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November 03, 1989 - Image 46

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1989-11-03

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

I PROFILE I

HE'S EARNED YOU. MILLIONS!

"NR,

Confrontational Rabbi

77'0740.0

RE-ELECT

Continued from preceding page

ROMAN J.

GRONKOWSKI

14'

TREASURER-CITY OF SOUTHFIELD

Gronkowski's past performance is an indication of future achievements:

• He has helped increase the bond rating of Southfield from BAA
to AA. Moody's Investment Services ranks Southfield in the
top 10% of all cities nationally.
• During his tenure as Treasurer, Gronkowski has earned over
$62,000,000 for the city, helping to maintain the high level of
city services that Southfield citizens enjoy.

• He has earned the designation, "Certified Municipal Finance
Administrator", from the Municipal Treasurers Association of
United States and Canada. This certification has been awarded
to only 10% of all finance administrators nationally, and
acknowledges academic achievement and knowledge of
municipal treasury operations.

"He's Earned Your Trust"

We're proud of the job performance of our Southfield Treasurer.
That's why we're urging you to vote for him on Tuesday, November 7.

This ad was made possible by the contributions of:
David Pollock
Eli Robinson
Philip Langwald Mark E. Schlussel

Paid for by the Citizens for Gronkowski 28541 W. Kalong, Southfield. MI 48034 Roman J. Gronkowski, Treasurer

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46

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 3, 1989

great willpower in his quest
to communicate with people,
and recalls. the Coalition
engaging some 700
Austrians in one-on-one
conversations over a. four-
day period during a protest
in Vienna at the time of Kurt
Waldheim's inauguration.
"People have the right to
question our tactics," said
Richter, who acknowledged
that Rabbi Weiss has "a
healthy ego." But he noted
that with all of the stress,
criticism, financial expense
and death threats that go
along with the activism, it is
unfair to dismiss Rabbi
Weiss's involvement as moti-
vated by ego. "He does it
lishma, or for the sake of
heaven," he insisted.
Rabbi Weiss claims he
does not like being an activ-
ist. He's interested in teach-
ing, he says, in being a rabbi.
And being a rabbi "more
than anything has to be a
process of I-thou relation-
ships. I view activism as a
very depersonalizing and
dehumanizing activity.
Whatever you act for or
against becomes an object
to you. People in the Soviet
mission become objects —
you forget they are also
husbands, wives and
parents. The police and re-
porters lose their humanity
and become objects you
want to manipulate.
"At times I detest it. I do
it because I have no choice."
The risks Rabbi Weiss
have taken are not just pro-
fessional. In 1986, he suf-
fered a heart attack after he
was beaten at an anti-Soviet
demonstration in front of
Carnegie Hall. The incident
and heart attack continue to
have a profound effect on
him, but they haven't damp-
ened his activities, despite
subsequent heart -bypass
surgery.

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Perhaps the most contro-
versial stand Rabbi Weiss
ever took involved his sup-
port of the Jewish under-
ground group in Israel con-
victed in the early 1980s of
planning bomb attacks
against Arabs. He says now,
"it was the hardest activist
issue I've ever been involved
in." Rabbi Weiss stresses
that the only underground
activity he defended was the
action against two Palestin-
ian West Bank mayors.
(Bombs had been placed in
their cars and one mayor
had his legs blown off.)
"My understanding was
that these mayors were in-
tent on murdering Jews." In
hindsight, he admits, "I
think the reason I became so
vocal was my relationship
with Era Rappaport." Rap-
paport had been a childhood
friend and someone Weiss
considers "a wonderful per-

son." Rappaport was in-
volved in the attack on the
mayors. Now, he says, he
would defend such an action
again, but he would also say
it is wrong.
On other issues relating to
Israel, Rabbi Weiss comes
across as a hard-liner, even
though he rejects the de-
scription. He believes that
the West Bank territories
occupied by Israel in 1967
should be "incorporated"
into Israel. He feels the Pal-
estinian residents of the
West Bank should be wel-
come to remain as citizens of
Israel, if they want that op-
tion.
He says the only way to
deal with the intifada is to
deport its leaders, even if
that involves thousands. -He
thinks American Jews who
dialogue with the PLO are
traitors to the Jewish people
and he will not allow them to
speak in his shul.
The ultimate challenge of
the Jewish state, he says, is
to balance power with love.
"I categorically reject any
philosophy which says that
the Arabs are evil. That is
against Torah. I favor Pal-
estinian expression in a Pal-
estinian state — and I be-
lieve that state should be in
Jordan."
Rabbi Weiss has been
linked by some to Rabbi -
Meir Kahane but he is out-
raged at the comparison.
"I'm unalterably opposed to
any form of violence," he
argues. "I reject with all my
strength the concept of
transfer. "
Rabbi Weiss' heart is part-
ly in Israel, where his father
is now a rabbi. He wants to
live there, too, he says, but
"there is a task to be com-
pleted here." Leaving aside
his daily and global concerns
for a moment, Rabbi Weiss
dreams a little. "I wish this
synagogue was in Israel," he
says. "The spirit of open-
ness...Israel could really use
that."

I NEWS I"'

Feminists Plan
Israel Mission

New York — On the an-
niversary of the historic First
International Jewish
Feminist Conference, which
was held in Jerusalem in
December, 1988, the Commis-
sion for Women's Equality of
the American Jewish Con-
gress will sponsor a Women's
Mission to Israel Nov. 25 to
Dec. 3.
Mission participants will
receive in-depth briefings
from political, judicial, legal,
military and religious
authorities on the status of
women in Israeli life.

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