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February 13, 1987 - Image 33

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1987-02-13

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

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Dr. David Gordis

be prescriptively or predicta-
bly ideological."
At that same CJF session,
Michael Pelavin disagreed
with Gordis only in tone, not in
substance. He called pluralism
and diversity within the
Jewish community "essential
to creative continuity," and he
cited NJCRAC as a "voluntary
joint process which channels
diversity into a joint process."
Pelavin recalled disputes
within the American Jewish
community over the formation
of Israel. Those differences led
to the Jewish Labor Commit-
tee and the American Jewish
Committee walking out of
NJCRAC's forerunner, the
American Jewish Conference,
when it was formed in 1943.
The two groups opposed the
call for the formation of a
Jewish commonwealth in
Palestine. "But time, respect,
and talking eventually led to a
consensus," Pelavin said.
Major issues which have di-
vided American Jewish organ-
izations in recent years have
included Gush Emunim set-
tlements in the West Bank, the
1963 debate over activist vs.
quiet diplomacy for Soviet
Jewry, and the donnybrook ten
years ago over whether Soviet
Jews allowed to leave Russia
should be forced to go to Israel
rather than to the West. De-
bate on this last issue was so
heated that it had to be re-
moved from the Council of
Jewish Federation's agenda.
"In this case," Pelavin said,
"polarization of the community
was more dangerous than the
problem."
An historic battle in the
1940s and '50s between
NJCRAC constituents led to
the withdrawal of the Anti-
Defamation League for 13
years. ADL opposed a report
which called for consolidation
of the major Jewish "defense"
agencies: ADL, the American
Jewish Committee and Ameri-
can Jewish Congress. Pelavin's
father, Morris, publicly chas-
tized the ADL in a series of

Continued on next page

MATTHEW C. HOFFMANN

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