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August 04, 1989 - Image 29

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1989-08-04

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

FIRST ANNUAL

Synagogue Shops Saved
From Proposed Tax

Jewish groups had reason
to celebrate recently when
the idea of an "unrelated
business income tax," or
UBIT, was laid to rest for the
current congressional session.
UBIT is a revenue-
generating scheme intended
to correct abuses by some
non-profit organizations. But
the inadvertent targets of the
proposed legislation would
have included synagogue gift
shops, yeshivas and Jewish
organizations that sponsor
tours of Israel.
Recently, the tax was ex-
cluded from the budget
package in the House Ways

and Means committee.
Jewish federations, led by
representatives of the New
York and Chicago federations,
had mobilized widespread
grass-roots opposition to the
measure.
"It would have been a real
burden for many of our
organizations and a real
bureaucratic problem," said
Susan Banes Harris,
Washington representative
for the New York UJA Federa-
tion. "We were very active in
letting the House know how
this tax would hurt our
human service and cultural
groups."

Helms' Bill Censors
Art, Not Crimes

Some Jewish activists are
mystified the introduction of
a bill by Sen. Jesse Helms, R-
N.C., that would bar the Na-
tional Endowment for the
Arts from funding projects
deemed "obscene or inde-
cent." The bill would also pro-
hibit grants for art that
"denigrates, debases or
reviles a person, group or
class of citizens on the basis
of race, creed, sex, handicap,
age or national origin."
But Helms remains the ma-
jor obstacle to Senate passage
of the Hate Crimes Statistics
bill, which mandates the
federal collection of data on
crimes based on the victim's
race, religion, ethnicity or
sexual orientation.
"We appreciate Sen. Helms'
newly-acquired sensitivity to
defamation, although we
think his targeting of art is
censorship which we strongly
oppose," said Judy Golub,
assistant Washington
representative for the
American Jewish Committee.
"It's ironic that he doesn't feel
the same way about crimes
based on race, religion,

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Sen. Helms:
Some are mystified.
ethnicity or sexual orienta-
tion. Rather than protecting
people from artistic 'defama-
tion,' he should help us pass
a bill that actually help pro-
tect people from crimes — a
bill that enjoys wide support
in Congress, police organiza-
tion, state attorneys general
and a wide range of civil
rights groups."

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Jewish activists involved in
the fight termed an "outrage."
"By statute, they could pro-
vide $500 million," said Jess
Hordes, the group's
Washington director. "Twen-
ty million was an insult. Cur-
rently we're hoping to get fun-
ding at about $150 million."
The group is using the
August congressional recess
to generate letters to the
Senate Appropriations com-
mittee.

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The Car Cy Truck Connection

ADL Wants More Funds
For Japanese Detainees

Anti-Defamation
The
League of B'nai B'rith will be
using the upcoming congres-
sional recess to crank up sup-
port for financial compensa-
tion for Japanese-Americans
interned during World War II.
Last year, Jewish groups
participated in a successful
drive to legislate a compensa-
tion package. But then-
President Ronald Reagan
called for only $20 million in
funding, an amount several

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THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

29

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