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May 18, 1990 - Image 54

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1990-05-18

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

NEWS

REAL ESTATE
UPDATE

Ray A. Fox, Licensed Realtor

WHY DEPOSIT HELD IN ESCROW

QUESTION: I've just put a
deposit down on a house I
plan to buy. Instead of it
going directly to the seller to
hold, it was held in escrow by
the seller's agent. Why?

ANSWER: Escrow is the
deposit of a deed, deposit
money, or other instruments
with a third party for delivery
upon performance of a
condition. In real estate, the
broker frequently acts as the
escrow agent, but any third
party could do this.
Escrow protects the seller - his
documents will not be used until
full payment is made. It
protects the buyer - his deposit
funds will not be used until he
obtains a clear title.

ALAN SNITOW

Special to The Jewish News

DEPOSIT MONEY HELD IN

ESCROW protects both the

buyer and the seller.

Please phone
Ray A. Fox
or drop in at

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FRIDAY, MAY 18, 1990

Festival Shows Jewish
Life Is Possible In USSR

-

L

ast month, the largest
Jewish cultural event
in Soviet history took
place in Moscow. Fifty thou-
sand people attended the
eight-day long Jewish Film
Festival, packing four
theaters from 10 a.m. 'til
midnight to hear 21 film-
makers from a half a dozen
countries discuss their in-
spiration for making 31 Jew-
ish- subject films.
Through it all, there were
no anti-Semitic demonstra-
tions or threats even though
millions of Soviets heard
about the festival on televi-
sion and opening night was
reported on the national
radio network. Jewish com-
munity leader Boris Kelman
heard the radio report at his
home in Leningrad and later
said the festival was a
miracle, a phrase repeated
many times by others.
I have little faith in
miracles. Too risky. Festival
directors Janis Plotkin,
Deborah Kaufman and I
didn't work for two years
and raise several hundred
thousand dollars on the ex-
pectation of divine interven-
tion.
We had solid reasons to
think it could be done. Those
reasons may surprise many
American Jews who have
been led to believe that Jew-
ish revival in the Soviet
Union is impossible and
perhaps even a dangerous il-
lusion.
From the start of our plan-
ning, we found a strong
desire, a hunger for Jewish
renewal among Soviet Jews
we met. As they told us
themselves, for 70 years
they have been cut off from
Jewish life in the rest of the
world.
Jewish activists were im-
patient with us. Why just
Moscow? They wanted us to
bring the films to Riga, Len-
ingrad, Tblisi, Kiev and
Vilnius. For them, the films
were an open door to the
richness of Jewish life, his-
tory and artistry from
around the world. The fes-
tival was about Jewish cul-
ture, not as relic, folklore, or
nostalgia, but as a way of
living.
Need and desire, however,
are not enough. We also

Alan Snitow is the president of
the board of directors of the
Jewish Film Festival.

believed that for the first
time a festival was polit-
ically possible in the Soviet
Union. We based this convic-
tion on several factors, in-
cluding the growth of Jewish
institutions in the USSR.
After decades of oppression,
the Soviet Jewish commun-
ity can lay claim to major
new achievements. Over the
past year, Jewish activists
have created the Va'ad, a
national umbrella group of
remarkable breadth, soli-
darity, and diversity. They
also have successfully
marginalized the "official"
Jews, who receive state
resources as the loyal repre-
sentatives of Jewish culture.
Jewish organizations have
persisted and even grown in
spite of the loss of tier after
tier of leaders and activists
to emigration. The leaders
who plan to stay have sup-
ported the emigre movement
wholeheartedly.
The first new Soviet Jew-
ish feature film, Jewish
Cemetery, which we hope
will be in this summer's fes-
tival, ends with Jewish
leader Roman Spector say-
ing goodbye to one of his
closest friends at the airport.
Spector is joyous that his
friend can finally make
aliyah. But he is also sad
and frustrated that after a
long struggle and a victory,
what is left behind is a vac-
uum and a sense of loss. It's
tough to create institutions
when so much effort goes
into helping those who are
departing.
The Soviet Jewish move-
ment for renewal has ac-
complished much, even
though Soviet Jews, like
other Soviet people, have
little experience with public
life or community organi-
zing. They share with other
Soviets a unique experience
of tyranny and the in-
security of massive social
change.
With glasnost, this shared
experience has resulted in
the emergence of democratic
political coalitions supported
by Jewish activists. During
recent local elections in Len-
ingrad, Jewish activists
joined the drive to unseat
the old guard and elect a
majority of democratic can-
didates for city government.
The results were astoun-
ding. The democratic coali-
tion won majorities not only
in Leningrad, but in Moscow
and Kiev as well, the Soviet
Union's three largest cities.
In the Baltic Republics, Jews

are respected allies and par-
ticipate in the democratic
and independence
movements, which have also
won electoral majorities.
Anti-Semitic candidates suf-
fered defeat after defeat.
Soviet Jews may not be so
well organized, but they are
learning along with every-
one else the meaning and
power of coalition politics,
the form of politics necessary
for the success of minority
communities everywhere.
These emerging coalitions
are the most hopeful
grassroots response and in-
itiative to Gorbachev's top-
down reforms. Jewish and
non-Jewish activists in these
movements are now becom-
ing important public figures,
elected members of the local,
regional and Russian coun-
cils and parliaments. Others

Jewish activists
were impatient
with us. Why just
Moscow? They
wanted us to bring
the films to Riga,
Leningrad, Tblisi,
Kiev and Vilnius.

are editors of new indepen-
dent newspapers, magazines
and wire services. They are
creating an infrastructure
for shaping public opinion at
a time when Soviet public
opinion is becoming a force
in the nation's life.
International public opi-
nion is also more effective
now than in the past. When
lameduck anti-Semitic
leaders of the Moscow city
council, defeated in the elec-
tions, tried to cancel our
theaters, we went to the
American press, to our sena-
tors, the State Department,
and the U.S. Embassy in
Moscow.
For months, we had been
telling the Soviets that the
festival would be viewed in
the United States as a test of
perestroika. They knew that
cancellation of the festival
would send a bad message
abroad about the feasibility
of doing business in the
Soviet Union at a crucial
time of economic crisis and
transition. In the end, the
combination of the foreign
press, U.S. diplomats and
Soviet reformers pressured
the Soviet Communist Party
to overrule the local au-
thorities.
These were some of our

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