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August 19, 1988 - Image 10

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1988-08-19

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Rabbi Aft

Continued from Page 5

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United Synagogue Youth,
B'nai B'rith Youth Organiza-
tion and Reform youth
He plans to identify pro-
spective students through
campus programming and
weekend study retreats.
Aft, 33, ordained as a
Reconstructionist rabbi,
comes to UHS from Tucson,
Arizona, where he served as
rabbi and education/youth
director for the Conservative
Congregation Anshei Israel.
During summers, Aft has
served as staff rabbi for the
B'nai B'rith Youth Organiza-
tion Kallah Program. There,
he taught high school
students ways to explore
Jewish identity.
Though he is Reconstruc-
tionist, he has worked in both
Conservative and Reform set-
tings and views himself as a
middle-of-the-road rabbi. He
calls himself a liberal
He says Ofra Fisher's plan
for the high school — approv-
ed by the UHS board last
January — will emphasize
specialized programming
such as teaching the history

Rabbi Bruce Aft

of Zionism and the rise of the
state of Israel.
Born in Chicago, Rabbi Aft
has had a myriad of related
education jobs. Such positions
include special projects coor-
dinator for the Board of
Jewish Education of
Metropolitan Chicago, the ex-
ecutive director for the
Midwest region of the
Reconstructionist Congrega-
tions and Chavurot, and rab-
binical positions for several



Continued from Page 7

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of Israel was actually debated
at the Democratic convention.
For the first time, this argu-
ment has been made respec-
table by having one of the ma-
jor parties discuss it openly
and on national television. By
agreement and after hard lob-
bying by the Jewish groups, a
vote on it was averted, but the
Rev. Jesse Jackson has said
that he would have won on
the issue by 70 percent.
Whether that is sensible or
not, whether that is a solu-
tion or not, I do not know. You
don't know either. I think a
decision of that kind should
be made by the Israelis in
Israel who are best able to
judge whether it is dangerous
or not. It is cowardly to sit
safe in Detroit or Kansas Ci-
ty or Los Angeles or New
York and tell the Israelis they
must risk their lives because
we think it is the thing to do.
What can we do? Michigan
was carried by Jackson.
Michigan has a Jewish
senator, Carl Levin. Surely
the Jewish community has
access to him at the highest
level. Will he disavow the
anti-Semitic rumblings in his
own party? Can he not,
among others, exert some
pressure on candidate
Michael Dukakis and the real
head of the Democratic Party,
Jesse Jackson? What does it

take to make a Jew angry?
Unless the real leaders of
the Democrats, Dukakis and
Jackson, repudiate these
statements, come down four-
square on the American prin-
ciples against this kind of pre-
judice, then Jews should not
support the Democratic Par-
ty. There are all sorts of divi-
sions in the Jewish communi-
ty — Reform, Conservative,
Orthodox — Democrat and

The community
should pressure
Carl Levin to
pressure Dukakis.

Republican — Zionists and
Peace Now — but on one sub-
ject all Jews are united. We
must oppose anti-Semitism
no matter where it is and we
must protect Israel.
In the 1930s, when Hitler
was beginning to take over
Europe, the Jewish communi-
ty here, and abroad for that
matter, was quiet, fearful of
causing trouble. We, the sur-
vivors of that time, are still
under attack for not doing
enough. Let us not repeat
that mistake. Let us fight this
scourge as hard as we can at
every level we can. I know
now what it takes to make a
Jew angry.

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