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March 17, 1989 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1989-03-17

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Michigan's Jewish Federations
Study Joint Efforts, State Office


Associate Editor


Soviet Jewish kindergartners in the JDC-sponsored school in Ladispoli.

Humor Is Helping
Waiting Soviet Jews


Staff Writer


bit of black humor,
Soviet-Jewish style, is
making the rounds at
the transmigration facility in
Ladispoli, Italy.
With most of the 7,000
Soviet Jews there hoping for
refugee status in America but
facing increasing doubt about
receiving it, the emigrants
have taken to calling
themselves "refuseniks — but
now they say they're
American refuseniks," said
Rabbi Norman Roman of
Temple Kol Ami in West
"They told us, 'You were
able to intervene (with the
Soviet authorities) and get us
out of Russia; now get us in-
to the United States,' " Rabbi
Roman said after represen-
ting Detroit on last month's
annual United Jewish Appeal
Rabbinic Cabinet Mission to
Europe and Israel.
More than 90 percent of the
Soviet Jews choose not to go
to Israel when they reach
Vienna, Austria, the first stop
outside of the Soviet Union,
even though they leave on
Israeli visas. In contrast, said
the rabbi, 100 percent of the
Romanian Jews leaving their
country choose to go to Israel.
The rabbi expressed disen-
chantment following the visit
to Ladispoli, where most of
the Soviet Jews the rabbis
met exhibited ignorance on
Jewish matters while show-
ing keen interest in the
material. "They tell you they
want to go to the West and
make a lot of money like your
ancestors," he said.
Due to the Soviet Union's

anti-Semitism, these Jews
"don't know what being
Jewish is," Rabbi Roman said.
A number did not recognize
former refusenik Natan
Sharansky's name, he said.
"And you can't look them in
the eye and say, 'Why don't
you go to Israel?' I did and one
of them looked me back with,
`Why don't you go? Who are
you to tell me to go to Israel?
Why aren't you there?'
"For 20 years I've been in-
volved in the Soviet Jewry

worked to free
them so they could
be Jews, not so
they could come
here and be

movement," Rabbi Roman
said. "I worked to free them
so they could be Jews, not so
they could come here and be
But, he said, "They're Jews
and they need help. Helping
them is not an issue; there's
no superior-inferior relation-
ship here. We are in a position
to help, so we will help them.
We hope we can help them
enough that they can repay
the loans, but we're still going
to help them.
"We'll talk about what we
should have done later," he
said. "We should have en-
couraged aliyah." He also urg-
ed direct flights for Soviet
Jews to Israel, bypassing
Austria and Italy.
"Most, most, most want to
go to the United States," he
said. Some have relatives in
Canada, Australia and New
Continued on Page 14

xploratory meetings in
Detroit may lead to co-
operative efforts bet-
ween Jewish communities
throughout Michigan.
The executive directors of
the Flint and Ann Arbor
Jewish federations met this
week with Martin Kraar, ex-
ecutive vice president of the
Jewish Welfare Federation of
Detroit. Next week, leaders of
the three organizations will
meet with Joseph Cohen,
director of the community
services department of the
Council of Jewish
One proposal before the
Jewish communities is the
opening of a government af-
fairs office in Lansing to serve
as a lobby with the state
government and legislature.

The idea was discussed Tues-
day at a meeting between
Kraar, Earl Jordan of Ann
Arbor, representatives from
Flint and Dr. Steven Nasatir
of Chicago.
The Chicago federation has
maintained a similar office
for several years.
Dr. Conrad Giles, president
of the Detroit federation, said
the cooperation idea goes
beyond a Lansing office. "We
want to create a network with
all the Jewish communities.
All will be hooked in, but
they will take out as much or
as little as they need," he
Dr. Giles raised the issue of
collaboration between
Michigan's Jewish com-
munities at the Detroit
federation's annual meeting
last September.
Earl Jordan of Ann Arbor
said it would be "foolish for us
not to utilize expertise that is

available" A national move-
ment within the Council of
Jewish Federations advocates
a "continental approach" to
solving Jewish problems, Jor-
dan said. "Maybe we can af-
ford things on a regional basis
that we could not do locally.
And there are gifted profes-
sionals here that can help us?'
The continental approach is
coming, said Kraar. "The
demarcation of local com-
munities is becoming less and
less marked" in terms of
sharing speakers, resources
and expertise.
David Nussbaum, executive
director of the Flint federa-
tion, said he looks forward to
cooperative efforts "as peers
and equals. We view it as a
partnership?' He said models
for federation cooperative ef-
forts exist in Illinois, Ohio,
New York, California and
other states.


JFS Names
New Director

Alan D. Goodman has been
named executive director of
the Jewish Family Service.
He replaces Sam Lerner, JFS
executive director for the past
26 years, who is retiring.
Goodman begins his new posi-
tion May 1.
Since 1982, Goodman has
served as executive director of
Jewish Family Services in
Albany, N.Y. He also has
worked as executive director
of the Johannesburg Associa-
tion for the Aged in South
Africa, as senior staff
associate in community
organization and social plan-
ning for the Syracuse, N.Y.,
Jewish Federation, and as a
field psychologist with the
Israeli army.
Goodman holds a master's
degree in social work from
Yeshiva University and a
bachelor's degree in
psychology and sociology
from Rhodes University in
Grahamstown, South Africa.

Ask Anything
But My Age

New York (JTA) — A
worldwide Jewish population
survey to be conducted over
the next few years will in-
vestigate age distribution,
migration patterns, family
size, economic status, occupa-

tions, Jewish affiliation and
activity, extent of Jewish
education and patterns of in-
termarriage and assimilation
in Jewish communities.
Demographic experts from
throughout the world recent-
ly met as part of the Interna-
tional Scientific Advisory
Committee of the World
Jewish Population Survey.
The committee was created in
the wake of a resolution
adopted by the 1987 World
Conference on Jewish Popula-
tion and endorsed by the
World Zionist Congress.
The American survey of
some 2,500 households is set
for May and June 1990.

100 Turn Out
For Blood Tests

More than 100 persons
turned out Sunday to have
blood samples taken for the
national bone marrow
registry in the United States
and the Hadassah Hospital-
Hebrew University registry
in Israel.
"In respect that we've had
four or five blood testing
drives in this community in
the last six months, I think
we did very well," said Susan
Yorke, president of Greater
Detroit Hadassah.
Some were turned away,
Yorke said, because they were
over the age limit, had cancer
radiation treatments in the
past or had heart disease.

Many contributed funds to
help defray the $50 cost per

JLC Sponsors
Symbolic Fast

The Jewish Labor Commit-
tee is sponsoring a symbolic
fast on Monday to show
solidarity with farm workers
boycotting the sale of grapes
to protest working conditions
and pay.
The JLC's Selma Goode
noted that Monday is also the
Fast of Esther, and recalled
the Isaiah 58 xerse, "Esther
took it upon herself to help
the oppressed to go free."

Syrian Jews
Focus Of Appeal

Synagogues throughout
Canada will offer prayers
Saturday for the rights of
4,500 Jews to leave Syria.
Saturday marks Shabbat
Zachor, the Sabbath of
Remembrance, which derives
its name from the Torah por-
tion recalling the Amalekites,
the tribe that sought to
destroy the Israelites in the
The day also is the 15th an-
niversary of the murder of
four Jewish women from
Damascus, who were killed in
1974 trying to escape into



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