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December 28, 1990 - Image 25

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1990-12-28

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



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Azriel Chelst's father, Kenneth, presents the Danish ambassador and his
wife with bookends as a gift from Akiva while Azriel looks on.

Akiva Student Meets
With Danish Ambassador

PHIL JACOBS

Assistant Editor

W

hen Azriel Chelst is
given a project, he
takes it seriously.
The 12-year-old Akiva
seventh-grader was asked by
geography teacher Kathy
Sklar to put together a pro-
ject on an aspect of a foreign
country. Instead of going to
the encyclopedia or the
library like most of us would
have done, Azriel went to
the source.
In this case, the Southfield
resident chose to do his pro-
ject on Denmark, a country
that he and his family had
visited. He said that he
always wanted to go back to
Denmark. So Azriel not only
hit the books at the library,
but he also, through some
help from Mrs. Sklar and his
parents, arranged an inter-
view with Peter Dyvig, the
Danish Ambassador to the
United States.
Mr. Dyvig was an honored
speaker at the Holocaust
Memorial Center's sixth an-
niversary celebration last
month. It was during an ap-
pearance at the West Bloom-
field center that the ambas-
sador became a class project.
That is, he was interviewed
by Azriel.
"He gave me a book on
Denmark and a tour guide of
the country," Azriel said.
"He was very nice. I asked
him questions about Jewish
life in Denmark. I asked him
about the synagogues and
JCC in Copenhagen."
Azriel talked to him about
the country's role as a
lifesaver to Jews who
escaped the Holocaust. He
also asked him to talk about
Denmark's being one of the

first nations to recognize the
State of Israel.
"I thought he was very
impressive," Azriel said. "I
didn't think anyone so im-
portant would be so excited
to talk with a student."
Kathy Sklar, Azriel's
teacher who helped arrange
the meeting, said that the
ambassador was happy to
talk with him.
"What Azriel did was ask
the ambassador 10 questions
about Denmark," Mrs. Sklar
said. "I don't think that
Azriel had any difficulty
with the assignment because
he is such a bright, outgoing
and self-assured student."
Azriel said that in the 20
minutes he had with the
ambassador, he was able to
learn a great deal about
Denmark. But what he said
he learned the most was that
the ambassador, "was just
such a nice person. We're
fortunate to have a man who
seems to really care about
the world and the Jewish
community be the ambas-
sador to the United States."
For Azriel, however, pro-
jects seem to be ongoing. Re-
cently, he sent money to
Sports Illustrated for a
poster of San Francisco 49er
football star Joe Montanta.
The magazine was about to
name the quarterback its
sportsman of the year. They
called a random sampling of
people who had ordered the
Montana poster for a quote.
And those who read last
week's edition saw a quote
from Azriel Chelst of
Southfield. Something about
him always wanting to be a
quarterback.
His parents, Kenneth and
Tamy, probably hope he
chooses a visit to Denmark
instead.

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THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

25

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