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December 23, 1988 - Image 49

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1988-12-23

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



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able to conduct a Shabbat
morning service "without
tutoring." "If someone asks if
I can lead the haftara, I want
to say yes," she said.
Although her career goals
point to psychiatry or being a
French teacher or interpreter,
she still wants to have
Hebrew under her belt "as a

second language."
Weiss is in the program for
a
second year. Last year he

studied the Mideast and ter-
rorism because he said he felt
he did not know enough
about these topics. This year

he is studying Torah "just to
be able to learn Torah."
"My goal is to look at a
■ Torah
portion and learn to
read it without a tutor and to
be able to read the Torah por-
tion as part of the Shabbat
service."
Weiss said he didn't need
any prompting from his
parents to join the program.
"It's something I just assum-
ed I would end up doing," he
said. "I never look at at it as
my parents making me do it."
He was inspired to learn to
read Torah after having an
aliyah at his brother's bar
mitzvah. Chajes was his
brother's tutor and when the
time came for Weiss to choose
a mentor, he already knew
that Chajes would be the one.
Chajes, too, knew the rela-
tionship would work. "I hit it
off with Jonathon when I
worked on his brother's bar
mitzvah," he said. But, there
was another reason why he
couldn't turn the eager youth
11.
down. "I can't decline an op-
portunity to work with a high
school student who cares
It's
Judaism.
about

something I can do for the
op Jewish people."
The mentors get an
honorarium for their time,
but to Chajes it's immaterial.
"I'd do it either way; I can't
say no."
Fanta meets 1 1/2 hours per
week with her mentor. She
studies conversational
Hebrew via flash cards and a
verb sheet, and keeps a record
of her activities to show
Panush what she is doing.
She spent time on a kibbutz
r last summer and that ex-
perience combined with her
current studies has brought
her knowledge of Hebrew to
"a fairly good level," she said.
She expects that when she
goes back to Israel she'll have
an easy time communicating.
"When I go back to the kib-
butz, this will give me a good

foundation, but I think I'm
already on the second floor,"
she said.
Fanta said it was her own
decision to get involved in the
mentorship program because
it "looked very promising"

and that she could mold it to
her own needs.
The free-form structure of
the program and the fact that
information is not force fed
make the mentorship project
attractive to the students. Ac-
cording to Jessica Shill, what
they learn and how much
they learn depends on the
commitment they want to
make. "You get out as much
as you put into it."

NEWS

Family Sues
Over Slur

Boston (JTA) — A malicious .
prank with anti-Semitic over-
tones has led to a $2 million
libel suit against the town of
Westwood, Mass., Westwood
High School officials and the
company that published the
yearbook.
Michael Strauss, a member
of the 1986 graduating class
at Westwood High, and his
parents, Sheldon and Judith
Strauss, are claiming
damages for a defamatory
biography in the yearbook. It
referred to young Strauss as
"Superjew, Yidmaster, short
squat Jewish," and contained
sexual innuendos about his
sister.
The fictitious 70-word
biographical text was submit-
ted by two students for the ge-
nuine one Strauss submitted.
It apparently went
undetected by the yearbook
staff, faculty and the book's
printer, Jostens Yearbook and
Publishing Company in
Minnesota.
The two students, not iden-
tified, are also co-defendants
in the libel action.

Literary Prizes
Are Awarded

New York (JTA) — The
Janusz Korczak Literary
Competition for books about,
or aimed at, children, award-
ed first prizes to Father Bruce
Ritter, founder of New York's
Covenant House, and Los
Angeles writer Malka
Drucker.
Ritter's book, Covenant
House, won first prize in the
category of adult books for
children.
Drucker's book, Eliezer
Ben-Yehuda: The Father of
Modern Hebrew won first
prize for books aimed at
young readers.
Korczak was in charge of an
orphanage in the Warsaw
Ghetto who perished along
with his children in
Treblinka. The awards are
given for books published in
the last two years,

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THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

49

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