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February 22, 1991 - Image 40

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1991-02-22

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40

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 1991

ssimilation, endlessly
a cause for concern in
Jewish aspirations to
protect our legacies, is heard
of again in studies of condi-
tions in communal planning.
The implied challenges in
our communal functioning
will undoubtedly find proper
responses. We build them up
in aiming to advance
cultural standards for our
youth. When the seniors in
our ranks contribute
towards strong Jewish com-
mitments, their role
assumes noteworthy recog-
nition.
For more than 40 years, we
have been treated to en-
thusiasm by seniors in our
ranks. Responding to the
desire to express themselves
in writing, the Jewish
Center became the assembly
hall for a remarkable devel-
opment. Under the title
Senior Adult Writers
Corner, this admired group
invites recognition with its
34th annual Writers Jour-
nal.
The products represent an
encyclopedic achievement.
The last four volumes were
assured circulation through
the generosity of Leonard N.
Simons and Mrs. Dorothy
Davidson Gerson. The cur-
rent volume is named in
memory of Sarah Davidson,
mother of Mrs. Gerson.
An admired academic
leader gave the idea impetus
for some 20 years. Dr. Nor-
ma Goldman, who just
retired from professorships
of Latin and Greek at Wayne
State University, is listed as
the writers' staff adviser.
She continues in a more ad-
mired fashion, not only as a
guide to the creative writers
but actually a member of
their family of devotees to a
cause.
Dr. Goldman provided the
remarkable analysis of the
manner in which the writers
approached their goals,
creating prose and poetry.
She defines their achiev-
ements in a summary in
which she expresses a per-
sonal enthusiasm. In in-
troducing the 34th volume of
the Writers Journal, she
writes:
The word inspiration
has a double meaning. It
means the magic
"breathing in " that the
writer has experienced as
he or she is impelled to

Norma Goldman:
Adviser and guide.

create a work on paper,
but it also means the
"breathing into" the work
that the creator gives to
his or her creation. In
both cases, the writers
decide on a form into
which to cast their writing
. Some use only poetic
phrases or images
without punctuation.
Some write in rhymed
verses; some write in free
verse; and some force
their ideas into tight
Haiku or lantern patterns.
But whatever style of
writing is adopted by our
many "inspired" writers,
they all breathe into their
work some excitement,
some passion, some need
to communicate ... Often
these needs to com-
municate are inspired by
ideas of nostalgic reflec-
tion, of past memories, of
pride, of social outrage, of
love, of fear, of ties of
family, Mends or organ-
izations that bind one to
another.
In some instances, a
number of the writers are
like family group par-
ticipants. Exemplary are the
combined goals of one family
that merit special emphasis.
They are the Konikows. The
new Journal acknowledges
their valuable contribution
to Detroit's cultural aspects.
Dr. Goldman pays honor to
this family group in the
following:
Sol and Bernice
Konikow have produced a
family both for them-
selves and for posterity
that is rare and unique. It
is a warm combination of
three generations of per-
sons who have affected
the lives of the members
of the Jewish Community
Center . . . One year when
it did not seem that we

would have a Journal out
in time for Bookfair, Sol
suggested that he drive out
a group of volunteers to the
Maple-Drake center to help
with the production. We all
pitched in and collated,
punched holes, and in-
serted the spines
ourselves.
But without the dedication
and skills of Bernice
Konikow, there would be no
Journal for Bookfair.
Although the Journal is the
combined effort of the con-
tributors . . . it is in reality
the actual "work" of Bernice
Konikow, who helps edit,
and single-handedly types
the material to make the
pages. It is she who designs
the layout of articles, filling
in the partial pages with
shorter pieces and making
the whole project come alive.
Daughter Claire has
enriched both our Journal
and Senior Happenings with

Under the title
Senior Adult
Writers Corner,
this admired group
invites recognition
with its 34th
annual journal.

her delightful and whimsical
illustrations. Since Haiku
would only be half an ex-
pression without the draw-
ings, we are especially
grateful for all the illustra-
tions that appear with this
unique kind of poetry.
The selections from the
new senior writers volume
serve another purpose. Due
credit is given to the Ten
Mile Road branch of the
Center. The opportunities
provided to our senior
citizens for expressing them-
selves is another occasion for
gratitude.
The need for knowledge is
demanding now as a defense
for Jewish honorable exis-
tence. We need strength to
overcome growing anti-
Semitism everywhere. We
need knowledgeability to
Overcome the prejudices ex-
tant against Israel in the
media.
We learn from this special
group of senior citizens
whose literary devotions
guarantee loyalty to lega-
cies. Their enthusiasm is a
defiance of assimilation.
They help us hold high the
dignity of Jewish cultural
values. ❑

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