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October 09, 1987 - Image 109

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1987-10-09

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

Babies
Don't Thrive
in
Smoke-filled
Wombs

learn. I took Hebrew and I am
returning to my roots." She
also attends classes held by
Rabbi Goldberg at Young
Israel of Southfield.
Sybil Glaser has been corn-
ing to the group for over a
year and disagrees with Stein
on the reason for its healthy
attendance. "I like to learn. I
took Hebrew and I am retur-
ning to my roots." She also at-
tends classes held by Rabbi
Goldberg at Young Israel of
Southfield.
Rabbi Goldberg says that
such personal transforma-
tions are not uncommon as a
result of involvement. "I
know of several individuals
who were very positively in-
fluenced by the group to
return to the ways of Jewish
life." That, he says, is the best
outcome of the chavurah
experience.
Kruger was already "obser-
vant when most of my friends
weren't," adding, "But I
detected a thirst for some
knowledge!' Now remarried,
he feels strongly that the
message of staying close to
one's Jewish identity is a
crucial survival issue. "Every
time we lose somebody, it
costs and it hurts. Judaism
has a lot to offer the world!'
"The group has had an im-
pact on the singles communi-
ty," he states. "Sometimes
there's a certain pressure in
those (socially-oriented
singles event) circumtances.
We've added a mental aspect!'
Kruger said he feels that the
group is not so much
"preaching for conversions"
as providing "a spiritual infu-
sion" for those who attend.
"Rabbi Goldberg seems to at-
tract the interest of people
from all walks of Jewish life,"
he concludes.
The profile of the group is
surprisingly ecumenical, con-
sidering that its spiritual
leader is Orthodox. Members
come from all strains of
Judaism and range in age
from their late 20s to their
60s, with the average member
divorced and in the 35-45
range. Several who have con-
verted to Judaism are in its
ranks. It makes for a par-
ticularly unique group.
The group is supported
financially by an anonymous
donor, and thus charges no
admission. Hosts and
hostesses provide light
refreshments for a brief social
time after the rabbi's talk.
The party atmosphere that
takes hold is neither stilted
nor pressured, and members
slowly trickle out as the even-
ing gets late.
"How many of those people
have ever sat down and had
an informal talk with a rab-
bi?" asks Kruger, "People feel

alienated." That opportunity
is what makes the chavurah
group so unique, certainly to
the Detroit area, but perhaps
to the entire country as well.
"We didn't want to institu-
tionalize it," he remembers,
"And that's why we didn't
want to have meetings at a
public place. We wanted a
more intimate setting."
Broder, who works as a
facilitator in the National
Council of Jewish Women's
SPACE program, has observ-
ed the group's growth and
finds it symbolic of a spiritual
shift in the community. "I'm
not sure that ten years ago,
you could have gathered
40-50 people to come study
with an Orthodox rabbi." In
parallel to the group's success,
"Incredibly, I'm hearing more
and more Jewish people say
that they want to marry
Jewish people."
Perhaps the group's only
problem is its size. Already,
finding homes to accom-
modate such numbers has
become a challenge. But Rab-
bi Goldberg is not displeased:
"I'm very happy with the way
things are now. If it got to
over 50 members, the group
might not be the same. But
people walk away happy. We
have a very high rate of
return."



Fellowships
Are Offered

U.S. Representative Sander
Levin of Southfield has an-
nounced the availability of
fellowship placement through
the President's Commission
on White House Fellowships.
The program is open to all
U.S. citizens with the excep-
tion of federal government
employees. Leadership, in-
tellectual and professional
ability, and commitment to
public service are the criteria
used in the selection process.
Application materials must
be submitted no later than
Dec. 1 for placement in the
1988-1989 program. For infor-
mation and application forms,
write to: President's Commis-
sion on White House
Fellowships, 712 Jackson
Place N:W., Washington, D.C.
20503, (202)395-4522.

Mystery Trip
For Singles •

Community Network for
Jewish Singles (25-45) will
present an afternoon mystery
trip including canoeing and
lunch with Carol Fink on
Sunday, meeting at 9:30 a.m.
at the main Jewish Com-
munity Center for carpools to
Heavner's.

YOUR DATELIN

851-0909

When you're not looking, we are!

• a selective referral dating service

JEWISH SINGLES

What have you got to lose?
Come talk to us,

When You're
Pregnant,
Don't Smoke!

LO-LA

The Dating Program
Call 356-0949

Clair Arm
Mildred Rosenbaum

PA. Box 254
Lathrup Village, MI 48076

THIS SPACE CONTRIBUTED BY THE PUBLISHER

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THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

II

107

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