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October 27, 1989 - Image 104

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1989-10-27

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Parents for Torah for All Children.
"P'TACH," is a national non-profit
organization which provides secular and
Jewish education for children with learning •
disabilities who are enrolled in our schools.
Before P'TACH existed, the doors of
almost all day schools were indeed closed
to children with all levels of learning
disabilities, and the parents of these special
children were often frustrated by a
community that failed to recognize the need
for providing special educational programs
in our schools. Now, through P'TACH, the
doors of our schools are "OPEN" to all
our children.

The Michigan branch, P'TACH of
Michigan, Inc., was founded in May of
1979 by a group of parents, lay people and
professionals in fields related to special
education. Our main objective is to provide
special education for learning disabled
children with the goal of mainstreaming
them into regular classrooms whenever
possible. Today, P'TACH has grown to
serve over twenty children in its two
programs. Unfortunately, due to a lack of
financial resources, children are currently
on a waiting list to enter P'TACH's


P'TACH of Mich., Inc.
18150 Alta Vista
Southfield, Michigan 48075
(313) 399-6281

All donations are tax deductible





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Continued from preceding page

party, the Jewish Socialist
Bund and the Joint Distri-
bution committee—a fact
that made them
"professional political agita-
tors ...who might well
transplant their entire polit-
ical organization to the Uni-
ted States." Tragically,
Steinhardt's assessment
was embraced by
Breckinridge Long, the
State Department official in
charge of immigration af-
fairs. Long had crusaded
against admitting this wave
of desperate immigrants;
Steinhardt's assessment
gave him important am-
munition in his battle to
convince President
Roosevelt to impose addi-
tional limits on immigration.
"I saw this as a very impor-
tant example of the prob-
lems of Jews in positions of
authority," Rubin says. "It
was a genuine tragedy in a
number of respects." This
issue of whether substantial
numbers of Jews could have
been saved from the Nazis
haunts Rubin's book. An-
other example involved the
bizarre mission of Joel
Brand to Istanbul. In April,
1944, Brand, a leader of the
Jewish underground in
Budapest, was picked up by
the Nazis and delivered to
the office of Adolf
Eichmann, who was in the
process of liquidating
Hungarian Jewry.
Eichmann had a strange
proposal, Rubin writes.
Brand would fly to Istanbul
and offer to trade "blood for
merchandise," in
Eichmann's unforgettable
words. The merchandise in-
cluded 10,000 trucks, 800
tons of tea, 800 tons of cof-
fee, 200 tons of cocoa and 2
million bars of soap; the
blood involved the release of
1 million Jews. Brand was
told that if he did not con-
vince the Allies to accept the
offer, the Jews would
die—including his own fami-
ly. But the British suspected
an elaborate Nazi propagan-
da plot, or an attempt to
drive a wedge between the
Soviet Union and her two
primary allies, the United
States and Great Britain.
They removed Brand to
Cairo under virtual house
arrest—and put off the
Zionist leaders who desper-
ately wanted the Allies to
play along with the German
gambit, if only to save a
small remnant of the prom-
ised one million. "The ques-
tion has been hotly debated
for years," Rubin says.
"One of the things I was
able to show was that this
was a serious offer by the
Germans. Two things were
behind it: corruption, and
the fact that Himmler, who
realized that people were

trying to overthrow Hitler,
was trying to build a bridge
to the Allies to diminish
some of his responsibility
for the Holocaust."
Eichmann even sent a
trainload of Jews destined
for a death camp to Switzer-
land to show his good faith
— a signal that the Allies
chose to ignore. "It's abso-
lutely clear to anybody
who studies this matter that
800,000 to a million of those
who died during the Holo-
caust could have been res-
cued," he says. "This was
true even as late as 1943.
One primary reason they
weren't was because the
British refused to let Jews
into Palestine. So on one
hand, people like Thddy Kol-
lek were in Istanbul saving
thousands of people. On the
other, they were terribly
upset because they knew
they could be saving hun-
dreds of thousands. It was
just a terrible psychological
strain for the Zionists." In
this sense, he says, Istanbul
stands as a monument to
both the heroism and the
futility of the rescue effort.
Rubin is convinced that the
history of this period is crit-
ical for an understanding of
the current situation in the
Middle East. "What I think
my book shows, historically,

is the very real problems the
Jews faced because of not
having a state of their own,
not being able to depend on
an existing state. It is a re-
minder to others of the situ-
ation out of which Jews cre-
ated Israel. And what
happened in Istanbul clearly
shows the costs of a policy of
appeasement." For Rubin,
whose eight other books
have been detailed studies of
subjects like the State De-
partment and the revolution
in Iran, Istanbul is clearly a
subject of some am-
bivalence. On one hand,
Istanbul's wartime intrigues
have the exotic flavor of a
Graham Greene novel. But
the meaning of what
happened in Istanbul was
tragic for Europe's Jews;
here, Rubin sees only horror
and the unforgivable unwill-
ingness of the Allies to come
to grips with that horror.
"The Holocaust was created
by the German Nazis," he
writes, "but it was
implemented with collabora-
tion by some states and pas-
sive acquiescence by others.
These events were clear
from Istanbul, as was the
lesson that Jews had to act
on their own through their
own nationalist move-
ment—and eventually their
own state." ❑


New Drive Planned
To Aid Soviet Emigres

Washington (JTA) — Brac-
ing for the arrival in the
United States of some 18,000
Soviet Jews by Dec. 31,
leaders of major Jewish
philanthropic agencies have
asked local Jewish com-
munity federations to reset-
tle dramatically higher
numbers of Soviet Jews than
they have so far this year.
On average, the par-
ticipating federations will be
asked to absorb three times
as many Jews per month in
the next three months as
they had for each of the first
nine months of the year.
By taking some of the ab-
sorption burden off of the
New York Association of
New Americans, which is
funded through money rais-
ed around the country for in-
ternational needs, the move
is designed to channel a
higher share of the Jewish
philanthropic dollar to Israel
for the purpose of settling
Soviet Jews there.
That is also the motivation
behind an announcement
last week that the United
Jewish Appeal and the
Council of Jewish Federa-

tions have begun planning a
sequel to this year's $75
million Passage to Freedom
The new campaign will
earmark a greater propor-
tion of funds for Israel's
resettlement needs than the
current campaign's 50-50
split, UJA National Chair-
man Morton Kornreich said.
The latest moves are part-
ly a response to a major
change in U.S. immigration
policy that took effect Oct. 1.
Since that date, Soviet Jews
and others seeking to enter
the United States as refu-
gees have had to apply at the
U.S. Embassy in Moscow.
U.S. authorities no longer
grant refugee status to those
who leave the Soviet Union
on Israeli visas.
In addition, the sheer
number of Soviet Jews ex-
pected to arrive in the
United States this year has
changed minds formerly
opposed to a major effort to
resettle the Jews here, said
Rabbi Daniel Allen, assis-
tant executive vice chair-
man of the United Israel

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