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February 20, 1987 - Image 27

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1987-02-20

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

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met him far from Hillel: wait-
ing on him in some Ann Arbor
shop or restaurant, or taking
him up on a standing racquet-
ball challenge.
These are students — Jews
who never thought they'd be
anywhere near Hillel — whose
participation speaks most
eloquently for Brooks' vision.
Jonathon Shaevitz, for
example, was a junior when he
met Brooks in a flower shop.
He had been to Hillel once in
almost three years: for a
Passover Seder his freshman
year. He and roommate Jamie
Gold — both from what they
call "Jewish community-
oriented, not religious, back-
grounds" — befriended Brooks
as the latter was working out
the idea for the Hill Street
Forum. Shaevitz and Gold —
one an organizer, the other an
economics major looking for
business practice — became,
respectively, director and head
of finance of the Hill Street
Forum.
"I have a lot of contradictory
and ambivalent feelings about
Judaism, and it's nice to have
someone like Michael who's
accepting of that," says
Shaevitz. "Being involved in
the Jewish community —
that's what my motivation was
for going back into Hillel. I
knew it wasn't having to go
back to the religious part of it,
although you can't completely
separate them. This year I
went to High Holiday services
on my initiative."
Shaevitz, a senior majoring
in psychology, now plans to
continue working in Jewish
community affairs, and is seek-
ing a job with another Hillel
organization next year, build-
ing on the experience he has
gotten at Hill Street Forum.
"I'd like to work on making a
Hillel a little more eclectic —
to continue with the non-
Jewish series.
"When you talk to people
who know what Hillel is, it's
got such a wonderful reputa-
tion in this community. It pro-
vides one of the bases for
Jewish cultural and religious
exchange. Many non-Jews are
aware of what goes on there;
they know about Consider, Hill
Street Players, Hill Street
Cinema, Yakov Smirnoff . . ."
Adds Gold, "I went in (to Hill
Street Forum) with the atti-
tude that it would be somewhat
narrow as far as the social as-
pects were concerned, and I've
been pleasantly surprised.
People join Hill Street Forum
for different reasons: Some do
it because it's a neat idea; some
do it because it's Hillel. I
wanted to get into it when I
heard about Vonnegut. Before
this, I had gone to movies at
Hillel, and had dinner there
once."
Yet others question the
value of attracting huge num-
bers of people to Hillel for
movies or Kurt Vonnegut.

Continued on next page

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