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November 02, 1990 - Image 62

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1990-11-02

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

NEWS

SEMIANNUAL

S ALE

Ekornes Maxi-Gamma Full
Leather Recliner With
Ottoman.

Available With Teak Or Black Base.
Value $1125.

Sale $899.

Expando Stackable
Entertainment Center In Teak.

Also Available In Black. Value $555.

Sale $349.

Available In White Ash.

The World's Best
Selling Leather
G-Ft'eS
Recliners From Ekornes.

With: • Patented Smooth Effortless Reclining • 360° Full Swivel
Base • Variety Of Finishes • Exciting Leather Colors • Maximum
Support To The Neck, Back And Lumbar Region

Teak Dining Table
And Four Chairs.

Table Measures 64" x 41",
Extends To 103". Value $2135.

Sale $1499.

The Dansen Sofa.

Exciting Contemporary Styling With Traditional
Comfort. Measures 87" x 37" x 31"H.
Loveseat Available At Similar Savings.
Value $1565.

Sale $999.

Teak Nest Of Tables.

Value $154.

Sale $115.

The Concord Sofa.

Natural Tone Cotton-Blend
Fabric. 84" Long. Value $1048.

Sale $749•

house of denmark t3

Sale Ends November 4.

(616) 938-9694
Acme/Traverse City 5600 U.S. 31 North (1/2 Mile South of Highway 72 Intersection)
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Keego Harbor 3325 Orchard Lake Rd. (1 Mile North of Long Lake Rd.) 682.7600
Livonia 35555 Plymouth Rd. (11/2 Miles West of Farmington Rd.) 425-4040
Rochester 893 South Rochester Rd. (2 Miles North of M-59) 651.9430
Open: Tues., Wed., Sat. 10-5:30/Thurs., Fri. 10-9/Sunday 12-5 (Closed Mondays)
Most major credit cards accepted.

62

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 1990

Volunteer In Yemen
Shields Identity

DOUG CHANDLER

Special to The Jewish News

hile Sheryl
Neckritz succeeded
in keeping her Jew-
ish identity a closely guard-
ed secret during her two
years as a volunteer in Nor-
th Yemen, on at least three
occasions, the 29-year-old
Philadelphia woman risked
blowing her cover.
Those actions could have
meant her hasty departure
from the country, jail time or
even worse, she suggested.
Ms. Neckritz, a native of
Northeast Philadelphia who
has returned to the city,
went to North Yemen in
June 1987 through an
American volunteer pro-
gram that advised her to
keep her Jewish identity
under wraps.
The country, which merg-
ed this year with the staun-
chly Marxist South Yemen,
was and still is a strictly
Islamic society.
But Ms. Neckritz nearly
compromised her cover
several times. The first of
those occasions came during
a party in Sanaa, the
nation's capital, where she
defended Israel against ac-
cusations that it stole the
Palestinians' land.
Somehow, she said, word
reached her boss at the Uni-
versity of Sanaa, where she
taught English as a second
language, prompting a wor-
ried Neckritz to call the U.S.
Embassy to ask if her safety
might be in danger.
Embassy officials "were
thinking about getting me
on the first plane out of
Yemen," Ms. Neckritz
recalled. "They said they
would discuss the possibility
of whether or not I might
disappear into the night."
In the end, however, "they
decided I could stay in the
country, but I would have to
make sure I kept my mouth
shut."
The second and third times
she nearly gave away her
identity came during visits
to the northern part of the
country, where most of the
estimated 2,000 to 5,000
Jews in Yemen now live.
The story of Ms. Neckritz's
two-year stay in Yemen
began with her application
to work as a volunteer with
the program, which she pre-

W

Doug Chandler is a writer for
the Jewish Exponent in
Philadelphia.

ferred not to identify. She
still wishes to work for the
agency and she fears that
publicizing her contacts with
Yemenite Jews might hurt
her prospects, explained Ms.
Neckritz, who was trained as
an English teacher.
After receiving a list of
several countries in which
she could volunteer, Ms.
Neckritz chose North Yemen
to receive a view of Arab
society unavailable to an
American growing up in a
Reform Jewish household,
she said.
She began receiving an
education in the workings of
Yemenite society even
before she left. The learning
process started with her visa

Sometimes she
would see
anti-Israel posters
plastered on trees
and windows.

application, on which Ms.
Neckritz indicated she was
Christian after officials of
her program said the coun-
try would not admit her
otherwise.
Still, Ms. Neckritz went to
Yemen with an open mind
and said she. found
Yemenites "over- whelming-
ly hospitable." During her
two- year stay, she said, she
learned "a new way of rela-
ting to women," who, she
said, formed especially
strong bonds with one an-
other because they were
forced to hide their emotions
in public and maintain a
separa,ion from men.
It was to one of these
friends that Ms. Neckritz
eventually disclosed the fact
that she was Jewish. Recall-
ing her decision, Ms.
Neckritz said she felt
"hiding this big secret" was
creating a distance between
the two, which contradicted
one of her reasons for going
overseas — "to get to know
people from the Arab
world."
But despite her friend-
ships, Ms. Neckritz began
missing the freedom to
observe Jewish holidays,
such as Chanukah and Rosh
Hashanah. She also
lamented "having zero con-
tact with other Jews," said
Ms. Neckritz, who described
herself as "never particular-
ly religious."
The capital city has few, if

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