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May 19, 1989 - Image 1

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1989-05-19

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MAY 19, 1989 / 14 IYAR 5749

Religion Is Hidden
On Bloomfield Ballot


Staff Writer

TORCH — a group aiming to in-
clude religious traditions in Bloom-
field Hills schools — appears to have
disbanded, but it may remain a
lingering presence in the June 12
school board elections.
Five candidates, including school
board President Suzanne von Ende
and incumbent board member C.
Thomas Wilson, are seeking two four-
year terms on the seven-person
Bloomfield Hills School Board.
Challengers are political newcomers
Harland Cohen, an attorney; Patricia
Hardy, a housewife and former
teacher; and David Klapp, a Ford
Motor Co. tradesman and a builder.
Klapp owns Classic Custom Homes
In an unusual twist for school
board elections, candidates have coin-
ed "multicultural" a buzzword for the
race. Von Ende and Wilson view

multicultural programs as ways of
helping children understand dif-
ferences among their peers. Wilson
said the December dilemma over holi-
day celebrations is an indirect cam-
paign issue.
Moving to the political forefront
in what otherwise would be a
lackluster race is talk among the can-
didates and throughout the communi-
ty of religion, prayer and holiday
celebration. These have been grouped
together as multicultural concerns.
"Because of the tremendously
diverse population in the schools, we
have to be aware of a need for respect
of all cultures and religions?' von
Ende said. "It is not the place of
schools to teach religious beliefs?'
Challengers are running plat-
forms highlighting basic school
issues, accusing the board of spending
too much money to justify declining
Michigan Educational Assessment
Program test scores, calling for new
Continued on Page 16

Speakers See Myths
In Israel Relationship


Seymour Reich, the highly visible
president of B'nai B'rith and
chairman of the Conference of
Presidents of Major American Jewish
Organizations, is the closest thing
the Jewish community has to an
offical spokesman.


Associate Editor

Two of American Jewry's first
liaisons in Israel threw a dash of reali-
ty on the Israel-Diaspora relationship
Monday night.
Audience reaction was sym-
pathetic to the myth-breaking
assessments of Dr. David Clayman,
director of the American Jewish Con-
gress' Israel Office in Jerusalem, and
Martin Kraar, founding director of
the Council of Jewish Federation's
Israel Office and currently executive
vice president of the Jewish Welfare
Federation of Metropolitan Detroit.
Clayman sees three major friction
points between American Jewry and
Israel: criticism of Israeli decisions,
the differences between the two com-
munities and the Soviet Jewry issue.
"Love without criticism is corrup-
ting. We err if we think we can give
uncritical love to Israel," Clayman
said. But it raises the old question of
whether to be critical in public or
"In recent months and years there
has been a critical factor in the rela-
tionship. American Jews are more
educated and less in the shadow of the

Holocaust. They don't want to sign a
blank check. But, on the other hand,
when does critical love become cor-
Clayman said American Jewry
will not decide Israel's fate "but that
does not preclude partnership." One
cannot give orders to a grown child or
spouse, "but that does not stop you
from giving your advice?'
He said Israelis do not understand
American Jews' religious pluralism.
"In the words of Shlomo Avineri: 'The
shul that Israelis don't go to is Or-
thodox: " At the same time, American
Jews do not understand the Israelis'
on the Who is a Jew issue. Clayman
said it is a political rather than a
religious question in Israel.
Kraar, who will become executive
vice president of the national Coun-
cil of Jewish Federations at the end
of 1989, predicted the Who is a Jew
issue will boil up again in 18 months.
He said the religious right in Israel
will be far more organized after the
next Israeli elections and American
Jews have not continued to fight the
issue after it died down last year.
The reality, he said, is the Israeli
political process must be changed

Continued on Page 18

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