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April 01, 1988 - Image 5

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

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

(UP FRONT

B'nai Israel Builds School,
Ends Merger Discussions

ALAN HITSKY

Associate Editor

B

'nai Israel of West Bloomfield

plans to build a classroom
wing in order to expand its
Hebrew school classes into a full
United Hebrew School branch next
fall.

Preparing for Passover at Temple Emanu-El's model seder on Sunday are Jodi Sidder, Carol
Friedman and Lani Goldman.

Orthodox Rabbis Criticize
Levin's Letter To Shultz

STAFF REPORT

M

embers of the Council of
Orthodox Rabbis of Greater
Detroit will meet next week
with Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) to
discuss a letter drafted by Levin and
signed by 30 long-time supporters of
Israel.
The Levin letter, which was sent
several weeks ago, praised the Middle
East peace initiative of Secretary of
State George Shultz and expressed
dismay at Israeli Prime Minister Yit-
zhak Shamir's refusal to consider the
land-for-peace option.
Rabbi Chaskel Grubner, a
member of the Council and rabbi of
Cong. Dovid Ben Nuchim, said the
rabbis will meet on Thursday with

the senator in Michigan.
On March 18, 26 rabbis in the
Council wrote Levin criticizing his
decision to sign the letter.
In their letter, the Orthodox rab-
bis voiced "confusion and dismay"
over the Levin statement. The rabbis
said, "While the politics of the Mid-
dle East are not generally part of the
agenda of our Council of Rabbis, the
nature of our concern mandates this
reaction."
The rabbis praised Levin's record
on Israel, saying that "if not for the
attention of gentlemen like yourself,
the bridge of friendship and coopera-
tion between our two great
democracies would not be of such solid
foundation.

Continued on Page 18

The $150,000 project signals the
end of merger talks for the 150-family
congregation, which has been ap-
proached by four different Conser-
vative congregations from the Oak
Park-Southfield area in recent years.
"Growth from within is a
healthier way to go than growth from
without;' said Sheila Miller, the con-
gregation's vice president for educa-
tion. "Our members believe that the
only way our congregation will grow
without a merger is through our
Hebrew school?'

B'nai Israel officials declined to
identify the synagogues which had in-
quired about merging.
The former Pontiac congregation
has been at its West Bloomfield loca-
tion for nine years. The site, on
Walnut Lake and Green roads west of
Orchard Lake Road, includes 71/2
acres of land. The new addition will
be attached to the present 600-seat
sanctuary and will include eight
classrooms, a library, and possibly of-
fice space. The classrooms will allow
the congregation to open a UHS
nursery school branch.
Although plans have not been
finalized, B'nai Israel President Dr.
Alan Feldman hopes that ground will
be broken "as soon as possible" for
construction to be completed by
September. He said utility links to the
present building already exsist.

,

B'nai Israel has 50 students in
multi-level classes from kindergarten
through fourth grade. The school is
not considered a full UHS branch
because the students currently attend
only four hours per week. Students at
the UHS branches attend six hours.
Dr. Barbara Goodman, UHS
president, said she is "enthused and
excited that they're making the com-
mitment for full space" and expan-
ding the program to become a full
branch.
The decision by B'nai Israel may
impact on other congregations con-
sidering a move to the Farmington
Hills-West Bloomfield area. Last
month, B'nai David members disclos-
ed that they had taken an option on
a West Bloomfield site. B'nai David
President Fred Ferber indicated that
the possibility of opening a Hebrew
School branch of UHS would help in-
crease membership if the congrega-
tion decides to move. Dr. Goodman
told The Jewish News that UHS
would consider each request for a
branch as it arises, but has not had
discussions with congregations other
than B'nai Israel.
Students at the B'nai Israel
school now meet on Wednesdays and
Sundays in the four corners of the
synagogue social hall. "The
kindergarten class meets in the
vestibule:' said Annie Friedman, who
was the original teacher in the four-
year-old program. Friedman now
supervises five teachers. In addition,
B'nai Israel Rabbi Sherman Kirshner
teaches two post-b'nai mitzvah
classes.
Rabbi Kirshner and Mrs. Fried-
man expect the school's enrollment of
50 students to double or triple with
the classroom addition.

ROUND UP

Two To Leave
Day Schools

The administrators of two
local Jewish day schools have
announced that they will
soon leave their positions.
Philip Applebaum, ex-
ecutive director of the Akiva
Hebrew Day School, will take
up a public relations position
at Guardian Industries later
this month.
Rabbi E.B. Freedman will
step down as administrative
director of Yeshivath Beth
Yehudah at the end of the
school year. He is to become
director of the Hebrew
Academy of Cleveland.
Two other day school of-
ficials recently announced

that they will be stepping
down: Rabbi Sheldon Lopin,
headmaster of Akiva, and
Rabbi Robert Abramson,
headmaster of . Hillel Day
School.

PLO Hails
Shultz Talks

Baghdad — Talks between
Secretary of State George
Shultz and two Palestinian
leaders were hailed Wednes-
day by the Palestine Libera-
tion Organization as "an im-
portant political step."
Bassam Abu Sharif, an
adviser to PLO Chief Yassir
Arafat, called the meeting
important because it includ-
ed two members of the
Palestine National Council,

which he termed "the highest
legislative body in the PLO."
Shultz met early in the
week with Edward Said and
Ibrahim Abu Lughod, two
Palestinian-Americans. Ac-
corfding to Abu Sharif, Arafat
approved the two men's
meeting with Shultz.
In their talks with the
secretary, Said and Abu
Lughod said that the PLO is
the sole representative of the
Palestinian people and that
Palestinians must be granted
independence.

Israeli Soldiers
Are Sentenced

ml Aviv (JTA) — Two Israeli
Defense Force soldiers were
sentenced to prison by a Jaf-

fa military court last week for
their role in the attempted
burial alive of three Paleti-
nian youths in Kfar Salim
village in the West Bank Feb.
5.
Pvt. Dror Sagan-Cohen was
given a four-month term at a
military prison and another
six months' probation. Pvt.
Yair Nissimi received a five-
month prison sentence and
seven months' probation. The
military tribunal said they
"dishonored the army and
portrayed Israel in a negative
light."
It rejected a plea-
bargaining deal between the
prosecution and defense that
would have resulted in lighter
sentences.

The soldiers were found
guilty of forcing three Palesti-
nian stone-throwers 'to lie on
the ground while a bulldozer
covered their bodies with
earth. The three were rescued
by villagers after the soldiers
left.

House Considers
Wallenberg Bill

Washington (JTA) — The
House of Representatives last
week began considering a bill
that would authorize con-
struction of a statue honoring
Raoul Wallenberg, a Swedish
diplomat credited with saving
tens of thousands of Jews in
Hungary from the Nazis dur-
ing World War II.

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

5

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