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November 10, 1989 - Image 24

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1989-11-10

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

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24

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 10, 1989

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WERE FIGHTING FOR
YOUR LIFE

American Heart
Association

Abortion Fight

Continued from Page 22

nation's attention, and more
mainstream Jewish
women's groups have decid-
ed it is time to speak out.
Jewish women's groups
also have reacted to the mo-
nopoly on religion claimed
by the pro-life movement in
the early 1980s, and have
begun to see the need to
stand up for choice in the
context of their Jewish
beliefs.
Many of the Jewish
organizations joined with
liberal Christian groups as
part of the Religious Coali-
tion for Abortion Rights.
As a result of these forces,
"Jewish women's organiza-
tions are beginning to take
both of their labels seri-
ously," Schneider said.
Officials of the organiza-
tions said that a great deal of
the spur for their activism
was pressure from the grass-
roots membership.
"The grassroots was corn-
ing to [the national leader-
ship] talking and urging,"
said Shirley Blumberg of
Gaithersburg, Md., who
serves as Hadassah's lay
representative in
Washington.
Blumberg's background is
typical of the traditionally
active "Hadassah lady." In-
volved in the group for 40
years, she has visited Israel
frequently and has been ac-
tive on Zionist issues.
But she is equally con-
cerned about reproductive
rights. She represents
Hadassah at national pro-
choice strategy meetings. At
last April's massive pro-
choice rally in Washington,
her husband and grown
daughter joined her in carry-
ing the Hadassah banner.
She speaks proudly of her
daughter's generation,
which is active in the pro-
choice battle through
Hadassah. "Our young
women, juggling professions
and families, are making
time for this," Blumberg
said.
Attracting the member-
ship and retaining the sup-
port of Blumberg's
daughter's generation is a
practical need that high
visibility in the pro-choice
movement helps to fill oor
Jewish women's groups.
Like all Jewish organiza-
tions, the women's groups
are greatly concerned about
their membership rolls, es-
pecially as they face a
shrinking pool of women
who have time available for
the volunteer activities to
which they have been tradi-
tionally oriented.
In addition, the women's
groups must contend with
the fact that previously all-

male organizations, like
B'nai B'rith International,
are not only opening their
doors to women, but actively
recruiting them as members
to boost their own numbers.
The conflict between Or-
thodox and non-Orthodox
positions on abortion, both
among Hadassah's member-
ship and in the larger
Jewish community, stems
from varying interpretations
of halachah, which permits
abortions under certain cir-
cumstances.
The Reform and Conser-
vative movements, which

Jewish women's
groups have
reacted to the
monopoly on
religion claimed by
the pro-life
movement in the
early 1980s.

have both endorsed the Nov.
12 rally, believe that abor-
tion should be unrestricted,
in order to allow women to
make the choice based on
their religious beliefs.
The Union of Orthodox
Jewish Congregations of
America, however, did not
endorse the rally and has
said that it "cannot endorse
a public policy that does not
reflect the complex response
of halachah to the abortion
issue."



Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Israel-Poland
Ties To Grow

New York (JTA) —
Poland's new democracy will
set the stage for improving
relations between Poland
and the Jewish world, in-
cluding Israel, a leading
Solidarity member of the
Polish parliament said last
week during a visit here.
Janusz Onyszkiewicz, who
addressed a meeting of the
Conference of Presidents of
Major American Jewish
Organizations, also said the
1975 U.N. resolution
equating Zionism with
racism should be repealed
and that full diplomatic re-
lations between Poland and
Israel should be restored.
He cited the recent visit of
an Israeli trade delegation to
Poland as evidence that ties
would soon be re-established
between the two countries.
The declarations followed
an emotional exchange with
Jewish leaders, among them
leaders of Holocaust sur-
vivor organizations.

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