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May 31, 1985 - Image 34

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1985-05-31

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Friday, May 31, 1985



Americans Go To Israel
To Help With IDS Duties


Special orders allow 2 weeks delivery.

The Public is Invited
to a Free Public Lecture
in Celebration of the
60th Anniversary of the
Jewish Family Service
and to hear



Noted Writer and Chronicler of the History of Jews in
America. Author of: The Rest of Us, Our Crowd, The Grandees,
The .Auerbach Will, Real Lace, Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy
Onassis, Certain People, Life at the Dakota, California Rich,
and The Grandes Dames,

speak on
"A Non-Jew Looks at the Jewish Family — Past, Present,
and Future."





MONDAY EVENING, JUNE 12, 1985, 7:45 P.M.

5075 West Maple Road, West Bloomfield

Special Showing: Audio-Visual Presentation of
"The Human Side of Family Service."

Ashkelon (JTA) — Most of the
Israeli soldiers watch with admi-
ration and in bewilderment as
American volunteers eagerly
tend to their assigned tasks at an
army camp. Some soldierS are in-
quisitive and amicable about
them sharing their workload and
space, while others appear wary
and suspicious as to why anyone
would waste time doing menial
Menial or not, the volunteers'
eagerness for work revitalizes the
soldiers' spirits during the day-
to-day routine to which they are
Volunteers for Israel, which
started in 1982, was originally de-
signed to alleviate the personnel
shortages during the Lebanon
war by working in emergency
warehouses and on agricultural
. Because of Israel's involvement
in Lebanon, the burden on Israel's
reservists had become almost un-
bearable; therefore, now each
volunteer replaces a reserve
soldier, enabling that solider to
remain home, relieving him or
her of reserve duty and thus sav-
ing his/her National Insurance
payment for reserve service.
Every day of service that a volun-
teer can do makes it possible for
an Israeli to serve a day less. A
thousand volunteers for 30 days
shortens the reserve duty of each/
1,000 soldiers by a month.
The essential element of the
program is for the soldiers to
realize that world support and
encouragement exists in their on-
going battle for a peaceful coexis-
tence in the Middle East. The pro-
gram, as of now, is only offered in
the United States and France,
with future plans underway to in-
clude other countries. It has al-
ready brought some 3,000 volun-
teers to Israel.
The volunteer groups average
25 per group, consisting of men
and women, students and senior
citizens. They travel to Israel un-
aware of their final destination,
which could be at any army base
situated throughout the country,
from the Golan to the Negev.
The volunteers spend • three to
four weeks working at odd jobs
such as screwing nuts, bolts and
washers onto the sides of tanks;
cleaning engines; sorting uni-
forms; washing dishes; painting
signs; cutting grass and trimming
trees and hedges. They work a full
day, like the soldier, from 8 a.m. to
5 p.m.
The work is tedious, however
the days pass quickly due to the
novelty of donning an army uni-
form and boots; perhaps being
covered to the elbow with thick
yellow grease; and always chat-
ting with a soldier or fellow volun-
teer on the job and off at coffee
breaks which seem to come every
10 minutes.
The volunteer seldom has a free
moment. The weeks are tightly
scheduled to include Hebrew
classes; guest speakers lecturing
on Israel's economy, politics and
life in general; and day trips to
Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and the
Museum of the Diaspora. The
workload is always shared with at
least one other volunteer, while a

host of shy soldiers stand close by
ready to assit and chat.
Eventually, a close comrade-
ship develops between the soldier
and volunteer, and among the
volunteers themselves. Volun-
teering creates a special bond
with those involved — a bond
based on common concern for a
cause and giving to that cause
freely and openly.
Volunteers For Israel staffs re-
cruiting officers in 40 locations
across the U.S. working with a
minimal budget on a voluntary
basis. Operating the offices is fi-
nanced by the $25 registration fee

Volunteers for Israel,
founded in 1982,
sends groups of
Americans to help
alleviate personnel
shortages in the
Israeli armed forces.

Which every volunteer is obli-
gated to pay.
The only major expenses is air
fare ranging from $500-$600. The
Defense Ministry allocates a
small budget, which in the past
was used for subsidizing the air
fares of the. volunteers. This
money has run out, however, but
El Al grants substantial re-
ductions. The reduced airplane
tickets for participants are good
for two months. Clothing, housing
and food costs are provided by the
Israeli army.

Benefit Ban?

New York — The American
Jewish Congress is mobilizing
support for a Congressional bill
that would prohibit the payment
of Social Security benefits to indi-
viduals deported from the United
States for past Nazi activities.


Harold Hecht

Los Angeles — Film producer
Harold Hecht, who joined actor
Burt Lancaster in one of the first
independent movie production
companies, died May 25 at age 77.

Julian Olevsky

Boston — Violinist Julian
Olevsky died May 25 at age 59.
Mr. Olevsky was professor of vio-
lin and artist in residence at the
University of Massachusetts in
Amherst, Mass.

Robert Nathan

Los Angeles — Robert Nathan,
author of more than 50 books of
poetry and prose, died May 25 at
age 91.


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