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January 29, 1988 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1988-01-29

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'To Move Or Not' Simmers
At B'nai David Synagogue


Staff Writer


ong. B'nai David will leave
its 31-year-old synagogue in
Southfield "in three to five
years," according to congregation
President Fred Ferber.
Ferber's prediction is not a
foregone conclusion. According to
synagogue bylaws such a decision
must be approved by a vote of B'nai
David members, and the topic has
never been officially broached.
Nevertheless, a group of B'nai
David members appears to be plann-
ing for the future. In November, as the
CBDS Limited Partnership (Cong.
B'nai David Synagogue), a half-dozen
members purchased a ten-acre tract
on Maple Road west of Halstead Road
in West Bloomfield Township "for the
benefit of B'nai David," Ferber said.
CBDS plans to offer B'nai David
the option to buy the land, but the
congregation's board and members
have not yet discussed the matter.
The West Bloomfield property is
"one of the options we're exploring;'
said the congregation's rabbi, Morton
B'nai David is studying the finan-
cial and logistical aspects of reloca-
tion and is in no rush to bring the
matter to a vote, Ferber said. "A vote
would be meaningless unless we have
something to back it up."
There have been no moves to sell
the synagogue, he added.
B'nai David, whose distinctive
white structure stands on Southfield
Road at Mt. Vernon, will celebrate
its centenary in 1992. More distinc-
tive, though, is B'nai David's "tradi-

tional" philosophy, which combines
Orthodox worship with more liberal
practices such as mixed-sex seating.
Membership has dwindled from
625 families five years ago to 400
families today as more and more
members move to the northwest
suburbs. "Members find it hard to
come all the way from West Bloom-
field and Farmington Hills;' said
Nick Gonte, the congregation's first
vice president.
While 60 percent of the
synagogue's members still live in
Southfield and Oak Park, the trend is
clearly away from the older suburbs.
Over 60 families moved to the nor-
thwest suburbs in the past year alone.
Some, like Gonte, would like B'nai
David to look toward a bright future
as it begins its second century. That
future, they say, is not in Southfield.
Others, like 40-year member Neil
Kalef who lives close to the
synagogue, want B'nai David to stay
put. Kalef, who is 84, can't see himself
driving out to West Bloomfield for dai-
ly minyanim or Shabbat services.
Proponents of relocation argue
that a West Bloomfield site would at-
tract the young families which are the
mainstay and future of any
A religious school would also
bolster the congregation. B'nai
David's United Hebrew Schools
branch closed in 1982 in the face of
dwindling enrollment. A move to
West Bloomfield would boost the
chances of opening a successful
school, Ferber said, adding that infor-
mal discussions with UHS on the
matter are currently underway. UHS
Continued on Page 18

Larry Horwitz and Dr. Munther Haddow discuss the program.

Local Arab-Jewish Friends
Still Talk Amid The Turmoil


Associate Publisher


n the midst of turmoil abroad,
there were messages of brother-
hood at home.
The vivid pictues of violence and
hatred, conveyed by satellite to televi-
sion sets nightly, the biting commen-
tary — aimed at stonethrowers and
soldiers — carried by newspapers and
magazines, were suppressed as Arab
and Jew gathered to break bread,
honor members of their respective
communities and raise scholarship
money for deserving students.
For the approximately 190 per-
sons attending Sunday's American
Arabic and Jewish Friends of
Metropolitan Detroit annual dinner

at the Michigan Inn, the mere fact
that the function took place was their
way of sending a message to their
respective communities . . . that
despite the monumental and seem-
ingly unresolvable problem overseas,
with hard-liners on both sides gain-
ing strength, Arabs and Jews of good
intentions can sit, face to face, and
But not about events in the Mid-
dle East, at least not yet.
Tallal Turfe, one of four officers of
American Arabic and Jewish Friends
and of Lebanese descent, takes the
same pragmatic approach of most
members of the group, preferring to
set aside Middle East conflict
"because we cannot impact on these
Continued on Page 18


Small Crowd
At Israel March

Paris (JTA) — Fewer than
1,000 people responded Mon-
day night to calls by some 50
French organizations to
demonstrate in solidarity
with Israel's policies and ac-
tions in the West Bank and
Gaza Strip.
The organizations charged
"biased one-sided reporting"
of events in the territories by
the French media.

Over Cross

The American Civil Liber-
ties Union said it will sue
East Detroit if it does not

remove a cross from its official
city logo.
ACLU Attorney Daniel
Perk said use of a cross in a
city logo violates the U.S.
Constitution's separation of
church and state clause.
East Detroit officials said
they will fight the ACLU over
this issue.

Dutch Court
Favors Halachah

Amsterdam (JTA) — The
Dutch Supreme Court ruled
Jan. 22 that an Amsterdam
Jewish religious school need
not admit a student whose
mother is not Jewish.
The high court's decision in
favor of the Maimonides
Lyceum ended more than a

year and a half of litigation
that zig-zagged through the
lower courts, attracting much
media attention.
A complaint was filed
against the school by Robert
Drucker, who accused it of
discrimination against his
son Aram, now 13. The school
refused to admit the boy,
because he is not Jewish ac-
cording to halachah (religious
law), since his mother is not

presented his final argument
in Jerusalem district court.
At one point, the court call-
ed a recess to allow Shaked to
regain his composure after
his emotional description of
the Treblinka death camp,
where Demjanjuk allegedly
operated the gas chambers in
which some 800,000 Jews

Thal Ending

Paris (JTA) — Police recent-
ly prevented a possible clash
near the Israel Embassy in
Paris between a small group
of Jews protesting Israeli ac-
tions against Palestinians in
the administered territories
and about 40 Jewish

Jerusalem (JTA) — The
trial of accused war criminal
John Demjanjuk neared its
end Monday, as chief pro-
secutor Michael Shaked

Jews Protest
In Paris

counterdemonstrators, who
shouted "collaborators" and
"Arab lovers" at the
A police cordon kept the two
groups apart and prevented
both from approaching the
embassy building.

Israeli Policy
To Draw Attacks

Geneva (JTA) , The situa-
tion in the Israeli-
administered territories is
the first item on the agenda
of the United Nations Confer-
rence on Human Rights,
which opens Monday.
Savage attacks on Israeli
policies are expected to
dominate the conference,
which is to last six weeks.



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