New friends are enjoyed by Bed Falbaum.
Phyllis Falbaum preparei her luncheon.
pressed mutual respect and
understanding — and that is what
"reaching out" is all about.
Dick told us how his father-in-law
was unable to get a job in Detroit with
his Polish surname — at times he was
forced to give a different name. I could
identify with that as a Jew but cer-
tainly had not given much thought to
the discrimination suffered by Poles.
We discussed and expressed regret
at how integration did not work in
Detroit; how neighborhoods changed;
and how the inability of the communi-
ty to support inner-city churches
deprived Poles and Catholics of some
of their heritage.
He grew up on the Near East Side
— Warren and Mt: Elliott — while we
shared similar "changing neighbor-
hood experiences" in the 12th Street-
Dexter eras. Dick, more than once, ex-
pressed admiration for the emphasis
among Jews on "roots and tradition."
We discussed the recent television
show, Hamtramck, and how embar-
rassed Phyllis and I were by its
tastelessness and lack of sensitivity.
The Bratkowskis asked if Jews
and Arabs will ever live in peace in
Israel. We talked about the Holocaust
— how it could happen again — and
the Holocaust Memorial Center not
far from our West Bloomfield home.
And we discussed a variety of
family issues. These included the uni-
que feeling of parents having to give
way to personal discussions between
our children and those they marry or
are planning to marry. The
BratkoWskis said they did not want to
let go anymore than we did.
The Bratkowskis and the
Falbaums expressed chagrin at the
loss of values in today's children and
Most important, we discussed all
these issues with surprising candor —
particularly given that this was our
first meeting. I believe both parties
came away with a better understan-
ding of the other. And that was the
The Bratkowskis called us a cou-
ple of days later, and expressed ap-
preciation for the opportunity to
reach out. "This was the only way to
really interact and create better
understanding;' they said.
Mike Winkelman and his wife,
Betsy, another Jewish family which
participated in the Council program,
also called to indicate what a "plea-
sant and fruitful" experience they
had with a Mexican family.
We will have another opportuni-
ty to develop this beginning next
Thursday when we will go with the
Bratkowskis to Orchestra Hall for an
evening of ethnic entertainment
planned by the Jewish Community
Council. This is also part of the
Council's 50th anniversary celebra-
tion and will feature Jewish, Arabic,
Spanish, Polish and Black
If only the Jewish Community
Council could make it a requirement
that periodically Jewish families
must welcome "strangers" into their
homes. And if others — Catholics, Pro-
testants, Black, Spanish, etc. — would
follow, suit, perhaps we would get
somewhere in inter-group relations.
Phyllis and I must thank the
Bratkowskis for expanding our
horizons. We will not wait for
someone to plan the next program for
Thursday's T30 p.m. concert at (Polish), the Nadeen Dlaikan Band
Orchestra Hall is part of a year- (Arabic), the Hartford Memorial
long series of events in honor of the Baptist Church Choir (Black), and
50th anniversary of the Jewish folk singer/comedian Ron Coden
Community Council of Metro- (Jewish). Master of ceremonies for
the event is David Hermelin, co-
Earlier this year, Council chairman of the Jewish Welfare
hosted representatives of Detroit's Federation's Allied Jewish
ethnic communities at United Campaign.
The program will feature the
Hebrew Schools. Nearly 100
families were hosted by Jewish premiere of an audio-visual presen-
families on Sept. 20, and 1,000 per- tation on the philosophy and
sons are expected at Thursday's history of the Council. Opening
concert, which is open to the public remarks will be made by Council
free of charge. Reservations are president Leon S. Cohan and Coun-
cil executive director Alvin L.
Performers will include the Kushner.
For free ticket reservations, call
dance troupes Maria del Carmen '
Grupo Espana (Hispanic), and the the Jewish Community Council,
Wisla Song and Dance Ensemble 962-1880.
THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS 25