.S. Constitution to balance
the budget.
The dangers of a Con-Con are
Well-known to many, and I do not wish
to repeat the testimony already given.
It must be pointed out, however, that
the Jewish community in this state,
and throughout the United States, has
a particular stake in the problems
posed by this untested and dangerous
procedure for amending the Constitu-
The Jewish community in
America has a long history of speaking
out when the Constitution is at risk.
As a minority in this country, we have
needed and appreciated the civil liber-
ties and protection of minority rights
that are woven throughout the fabric
of the Constitution. We are concerned
that the political climate in America
at present is fraught with danger, as
far as those minority rights and liber-
ties are concerned.
A Constitutional Convention at
this time could prove to be an irresist-
able temptation to those special-
interest groups which seek to under-
mine that document — which, for
example, seek to transform the sup-
reme law of the land into a license for
the majority religion to dominate and
suppress that of the minority.
Although the stated purpose of a
Con-Con is to balance the Federal

Fred Goldenberg is associate chairperson of the
Jewish Community Council's Community
Relations Committee. He delivered these
remarks before the Michigan House
Appropriations Committee.

budget, and no other purpose, there
can be no guarantee that the budget
would be the only item discussed.
At the only other Constitutional
Convention in our nation's history,
held in 1787, every legal restraint de-
signed to limit the Convention's power
and agenda was broken. Despite
specific instructions from Congress to
confine itself to amending the Articles
of Confederation, the Convention dis-

"A second Con-Con .. .

could easily have a severe
adverse impact on the
interests of the Jewish
community . ."

carded the Articles and wrote our pre-
sent Constitution. It is not beyond the
realm of possibility that items would
be considered at a second Con-Con
which could easily have a severe ad-
verse impact - on the interests of the
Jewish community and other minority
religions, all based on a call in the
name of balancing the budget.
The protection of minority rights
has been an established tenet of the
Constitution for 200 years. The princi-
ple of protection of those minorities is
as valid and necessary now as it was
then. We cannot afford to risk altering
the fundamental object and structure
of our form of government for the sake
of economic relief that may be illusory.
We are also concerned that any
budget-balancing resolution which
emerges from this committee could
reach the floor only to be amended to
include a call to a Con-Con.
The risks inherent in such a radi-
cal procedure far outweigh any bene-
fits which it may promise.

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