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June 20, 1986 - Image 41

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1986-06-20

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

pd.

ERADICO PEST CONTROL

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INVITES YOU TO SING
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mits to being actively involved in
the cultural aspects of the com-
munity, and less with his co-
religionists. He said he has a
"remote identification with a
synagogue," but is not very
active'. "Conductors are kind of
loners," he said.
Gross calls conducting a very
competitive business. When he's
not at the podium of the West
Shore Symphony, he is making
guest appearances. This summer
he will be in Copenhagen, De-
nmark, for two weeks in an in-

ternational event called the
Malko Competition.

Now that he's received na-
tional recognition from his peers,
Gross isn't just going to rest on
his laurels, so to speak. "There's
still room for improvement," he
admits.
In the programs bearing the
names of the great conductors —
Toscanini, Maazel, Bernstein,
Mehta and Ozawa — someday,
too, one may find the name of
Murray Gross.

Under Gross' Baton

Here are some facts about the
West Shore Symphony Or-
chestra, conducted by Murray
Gross:
The symphony was founded in
1940. Gross signed on as its con-
ductor for the 1982-1983 season,
when he was 26.
The orchestra performs at the
Frauenthal Theater in Muske-
gon, which, Gross says, resembles
Detroit's Orchestra Hall. The
theater seats 1,800.
He calls the orchestra small —
a regular compliment of musi-
cians numbers 75-80, but it de-
pends on the score being per-
formed.

The symphony draws its
players from Michigan's western
shore — Grand Rapids, Grand
Haven, Holland and Ludington.
Among the special programs
are subsidized lessons for or-
chestra players and a lending "li-
brary" of violas and violins for
needy school children.

The chamber orchestra joins
Muskegon's art institute for lec-
tures showing the interrelation-
ship between art and music for a
particular period. So far, the two
have done a program on the Im-
pressionist period. This year's
focus is Vienna. 111

Japanese 'Righteous
Gentile' Recognized

New York (JTA) — A recent
issue of Olomeinu (Our
World) — the monthly child-
ren's magazine of Torah
Umesorah (National Society for
Hebrew Day Schools) which is
marking its 40th year of publica-
tion — features an article on
Senpo Sugihara, a Japanese who
saved the lives of 6,000 Jews
during the Holocaust.
Sugihara served as the consul
of Japan in Kovno, Lithuania, in
1939-40. Fluent in Russian, he
was assigned there in March
1939 primarily to observe Soviet
troop movements, according to
the Jewish Western Bulletin of
Vancouver.
.Thousands of Jews fled to
Kovno from Poland when it was
overrun by the Nazis. Among
them were the entire staff and
students of the Mir Yeshiva,
and leading rabbis and students
from other yeshivas as well.
Jews besieged the Japanese
consulate for visas. Sugihara
issued 6,000 such documents
during several weeks in 1940,
despite several orders to stop
doing so and to proceed to his
next assignment in Berlin.
"Sugihara was still stamping
visas and passing them out the
window of his train as it pulled
away from Kovno station,"
wrote Jack Singer in the Jewish
Western Bulletin. The refugees
settled mostly in the Japanese

port city of Kobe — whose small
but organized Jewish communi-
ty set up special houses to
shelter them — and thus sur-
vived the war.
Among the refugees were
Zerah Warhaftig, a former
Israeli Minister for Religious
Affairs, and Menahem Savidor,
a former Speaker of the Knesset.
When Sugihara returned
home after the war, he found
himself ostracized as a traitor
for having disobeyed his war-
time government's orders to
cease issuing visas. Fired from
the diplomatic corps, he worked
as a porter and door-to-door
salesperson; later, he repre-
sented a Japanese trading com-
pany in Moscow. •
In 1968, Sugihara was invited
to Israel by one of the refugees
he had saved, and met there
with others. They arranged a
scholarship for his son, Nobuki,
to attend the Hebrew Universi-
ty. He was the first Japanese to
be honored by Yad Vashim as a
Righteous Gentile.
Sugihara later won recogni-
tion in his own homeland. Last
year, a Japanese television sta-
tion screened an hour-long film
on his war-time activities. A
museum in Kurusa, dedicated to
the memory of the victims of
Hiroshima and Nagasaki and of
Auschwitz, will have a special
wing named for Sugihara.

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