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November 24, 1989 - Image 7

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1989-11-24

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

I OPINION

CONTENTS

A Jewish American
Or American Jew?

AIMEE LEVITT

A,

m I a Jewish Ameri-
can or an American
Jew? At times it's
hard to tell. When I come
home from shul, I feel very
Jewish on the inside, no mat-
ter where I am on the globe.
But there are times at school
and at home where I feel very
American.
It's difficult to say what I
am because my birth cer-
tificate says I am an
American citizen. Yet, I have
another certificate that says
I am 100 percent Jewish. I
study American history at
school, but I also go to
Hebrew school to learn about
Jewish history. As a Jew, I
will become a grown-up when
I am bat mitzvah this year.
But, as an American, I won't
receive full benefit of my
American citizenship until I
hit 21.
My name is Aimee. It says
so right there on my birth cer-
tificate. But at Hebrew
school, they call me "Chana",
because that's what's written
on my Jewish birth cer-
tificate. It almost seems as if
I am two different people:

Aimee, the American, and
Chana, the Jew.
My family has lived in
America for less than 100

Aimee Levitt, age 12, of Long
Grove, Ill., is the
granddaughter of Monte and
Brenda Levitt of Detroit.

26

CLOSE-UP

A Whole Loaf

years. But they have been
Jewish forever. So technical-
ly, Judaism comes before the
country of my birth. Right?
But things are changing.
My ancestors didn't have any
non-Jewish friends, but a
good portion of my friends are
gentile. Who knows? Maybe
one day, when my Hebrew
school days are long gone,
Judaism will slip into second
place behind patriotism.
But whoever, or whatever, I
am, I'm still the same person
inside. I would still be me if
I were Jewish American, or
American Jewish. So is there
really any question at all?
But because I am Jewish,
my outlook on certain things
may be different from that of
my fellow Americans. Not all
Americans believe that the
Holocaust actually happened.
Not all Americans are
sensetive to anti-Semitism or
cringe in horror when they
see or hear the words
"Hitler," "Nazi," "Pharoah,"
"Auschwitz," "Holocaust,"
"idol," or "skinhead." Not too
many Americans grin with
pride or joy when they read
"Moses," "Israel,"
"Abraham," "Chanukah,"
"Purim," "Exodus," or
"Afikomen."
Very few American kids
groan when their parents tell
them "Time for Hebrew!,"
"Eat your matzah, dear!," or
"Time to go to shul for Yom
Kippur!" So being Jewish will
always prevent me from total-
ly assimilating into
American life.
On the other hand, I am
also very American, too. I
prefer pizza to- kishke. "Sum-
mer Vacation" are two words
of great joy. I celebrate the
Fourth of July, Thanksgivi-
ing, Labor Day and Memorial
Day. I've been to Washington,
D.C., not Jerusalem. George
Bush is my leader, not a pro-
phet from long ago. I've had
to memorize the Bill of Rights
for school, not the Ten Com-
mandments. I don't like the
sound of the word "corn-
munist," either. I prefer
American music to my Haf-
tarah, and I speak American
English, not Hebrew. I read
American books, not the
Talmud or the Bible.
As I grow older, my level of
experience will change my
outlook of the world. So I will
continue to ask myself if I am
an American Jew, or a Jewish
American, and I don't think
my answers will ever be the
same, because my thoughts
will always be changing,
growing, just like me.



ELIZABETH APPLEBAUM
In batches of one or 2,000,
there's nothing like challah.

43

LOOKING BACK

Gift Of Memory

OP-

65

DEBORAH LIPSTADT
To remember those who preceded
us is to be redeemed by them.

BOOKS

Power Of The Pen

49

KIMBERLY LIFTON

ELIZABETH APPLEBAUM
Arthur Hertzberg, Lucy Dawidowicz
discuss their latest volumes.

FOCUS

Breaking Barriers

65

KIMBERLY LIFTON
Teachers are shown how to tear
down walls of misunderstanding.

69

ENTERTAINMENT

Mattamorphosis!

This magician transforms a club
into a family Matt-inee.

91

EDUCATION

69

Nosh 'n Drash

SUSAN GRANT
High school students have fun
with a new after-school program.

94

HEALTH

New Destroyer

JACKIE KLEIN
An organization and volunteers
help families fight Alzheimer's.

DEPARTMENTS

32
46
53
54
86

Inside Washington
Business
Community
Synagogues
Fine Arts

96
104
106
111
134

Engagements
Births
Single Life'
Classified Ads
Obituaries

CANDLELIGHTING

91

Friday, November 24, 1989 4:47 p.m.
Sabbath ends Nov. 25 5:51 p.m.

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

7

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