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June 05, 1987 - Image 12

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1987-06-05

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

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Family Run Pharmacy.

UP FRONT

.33 Y 40 14ID.

I •

WALDRAKE'
PH ARMACY:

I $2.00

Ethiopian Rabbi

Continued from Page 5

KEN JACOBS, R.Ph.

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12

Friday, June 5, 1987

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

T.U.A. 18,755

back to his home and joins
his family.
"We try always to explain
to (Ethiopian ohm) how the
rabbinical law was developed.
We try to make them under-
stand."
Many Ethiopians may
understand, but reject the Is-
raeli rabbinate's questioning
of their Judaism. The rabbi-
nate holds that many Ethio-
pians may have been incor-
rectly converted to Judaism
during the centuries of the
community's separation, and
requires the olim to be im-
mersed in a mikveh, or ritual
bath, to insure their Jewish-
ness.
"The Ethiopians say, 'We
always were Jews. We were
killed and persecuted because
we were Jews.' So there is a
certain conflict because of

Rabbi Hadane admitted
that many Ethiopians at first
viewed him with suspicion,
since he is a member of the
Orthodox establishment
which questions their
Jewishness. But, like in most
matters he discussed concern-
ing the Ethiopians in Israel,
he said that tensions are eas-
ing.
A slightly built man, the
rabbi spoke with exuberance
to an audience which in-
cluded the. German and Mex-
ican consuls and representa-
tives of Detroit's black and
Mexican communities. The
absorption process is nearly
over for most Ethiopian ohm,
he said, and veteran Israelis

Rabbi Yosefe Hadane:
Explaining to ohm.
have become used to the
black Jews in their midst. "It
is too early to say everything
is OK. But I see they are in a
good way."
The children are studying
in Israel's state-run religious
school system and seem to
have an unquenchable desire
to learn. "The children learn
so fast, it is unbelievable," he
exclaimed.
It is a far cry from the con-
ditions they left in Africa.
"When they escaped from
Ethiopia, they took just food,
water and money," he ex-
plained. "They had to cross
deserts, jungles. They had to
walk for a number of weeks.
Many people died in refugee
camps in Sudan. They waited
twoyears, three years to go to
Israel."

`Special Games'

Continued from Page 5

"who, because of their han-
dicap, do not get to participate
in organized athletic events,
and we're gonna let them par-
ticipate in one and give them
all that joy, and all that fun and
all that thrill of participating."
While the games are similar
to the Special Olympics, Center
Program Director Marty Oliff
pointed out what he called an
important difference. "The
thing that makes these games
unique is that the Special
Olympics movement today, for-
tunately or unfortunately, has
become very specialized, in that
the athletes that participate in
the Special Olympics move-
ment are the higher level that
they're going to find . . . and
we're priding ourselves on offer-
ing activities for the very, very
low functioning."
Leanie Gunsberg, director of
the Center's programs for the
developmentally disabled, adds,
"What we're trying to stress is
that winning isn't everything."
'lb that end, all competitors will
receive a medal for par-
ticipating. "It's important to
note that we're not focusing on

the disability, but rather the
ability," says Gunsberg.
None of the Center or hall of
fame organizers are aware of
any similar Jewish program.
"That was part of the en-
thusiasm here," says Grossman,
"nobody had ever tried it ...
and what a neat thing it would
be that, not only were we doing
this here, but possibly opening
up something that would
spread nationwide."
While the specific idea for the
games had its genesis at a hall
of fame board meeting, Center
Executive Director Morton
Plotnick points out that the
games are not the result of one
single idea, but are an exten- .
sion of the relationship between
the hall of fame and the JCC,
as well as an extension of the
center's long-time involvement
with programs which provide
for Jewish developmentally
disabled children, teenagers,
adults and senior adults. Those
programs currently serve some
150 mentally and physically
impaired individuals each
week. The Special Games, says
Plotnick, "is an idea that has

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