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June 30, 1989 - Image 94

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1989-06-30

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

ON CAMPUS

D Q ar tIG m 4nd P od )

4.0Ve c_cp rop

pleaSO Send nie, some
9T ) - c- )0
( 3 11 LoVg
° 7 - t/

To The Class of '89:
Be Liberal, Be Jews

AT THE PACKAGING STORE ...

ARTHUR J. MAGIDA

- d








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82

FRIDAY, JUNE 30, 1989

embers of the Class
of '89 at leading
Jewish universities
around the country were
recently urged by commence-
ment speakers to keep
liberalism alive, maintain a
proper stance toward Israel,
improve education in the
United States and use tradi-
tional religious values to help
enrich the contemporary
world.
Whether any of these
students, at long last freed
from classes, teachers and ar-
cane readings, took to heart
any of what they heard is
something that can only be
answered by each graduate.
To some extent, the speeches
were each college's last-ditch
chance to get its penultimate
message across to its new
grads. As novelist E.L. Doc-
torow, the commencement
speaker at Brandeis Univer-
sity, gently told that school's
departing seniors, "I'm the
last compulsory lecture of
your undergraduate careers. I
represent your faculty's last
shot at you, their last chance
to tell you what they meant,
before you slip out of their
grasp forever."
Joining Doctorow in setting
graduates on the straight-
and-narrow of life were Sen.
Joseph Lieberman, (D-Conn.),
who spoke at Yeshiva Univer-
sity; Simcha Dinitz, the
Israeli Ambassador to the
United States, who addressed
Jewish Theological Seminary
(JTS) graduates; and Dr.
Joseph A. Steger, president of
the University of Cincinnati,
who orated at Hebrew Union
College (HUC).

Religion and
Secularity
Compatible

In New York, Lieberman,
the first Orthodox Jew elected
to the Senate, told Yeshiva
graduates that his victory
last fall "vindicates"
Yeshiva's "basic premise" —
that secular and religious
education are complemen-
tary, not antagonistic, that
they "can strengthen each
other."
His election, he said, means
that observing Orthodox
practices will not limit "any
career or personal choices." It
also undermines those, he
said, who contend that "par-
ticular religious values, tradi-
tions and observances are im-
pediments to success in the

Ambassador Dinitz:
"sensitive and crucial."

real world . . . They are not an
impediment. They are in-
dispensable."
"My victory," said the
senator, "may have been a
personal accomplishment,
but it is also a celebration of
America."
The "greatest source" of
America's "discipline and
purpose," said Lieberman, is
"faith — a faith that accepts
human imperfection, but
elevates humans by making
us accountable and giving us
purpose."

Among those purposes, he
continued, was the fight
against drugs, crime, and en-
vironmental ruin. Calling the
environment "God's crea-
tion," Lieberman said pollu-
tion is "a true profanation of
God's name" that can be stop-
ped "by making polluters ac-
countable" and "by restoring
self-discipline."

"Sensitive" Israel-
Diaspora Relations

At the Jewish Theological
Seminary, the Conservative
movement's rabbinical
seminary in New York, Israeli
Ambassador Dinitz said
Israeli and Diaspora relations
are in "a sensitive and crucial
stage." He primarily at-
tributed this delicacy to the
Palestinian intifada and
peace initiatives by the
Palestine Liberation
Organization and to last
autumn's fracas over "Who Is
A Jew."
Israel's centrality for Jews
everywhere, he said, means it
must remain strong, physical-
ly, morally and democratical-
ly. It also "bestows certain
modes of conduct" on
Diaspora Jews, who must
strive, said the ambassador, to
make Israel "attractive" so
Jews from all over the world
will regard Israel as "their

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