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November 11, 1988 - Image 44

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1988-11-11

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

PURELY COMMENTARY

Kristallnacht

Continued from Page 2

descending upon Europe.
Enlightenment was giving way
to irrational behavior. However,
the truths of science, mathe-
matics, physics, etc., once having

Sol Liptzin

been discovered, cannot be en-
tirely forgotten and people who
had once tasted freedom and
democracy will continue to
dream of their return.
After dark generations, a
new renaissance will dawn. A
finer world order will emerge
and never again will human be-
ings permit the submergence of
the precious values.
The stars came out as we
drove back to New York and we
felt enveloped by eternal forces.
Even as we made-our way from
amoeba to man, in the course of
a mere few billion years, so we
would continue onward and up-
ward despite temporary set-
backs. Einstein had imbued us
with the feeling that somehow
there was meaning and eternal
laws operating in the universe.
Let this timeliest of messages be a
supplement to the commitment to
strive for non-repetition of dehumaniz-
ing Nazism.

Ze'ev Chafets

Continued from Page 2

Union of American Hebrew
Congregations comes to mind —
but usually it is headed by
wealthy, well-meaning lawyers.
The real power in the Jewish
community is vested not in the
presidents or the Peronistas, but
in local Jewish federations
around the country. The federa-
tions are the definitive expres-
sion of the communal consensus
in America. Although they
reflect the values and ideals of
the prosperous, respectable
Jewish middle class, they are
dominated by millionaires.
Edgar Bronfman and David Ar-
now may be wealthy enough to
own separate organizations, but

44

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER,11, 1988

most of the heavy hitters are
connected to the federations
and, through them, to Israel by
way of the United Jewish
Appeal.
The UJA divides the country
into "good" and "bad" federa-
tion towns. Detroit is considered
one of the best — a model of effi-
ciency, generosity, and
affiliation.
Upon rereading his own manuscript
and testing plutocracy, is it possible
that Chafets would wish to erase the
word from his travelogue report.
Webster's New Century Dictionary
gives these definitions for the term that
may be widely considered objectionable:
plutocracy .
1. government by the wealthy.
2. a government or state in
which the wealthy rule.
3. a group of wealthy people
who control or influence a
government.

plutocrat,
1. a member of a wealthy ruling
class.
2. a person whose wealth gives
him control or great influence.
3. any wealthy person.
With apologies to the Yiddishists,

humanism in our commitment. Those
who have attained the listed goals are
as often as not of meager means and are
idealsits.
Ze'ev Chafets does not deny that
idealism. On the contrary, he gives it
substance. Therefore Members of the
Tribe is a remarkably good book, an ex-
cellent travelogue and an introduction
to many Jews to be proud of.

Senior Literati
Boost Community

volume literarily produced here
is made available annually
during the Jewish Book Fair,
but may be lost in the shuffle. There is
so much displayed during the Book Fair
that is both high leveled and sensa-
tionalized that the Writers' Journal,
containing the poems, essays and il-
lustrations by senior citizens in our
community, is threatened with being
unnoticed. Its total accomplishment
contains so much of interest that the
book earns serious consideration.
The senior citizens' literary project
has a noteworthy academic involve-
ment. Wayne State University Latin
and Greek professor Norma Goldman
continues a two-decade service as
volunteer adviser to the creative Jewish
Center senior authors. The inspiration
she provides earned for her the admira-
tion to be rated as "a member of the
Detroit community writers."
The 1988 Book Fair Writers' Jour-
nal has another community aspect. It
is dedicated to the memory of Sarah
Davidson with a publishing gift from
her daughter Dorothy Gerson, and son,
William Davidson.
These are among the pleasant ex-
periences that provide pride in the ac-
tivism of our community.

A

Technological Firsts
The Beginnings Of
Zionist Engineering

nthusiasm engendered by Thch-
nion's project and a notable anni-
versary — the 40th of the Detroit
chapter of the American supporters —
draws attention to the earlier years in
which there was an identification with
a related movement in this community.
In the early 1920s, the Detroit
Zionist Engineering Society was the
medium for Zionist-minded technicians
to express their devotion to a great
cause. They were the predecessors of the
activists in the supporting ranks of
American Friends of the Israel Institute
of Technology frequently referred to as
the MIT (Massachusets Institute of
Technology) of-the Middle East and in
reality has gained enough stature to be
called the Israel counterpart of the MIT
on a global scale.
Engineers of eminence in their time
were associated in the new Zionist
movement which began to receive en-
couragement on a national basis.
Isadore Friedlaender, father of Dr. Alex
Friedlaender- and Dr. Sidney
Friedlaender, was the inspired
organizer of the cause. Sam Heyman,
who was a Jerusalem-born member of
a pioneering family 'of early settlers in
Palestine, an MIT graduate, who was
among the early General Motors
(Fisher Body) chief engineers, was
among the most active members. The
membership included another promi-
nent engineer, Sol Lifsitz.
They were the creators of the
Zionist Engineering Society, recollec-
tion of which may instill even greater
interest in Ibchnion, with which all of
them were aligned and therefore must
be recalled as lbchnion pioneers.

E

Ze'ev Chafets

let it be noted that there is a descrip-
tive word, "plut," interpreted in the
Yiddish dictionary as "scatterbrain"
and "fickle person."
Objections to such terminology will
surely prove plausible in the Detroit
record of communal attainments.
Chafets gives a good accounting of our
federated community. There is an
available accompaniment to it. Among
the timeliest items to the community's
credit, let us reaffirm:
Ground has just been broken for a
new Federation Apartment project;
Meals on Wheels is an established prac-
tice here on a five-day-a-week basis.
JARC — Jewish Association for Retard-
ed Citizens — is becoming a guideline
for similar high-principled assistance to
a depressed element in our midst; the
elderly are not forgotten; every effort in
support of Israel's economy and its
defense is being assisted most generous-
ly. This list can be multiplied ten-fold.
These symbolize ideology and

A mother and her two children were kiled when terrorists threw gasoline bombs at this Israeli
bus near Jericho Oct.30.

AI

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