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December 29, 1989 - Image 39

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1989-12-29

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

the U.S. last year en route to
Israel and a much more ex-
tended tour this year, which
ended last month.
The choir gave concerts in
New York, Boston,
Worcester, Mass., Chicago,
Houston, San Francisco and
Los Angeles.
Tokayer said Otsuki's
followers "were very early"
in the practice of "praying
for Jews, although they had
never met a Jew."
He said they were praying
for the reunification of
Jerusalem before they saw
Jerusalem.
Choir performances are
free. Tokayer said the sect
members provide the funds
for the tours.
Its repertoire includes
Israeli songs and one written
in Hebrew by Otsuki, but
also Japanese folk melodies
and songs for children.
Tokayer said the choir has
been greeted with "great
warmth and enthusiasm" in
Israel, and their perfor-
mances get "rave reviews"
in the Israeli media.
Recently, the Otsuki
followers built an inn in
Kyoto, also named "Beit
Shalom." It is free to Jewish
guests, and Tokayer believes
it to be "a symbolic gesture,
a kind of reaction to the
Holocaust."
He fixed a mezuzah to the
inn doorpost. He said it was
erected on the premise that
if any Jews should ever be in
need, "they should know
they have a home in Japan."
Tokayer left Japan in
1981, though he visits there
every year. The current
rabbi there is Moshe Silbers-
tein, also Conservative. ❑

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--THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS, ,

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