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August 02, 1991 - Image 16

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1991-08-02

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

DETROIT

Emigres Seek Fund
To Aid Jews In USSR

ALAN HITSKY

Associate Editor

W

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hile communal at-
tention has been
focused on the im-
migration of Soviet Jews,
two emigres in Detroit are
focusing on Jews in the
Soviet Union.
Henry Frenkel, who has
been in Detroit six months,
and David Gilfman, a 15-
year Detroit area resident,
are trying to establish a
local branch of Zedek, a Jew-
ish charitable fund in the
Soviet Union.
The fund is an arm of
Machaniam, a Soviet-
recognized Jewish organiza-
tion which is helping the
Jewish community in Cher-
nobyl, five years after the
nuclear accident, and
creating Jewish child care,
art and adult education pro-
grams in Moscow and Char-
coy.
Mr. Frenkel, 25, worked
three years in Chernobyl
after the accident, monitor-
ing the radiation levels in
food and water. His per-
sistence in reporting
dangerous levels of radiation
almost led to his firing.
He charged that radiation-
contaminated foodstuffs
were mixed with safe food
and then shipped to areas
away from Chernobyl for
consumption.
Soviet authorities, he said,

finally moved the populace
from the most dangerous
areas of the city, but the new
areas are still unsafe. Cher-
nobyl's Jewish population
was 70,000 before the acci-
dent and 35,000 Jews still
live in the city, he said.
The Machaniam organiza-
tion has given financial help
and medicines to 50 elderly
Jewish families in Cher-
nobyl. After he left the city,
Mr. Frenkel went to work for
the organization.
In his limited English, Mr.
Frenkel said his main goal is
to help the Jews of Cher-
nobyl. "Thousands of people
are still in the radioactive
zones," he said. Machanaim
wants to move as many as
possible away from the city.
Mr. Frenkel, with the help
of Mr. Gilfman, his cousin,
have contacted several
community leaders for help.
All have promised support
and advice, but the two men
are on their own to establish
the Zedek Fund here.
Mr. Gilfman, 22, is a
graduate of North Farm-
ington High School and is a
business major at Wayne
State University. Mr.
Frenkel, 25, came to the
United States six months
ago with his wife, baby, and
in-laws. His parents still live
near Chernobyl.
Persons wishing to help
organize the Zedek Fund can
call Mr. Gilfman at 661-
1552, or Mr. Frenkel at 968-
7828.

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16

FRIDAY, AUGUST 2, 1991

Schach Says Herzog
Defends Pork-Eaters

Tel Aviv (JTA) — Presi-
dent Chaim Herzog declined
to react last week to an Or-
thodox rabbi who accused
him of besmirching Jewish
values.
"The president does not
respond to personal at-
tacks," was the terse state-
ment issued by the Presi-
dent's Office in Jerusalem
after Rabbi Eliezer Schach of
Bnei Brak denounced
Israel's chief of state for
defending "pig-eating" kib-
butzniks.
The nonagenarian Rabbi
Schach, who hails from
Lithuania, is spiritual men-
tor of the Degel HaTorah
(Torah Flag) party and an in-
fluential authority in the
larger, predominantly

Sephardic Shas party. Both
belong to the haredi bloc, the
strictly Orthodox parties
that provide Prime Minister
Yitzhak Shamir's Likud-led
government with its comfor-
table margin in the Knesset.
Rabbi Schach's quarrel
with the president arose
after Mr. Herzog spoke in
defense of the kibbutz
movement, pointing out its
pioneering role in founding
the Jewish state.
He felt called upon to do so
earlier this year after the
Bnei Brak rabbi publicly
accused "pig-eating and pig-
breeding" kibbutzniks of
leading pious Oriental Jews
away from traditional
Judaism.

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