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March 25, 1988 - Image 26

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1988-03-25

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Kitty Dukakis stops to chat with Regina Mental after a campaign speech at the Federation

Nadia With Dukakis

First Lady of Massachusetts hits the
Jewish campaign trail in Detroit


Staff Writer

Dukakis was running
about an hour late dur-
ing her day-long cam-
paign pitch to the
Detroit Jewish community last week,
yet she refused to make up for lost
time at the Holocaust Memorial
She slowly viewed the entire
museum which, she said, hit too close
to home.
"I have been to Auschwitz twice.
I have been to Yad Vashem and its
powerful museum in Jerusalem
several times," the Jewish wife of
presidential hopeful Michael Dukakis
told a group of about 150 at the
Maple/Drake Jewish Community
Center. "I have been to Treblinka and
Dachau. And today, touring your
memorial, I feel again what I felt in
all of those places: The Holocaust is
beyond words!'
The campaign stopover last week


FRIDAY, MARCH 25, 1988

— aimed at boosting support for
Saturday's state Democratic caucuses
— marked her first visit to Detroit
and brought to 80 the number of tours
on her quest to promote the popular
Massachusetts governor's candidacy.
Mrs. Dukakis, who is the first
Jewish spouse of a presidential can-
didate, spoke with passion of her trip
to Treblinka, where she was joined by
Holocaust survivors and -several
"On one cold, misty day, we walk-
ed over a stone path where each stone
stands for a . Jewish community
destroyed by the Nazis. In the middle
of our walk, we heard a train whistle
in the distance.
"We stopped and looked at one
another. Although no one said a word,
we must have all had a similar
thought: Ask not for whom the whis-
tle blows, it blows for thee!'
Born 51 years ago to Harry and
Jane Dickson, Mrs. Dukakis was rais-

ed in a secular Jewish household in
Brookline, Mass., just outside Boston.
She has no formal Jewish education,
nor do her three children: John, An-
drea and Kara. Her grandparents
were Orthodox, and she spent many
Shabbat dinners and holidays with
Since her marriage to Mike
Dukakis, who is Greek Orthodox,
Mrs. Dukakis has been campaigning
steadily for Jewish causes, She said
her interest in Judaism has been
strengthened by her intermarriage.
Before the marriage, being Jewish
was never an issue. She said her hus-
band's family — not her own — had
some problems with the relationship.
The couple now celebrates both
Jewish and Greek Orthodox holidays.
"I feel very strongly about my
roots," she said. "A mixed marriage
has made me feel more strongly.
"When you don't have two people
working together to instill religion,

you have to be stronger and work all
that much harder," she said.
Her marriage was subject to many
questions during Mrs. Dukakis' visit
to Detroit. Dukakis supporters at the
Holocaust Memorial Center recep-
tion, and at an erev Shabbat speech
to residents of the Federation Apart-
ments, repeatedly queried the
Massachusetts first lady's press staff
about her Jewish life.
She has one son, John, from her
first marriage to a Jewish man. He
did not have a bar mitzva. John mar-
ried a non-Jewish woman last sum-
mer in a ceremony officiated by a
minister. Mrs. Dukakis said it was a
non-relgious ceremony.
Mrs. Dukakis' parents met as
foreign exchange students in Berlin
in 1933 — the same year Hitler and
his Nazi Party launched a book-
burning decree. Books that were
deemed anti-German — such as works
Continued on Page 30

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