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June 05, 1992 - Image 1

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1992-06-05

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Celebrating 50 years of growth with the Detroit Jewish Community

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JUNE 5, 1992 / 4 SIVAN 5752

San Franciscan
ill Lead AJE


Associate Editor

oward Gelberd, the
former executive di-
rector of the San
Francisco Bureau of Jewish
Education, was named to
ead Detroit's Agency For
Jewish Education.
Mr. Gelberd comes to
etroit after seven years as
San Francisco's director and
10 years at the Los Angeles
BJE. He was named to
eplace resigning executive
director Ofra Fisher.
Gelberd's appoint-
3 ent comes after five years
of study by the Federa-
tion's Tauber and Giles task
forces. Allan Nachman,
chairman of the Jewish Fed-
eration of Metropolitan
Detroit's education task
e formulating changes in
e ementary Jewish edu-
tion here, said he spent
considerable time with Mr.
Gelberd last week. He
echoed the confidence ex-
pressed by Dr. Joseph Epel,
prssident and chairman of
ATE's search committee.
"The readings we received
were very favorable," Dr.
Epel said. "From San Fran-
cisco, the reading was that
e ran a tremendously suc-
cessful agency."
Federation has approved
hitting AJE's United Heb-
rew School elementary
branches to congregational
control in 1993. Its task force
tudies call for greater fun-
ding of Jewish education,
mire emphasis on informal
education and education
oeyond the elementary
Leaders of Detroit's AJE
re downplaying Mr.
Gelberd's rather
imonious departure from
the San Francisco BJE. Mr.
lberd's five-page letter of
resignation charged that his
leadership had been under-
mined by a "seriously flawed
evaluation process" and dif-
f%ences with a senior ad-
,Following a public hearing
and a private meeting, the
San Francisco BJE board ac-
cepted his resignation and
vowed to overcome com-
munication problems with
the BJE staff.



Detroit's search committee
called 12 individuals in the
Bay area about Mr. Gelberd.
"The story was consistent
that he was outstanding and
a great loss to the San Fran-
cisco community," Dr. Epel
Mr. Gelberd met last week
with the search committee
and with leaders of Detroit
area synagogues. Dr. Epel
stressed these meetings be-
cause of the changing role of
the AJE and its efforts to
work more closely with local
congregations. Mr. Gelberd
said he is looking forward to
coming to Detroit "and be-
ing the force behind innova-
tion." He will be here for two
weeks this month, two
weeks in July and come full
time in late August or early
He said it was his decision
"completely" to leave San
Francisco. "A small percen-
tage of leadership felt we

Howard Gelberd:
Expect innovation.

had peaked and that the fed-
eration's annual campaign
had plateaued . . . I want
large challenges while I'm
still young (age 42). I'm not
interested in plateauing. It
was time to move on."
"My sense is there is a new
consensus in Detroit to make
a major investment in Jew-
ish education. All the
leaders I met with were very
serious," he said.
He believes his Los
Angeles and San Francisco
experience is in line with
Detroit's direction —
Continued on Page 28

An NEU professor is
helping the disabled

Did A Concert For Croatia
Belong In Jewish Facility?


Assistant Editor

s a young boy in
Croatia, Vlado
Markovac watched
the Nazis occupy his coun-
try, murdering more than 90
percent of the nation's Jews
and many gentiles —
Vlado's father among them
— who opposed their regime.
It is a history Mr.
Markovac, who now lives in
Detroit, will never forget.
"Jewish people suffered
horribly during the war," he
said, adding that some Croa-
tians readily supported the
At the same time, "we
have to have a civilized,
human attitude toward the
future," he said. "It's time to
diminish our differences
rather than emphasize
them." That is why Mr.
Markovac finds it ap-
propriate that a benefit for
Croatia be held at a Jewish
Temple Beth El last week
rented its facility for a con-
cert to benefit Croatia, the
former Yugoslavian republic
fighting for independence.
Beth El Executive Director
Thomas Jablonski called the
decision "a humanitarian
gesture to aid people, many
of them Jews, whose country
has been ravaged by war."
Yet some in the Jewish
community were troubled by

the temple's decision, citing
both allegedly anti-Semitic
incidents in modern-day
Croatia and the country's
World War II activities,
which included the estab-
lishment of a death camp so
terrible the German com-
mandant himself was
repulsed by what went on
" 'Anti-Semitic'? That's
too nice a word; the Croa-
tians were murderers," said
Oak Park resident Norman
Horowitz. "They killed all

By the end of the
war, virtually the
entire Jewish
population of
Croatia was

the Jews. They took little
children and fed them when
they were still alive to
animals at the zoo."
Mr. Horowitz said he does
not think it appropriate that
a Jewish group allow Croa-
tians to use their facility.
"My conscience bothers me"
that it happened, he said.
"I cannot think in terms of
our 'future,' " added Mr.
Horowitz, who spent part of
the war in Yugoslavia before
being interned and then
immigrating to Detroit. "We
are not the ones to forgive.
How can we do it? We don't
have a moral right."

In April 1941, the Nazis,
having occupied Yugoslavia,
combined the territories of
Croatia, Bosnia and
Herzegovina to form the
"Independent State of
Croatia." A Nazi puppet
state headed by Ante
Pavelic, founder of the ter-
rorist Ustashe organization,
it enacted Nuremberg-style
laws that same month. Jews
were forbidden to own prop-
erty, forced to wear yellow
badges and removed from
public posts.
The Independent State of
Croatia in 1941 established
the first of several death
camps, operated by the
Ustashe. The most notorious
of the camps was Jasenovac,
where "throat-cutting con-
tests" were held, according
to Aaron Breitbart, senior
researcher for the Simon
Wiesenthal Center. The
German camp commandant,
Neubacher, was so disgusted
with the guards' brutal and
primitive killing methods
that he complained to his
Some 20,000 Jews perish-
ed at Jasenovac. The rest of
Croatian Jewry was dev-
astated by a wave of
Ustashe-led massacres in
the summer of 1941. Sur-
vivors were sent to exter-
mination camps in Croatia
and to Auschwitz.
By the end of the war,
Continued on Page 29

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