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May 15, 1992 - Image 14

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1992-05-15

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Temple Beth El Is Adopting
All-Black Detroit School

Half Of Campaign Goal
Reached In First Week

This column will be a
weekly feature during The
Jewish News' anniversary
year, looking at The Jew-
ish News of today's date
50 years ago.


Managing Editor


his week's lead
headline told the
Jewish community
that over $526,000 was
raised toward the Al-
lied Jewish Campaign's
$985,000 goal. A Page 1
photograph pictured
Campaign chairman Fred
M. Butzel as well as
Henry Wineman, chair-
man of the Campaign
committee, Nobel Peace
Prize winner Sir Norman
Angell and Dr. A.M. Her-
News of the war and the
destruction of the Euro-
pean Jewish community
continued. In one story,
President Roosevelt and
Prime Minister Churchill
were asked to help the
situation among Jews
who were dying in
Poland. Another story
told how 7,300 Greek
Jews died of starvation
because the Red Cross
was forbidden to give aid.
On the same page, Rabbi
James G. Heller, presi-
dent of the Central Con-
ference of. American
Rabbis, issued a letter to
his colleagues to repu-
diate the action of 23
rabbis who called for a
conference to fight
against Zionism.
Another story recounted
the heroics of Major Max
Weil, a Central High and
Wayne University
graduate, who shot down
five Japanese Zero planes
during the battle of Ba-
B'n.ai Moshe's
sisterhood, under the
leadership of Mrs. Eugene
Gelbman, held a card par-
ty to honor the Red Cross.
Temple Israel, Detroit's
newest Reform Jewish


FRIDAY, MAY 15, 1992

congregation, prepared to
celebrate its first confir-
mation service. There
were 39 children confirm-
ed. Rabbi Leon Fram
wrote a special service for
the occasion.
Several synagogues
prepared for Shavuot ser-
vices, including the
Downtown Synagogue.
Rabbi Herman Rosen-
wasser was to preach on
the theme, "No Blackout
on Sinai's Heights."
Detroit Jews were urged
to participate in the "I
Am An American Day" at
the Detroit Institute of
Arts auditorium. More
than 20,000 Wayne Coun-
ty residents became
naturalized citizens in
Yiddish comedian
Menashe Skulnik made a

News of the war
and destruction of
European Jewry


Staff Writer


tudents from the re-
ligious school at Tem-
ple Beth El in Birm-
ingham this month will
meet the children from the
Woodward Malcolm X Acad-
emy in Detroit during a lun-
ch and book drive program.
Beth El, which recently
adopted the inner-city school,
is donating 600 preschool
and elementary books, ac-
cording to Bobbi Charnas,
chairwoman of the temple's
social action committee.
Students from both schools
will meet May 23.
"We decided to adopt the
school because of the
excellent work they do in
teaching and stimulating in-
ner-city children and because
we see ourselves as part of
the Detroit metropolitan
area," Mrs. Charnas said.
"As such, we want to do
what we can to make the
community better."


Books and
programming will
be shared.

to every resource available,"
Dr. Watson said.
Dr. Watson said the dona-
tion of books will fill an im-
portant need as his students
aren't permitted to bring
their textbooks home.
"It's mostly an economic
policy," he said. "It would be
too costly for the school
district to replace the books
our students lose."

Beth El is the third in-
stitution to adopt Woodward
Malcolm X. The University
of Michigan-Dearborn and
Greenfield Village - Henry
Ford Museum adopted the
school a few years ago and
provide mentor and tutoring
Linda Deutsch, chair-
woman of the Beth El social
action committee's Adopt A
School Program, has visited
the school on several occa-
"I was struck by the com-
mitment and excitement I
saw among the children and
teaching staff," Mrs.
Deutsch said. "As you walk
in, you see a huge bulletin
board with 100 names of
students with perfect atten-
dance. They all have big,
smiling faces."
Rabbi Daniel Polish said
the temple is committed to
the school and intends to
promote cooperative pro-
gramming and ongoing

Amy Bigman To Succeed
Rabbi Feder At Emanu-EI


personal appearance at
the Littman's Yiddish
People's Theatre at 12th
and Seward in a special
repertoire. In addition,
the Yiddish talking film
Kol Nidre was shown.
Flora Miller married
Frank Winton, and Rose
Harris married Seymour
Horowitz. Fruma Brooks
was engaged to Dr. Abra-
ham Kapentansky, and
Ruth Canvasser was
engaged to William
Walter's was advertis-
ing dresses for confirma-
tion and graduation for
$16.95 while Russek's
offered shoes for $4.85.
In the "20 Years Ago
This Week" column,
Palestine's Zionists sent
thanks to Senator Lodge
of Massachusetts for his
efforts in securing
passage of the resolution
placing the U.S. govern-
ment on record as favor-
ing a Jewish home in
Palestine. ❑

Dr. Cliff Watson, principal
of Woodward Malcolm X
Academy, said his students
are excited about the
"adoption" and look forward
to the joint program.
"Our school is 100 percent
black, and most of our
students have probably
never met a Jewish person
before. We feel it's impor-
tant for them to be exposed

Associate Editor


emple Emanu-El has
just hired Detroit's
first full-time, con-
tracted pulpit rabbi who is a
woman. And she happens to
be a Detroiter.
Amy Bigman will com-
plete five years of study and
be ordained May 30 by the
Hebrew Union College -
Jewish Institute of Re-
ligion (HUC-JIR) in Cincin-
nati. She will replace Rabbi
L. David Feder as of July 1.
Rabbi Feder, who has been
assistant rabbi at Emanu-El
for three years, is leaving to
become rabbi of the 140-
family Congregation Bet
Haverim in Davis, Calif.
Ms. Bigman, 26, is a native
of West Bloomfield and a
former Temple Beth El
member. She served as a
rabbinic intern at Emanu-El
in the summer of 1988.
"Her position will focus on
youth activities and sin-
gles," said Emanu-El's
Rabbi Lane B. Steinger. "We
also hope to develop more
college programming, and
she will coordinate our in-
troduction to Judaism pro-
Rabbi Ellen Weinberg

Dreyfus served at Temple
Emanu-El for one year about
10 years ago, but she did not
have pulpit duties. Asked if
a woman as rabbi would be a
problem, Rabbi Steinger re-
sponded, "Not for us. Amy
grew up in the area; she's a
terrific person and very
capable. We are excited and
delighted that she is joining
Rabbi Bigman said she has
no concerns being the area's
first woman pulpit rabbi.
"I've done it before," she
said, and she credited Can-
tor Gail Hirschenfang at
Temple Beth El with paving
the way in the Detroit area.
"She's a known commodity,
and she shows that a female
can do these kinds of
things," she said.
"I expect I will get a lot of
questions" about being a
woman rabbi, she said. "I
have in the past. But I don't
think of myself as a woman
rabbi; I think of myself as a
Rabbi Bigman has had
considerable pulpit experi-
ence during her five years at
HUC-JIR. She served a con-
gregation in Arkansas on a
monthly basis for a year and
spent two years commuting
to Clarksdale, Miss., twice a

Rabbi Bigman:
Pulpit at home.

month to conduct Sabbath
Since January, she has
traveled every other week to
Lima, Ohio, to serve as
interim rabbi of a congrega-
Rabbi Bigman is meeting
with Rabbis Steinger and
Feder this weekend to
discuss her new position. "I
want to work with college
kids — I want to do more
than send them care
packages twice a year," she
said. "The kids go away to
school, and that's when we
lose them."
In the summer of 1988,
following a year in Israel,

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