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January 12, 1990 - Image 111

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1990-01-12

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

"CLOSED was

the word that

ID-

'Its•

for many

Occasionally there are per-
sonality conflicts, or
sometimes one or both of the
families do not realize the
commitment involved and
decide not to continue.
At least one member of each
interested American family is
required to attend an orienta-
tion session before a match
will be made. The program is
explained in detail, and par-
ticipants are asked to take
the applications home and
discuss the idea with other
family members before mak-
ing a decision.
"Once the names are ex-
changed, the Soviet families
are very anxious for the first
meeting to take place, and we
want to avoid situations
where someone signs up im-
pulsively at the orientation
and then goes home and
changes her mind, or finds
out her fmaily doesn't want to
participate," said Levine.
Rosie Schlussel, another
Family-to-Family co-chair, is
often asked how much time
an American family is ex-
pected to contribute to the
program. "How much time do
you put into a friendship?
That's up to you," she
answers.
Family-to-Family has five
co-chairs in all: Schlussel and
Levine from National Council
of Jewish Women, Greater
Detroit Section; and Gloria
Cohen, Ellie Slovis and
Karen Myerson from the
Women's Division of Jewish
Welfare Federation.
So far, over 200 families
have been matched. But more
American families are need-
ed to keep up with the in-
creasing influx of Soviet Jews
to the Detroit area.
Schlussel points out that
the program is not designed
to convert the Soviet im-
migrants any branch of
Judaism, but to introduce
them to the customs they
were not free to practice in
Russia: lighting Shabbat
candles, eating hamentashen
on Purim, or making latkes
and lighting a menorah on
Chanukah.
"You don't have to be a
religious person to teach so-
meone how to be a Jew," said
Schlussel.
At a Chanukah workshop
Dec. 17 at Temple Israel,
Soviet and American families
heard the story of Judah Mac-
cabee, told in Russian and
English. They learned how to
say the blessings over the
menorah, and watched a live-
action dreidel game. Hot
latkes were served, and
recipes in Russian were hand-
ed out so that novices could
try their hands at home.
Some Family-to-Family
events have centered around

years described

\61 '

41

her —P

the educational

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opportunities available

to learning handicapped

children in the Jewish

schools of America.

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::1111.Y.1111111111111, .:.

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

107

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