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October 06, 1989 - Image 22

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1989-10-06

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

OBSERVATIONS

The Jewish Home
for Aged-Borman Hall
Adult Day Program
for the frail elderly
is special.

An Ancient Theatre
Enlivens Beit She'an

LINDA BERKOWITZ

Special to The Jewish News

It's Tradition

We have promised the aged — our mothers, our fathers,
even ourselves — that the Jewish tradition of caring for our
elders will be maintained.

We're keeping the promise at Borman Hall.

Participants in the Adult Day Program at Borman Hall will
find a familiar and comfortable setting including:
■ Kosher lunch
■ Therapeutic recreation
■ Daily and holiday
activities such as
services in the facility's
Yiddish music perfor-
synagogue
mances, crafts, Torah
■ Religious programs
classes, movies
■ Friends from the
community

Borman Hall Day Program participants can take advantage
of the Home's social and health support services:
■ Physical Therapy
■ Dental exams and
■ Occupational Therapy
services
■ Podiatry
■ Family counseling
■ Dietary counseling
■ Audiology
■ Bathing
■ Speech Therapy
■ Vision Testing
■ Beauty Shop
■ Blood Pressure checks
■ Manicures

Transportation services are available.

Hours of operation:
Monday - Friday
8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

For more information, call the Jewish Home for Aged,
Borman Hall. Ask for the Day Program Director.

(313) -532-7112

Make an appointment to visit — Feel the warmth of Jewish
tradition at Borman Hall.

JEWISH HOME FOR AGED
Borman Hall
19100 W. Seven Mile Road, Detroit, MI 48219

The Jewish Home for Aged — Borman Hall Adult Day Program is partially funded by
a grant from United Way for Southeastern Michigan.

Vo%\---

To All Our Friends &
Customers, We Wish You
L'Shanah Tova Tikatevu

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22

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FRIDAY, OCTOBER 6, 1989

Call The Jewish News

354.6060

I

I

ndependence Day was
celebrated throughout
Israel from large cities to
remote settlements with
varying degrees of fanfare. It
was in the unassuming town
of Beit She'an in the lower
Galilee that one of the most
exciting cultural events took
place. A newly resotred se-
cond century Roman theater
reverberated with the sounds
of the Israel Philharmonic
Orchestra.
The theater, the center of a
new archaeological site in
Beit She'an, has become the
focus of a major project that is
aimed at turning the town in-
to a tourist center. The ex-
cavations are being conducted
by the Hebrew University's
archaeology and the Israel
antiquities departments in
association with the Tourism
Ministry, the National Parks
Authority, the Beit She'an
local council and the Jewish
National Fund.
Beit She'an lies in the
center of the fertile valley of
the same name on one of
history's most important
trade routes. Beit She'an has
continuously been inhabited
by Canaanites, Philistines
and Israelites, Greeks,
Romans, Arabs and
Crusaders.
Archaeologists began un-
covering Beit She'an's history
in the early 1920's when
American archaeologists
unearthed 18 levels of occupa-
tion extending from the Chal-
colithic to the early Arab
period. Still the excavations
made in the past three years
have brought Beit She'an to
archaeological prominence,
putting the town on the coun-
try's tourism map. The
Ministry of Tourism claims
Beit She'an is the largest and
best preserved Roman-
Byzantine city in Israel.
The magnificant theater
was discovered in the 1960's,
when work began for the
building of a new bus station.
At the time the find evoked
little interest because of the
pre-eminent interest in pre-
Second Temple Israel sites.
"In November 1986, aside
from the theater, the area was
a flat expanse of Eucalyptus
groves," remembers Dr. Gi-
deon Foerster who heads the
Hebrew University ar-
chaeological team. They have
been excavating the area ad-
jacent to the theater which
has been identified as the se-
cond century Roman city of

Scythoplis. Along with an im-
pressive Roman temple, a
public fountain and numer-
ous aqueduct systems, a
pedestrian mall with a
wooden-tiled roof, supported
by rows of pillars has been
unearthed. This is similar to
the restored Roman Cardo in
the Old City of Jerusalem.
Excavations have also
revealed a spacious public „
bath-house with a remark-
ably beautiful and well-
preserved mosiac floor. It is
believed to have been equip-
ped with a gymnasium,
massage rooms, libraries,
saunas and heated pools. The
mosaics are presently being
restored and plans to cover
the baths with a roof are be-
ing discussed.
For archaeologists, issues
concerning the reconstruction
of an ancient city are pro-
blematic. There are some who
strongly oppose reconstruc-
tion for fear of obliterating
the original structure. No
decision regarding
Scythopolis' reconstruction
has been made.
The decision to restore the
theater, however, was
unanimous. "A theater is the
only building that can be us-
ed for its original function,"
says Lawrence Belkin, a
specialist in the restoration of
antiquity who has spent three
years on the Beit She'an
theater project. He strongly
supports the preservation of
antiquity, holding that "you
have to be careful that there
is a balance between the old
and the new, so that the new
does not obliterate the an-
cient structure."
Because the theater was
found almost completely in-
tact, with a stage, orchestral
pit and 14 rows of seating,
Belkin's task is to restore not
reconstruct. Built of white
limestone and black basalt,
the theater once seated 5,000.
'May the 2,200 people who
make up the audience will sit
on the same stone blocks as
did the Romans when they
watched the proceedings
below.
The Beit She'an Foundation
for Culture, created in 1988,
backs the festival and the
restoration of the theater. A
Beit She'an has long been
viewed as an underdeveloped,
somewhat sleepy town out-
side the mainstream of Israeli
society. However, judging by
the enthusiasm of its ex-
cavators, restorers and
developers, all that is likely to
change. ❑

World Zionist Press Service

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