100%

Scanned image of the page. Keyboard directions: use + to zoom in, - to zoom out, arrow keys to pan inside the viewer.

Page Options

Share

Something wrong?

Something wrong with this page? Report problem.

Rights / Permissions

The University of Michigan Library provides access to these materials for educational and research purposes. These materials may be under copyright. If you decide to use any of these materials, you are responsible for making your own legal assessment and securing any necessary permission. If you have questions about the collection, please contact the Bentley Historical Library at bentley.ref@umich.edu

December 13, 1985 - Image 46

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1985-12-13

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

IIIIIIIII-- 46 Friday, December 13, 1985

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

LIFE IN ISRAEL

Japanese Newcomer
Transplants Bonsai

KARATE

EXERCISE

.IA
PHOTOGRAPHY

Through December '85

Give a year long
Chanukah gift —

A JCC Youth
Membership is now
only $75. 0

(half off regular price of $150.00)

Grades 6 thru 12

Applicable to New Members Only
Maple/Drake Branch 6600 West Maple Road
West Bloomfield

DANCING

FOR MORE INFORMATION CALL 661-1000, x 166.

JAZZ

BALLET

FRIENDS

BE A WINNER, PLAY

NE CLASSIFIEDS

Call The Jewish News
Today

354-6060

The Cultural Commission of Congregation Shaarey Zedek

cordially invites you to a

A GALA CHANUKAH CONCERT

SUNDAY EVENING, DECEMBER 15, 1985 at 7:30 P.M.

A Chanukah Pageant will be presented

"LET THERE BE LIGHT"

featuring

THE SHAAREY ZEDEK SYNAGOGUE CHOIR
directed by Eugene Zweig

THE SYNAGOGUE YOUTH CHOIR
directed by Robin Beth Schakne

RABBI IRWIN GRONER
CANTOR CHAIM NAJMAN

and an instrumental ensemble
Carole Lasser, pianist

SPONSORED BY THE LAKER FAMILY

zim

8 n Refreshments will be served following the Concert

FREE ADMISSION
Bring the entire family to this festive Chanukah celebration

BY CARL ALPERT
Special to The Jewish News

Haifa — Tomoko Nakumura
was born in Nagasaki ten years
after the atomic bomb was drop-
ped on that city. Naturally, her
life was influenced by that ter-
rible tragedy, which some have
referred to as the Japanese
equivalent of the Holocaust.
She came from a good Buddh-
ist home. Her father was an
engineer. Tomoko had heard of
Jews, but had never seen one.
Indeed, her first Jew was a
young sabra by the name of
Amnon Josting, who had gone to
Japan to study judo and karate
and remained there for three
years. He taught Hebrew and
Bible to members of the pro-
Israel Makoya sect.
The petite, smiling Japanese
girl was attracted to the dash-
ing, impetuous and handsome
Israeli, and the feelings were
mutual. When she told her par-
ents that the two wished to get
married, her parents were
shocked. It was not because
Amnon was Jewish — Jewish or
Christian was all the same to
them. It was because he was not
Japanese. The couple was insis-
tent, and a Buddhist marriage
ceremony took place.
Eight years ago the two came
to Israel and settled on a farm
in the village of Bnai Zion
where Amnon had been raised.
They have reared three chil-
dren, established themselves in
the community, and have set up
what Tomoko says is the biggest
bonsai farm in the world, not
excluding Japan. Their green-
houses of dwarf trees cover sev-
eral acres of land, and the prod-
ucts are exported to many coun-
tries in Europe, where the at-
tractive midget potted trees
have become extremely popular.
Though it was a matter of in-
difference to the free-thinking
Josting, Tomoko decided to fol-
low the example of Ruth the
Moabitess. Her kitchen has been
kashered, and she is now follow-
ing a rigorous course in Judaism
given by a rabbi's wife who lives
in nearby Kfar Saba. The rabbis
have been impressed by her de-
termination and her obvious
sincerity.
The adjustment to Israel was
a cultural shock for her, which
she appears to have overcome
without any great problems. She
has met with kindness, warmth
and understanding on every
hand.
"No hostility, no antagonism,
no unfriendliness?" we inquired.
"None," she replied, "only
curiosity."
Our interview with her was
conducted entirely in Hebrew,
which she spoke freely and
fluently. Of course she went to
an ulpan, but how did she man-
age to pick up the language so
quickly, when other new imrnig-
rants have great difficulty? Very
simple, she explained. Other
newcomers always have some-
one they can speak to in English
or German or Spanish. But who
speaks Japanese in Israel? Of
necessity she acquired profi-
ciency.

She talks Japanese to her
children, Jonathan, Naama and
Mika, so that they may com-
municate with their Saba and
Sabta in Japan, and though the
children understand her, they
usually reply in Hebrew. Her
parents have visited Israel and
were greatly impressed. They
had been under the impression
that they would hear shooting
all the time.
Busily engaged with her hus-
band in administering the bon-
sai nursery, Tomoko has found
her services in demand on an-
other front. Trade and commer-
cial relations between Israel and
Japan are on the verge of a
great expansion, and Israel's

She talks Japanese
to her children, but
they usually reply in
Hebrew.

Ministry of Trade and Industry
has found that the pretty girl
from Bnai Zion is also persona-
ble and intelligent. She makes
an ideal - guide for Japanese
businessmen visiting the coun-
try, and at the same time is able
to advise Israelis on the psy-
chology of how to do business
with her former countrymen.
For example, some Israeli
industrialists have expressed
disappointment that Japanese
businessmen have backed out of
the deals after apparently agree-
ing to the proposed terms. To-
moko patiently explains tha one
must understand the basic po-
liteness of the Japanese. They
will never say "no" if they think
it will hurt the feelings of an-
other. When they nod their
heads, as if in asent, and keep
saying "yes" to proposals, they
mean, "Yes, I have heard you,"
and not "Yes, I agree."
Tomoko has a great deal of
explaining to do, and she has
willing listeners. In the mean-
time, she also offers a transla-
tion service — Japanese-
English-Hebrew.
One thing is certain: she has
no competition. Outside of the
Japahese embassy, there are no
more than a bare handful of
Japanese living in Israel. And
when Tomoko completes her
formal conversion to Judaism
and finds more time to devote to
the culture of the bonsai, the
miniature trees, observers could
well say: "What kind of occupa-
tion is that for a nice Jewish
girl?"

JDC Budget

New York — The American
Jewish Joint Distribution Com-
mittee has adopted a 1986
budget of $51.2 million to aid
Jewish communities in more
than 30 countries around the
world.

Back to Top

© 2020 Regents of the University of Michigan