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April 01, 1988 - Image 106

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1988-04-01

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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'SINGLE LIFE

JEWISH SINGLES

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Boschwitz: Cupid On The Hill

646-7159
9674905

`CHALA' is taken from everything that is baked — Under
the supervision of the COUNCIL OF ORTHODOX RAB-
BIS OF GREATER DETROIT by the Mashgiach Rabbi
Abram Gardin and strictly supervised by Mr. Weiss and
Mr. Mertz (owners)

Special to The Jewish News

.S. Sen. Rudy Bosch-
witz — long known for
his strong support of
Israel and his leadership
against past arms sales pro-
posals to certain Arab na-
tions — enjoys a high profile
in certain Washington circles
for a less worldly reason: He
throws a great party.
More exactly, the Republi-
can senator from Minnesota
co-sponsors four to six large-
scale Jewish singles events
each year with the singles
group at Washington Hebrew
Congregation.
The events, ranging from
Chanukah parties, where
steaming latkes are served, to
semi-formal New Year's Eve
dances and outdoor Lag
B'Omer barbecues, draw
tremendous crowds — a
rather unusual feat since
other organizations usually
have a difficult time attrac-
ting widespread attendance.
The gatherings first started
with a Chanukah party in
1984 and since then men and
women from Baltimore as
well as parts of New York,
Pennsylvania and Virginia
have attended. At one sum-
mer barbecue in 1986 when
400 people were expected,
1,000 showed up. "People had
to park so far away that they
had to take cabs," said Diane
Block, vice president of
Washington -Hebrew Con-
gregation Adult Temple
Singles, which co-sponsored
the event.
Why is a U.S. senator play-
ing matchmaker to Washing-
ton's Jewish singles?
Boschwitz, born in Berlin in
1930, to parents who fled
Germany in 1933 and came to
the United States in 1935,
identifies strongly with his
Jewishness and believes it is
crucial for Jews to marry
within the faith.- -
"I am happy to provide this
forum to Jewish singles to
meet one another because it's
important for our heritage
and for their social well-
being," Boschwitz said. "It
gives me a good, warm feeling
to be able to do this."
It also has given the
senator, the father of four
sons, ranging in age from 21
through 29, a future daugh-
ter-in-law. At one of his
singles mixers, Boschwitz in-
troduced Valerie Leiser to his
oldest son, Gerry. The couple,
one of seven engaged pairs to
meet through the Boschwitz
events, plans to marry this
summer.
"He has this matchmaking
ingenuity," said Peggy

Sen. Boschwitz believes it is crucial for Jews to marry within the faith.

Kasdan, the senator's en-
thusiastic and friendly aide
who helps plan the events.
According to Kasdan, Bosch-
witz won't hesitate to in-
troduce people if he feels they
would complement each
other.
"He loves to do this,"
Kasdan said. "He's a people
person and he throws himself
into this. He gets a lot of
pleasure or nachos from do-
ing this." Adds Kasdan, "Peo-
ple write to us and they tell us
they're engaged and it's great.
And Rudy beams!"
Although Kasdan is happy
for the couples who meet and
marry, she stresses that most
partygoers aren't searching
the room for future mates.
"There is a decent mixture
of people who certainly do
want to find someone to
marry or date long-term,"
Kasdan said as she sat in the
senator's modest Capitol Hill
office. "But primarily they go
there for companionship.
They go to find someone to
have fun with. I don't think
the sole purpose would be for
finding Mr. or Ms. Right,"
Kasdan said. "If they don't
find Mr. or Ms. Right at least
they are within this oppor-
tunity to meet someone on
the way to finding Mr. or Ms.
Right.

Kasdan, who is 24 and
single, added, "It's very
unlike the public's misconcep-
tions about singles parties.
It's not 21 questions about

getting married or 'are we
made for each other?' "
Like many of those who at-
tend a Boschwitz event, Mike
Levy, a Rockville resident and
staffer at the Montgomery
County Council, was in-
trigued by the senator's con-
nection to the mixers. "Part
of me thought it was sort of
cute that a U.S. senator with
everything else that he has to
do would take the time to con-
cern himself with this kind of
thing," he said. "It at least
raised my curiosity enough to
make me want to go to one or
two of the events."
Susan Gevelber, a congress-
sional aide in Washington,
had a similar reaction. "I was
surprised to hear that the
senator was sponsoring
events for singles," she said.
"I think it's great that a corn-
munity leader would do
something like this.
"He believes in introducing
Jewish singles to other
Jewish singles and that is
something that is not easy to
do. And he definitely makes it
easier for those who care
about that."
Rosanne Zusman of Mary-
land, a 23-year-old advertis-
ing account manager, agrees
it's difficult meeting Jewish
single men without the
organized programs. And for
now, they are her main link to
Jewish communal life: "They
are probably one of the few
Jewish things I do," she said.
Like many singles, Zusman

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