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March 13, 1987 - Image 7

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1987-03-13

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

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The menorah near the Knesset in Jerusalem

Are We One People?

The Centrality Of Israel

The Diaspora Agenda

EZEKIEL LEIKIN

RABBI RICHARD C. HERTZ

ewish Federations from coast to
coast have adopted the Herzlian
slogan We are One." Currently,
the premise of Jewish unity is being in-
creasingly questioned by Jewish leaders
in the U.S. and Israel.
Rabbi Irving Greenberg, in a series
of articles and lectures last year,
dramatized the seemingly irreconcilable
differences existing between the main
branches of American Judaism, which if
allowed to fester, he cautioned, would in
time fragmentize the Jewish community
and sever the bonds that hold it to-
gether. He alluded to parallel manifesta-
tions in Israel, where secular and
ultra-Orthodox elements have clashed
repeatedly in bitter, indeed, violent con-
frontations.
Elie Weisel, in a major speech re-
cently, was equally emphatic about the
danger of polarization within the Jewish
people. In referring to the bitterness
engendered by the Who is a Jew" con-
troversy in Israel, he expressed dismay
at the tendency of "turning politics into
religion and religion into politics." When
questioned about his definition of who is
a Jew, he replied, "To me, a Jew who
links his destiny to the destiny of his
people is a Jew." But he added, as an af-
terthought, "I cannot imagine a Jewish
people without a religious commitment."
There is no doubt that the highly pu-
blicized manifestations of Jewish disun-

any people, Christian and
Jews, think that all Jews care
about is Israel. True, Israel
has brought Jews together from all ele-
ments in the Diaspora. Israel has united
Jews in a way never before achieved.
The coming 40th anniversary of Israel's
founding as a sovereign state will high-
light innumerable testimonials. But —
and this is a big "but" — there is more
to being Jewish than loving Israel.
There are other items on the Jewish
agenda besides Israel.
Case in point. While attending the
recent NJCRAC convention in Ft.
Lauderdale last month, where 500
Jewish leaders of 11 national organiza-
tions and 113 community relations
agencies gathered to discuss the Jewish
agenda, I met and rubbed shoulders
with scores of leaders who care deeply
about Jewish survival.
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Harry
Blackman reminded all of us how essen-
tial it is to safeguard the First Amend-
ment that guarantees freedom of reli-
gion and separation of church and state.
Sen.. Paul Simon (D.-Ill.) underscored
the need for a Federal judiciary of integ-
rity, intellect and independence. Morris
Abram; chairman of the National Con-
ference on Soviet Jewry, noted a new
openness (glasnost) on the part of USSR
leaders that might enable more re-
fuseniks to get to Israel soon. Reform

j



Continued on Page 28

M

Continued on Page 30

IT DOESN'T HAVE TO COST A
FORTUNE ... ONLY LOOK LIKE IT!

CALL LOIS HARON 851 - 6989

As a ZIONIST, you will be asked, in May
1987, to VOTE for delegates to the 31st
World Zionist Congress.
When you receive your ballot be sure to
vote for —

ZOA SLATE #3

Because -
ZOA represents the Mainstream
ZOA Stands for Jewish Unity
ZOA Stands for Democracy &
Religious Pluralism
ZOA Stands for Free Enterprise
and above all .. .
ZOA REPRESENTS 90 YEARS OF OUT-.
STANDING ON BEHALF OF ISRAEL &
WORLD JEWRY.

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41.0P
•1 010

ZIONIST ORGANIZATION OF AMERICA
569-1515

7

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