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January 26, 1990 - Image 41

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1990-01-26

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Staff Writer


Don Levitt of Shir Tikvah and Dorothy Stewart of Plymouth United
Church of Christ discuss the Martin Luther King Day program at the
church. More than 60 Shir Tikvah members attended the
commemoration in Detroit.

Church elder Ronald Brook-Eskridge and Rabbi Arnie Sleutelberg join
other elders and Detroit City Councilman Gil Hill in a song.

Phyllis Kolko and Fannie Bruner look at children's art from four
churches that marked Martin Luther King Day.
Glenn Triest

Volunteers Sought

The Jewish Family Service
is looking for volunteers who
are interested in being a
friend to a child from a single
parent family.
These children are in need
of an adult friend who can
serve as a role model by offer-
ing companionship and sup-
port and providing them with
attention and guidance. The
friend meets with their as-
signed child on a weekly basis.

The Jewish Family Service
is also recruiting volunteers
to grocery shop for the elder-
ly in the Jewish community.
The shopper can either
escort their partner to the
grocery store or shop for their
partner from a provided shop-
ping list. The senior citizen is
responsible for payment of
the groceries.
For information, call Marcy
Schneider, 559-4046.

lthough local mes-
sianic groups say
they are not actively
reaching out to convert
Soviet Jewish immigrants, a
Jewish organization is not
taking any chances.
Ronnie Schrieber, who
leads the Detroit chapter of
Jews for Judaism, said the
organization plans a lecture
for Soviet Jews to prevent
them from following groups
like Shema Yisrael, which
mix Jewish traditions with
belief in Jesus as the mes-
siah in an effort to convert
Jews to Christianity.
Schrieber has set no date for
the lecture, but expects to
hold it within the next two
Jews for Judaism, head-
quartered in Baltimore with
offices in six American cities
and Toronto, acts as a
counterforce to groups like
Jews for Jesus.
Soviet Jews are vulnerable
to the preachings of mes-
sianic groups because they
do not have a strong Jewish
identity, Schrieber said.
"After 70 years of suppres-
sion, some Soviet Jews don't
know enough about Judaism
or Christianity to know the
critical difference between
them," he said.
So when someone claiming
to be a rabbi approaches
them with a friendly smile
and speaks about Jesus and
Judaism, some Soviet Jews
believe it, Schrieber said.
Most of these contacts
happen in Italy where mis-
sionary groups like the Con-
servative Baptist Foreign
Mission Society actively
seek converts among Soviet
Jews. Missionaries are also
handing out messianic lit-
erature in Russia.

Schrieber said he heard
about a Detroit Soviet Jew
who told a friend about a
"wonderful" book she had
received from a "rabbi"
while she was in Italy. The
book was messianic litera-
But conversion is not lim-
ited to Italy or Russia,
Schrieber said. It can
happen once Soviet Jews are
in the United States.
Although local messianic
groups deny they are active-
ly seeking to convert Soviet
Jews, Schrieber does not
believe them.
Hope of Israel, a messianic

group in Oak Park led by
David Ben Lew, has featured
Soviet Jews speaking about
their belief in Jesus on the
group's weekly television
broadcast, Schrieber said.
Ben Lew does not deny
that some Soviet Jews have
come to his building in Oak
Park for "spiritual guidance.
When they have a problem I
help them."
He sends Bibles to Russia
and has people who will
"witness" to Soviet Jews in
Detroit, Ben Lew said. But
he will not say how many
local Soviet Jews have turn-
ed to his ministry or how ac-
tively he and his followers
are seeking them.
Loren Jacobs, who leads
Shema Yisrael, said, "We
have not made a special
effort to reach out to the
Instead Jacobs, who re-
cently opened what he calls
the area's first messianic
synagogue, Congregation
Beth Messiah, said the con-
gregation's outreach pro-
gram extends to all Jews,

not just Soviets.
About 35 people regularly
attend the weekly Saturday
services at Beth Messiah,
Jacobs said, which is renting
space at Birney Middle
School in Southfield. None of
his members are Soviet
Jews, but he would welcome
"If Russian Jews wind up
believing in Yeshua (Jesus),
they will wind up having a
greater Jewish identity," he
To counteract any push by
local messianic groups to
convert Soviet Jews,
Schrieber plans to publish
Jews for Judaism material
in Russian. The group is also
concentrating on mailings
and fund raising.
Nationally, Jews for
Judaism leaders are doing
what they can to combat
messianic groups from con-
verting Soviet Jews both in
Italy and Russia. This week,
three rabbis flew to Russia
for a four-week stay to train
resident Jews to combat
missionary efforts.

Alpha Omega Auxiliary
Opens Israel Center


Staff Writer


Detroit community
group is helping
Israeli- children who
need inexpensive dental
Five years of fund-raising
efforts by the Alpha Omega
Auxiliary, whose spouses
are members of the Jewish
dental fraternity, paid off re-
cently when the Dental
Center for Children in
Jerusalem opened a new
operating room. Lori Roth,

"So many children
are in need of
good dental care.
At least 80 percent
of Israelis can not
afford care."

auxiliary president, said the
local group raised $15,000 to
furnish the room with dental
The project began after
former auxiliary president
Ellie Schamberg heard the
Boston auxiliary was fur-
nishing a room and decided

the Detroit chapter should
get involved, Roth said.
"So many children are in
need of good dental care,"
Roth said. "At least 80 per-
cent of Israelis can not afford
dental care." Because they
can not afford to see a den-
tist regularly about one-
third of the children between
the ages of 11 and 14 have
severe dental problems, she
The Jerusalem center pro-
vides low-cost dental care for
children. In emergencies, it
also treats adults.
In addition to paying for
the equipment, the Alpha
Omega Auxiliary will con-
tinue sending money to the
facility to help pay for
employees and supplies, she
The center also has an-
other Detroit connection,
Roth said. The room is nam-
ed after the late Marian
Williams, a Detroiter
woman who first suggested
the auxiliary contribute to
projects in Israel.
The Auxiliary annually
contributes $1,000 to each of
the dental departments at
Tel Aviv and Hebrew uni-
versities as well as $400 for
dental journals.




Are Christians Targeting
Soviet Jewish Immigrants?

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