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September 21, 1990 - Image 96

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1990-09-21

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




Continued from preceding page




5075 West Maple Road, W. Bloomfeld, MI 48322
(313) 855-5950

Sanford W. Eichenhorn

Alan J. Tichnor

Michigan Region President

International President

Carol Tarica

Rabbi Jerome M. Epstein

Administrative Assistant

Exec. Vice President/Chief Exec. Officer

Ann Arbor

Beth Israel Congregation
Rabbi: Robert Dobrusin
Administrator: Martha Oleinick
Education Director: Aviva Panush
President: Steven Klein

Farmington Hills

Adat Shalom Synagogue
Rabbi: Efry Spectre
Associate Rabbi: Elliot Pachter
Cantor: Larry Vieder
Executive Director: Alan Yost
Youth Director: Miriam Starkman
Nursery School Director: Dottie Levitsky
President: Dr. Harry Maisel


Oak Park

Congregation Beth Shalom
Rabbi: David Nelson
Cantor: Samuel Greenhorn
Ritual Director: Samuel Semp
Administrator: Sallie Jarvis
Education Director: Cyril Servetter
President: Richard D. Berg

West Bloomfield

Congregation Beth Achim
Rabbi: Martin J. Berman
Cantor: Max Shimansky
Rabbi Emeritus: Milton Arm
Rabbi Emeritus: Benjamin Gorrelick
Ritual Director: Joseph Baras
Youth Director: Katie Price
President: Abraham Gamer

Congregation Beth Abraham Hillel Moses
Rabbi: A. Irving Schnipper
Cantor: Ben Zion Lanxner
Sexton: Joseph Mermelstein
Executive Director: Joseph Tarica
Education & Youth Director: Barry Levine
Nursery School Director: Joyce Epstein
President: Dr. Warren Tessler

Congregation Shaarey Zedek
Rabbi: Irwin Groner
Associate Rabbi: William Gershon
Assistant Rabbi, Director of
Education and Youth: Charles M. Diamond
Cantor: Chaim Najman
Executive Director: Leonard P. Baruch
Nursery School Director: Janet Pont
Assistant Director Education
and Youth: Michael Wolf
President: Irving Laker

Congregation B'nai Moshe
Rabbi: Allan S. Meyerowitz
Cantor: Louis Klein
Sexton: Shalom Ralph
Administrator: Rena Tobes
Nursery School Director: Robin Meyerowitz
President: Sharlene Ungar

_an rminAv


Rabbi Lamm, however,
does not have the backing of
all modern Orthodox rabbis
on this issue or, for that
matter, many others. In fact,
the modern Orthodox
movement is facing
pressures not only from
without but also from
Individuals within the
RCA said to be under the
unofficial leadership of
Rabbi David Hollander have
been pushing the rabbinical
group to proscribe
interdenominational inter-
This faction also opposes
Orthodox rabbis who take
more liberal positions on
such issues as conversion,
the division of the sexes in
synagogue and the right of
Orthodox women to form
their own prayer groups.
Many rabbis believe the
RCA membership is much
more right- wing than the
group's past history or pre-
sent leadership indicates.
Rabbi Lamm and Rabbi
Marc Angel of the Spanish
and Portuguese Synagogue
in New York are commonly
considered the leaders of
modern Orthodoxy today.
Rabbi Angel, who was re-
cently elected president of
the RCA, is known for his
centrist Orthodox orienta-
"Rabbi Angel and Rabbi
Lamm do not represent the
general sentiment of the
RCA or Y.U.," said Rabbi
Gilbert Shoham, a pulpit
rabbi turned professor in
Kansas City.
The roshei yeshiva
(yeshiva principals) and
members of the RCA "are
not liberal by any means.
The rightist orientation is
becoming more dominant in
the American Jewish
scene," said Rabbi Shoham.
"Centrist, liberal,
halachically committed Or-
thodox rabbis are becoming
a dying breed."
Rabbi Lamm "is leading a
battle not only at Y.U., but
at the RCA as well," said
Rabbi Avraham Weiss, re-
ligious leader of the Hebrew
Institute of Riverdale, a
modern Orthodox synagogue
in the Bronx.
"There are tremendous
pulls coming from the roshei
yeshiva, as well as from cer-
tain individuals within the
RCA," he said. "You're go-
ing to see a battle emerging
within modern Orthodoxy."
The shift to the right, said
Rabbi Weiss, is part of a
trend occurring throughout
America, in religion and
politics alike. "It's a cycle, a
tide emerging on its own,"
which is pushing members of

organized religion to the
right. "Rabbis are looking
over their shoulders" with
concern, he said.
Rabbi Joseph Ehrenkranz
of Stamford, Conn., agrees
that some of the more liberal
rabbis within the RCA are
beginning to feel in-
timidated. But he insists
that the forces on the right
are not as strong or as nu-
merous as some would sug-
"The majority of the rabbis
in the RCA are not rightist,
but the right-wingers are
more vocal and cause the
others to be intimidated," he
"They shout the loudest
and speak in the name of
God," he said. "And if you
don't agree, you're
automatically wrong, of
course, because you're not
with God."
Peer pressure within the
RCA appears to be very
strong. Rabbis who 20 years
ago either ignored or tread

In the summer of
1988, the
Fellowship of
Orthodox Rabbis
was formed in
reaction to right-
wing pressure
within the RCA.

lightly on such issues as
mixed dancing, women
covering their heads,
shatnes (the prohibited mix-
ture of linen and wool) and
the necessity of a
hashgachah (kashrut cer-
tification) on cheeses, fish
products and paper goods are
now much more outspokenly
right-wing. A number of
sociological factors have con-
tributed to the rightward
swing, according to a 1989
study conducted by Pro-
fessors Steven Cohen and
Samuel Heilman.
"We have seen that tradi-
tionalist tendencies are
growing more pronounced in
many areas. This is a time in
America that is hospitable,
if not conducive, to these
tendencies," the study says,
noting that ethnic con-
sciousness and disenchant-
ment with secularism are on
the rise nationally.
Orthodoxy, and tradi-
tionalist Orthodoxy in par-
ticular, once thought to be
declining in America, has
been revitalized by the
flourishing yeshiva and day
school system, the growth in

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