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February 10, 1989 - Image 26

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1989-02-10

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

CLOSE-UP 1

For as little as $8/day (plus
airfare) on an EL AL Milk &
Honey Vacation, we'll provide
you with a really great hotel.
We'll provide you with free
Israeli breakfasts.
We'll provide you with a
free car rental:
With another package, we'll
provide you with a guided tour
of Jerusalem.
We'll provide you with a
guided tour of Galilee.
We'll provide you with a
guided tour of Masada.
We'll provide you with
baggage handling at the airport.
We'll provide you with
baggage handling at the hotel.
There are, however, some
things you will have to provide
for yourself

[-To find out more about our exclusive Milk & Honey Vacations,

your local travel agent or I-800-EL AL SUN. Or for a free brochure. write:
EL AL Israel Airlines. P.O. Box 903 I. East Setauket. NY 11733.

Name

Address

City

17 ft p



AL,

State

Zip

• IF.

The Airline of Israel.

L

*Does not include gas. mileage and insurance. Effective 3/1-11/12189. Not available 4/16-4/30. 6/23-7/9, 10/10-10/22/89.

Good for 5 nights/6 days. Based on double occupancy. Certain restrictions apply.

DOUBLE YOUR CLOSET SPACE

with

THE CLOSET SYSTEMS CO.

George Ohrenstein

CERTIFIED W GEMOLOGIST

Amethyst:
February's Treasure

c.an us

/FAIR PRICES
tv • CUSTOM DESIGN
• QUALITY INSTALLATION

• 50 FREE HANGERS

with each order

• 1 set per household

356-2830

NIBBLES
&
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LOVE is .

Remembering that SPECIAL SOMEONE
on Valentine's Day February 14th.

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MasterCard'

26

33020 Northwestern Highway
Park Place Shops — Corner 14 Mile
Local & Nationwide Delivery
Kosher & Sugarfree Available

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 1989

This transparent crystalline quartz
stone comes in shades varying from
faint violet to the deepest purple,
sometimes tinged with light red.
Amethyst has an illustrious past. It
was one of the twelve stones on the
breastplate of the biblical Aaron. The
Greeks, who set amethysts in their
jewelry, believed the stones to have a
sobering "non-intoxicating" effect.
Amethyst has always enjoyed the
popularity that comes from looking
well on women of all complexions and
hair coloring. It is the birthstone for
February — a sparkling reminder that
spring is on the way.
Amethist bead, pendant, ring and ear-
ring collection is available at a special
reduced price during the month of
February at Ohrenstein Jewelers in
the Harvard Row Mall.
George Ohrenstein Jewelers Ltd. is a
member of the American Gem Socie-
ty, a society dedicated to high stan-
dards of quality and ethics in the
jewelry community.

George
Ohrenstein

Jewelers Ltd.

• Certified Gemologist
• American Gem Society

HARVARD ROW MALL

Lahser and 11 Mile Rd.
353-3146

Indivisible As Night

Continued from preceding page

in 1968, all but painted "anti-
Semite" on Lester's front
door. The FBI notified Lester
of an attempt to kidnap him.
The Jewish Defense League
denounced him.
The problem was a radio
broadcast. Lester, then a
radio talk show host who
served, he says, as the voice of
the black community, had as
his guest teacher Leslie
Campbell.
The United Federation of
Teachers -became embroiled
in a controversy over com-
munity control of schools. For
blacks, the issue was whether
they would have control of
their own institutions.

UFT President Albert
Shanker charged that "some
anti-Semitism" was involved
at one of the schools. A black
teacher was singled out as
"militant." His name was
Leslie Campbell.
It was not Campbell's ap-
pearance on Lester's program
that so irritated the Jewish
community. It was, instead, a
poem written by one of Camp-
bell's students and read on
the air. It said in part:
Hey, Jewboy, with that yar-
mulke on your head
You pale-faced Jew boy — I
wish you were dead .. .
I'm sick of seeing in everything
I do
About the murder of 6 million
Jews.
Hitler's reign lasted for only
15 years
For that period of time you
shed crocodile tears
My suffering lasted for over
400 years, Jew boy
On a subsquent broadcast of
Lester's program, another
black student said Hitler
should have made Jews into
lampshades.
Lester protested then — and
is still explaining today —
that he was not being anti-
Semitic in permitting the
poem to be read on the air. It
was the only way the Jewish
community could be made
aware of how blacks were feel-
ing, he says.
But remind him of a subse-
quent broadcast on his pro-
gram, when another black
student said Hitler should
have made more Jews into
lampshades, and Lester
becomes visibly disturbed.
"I was so flabbergasted
when he said that," he says.
"I wanted to kill him."
But Lester resigned himself
to silence during the broad-
cast. "I was on the air to serve
as a conduit for the black
community," he explains.
"That didn't give me permis-
sion to be an individual." He
pauses, thinking of the stu-
dent's comments. "I was so, so
angry."

Today, Lester speaks for
himself. "I don't try to be the
voice for a whole people
anymore."
That doesn't mean he
doesn't get into trouble. In his
journey to Judaism Lester
studied Jewish history, met
with rabbis and attended
synagogue services. He also
frequently found himself -in
conflict with the black
community.
In 1979, Lester wrote an ar-
ticle disputing blacks who
blamed Jews for the resigna-
tion of former U.S. am-
bassador to the United Na-
tions Andrew Young. Young
left the post after it was
disclosed that he held private
talks with representatives of
the Palestine' Liberation
Organization.
Lester also denounced the
anti-Semitism of Nation of
Islam leader Louis
Farrakhan.
And last year, he was ask-
ed to resign after working for
10 years in the Afro-
American studies department
of the University of
Masssachusetts in Amherst
when he labeled as anti-
Semitic comments by black
author James Baldwin.
Lester made his charges in
Lovesong after Baldwin said
the media should not have
reported the Rev. Jesse
Jackson calling New York
"Hymietown."
"They used that as an ex-
cuse," Lester says of the
department's leadership.
"They'd been unhappy with
me for quite some time. I
wasn't really one of the gang.
I tend to be very independent
and that bothers people.
"They also thought I was
anti-black because I was
critical of (Jesse) Jackson.
And I don't think they were
entirely comfortable with the
fact that I became a Jew."
A place existed where the
faculty did feel comfortable
with Lester's Judaism — the
university's Judaic and Near
Eastern studies department,
to which he was transferred
from the Afro-American
studies department.
The author of 15 books and
the recipient of the Newberry
Honor Medal and the New
York Times Outstanding
Book Award, Lester is right at
home in the Judaic studies
department. He teaches a
class on Jewish holidays and
festivals, another on the
works of one of his favorite
authors, Elie Wiesel. His
other two favorite writers, he
says, are Chaim Potok and
God.
Of course, one might expect
the unexpected from a man
who wears a large ring show-

44

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