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September 16, 1988 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1988-09-16

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


Will Study

'Miss Daisy'
Drives Uhry
To The Top



Staff Writer

Staff Writer


1 Capone and "Hootenanny
Saturday Night" helped pave
the way, but Alfred Uhry's
career wouldn't be what it is today if
it hadn't been for his grandmother.
The grandmother is Daisy of
"Driving Miss Daisy:' Uhry's Pulitzer
Prize-winning play now being per-
formed at the Music Hall Center. Bas-
ed on relations between his Jewish
grandmother and her black chauffeur,
"Driving Miss Daisy" is a story that
goes back more than 30 years.
By the time he was 12, Uhry said,
he already wanted to write a story
about his grandmother's family.
Uhry was raised in Atlanta. His
forefathers immigrated in the 1840s
from Eastern Europe to Philadelphia,
and later to the South in search of bet-
ter schools.
They settled in Noonan, Ga.,
which Uhry called "a fine old
Southern town," and later moved to
Atlanta. In the meantime, they didn't
all lead a quiet, obscure life.
"My great-uncle was a blockade
runner during the Civil War," Uhry
said, "just like Rhett Butler?'
Uhry was more interested in
books than blockades. "As a child, I
would read all these long novels and
do all this research;' he said in an in-
terview from his New York home. "Of
course, I didn't really know what I
was doing?'
By the time he was in fifth grade,
Uhry had started his own newspaper,
Continued on Page 22

ommunity protest over the
virtual closure of the Mid-
rasha Library in Southfield
has prompted the Jewish Welfare
Federation's culture and education
division to look into the funding re-
quirements and operations of the
But protesters say the Jewish
community leadership is moving too
slowly in its investigation and could
doom the library.
The United Hebrew Schools,
which funds the library, faces a .
$120,000 budget shortfall this year.
Recently, UHS cut back library hours
to eight per week as a cost-cutting
Leaders of the drive to save the
library say funding responsibility
must be transferred from UHS to the
Federation. Over a six-week period,
library supporters collected 1,500
signatures on a petition.
The petition calls for the
postponement of the cutbacks —
which have since gone into effect —
and the transfer of financing to
Federation auspices. Petitioners want
the facility to be recognized as the
library of the Detroit Jewish com-
munity, not merely an arm of UHS.
Protesters also have received
statements of support from 10 area
Conservative rabbis, the Jewish
Library Association, the Labor
Zionist Alliance and the UHS
Woman's Auxiliary, according to Judy
Loebl, who spearheaded the drive.


Construction has begun on a 150-unit building at Oak Park's Jewish Federation Apartments. A
ground-breaking ceremony will be held at 10 a.m. Oct. 9. Residency applications will not be
accepted until spring, with occupancy scheduled for autumn 1989.

Loebl and other protesters met
last month with UHS and Federation
officials. Last week, a Federation com-
mittee was appointed to investigate
the issue. The study will be conducted
by Irwin Alterman of the Federation
culture and education division. He is
also a member of the UHS board of
Alterman said he will check the
amount of use the library gets, "how
many hours the library needs to be
open to reasonably serve the users,
how many hours does it take to
catalogue and keep the library up,
and how does it differ from other
Jewish libraries."
United Hebrew Schools President
Jerry Knoppow said that library ac-
tivity is continuing, despite the reduc-
ed hours.
Librarian Sarah Bell disputed

Knoppow, saying UHS has not sup-
plied any funds for the library and
that book purchases have been halted
and periodical subscriptions are not
being renewed.
"As we speak the library starts to
deteriorate," said Loebl, vice presi-
dent of the Jewish Library Associa-
tion. "We're frustrated. You can have
all the fact-finding you want, but it
doesn't help the library?'
She explained that books and
periodicals must continuously be pur-
chased for the collection to remain up
to date. That is no longer being done,
she said.
Allan Nachman, chairman of the
culture and education division,
responded that the alternative to
close study of the library's needs
would be "a knee-jerk decision. That's
Continued on Page 22


Nazi Criminals

Washington (JTA) - Two
Nazi war criminals living in
the United States, Stefan
Reger and Juris Kauls, were
ordered denaturalized by two
different judges last week.
Reger, 63, of Yardville, N.J.,
was denaturalized by U.S.
District Court Judge
Clarkson Fisher in Newark
N.J., on the basis of his ser-
vice as an SS guard at the
Auschwitz II (Birkenau) Con-
centration Camp between
1943 and 1945.
Kauls, 75, of Sun City,
Ariz., was denaturalized by
U.S. District Court Judge
Robet Bloomfield in Phoenix
by a default judgment based

on Kauls' failure to respond to
government charges that he
served at a Nazi concentra-
tion camp in Latvia during
World War II, and concealed
that service from federal im-
migration officials.

414 Telephoned

Tuesday evening, after the
second day of Rosh
Hashanah, Troy Jewish Con-
gregation had recorded 414
telephone calls to its record-
ed notes of the shofar on its of-
fice answering machine.
The recording by Dr. Marc
Lindy will be placed on the
synagogue's answering
machine again next week for
shut-ins to hear the sounds of

the shofar at the end of Yom
Kippur on Wednesday
The dial-a-shofar telephone
number is 643-6520.

Arabs Ask Weil
To Be Mediator

Brussels (JTA) — The Arab
League has approached
Simone Well several times
recently to act as mediator
between the Palestine Libera-
tion Organization and Israel,
sources said.
They said that Weil, leader
of the Liberal group in the
Strasbourg-based Parliament
of Europe, disclosed these ap-
proaches last week at a
meeting of the group in
Aarhus, Denmark.

Weil, a French Jew and
Auschwitz survivor, is a
former president of the
12-nation parliament and a
former French cabinet
minister. She reportedly told
her colleagues in Aarhus she
would not reject a mediating
role, but thinks the timing is
Weil has strongly opposed
the invitation European
socialists extended to PLO
chief Yassir Arafat to visit the
parliament in Strasbourg
next week.

Egyptians Seize
Israeli Boat

Tel Aviv (JTA) — Israeli of-
ficials expressed disapproval
last week of the Egyptian

coast guard's move to ram
and seize an Israeli excursion
boat in the Gulf of Eilat. The
Foreign Ministry is awaiting
further details of the incident
before deciding how Israel
will respond.
Defense Minister Yitzhak
Rabin said the incident was
not the sort of thing that
should occur between friend-
ly nations and was "complete-
ly unnecessary."
Information indicates that
the seizure was an indepen-
dent initiative, not coor-
dinated with authorities in
Cairo. The Maya, with 35
Israeli passengers and crew
aboard, was intercepted by
the Egyptian patrol ship,
rammed and towed to the
Egyptian coast guard station
on Coral Island in the gulf.


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