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January 27, 1989 - Image 17

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1989-01-27

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

paper include Dr. Alexander
Aleshker, a Russian
psychiatrist who reviews con-
certs such as the Detroit Sym-
phony's; Chaim Roiter of
Atlanta, a former Detroiter
who provides Jewish holiday
articles and Israel updates;
and Mrs. Natalya Gesse, a
former children's publishing
house editor in Leningrad
and close friend of Andrei
Sakharov who writes about
the international literary
scene.
Many contributors will
write for the paper but don't
want a byline, said Dr. Ber-
ton, because their peers will
think they have too much
power.
Although the paper tries
not to arouse controversy, it
sometimes happens, says Dr.
Berton. A recent one centered
on the question of feeling
nostalgic about Moscow, and
it drew letters to the editor.
Other published articles
have dealt with such topics as
changes in Jewish surnames
due to immigration; reasons
for putting money in the lit-
tle blue pushkes; and the
status of new Soviet Jewish
immigrants.
Being editor of Fonarik has
given Dr. Berton other in-
sights into the Soviet Jewish
immigrant community.
"They are about the most
conservative bunch I've ever
come across," she said. "They
are great partisans of 011ie
North — they watched him on
TV faithfully (during the
Iran-Contra hearings) and
they think of him as a hero.
"They write why you should
go register and vote
Republican — in my paper,
mind you! — and they are
afraid of anything that 'looks
as if it might give in to Soviet
influence. To them,
Americans are very naive
regarding Soviet politics.
"They know that glasnost
has resulted in a lot of anti-
Semitism in Russia, but they
feel that Gorbachev is at least
trying.
"You can't explain too easi-
ly about American society
because the basic premises
are not the same, such as a
person being innocent until
proven guilty. They feel there
is too much involvement here
on the part of protecting the
rights of the criminals," Dr.
Berton said.
Such questioning of the
American system by the Rus-
sian readers of Fonarik has
had a bit of an unsettling ef-
fect, she said. "Ever have an
argument where about half
way through you feel, 'Maybe
I'm wrong'?" she asked.
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THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

17

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