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November 27, 1987 - Image 7

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1987-11-27

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Staff Writer


hen the 31st World Zionist
Congress opens in Jerusa-
lem on Dec. 6, six Detroiters
will be in attendance, representing a
spectrum of opinion ranging from left
to right and religious to secular. Many
of the issues discussed at previous
congresses will again be dealt with,
say the delegates: issues such as
aliyah, assimilation in the Diaspora
and the conditions of Jews in Iran,
Syria, Ethiopia and the USSR.
Two new factors may influence
the five-day proceedings, according to
the delegates: the tremendous growth
in the Reform and Conservative
movements' electoral strength and
the rift which has developed between
the Diaspora "fund raisers" who con-
trol half of the Jewish Agency and the
Zionists who control the other half
plus the World Zionist Organization.
The fund raisers, led by Agency
Board of Governors Chairman Jerold
Hoffberger, vetoed the nomination of
Akiva Lewinsky as WZO and Agen-
cy chairman. The candidacy of Lewin-
sky — currently WZO and Agency
treasurer — was mooted by a Labor-
led coalition, which included
Hadassah, ARZA (Reform) and Mer-
caz (Conservative), in an attempt to
push the Likud from power in the
According to Frieda Leemon of the
Labor-affiliated Naamat, Lewinsky's
candidacy is still on the table. "He's
the best man for the job. Akiva is a
very fine administrator. I don't know
why Hoffberger doesn't like him!'
Detroiters Leemon and Norman
Naimark of the Labor Zionist
Alliance are two of an American
Labor Zionist delegation of 15.

Naimark said that whoever is finally
elected to the top WZO spot, it will
probably be the result of cloak room
horse trading and will be presented
to the delegates as a fait accompli. "A
position will be struck and the
delegates will be instructed as to how
to vote."
Although the fund raisers have
come a long way toward Zionist iden-
tification, Naimark said, "they have
not come to grips with the issue of
true communication between
Diaspora Jewry and Israel."
While the Agency and the WZO
would do well to "tighten up their
organizational procedure," as the fund
raisers would like, Leemon sees no
Premier Yitzhak Shamir is greeted by Detroit's Mandell Berman.
way the two organizations could be
completely depoliticized. "I don't
know who they would get who doesn't
have a party affiliation." There is
"a chance" that the Labor-Reform-
Conservative coalition will fall apart
at the Congress, said Sidney Silver-
overflowed a Fountainebleau Hilton
man of the Likud-associated Zionist ALAN HITSKY
ballroom to hear Member of the
Organization of America. "Their in- Associate Editor
Knesset Nava Arad of the Labor Par-
terests are not identical!'
MK Dan Meridor of Likud, Rabbi
almy Miami. Balmy breezes,
Silverman, a first-time delegate to
Atlas of the Office of the
although not a lot of sun-
the Congress, will be one of 12 ZOA
Chief Rabbinate of Israel, and Rabbi
representatives. He believes that
Haskel Lookstein, president of the
Likud's Gideon Patt, currently Jews working around the theme of New York Board of Rabbis.
Israel's Minister of Science, stands a "Generation to Generation —
Meridor, in a 15-minute presenta-
good chance of being elected WZO- Building Community and Continuity tion which mirrored the attitude of
Agency chairman. "He would repre-
most Israelis, downplayed the impor-
sent a change from the old stereotype. and a pleasant task, but the pleasant- tance of the Who is a Jew? issue. "It
ness was disturbed last week by an
He has a lot of appeal!'
has become a ritual every six months
If the WZO chairmanship does go age-old question that is threatening to a year to have a Knesset vote"
to Lewinsky, it could lead to separate
which would change the law and, in
Who is a Jew?
leadership in the WZO and the
effect, require Orthodox conversion to
Two special forums at the Coun-
Jewish Agency. "We [the ZOA] are go-
Judaism in order to qualify for Israeli
ing to work to prevent that;' he cil of Jewish Federations General citizenship under the Law of Return.
Assembly in Miami Beach attacked
issue. And predictably, the warm In an almost "flip" speech, Meridor
Oak Park's Steven Goldin of
contended that even if the amend-
Herut (Likud) also believes the Labor- breezes outside were no barometer for ment passed, only a few persons per
Conservative-Reform coalition will be the emotions and-rhetoric inside the year would be affected.
meeting rooms.
Continued on Page 24
Eight hundred CJF delegates Continued on Page 18

Who Is A Jew?' Resounds
At CJF General Assembly



Will Critical
Of U.S Politics

Political commentator and
Newsweek columnist George
Will criticized U.S. politics,
and particularly the
Democratic Party, in a talk at
the Westin Hotel Sunday
Speaking before nearly
2,000 guests at the 73rd an-
nual banquet benefiting the
Beth Yehudah Schools, Will
took a swipe at the Iowa
caucus system, calling it
"America's Albania." He call-
ed Iowa "an insular, danger-
ous place" because, he said,
single-issue groups tend to
dominate such a system.

He was particularly harsh
in comments about the
Democrats. In one such barb,
Will said, "The Democratic
Party no longer is competitive
with the Republican Party,
but it will be when it stops
picking unelectable can-
didates." On former
Democratic Presidential can-
didate Gary Hart, who pulled
out of the race in the midst of
scandal, Will exclaimed:
"Gary Hart is an expert on
how quickly things can
change in America. He was
asked two things, 'your name
and how old are you' and Hart
got them both wrong!"
Will lauded the two-party
system of politics in the U.S.,
calling it "a miracle in a

world of violence and strife."
On the state of the U.S.
budget, Will criticized what
he called wasted resources,
and suggested a one-year
freeze be imposed. "That we
can't balance the budget and
live well is absurd," he added.
He suggested the government
look beyond the country's
short-term needs and start
making plans for the long
He said the country's cur-
rent problems are not of
"material scarcity, but of
political will." He said if the
U.S. wants to solve the pro-
blems "we need better
citizens. To do that is to pay
attention to education."
At the dinner, Marvin

Tamaroff was presented with
the schools' Golden Torah

Israeli Military
Opposes SDI

Tel Aviv (JTA) — Israeli par-
ticipation in the American
Strategic Defense Initiative
(SDI) is likely to result in
losses that will make the
millions squandered on the
abandoned Lavi project seem
like "a drop in the bucket;' ac-
cording to senior military
sources quoted by Haaretz.
They believe that Israel
should not get involved in
another project that could end
in total failure.

Synagogue Hit

Buenos Aires (JTA) — A
bomb blew off the doors of a
synagogue in Buenos Aires
hours after the Nov. 14 arrest
of accused Nazi war criminal
Josef Schwammberger, the
World Jewish Congress

Police said there were no in-
juries in the blast, which oc-
curred at 7:05 a.m. at the
synagogue in the old Jewish
neighborhood of Once. The
WJC said it was a Sephardic
synagogue hat had been hit.
No organization claimed

Robert A. Cum ins

Local Delegates Gear Up
For World Zionist Congress

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