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October 03, 1986 - Image 16

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1986-10-03

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

CLOSE-UP

E31 (144,1fiE.5,
foz a

East Of Woodward

Continued from preceding page

Y

c:71- 14212„9 cA(Ew- (

ECM

THE GORNBEIN FAMILY
. AND STAFF

Iro

GORNBEINS

Carl and Myra Gornbein
Mark Gornbein • Fay Fries
Norman Gornbein
Arline Allen • Arthur Greenwald • Frankie Fish'
Susan Fox • Lillian DeRoven
Nina Eisenberg • Lane Trubey

357-1056

SUITE 110 — HERITAGE PLAZA
24901 NORTHWESTERN HWY.
SOUTHFIELD

OP

JEWELERS

HOURS: MON.-FRI.:9 a.m.-5 p.m. • SAT.: 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

11



IN
"MN THE
THE BOOK OF YOUR 121FE
BE FRIED WITH HALM
AND HAPPINESS IN A
WORLD BF PEAEE"

The Merchants

Of

Harvard Row

16

Friday, October 3, 1986

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

11 Mile and Lahser

11

and they do have a Christ-
mas tree which, Susan ad-
mits, makes her "uncomfort-
able." But it is a matter of
give and take. "Stuart doesn't
complain about the
menorah."
Despite the family's em-
phasis on Judaism, will the
children be able to unravel,
Chanukah from Christmas?
"I don't know," Susan says
thoughtfully. "I grew up in
Alabama, raised in a Chris-
tian environment ... But I
think I have a good sense of
Judaism.
"It's up to us to instill in
the children the fact that
most of the world isn't Jewish
and that their daddy isn't
Jewish, but that they are,
and to instill in them Jewish
values."
Is one's Jewish identity
washed out by living in a
non-Jewish area, where the
Jewish calendar does not
function and where the
sights, sounds and smells of
Jewish celebrations are not
in the air? Or is it enhanced
through struggle against as-
similation?
Says Susan: "I'm more
Jewish now than when I
lived in a Jewish area, (de-
spite being) married to a
non-Jewish man."
Marilynn Janiak is the
Jewish partner in her inter-
faith marriage. She and her
husband Joseph live in Sterl-
ing Heights. They relate to
others, not as Jew or non-
Jew, but as people — even
within the Troy Jewish Con-
gregation.
"People have just come to
realize that we are people,"
Marilyn says. "We don't have
to have our children stand
out when they sing Christ-
mas carols in school. We're
just part of the community."
Despite the caroling, the
Janiaks' school-age son is
being raised "in the Hebrew
faith," although "he's being
exposed to both" Judaism and
Christianity.
How does Joseph feel about
sharing the Jewish religious
experience with Marilyn: the
holidays, the customs, the
prayers, with the attending
history and mind-set?
Says Marilyn: "In his faith,
everything we believe in, he
believes in."
Says Joseph: "As far as fit-
ting in, I do. A lot of mem-
bers here are my friends. I
don't think of them as being
Jews, I think of them as my
friends. I'm glad to be a part
of it."
The Troy Jewish Congrega-
tion has become, for some
east siders, their anchor in
tradition. Yet most Jews, in
every community, remain
unaffiliated to any Jewish
organization. How do they
hang on to their Jewish ties,
if they choose to do so at all?
Beverly Silver (not her real
name) and her family have
lived in both Troy and
Rochester. Much of their
working and social life re-

IRV WENGROW:
"After Farmington Hills,
where?"

volve around Oakland Uni-
versity.
"I'm not an active member
of the Jewish community, so I
didn't use it as a criterion"
for choosing a community in
which to live," she says. "It
was rather a passive thing."
While admitting that she
would feel more comfortable
in a "slightly Jewish setting,"
she says the university has
quite a few Jews, so "that's
one of the communities I fit
into."
Silver has found a novel
approach to exposing her son
to Jews and Judaism. Syna-
gogues are not for her. She
says she found Troy Jewish
Congregation "a little too
conservative."
"There happened to come
about a small influx of Israeli
families. It's a good group to
have traditions with."
The strong identities of her
several Israeli friends
energize their Jewish holiday
gatherings. Has any of the
enthusiasm and pride rubbed
off on the Silvers' son? Does
he have a strong Jewish
identity as a result of this
exposure?
"I think he feels himself to
be Jewish," she answers. "I
don't know if you'd use the
word 'strong.' " Her son feels
Jewish because his Jewish
friends are Israeli kids, she
says.
She would like to celebrate
her son's bar mitzvah at the
Kotel (Western Wall) in
Jerusalem.
While her Israeli friends
have served as her guide into
Judaism, Silver believes that
she has served as usher for
the Israelis into American
society. Does she find it odd
that she relates better
Jewishly to Israelis, with all
the cultural differences, than
to American Jews?
The question had never oc-
curred to her. "The cultural
differences are mitigated in
part because they are trans-
planted here," she answers
after some deliberation.

Continued on Page 18

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