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June 10, 1988 - Image 52

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1988-06-10

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





BACKGROUND I

MANIME
ORIENTAL
RUGS

we sell them,
buy them,
clean them,
repair them,
appraise them
and love them.

DAD, REMEMBER ALL OF THE

AGGRAVATION I U5ED To

CAU5E You?

Anti-Semitism In A
Land Without Jews

JAMES D. BESSER

Washington Correspondent

The Original Since 1939

Don't Forget Dad
on June 19






j

HAGOPIAN

UNIQUE
GIFT ITEMS

WORLD OF RUGS

Cards
Gag gift items
Functional Gifts
Much, Much
More!

Oak Park Showroom • 546 RUGS
14000 W. 8 Mile Road

-

(just west of Coolidge)

Birmingham Showroom • 646-RUGS
Piety Hill Plaza,I835 S. Woodward

(just north of 14 Mile Road)

Ann Arbor Showroom • 973 - RUGS
3410 Washtenaw Avenue

& Images Too!

(just west of Arborland)

COUNTRY RIDGE
COMMONS

31150 HAGGERTY RD. • 14 MILE
FARMINGTON HILLS

UMW

661-9100

GLOVES • BOOTS • HATS • DUFFLE BAGS • LEATHERS

0

ITY



0

0

cn

.

3766 W. 12 Mile, Berkley

34932 Michigan Ave., Wayne
721-2262



548-5025
ARMY • NAVY • CAMPING
If-cm

1.4-
, 11 1 ;Where You Always Get a Surplus of Value

"g=

LLI

5
ea



r.U1•1•11NItVT,

m

* * * * * * * * * *



0

vi

*

ica

1
1



O

5

.

cn 1

IX

-3 (

_
I
cs)



ic
* • Lowest Available Fares *

• Cruise, Tour, Hotel or Car *
* • Group Discounts &
▪ Corporate Specialists
4, • No Service Fees
4( • BEST Service in the Industry

H
i
I,••• ,

IX

<

WE HAVE EVERYTHING YOU PARENTS NEED TO SEND YOUR

DC KIDS SMILING OFF TO CAMP AT PRICES THAT WON'T HAVE YOU

FROWNING. (We Deliver. Call For Details).

FOOT LOCKERS

52



FRIDAY, JUNE 10, 1988

CAR HART WORK CLOTHING

*

;

Q.

2

*

Gail Shapiro

• SUMMIT
TRAVEL
▪ MAJOR
CRUISE DISCOUNTS *



"i(

apan always has been a
mystery for Westerners
— a peculiar mixture of
the traditional and the
modern, the cosmopolitan
and the insular.
But the mystery has taken
on a threatening character for
Jews. Japan is in the midst of
an unprecedented wave of
anti-Semitism. In a society
almost devoid of Jews,
blatantly anti-Semitic
literature has achieved best-
selling status in Japanese
bookstores and newsstands.
This menacing trend, some
experts say, is only the most
visible expression of cultural
and economic upheavals that
threaten the basis of Japan's
relationships with the rest of
the world.
Rabbi Michael J. Schud-
rich, the sole religious leader
for Japan's tiny Jewish com-
munity, is a stranger in the
strangest of lands. Schudrich
tends a diverse flock who are
doubly estranged from the
mainstream of Japanese
society — first as Westerners,
then as Jews.
"Basically, you'd have to
say that my job is like that of
any other rabbi," Schudrich
said during a recent visit to
Washington. "My job is to
serve the Jewish community;
the only difference is, it's a
Jewish community in a very
alien society."
His business card is reveal-
ing. On one side, the critical
information is printed in
beautifully cryptic Japanese
characters. The other side
tells it in English: his name,
address and congregation:
"Jewish Community of
Japan."
That congregation consists
of some 170 members. "Most-
ly, they're Westerners,"
Schudrich said. "About one-
half come from the United
States, a quarter from Israel,
and the rest from all over the
world."
It is a highly transient com-
munity, comprised mostly of
employees of large multi-
national corporations who are
sent to Japan for two or three
years. "Personally, this is one
of my biggest problems,"
Schudrich said. "It's like
building a community on
sand."
Schudrich's motivations for
coming to Japan, he admits,
were prosaic in the extreme.
"I needed a job, and they were
looking for a rabbi. It wasn't
until the opportunity

28859-A Orchard Lake Rd. *
Between 12 & 13 Mile Rd. *

*
489-5888, ext. 8
*
* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

presented itself that I
developed a strong curiosity
about Japan, which has only
increased since I've been
there."
Although he was not fam-
iliar with Japanese culture, he
always had felt a pull toward
Jewish communities in
foreign countries. "For most
of the 10 summers prior to
coming to Japan," he said, "I
was in Eastern Europe,
researching the remnants of
the Jewish community there
and leading Jewish tour
groups. Sometimes I think I
got interested in the East,
and just kept going."
The circumstances of his
arrival in Japan insulated
him from the culture shock he
expected. "I landed two

"The Japanese
have no real-3n to
like or dislike
Jews. However,
since they know
so little, when a
plausible anti-
Semitic book
comes along, it's
believable."

weeks before Rosh Hashanah,
and the opening of our Sun-
day school; I had no time for
culture shock, I had no time
to get out of the building and
get into Japanese culture."
His rabbinic duties pose
some unusual problems. "Per-
haps the biggest challenge —
and the one I really enjoy —
is that you're dealing with
one community for all the
Jews. I am rabbi to all the
Jews in Japan — left wing,
right wing, no wings. I have
to try to create a community
that will encompass Jews of
all types — Reform, Conser-
vative and Orthodox. This is
particularly rewarding and
challenging."
One less-than-rewarding
part of his work in Japan is
the lack of contact with
everyday Japanese citizens.
"I have to admit that is one
of my big disappointments,"
he said. Our secretary and
receptionist are Japanese —
but other than that, our
everyday dealings are almost
entirely with foreign Jews.
Part of this is my job; I'm
here to work for the Jewish
community, and so I spend
most of my time doing Jewish
things."
Ibkyo's Jewish Community
Center, where Schudrich lives,

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