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July 04, 1986 - Image 9

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1986-07-04

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

We're going
to help you
look terrific.

CAMPUS

:

/LIENS SHOP

"About 75 percent of men and 9
percent of women have served full
time missions for the LDS (Mor-
mon) Church. About 98 percent of
students are members of the LDS
Church."
"In other words," Dann says,
"Most Brigham Young students
are missionaries." Are these the
same students who will fill the
- study center on the Mount of
Olives?
"I just have questions," Dann
says simply. "But if they have
stopped (proselytizing) why did
we find this training manual?"
The Missionary Training Man-
(-- ual was found, according to Dann,
at the Mormon study center at
Kibbutz Ramat Rahel, near
Jerusalem, in 1984. The manual's
"Religious Survey of Jewish
People" says that, "Many Jewish
people know very little about
their own identity" and "surpris-
ingly little about their own his-
tory."
A further paragraph spells out
the Mormons' target groups: "The
greatest missionary success will
be among the Reform Jews and
among the religiously inactive,
specifically under the age of 40."
"If I'm wrong about the Mor-
mons, show me I'm wrong," says
Dann. "All we're asking for is
some answers, and all we get is
silence."
Dann, 47, made aliyah
rated to Israel) three years ago.
"We want to convince the Mor-
mons that this is the wrong place
for them. Everything about this is
wrong. If their real interest is in
good relations with the Jewish
People, then they have to learn to
appreciate how we feel about
things."
Anger over the study center is
being translated into action. A
mitzpe, or lookout post, has been
established in a building on the
Mount of Olives by yeshivah stu-
dents associated with Am Yisrael
Chai. According to the Jerusalem
- Post, the land on which the mitzpe
is located was purchased before
the Mormon controversy erupted.
According to Dann, the students
there will "keep an eye" on the
study center.
Dann argues that the problems
of cults and missionaries in Israel
shouldn't be dismissed. "There
are 10,000 Jews who have drop-
ped out of Judaism," he main-
tains. "Israel is now a prime
target for every cult in the world."
Wouldn't energy be better spent
on strengthening the Jewish
identity of young Jews, rather
than fighting battles against the
Mormons?
"Ninety-nine percent of our ef-
forts should be positive, creative,"
Dann agrees. "Judaism is very
strong, very irresistible if pre-
sented in the right way. But it also
may help us to say, 'This is where
we stand.' You have to explain the
differences between Judaism and
`Th Christianity and all those other
groups.
"In a way, it's like dealing with
Amalek," Dann continues, refer-
ring to the biblical adversary of
the Jews. "Why is he so hated in
Jewish literature? - Like all these
groups, he mainly attacked the
weakest in their connection with
Judaism.

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