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January 30, 1987 - Image 39

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1987-01-30

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Moslem, Jewish and
Christian festivals are

Wayne State University, city of High-
land Park, Mayor Coleman Young,
Gov. James Blanchard, Michigan
Academy of Arts and Science and was
cited last year as "art teacher of the
year in higher education." In addition,
she designed the International Insti-
tute's logo.
What Mrs. Miles has done is to
compile all of the loaned and
personally-collected materials in such
a way as to 'preserve the mosaic of
cultures" — Jewish, Moslem and
Christian — in the display. A former
Highland Park Community College
teacher for 43 years and volunteer folk
art curator at the Institute for more
than 25 years, Mrs. Miles spent about
six months preparing the display cases
for their Sunday debut.
The first case in the series is an
overview of the three cultures which
point to Jerusalem as the seat of their
origins. In the second case, Mrs. Miles
shows a time line, giving a brief look at
historical events in each of the three
cultures. Pictures of artifacts from ar-
cheological digs illustrate these
A "replication" of the zodiac
mosaic found at the Beth Alpha
Synagogue in Israel, which she recon-
structed out of cut paper and
cardboard, depicts the signs of the
zodiac in a circle and the four seasons
of the year in the corners. This part of
the exhibit is the prelude to the discus-
sion of the festivals. "You can't under-
stand the festivals unless you know
the calendar," she advised.
Festivals celebrated by the three
major religions are the focus of the
next case. With figurines, replicas,
candles and actual ritual items, Mrs.
Miles created a multi-level display,
through which, she said, she "demys-
tified" the celebrations.
The next display in the series
points to the parallels among the three

Cyril Miles points out a detail
about Israel's ethnic diversity.

Religious parallels are the
focus of this case.

Artworks are featured in this
part of the exhibit.

religions. But, adds Mrs. Miles, more
importantly it shows that there al-
ways was a Jewish presence in Israel.
The series concludes with exam-
ples of artworks created by the three
cultural groups. Among the items in
the case are an Agam poster, hand
amulets and medals.
There are two versions of how the
institute came to host this celebration
of Israel. Mary Ball, executive director
of the institute said that she had called
her friend, Jewish Community Coun-
cil President Leon Cohan, with a
suggestion that the council and the in-
stitute work on a joint project. Accord-
ing to Mrs. Miles, Mrs. Barnett from
the DZF and Ruth Redstone, a local art
collector, had approached Ms. Ball
about having an Israeli exhibit. But,
Ball added, the institute decided to
host the exhibit as part of its standing
purpose: to educate metropolitan De-
troit "about the beauty of all ethnic
To kick off the Israel Ethnic
Enrichment Experience, the institute,
with the help of the Israel Aliyah Cen-
ter, has planned an Israeli Ethnic
Sunday. Beginning at 3 p.m. Sunday,
there will be a two-hour program
which will include a short film on Is-
rael, performances by the Hora Aviv
Israeli folk dance troupe and
folksinger Judy Goldstein. The guest
speaker for the afternoon will be
Michael Kerem, of the Israel Consu-
late in Chicago. There is an admission
fee. For ticket information, call the In-
ternational Institute, 871-8600.
The Jewish Community Center in
West Bloomfield will present a lecture
series on Israel to be held at the Center
in conjunction with the Israel EEE
How does Mrs. Miles feel as her
project nears the completion? "I've
been privileged to work on it. I learned
a lot." ❑


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