Jews throughout the world look forward next week to the annual
commemoration of the first recorded victory in the battle for religious
freedom. Chanukah is a joyous celebration, and Michigan Jews began
the holiday early with their participation in last Sunday's freedom
demonstration for Soviet Jewry in Washington, D.C.
But in our enthusiasm for our efforts last week we must not forget
that Soviet Jews remain in religious bondage. In the words of "The
Unlit Menorah," being distributed by the Soviet Jewry Committee
of the Jewish Community Council:
"As we remember the struggle of the Maccabees we are remind-
ed that even today Soviet Jews are not free to learn the language
of their fathers; to pass on their religious traditions and their past;
to train the teachers and the rabbis of future generations; and they
are not free to leave without harassment .. .
"May we have the strength and will on this Chanukah to light
up the darkness that envelopes the lives of our brothers and sisters
in the Soviet Union. As they assert themselves in the tradition of
the Maccabees, may they be joined by all freedom loving people who
are aroused by their plight and may Soviet Jews soon emerge into
the light of freedom."
Soviet Jewry is not a one-day struggle or an eight-day struggle.
As Chanukah reminds us, the battle for religious freedom has been
continuing for at least 2,000 years, and we must continue the struggle
for our brethren everywhere.
ing variety of individual and group demonstrations, was so wrong-
headed as to be laughable.
The U.S. Jewish community is to be congratulated for its effort,
and even for the tone of the rally, which was so calm and respectful
that there could be little doubt that it grew directly out of America's
great mainstay, the vast, powerful, deliberate and eminently level-
headed middle class.
Michigan's Jewish communities deserve to be singled out. No
other state outside the eastern seaboard sent so many Jewish citizens
to protest for their Soviet Jewish brethren. And though many made
the trip on jet aircraft, several hundred from Michigan made all-
night trips by chartered bus to lend their voices to the protest.
Detroit's Jewish Community Council and Jewish Welfare Federa-
tion deserve high praise for their efforts, as do synagogues, communi-
ty centers and Hillels from Ann Arbor, Kalamazoo, Flint and Bay
City and their sore-backed bus passengers who rode for 24 hours last
In the end, it is the sense of personal satisfaction that each par-
ticipant came away with that will be remembered. For each person
at the rally knew that he or she was part of a greater whole, shar-
ing a feeling of Jewish unity that not only strengthened the cause
of Soviet Jewry but that of national Jewish pride.
May our collective message be heard.
A Resounding Success
There is little doubt that Freedom Sunday — the day that more
than 200,000 ordinary citizens converged on Washington, D. C. to
demonstrate their dedication to Soviet Jewry in particular and
human rights in general — was a resounding success.
People, mostly Jewish, from all over the country responded to
the idea of sending Mikhail Gorbachev a message on the eve of the
summit meeting with determination and a moving show of solidarity.
The Soviet propagandists' charge that the Jews had poisoned the
summit, made in the face of unprecedented accord in the nation's
capital and elsewhere, was so obviously out of sync as to be almost
And their accusation that the U.S. government had staged the
rally (never mind the contradiction of the claim regarding the Jews),
made in the context of massive transportation foulups and an amaz-
In response to the opinion
by M.J. Pasternak ("Reunions
On Shabbat" Nov. 27):
Several of my classmates from
the Southfield Senior High
Class of 1977 read his piece
and felt challenged,
stimulated and apropriately
or inappropriately angered by
his comments .. .
Much of what M.J. Paster-
nak had to say was
reasonable and valid . . . It
was unfortunate that this
oversight accidentally occur-
red. As a member of the Class
of '77, I must disagree with
the approach he expressed in
addressing the issue.
He could have tRicen useful,
constructive action concern-
ing this matter rather than
writing a letter that berated
and criticized the planning
committee and those of us
who do not share his views.
Last year, all members of
the Class of '77 were invited
to contribute input toward
organizing the reunion. If this
issue was so important to M.J.
Pasternak, why didn't he
make his voice public to the
planning committee when
the affair was being planned?
Weizmann Institute is to be
highly commended for its
development of AL721 which
certainly gives early promise
of progress against what is
probably the most dreaded
disease today, AIDS.
As mentioned in the article
("Does Israel Have An
Answer?" Dec. 4), another
productive line of attack
against this catastrophic
disease may be through the
strengthening of the body's
immune system. •Bar-Ilan
University has developed
AS101 which "repairs" the
damage done by the AIDS
This vaccine received FDA
approval for clinical testing
some six months ago, and is
now being tested in Los
Angeles, Houston and New
York. Bar-Ilan scientists, like
Weizmann's, are extremely
reluctant to raise expecta-
tions too prematurely, but in-
itial results are highly en-
couraging. The same vaccine
may also have positive im-
plications concerning cancer.
Les M. Goldstein
Midwest Executive Director
Bar Ilan University
It has come to my attention
that $44,000 was recently ex-
pended on enlarging and fur-
nishing the offices of the
Hebrew Free Loan
For 92 years, the association
inhabited offices in private
businesses, in rented store
fronts, and rooms in the
United Hebrew School and
Jewish Community Center
buildings. It encompassed
times of considerable activity
for loans, such as the early
periods of great immigration,
several depressions, a riot and
the last large influx of Rus-
sian immigrants. All these
events taxed the resources of
the association and the
energies of the members, but
at no time did anyone feel
that the mitzvah of giving
free loans needed plush of-
fices to accomplish the task.
Surely the borrowers never
complained of the ambience
as they were happy to receive
the interest-free loans.
The Federation (United
Jewish Charities) should not
have been lured into such an
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