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February 01, 1991 - Image 32

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1991-02-01

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

DETROIT

ELIZABETH APPLEBAUM

Assistant Editor

B

rooke Lipman has no
doubts about an
American victory in
the Gulf war.
"We're going to win," said
Brooke, a student at Hillel
Day School. "The whole
world is against him (Iraqi
leader Saddam Hussein)."
During last Sunday's rally
in support of Israel and U.S.
forces in the Gulf, 8-year-old
Brooke carried two small
American flags and kept two
Israeli flags behind her ear.
Were she president of the
United States, she would
"try to get as many people to
go and fight until we get him
(Hussein)," she said. "And I
would go fight myself."
Other children aren't so
confident. For many boys
and girls, the war is almost
unfathomable. They don't
understand why it started
and are confused as to why

Rachael Bogin:
"There are a lot of innocent peo-
ple in Iraq and Israel that have
nothing to do with this war."

Israel, where most have
friends or relatives, is under
attack. And what they do
know of battle — the death
and suffering — is terrify-
ing.
"Why don't they talk, in-
stead of just fighting?" ask-
ed Rachael Bogin, 9, a stu-
dent at Avery Elementary
School in Oak Park.
Rachael said her teachers
at public school and at
Workmen's Circle, where
she attends Sunday school,
have discussed the war. An
Iraqi and an American stu-
dent in her class at Avery

32

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 1, 1991

often argue about the Gulf,
too.
"The guy from Iraq is
always saying, 'I'm going to
blow off the teacher's head
because she's Jewish and
she's American,' " Rachel
said. "And then this other
guy says, If you do that then
I'll take a gun and blow off
your head.' Then the Iraqi
guys says, 'And if you do

For many boys and
girls, the war is
almost
unfathomable.
They don't
understand why it
started and are
confused as to
why Israel is under
attack.

that, my father will come
and blow off your head.'
"People are like that, but
it's not fair."
Rachael expressed concern
both for Israel, where she
has friends, and American
troops in the Gulf.
"There are a lot of inno-
cent people in Iraq and
Israel that have nothing to
do with this," she said.
"Some people in Iraq are
trapped in their country and
they don't have food. Imo-
cent people are getting
killed."
If she were president of the
United States, she would
approach Saddam Hussein
and say, "I want to talk to
your mother," Rachael
said. "Then his mother could
take him by the ear and slap
him across the face."
Like Rachael, Caryn
Roman, 8, a student at
Meadowlake Elementary
School in Birmingham, has
no doubts about what she
would do if she were presi-
dent.
"I would get all the drugs
out of the world and I would
stop all stealing and I would
put all those bad guys in
jail," she said.
"And I would make world
peace. I know he (President
George Bush) is trying to
help" make peace in the
Middle East, she said. A fre-
quent visitor to Israel,
Caryn said she hopes the
country will be safe
"because I've got a new baby
cousin there."
To help Israel during the
crisis, Caryn and students in
her Sunday school class at
Temple Kol Ami collected

money to plant trees in the
Jewish state. "I don't know
if it will do anything," she
said. "But I hope so."
Dr. Sandra Lyness, a
licensed psychologist in
family practice and an asso-
ciate professor at Wayne
State University, offers
these suggestions to parents
to help children cope with
the war.
Because photographs can
be especially disturbing to
children, parents should be
nearby and available for
questions whenever their
sons and daughters are wat-
ching news on television, Dr.
Lyness said. Parents should
be direct and honest and an-
swer children in terms
they'll understand.
Parents also need to
discuss the issues behind the
war, Dr. Lyness said.
"Children will want to deal
with concrete things, like
the Scud missiles and the
fighting. What we need to do
is shift them from their pic-
tures of rockets, guns, ar-
mies and soldiers' uniforms
to thinking about why
things are happening," she
said.
Dr. Lyness cautioned that
some children may be espe-
cially sensitive to the images
of battle. A child with health
problems may be disturbed
by the sight of other children
donning gas masks, or a son
or daughter whose parents
are divorcing may feel par-
ticularly disturbed by talk of
war.
Dr. Lyness urged parents
to watch for any change in a
child's usual behavior pat-
tern, for example suddenly
clinging to an adult or ex-
periencing an onslaught of
nightmares.

Nechemya Yosef Cohen:
Paying attention to the news.

Photo by Glen n Triest

For Children, The Gulf Crisis
Brings Anxiety. And Concern

Hundreds of children joined in last Sunday's solidarity rally with Israel
and the U.S. troops.

A healthy outlet for chil-
dren concerned about the
war is to become involved in
group activities with other
youth, she said. "Children
often know better than
adults how to put the fears of
another child at ease."
One recent group project
was sponsored by Sharon
Goldstein's sixth-grade class
at Temple Emanu-El. The
class wrote letters to be
delivered to sixth-grade
students in Israel.
"I wish Iraq would end the
war," Marc Fields wrote.
"America is behind you all
the way."
"All my prayers are for
peace," added Alex Owen.
"Israel is being attacked for
no reason and the U.S.A. is
not going to stand for it."
Jenna Goldenberg wrote,
"Things in the world have
changed so much in so little
time. It's impossible for me
to even imagine how you are
feeling right now. You must
be so scared." Brad Krakow
wrote the Sh'ma in Hebrew
and assured the reader, "We
are supporting you."
Six-year-old Jake Fried
gives good marks to Presi-
dent Bush for his handling of
the crisis. Jake, a student at
Green Elementary School in
West Bloomfield, said he

isn't worried about the war
because "our president is do-
ing a good job and the other
guy is not."
Nechemya Yosef Cohen, a
student at Yeshiva Beth
Yehudah, said many of his
friends at school speak about
the war. Like other local
Jewish institutions, the
yeshiva has increased
security during the past
weeks.
Nechemya, 12, said he
isn't worried for his own
safety. But he is concerned
about Israel and the Ameri-
can troops in Saudi Arabia.
He pays attention to the
news a lot these days and is
saying tehillim (psalms) on
Israel's behalf.
Avi Drissman, 13, thought
a long time before discussing
how he would handle the
Gulf war and other Middle
East issues.
"I suppose Bush is doing a
pretty good job," said Avi, a
student at Farmington Har-
rison High School. "If he
wipes Saddam Hussein out,
then we won't have to worry
about him any more."
Avi also expressed hope
that the Arabs would leave
Israel. "They have 20 of
their own states," he said.
"Why are they staying in
our land?"



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