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October 19, 1990 - Image 5

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1990-10-19

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

UP FRONT

JFS Offers Assistance
To Defecting Soviet Skaters

RICHARD PEARL

Staff Writer

D

etroit's Jewish com-
munity is offering
help to Irina Kort-
chach and Andrei Torossian,
the Soviet ice skaters who
sought political asylum after
their show closed last
weekend at the Palace of
Auburn Hills.
"We can offer to set up
meetings with a reset-
tlement counselor and will
be more than happy to ad-
vise them of all the services
we have available and to
help them access the ser-
vices," said Sandy Hyman,
director of Resettlement
Services at Jewish Family
Service. Those services in-
clude English as a second
language classes, finding
employment, and access to
its household furnishings
warehouse.
Because Ms. Kortchach,
who is Jewish, and Mr.
Torossian, who is Armenian,
are defectors, not refugees, it
has made their relationship
with JFS "a delicate issue,"
according to Mrs. Hyman.
"We can provide them
with everything but finan-
cial aid due to their political
status," she said.

"We work through BIAS
(Hebrew, Immigrant Aid
Society) in New York and
HIAS and the federal
government have an ar-
rangement whereby they re-
fer all arriving (Soviet Jew-
ish) refugees to us," said
Mrs. Hyman. "We meet with
refugees over nine months'
time to help them with fi-
nancial arrangements and to
access the various services."
The dilemma, she said, is
"many Soviet Jews have
waited a long time to come

Detroit was the last
stop before the tour
returned to New
York and Moscow.

here." The skaters "leaped
over channels, in effect put
themselves at the head of
the line. But on the other
hand, we wouldn't ask them
to go back to the Soviet
Union."
The husband-and-wife duo
have no money, but Detroit-
area residents have offered
them financial aid, Oakland
County Prosecutor Richard
Thompson told Mrs. Hyman.
Mr. Thompson called the
Resettlement Services office

Wednesday to see what help
could be offered after his of-
fice and Auburn Hills police
coordinated initial living ar-
rangements for the couple.
"They figure they are
owed $2,500 for the Moscow
on Ice show, which is money
they will never see," said Dr.
Luba Berton, who served as
translator for the couple at
the Tuesday morning press
conference announcing their
defection.
"Normally, they get paid
in the country they are tour-
ing, but this group had a
different set-up" because of a
February defection in New
York of four skaters and
their manager from the Tor-
vill and Dean ice show, she
said. "Their room and board
and other expenses were
paid, but they got no
paychecks."

Dr. Berton, former director
of Jewish Community
Center acculturation ser-
vices, was asked to serve as
translator by the Interna-
tional Institute in Detroit,
site of the press conference.
Dr. Berton has been an In-
stitute translator in the
past.
Two of the defectors from
the Torville and Dean Show,
Igor Shpilband and his wife,

Anwart "awe X.ramck al the PareleTina • Waid-Pkves, Cc9X9.° 1990. K., Know*. Dombned by Les An*. True

Veronica Pershina, live in
Bloomfield Hills and are
teaching at the Detroit
Skating Club. Mr. Shpil-
band, who is Jewish, said his
defector status also
prevented him from receiv-
ing financial aid from Reset-
tlement Services. But he was
offered a job by the skating
club immediately after
defecting.
Dr. Berton said Ms. Kort-
chach and Mr. Torossian
decided to defect in Detroit
when they learned the
tour was closing here.
"Originally, the Moscow

on Ice show was meant to be
a much longer tour, but it
wasn't going well — ap-
parently, it wasn't making
much money," she said.
"The skaters were told they
were going back to New
York and then to Moscow
and Irina and Andrei real-
ized this was their last
chance."
The couple has filled out
Immigration and
Naturalization Services
forms seeking political
asylum. "It will be up to the
INS to decide if they qual-
ify," said Mrs. Hyman. 111

ROUND UP

Israeli Seeks
Program Ideas

Tel Aviv — An Israeli
mother from Albany, N.Y.,
has opened the first family
"drop-in center" offering
child-care advice for parents
of children up to 4 years old.
The center, located in a Tel
Aviv suburb, permits
mothers and fathers to drop
in and receive guidance in
child growth and preschool
education.
Director Ellen Shein is
seeking suggestions and
ideas for the development of
the program throughout
Israel. To contact Ms. Shein,
write Mamash, 79 Mishmar
Hayarden St., Shikun Dan,
69865, Tel Aviv.

The Thief With
Beautiful Eyes
Tel Aviv (JTA) — Tel Aviv

police have been frustrated
so far in their attempts to
capture a blonde, blue-eyed
bank robber who rides a red
Suzuki motorcycle and has
relieved more than a score of

banks in the metropolitan
area of $150,000 during the
past year.
The police are worried be-
cause the public seems to be
rooting for the bandit, who
fires a gun but has hurt no
one so far. For some reason,
they see in him the traits of
Robin Hood, the legendary
English outlaw, though he
has not shared his loot with
the poor.
His modus operandi never
changes. The thief parks his
bike on the sidewalk and
enters the bank. Wearing a
black helmet that covers
most of his face, he hands a
plastic bag to the teller with
orders to fill it up. Before
leaving, he fires a single
shot into the ceiling from a
silver-plated, long-barrel,
.38 caliber Smith and
Wesson revolver with a
walnut butt.
According to the latest
teller robbed, the bandit was
neatly dressed in a blue
jacket and blue jeans. What
she noticed most was his
"beautiful blonde hair and
blue eyes."

MDA Inaugurates
New Station

Petach Tikvah Magen
David Adorn last week inau-
gurated a new Petach
Tikvah station, located on
Rehov Ha'Maccabim adja-
cent to the central bus sta-
tion.
The MDA office, which
cost $1,350,000, was estab-
lished with funds from the
Society of MDA Friends in
the Netherlands, Finland
and Chicago. It consists of 10
rooms, including a dispat-
ching and communications
center, a lecture hall and a
first-aid instruction room.
Fourteen ambulances are
housed at the new station,
which will service a popula-
tion of 260,000.

Ho, Ho, Ho:
It's All Kosher

From the believe-it-or-not
department, here comes
. . .kosher Christmas cookies!
Pepperidge Farm's 1990
winter catalog features a

wide array of Christmas
cookies in colorful green-
and-red containers. There's
the "Folk Art Santa" cookie
tin; a large bucket bearing
the likeness of jolly old St.
Nick holding a pipe; and a
"Merry Christmas Cookie
Tin" decorated with a bear
and a Christmas tree — all
bearing the Orthodox
Union's certification of
kashrut.
But ho, ho, ho, boys and
girls, the catalog also offers
a "Happy Chanukah Cookie
Tin" filled with kosher deli-
cacies. And best of all —
none of the fruitcakes is
kosher.

Museum Includes
Anne Frank Note

Los Angeles — Among the
items to be included in the
Simon Wiesenthal Center's
new Beit Hashoah-Museum
of Tolerance, now under con-
struction in Los Angeles, is a
postcard penned by Anne
Frank.

Ax.,„

JIV1/44

OM..

JIta.

t•b WA.
0,1AL

ACA:t't

PLC

Aftimr .

6 ‘.

Anne Frank's postcard

A gift from an anonymous
donor, the postcard was sent
to a pen-pal of Anne's in
Iowa. It shows a picture of
Amsterdam on the front, and
Anne's message reads, "This
picture shows one of the
many old canals of Amster-
dam. But this is only one of
the old city. There are also
big canals and over those
canals are bridges. There are
about 340 within the city."
The Museum of Tolerance,
which will house more than
10,000 photographs dealing
with the Holocaust, is
scheduled to open in 1991.

Compiled by
Elizabeth Applebaum

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

5

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