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September 18, 1992 - Image 14

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1992-09-18

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AJCampaign Donations Down,
Sinai Cancels Heritage Ball


Laval Treachery
Against The Jews

This column will be a week-
ly feature during The Jewish
News' anniversary year, look-
ing at The Jewish News of to-
day's date 50 years ago.


Special to the Jewish News


n response to the American
protest against the depor-
tation ofJews from France
to German-occupied terri-
tory eastward, Vichy's Pierre
Laval is said to have chal-
lenged the United States to
open its own doors to admit
these people if sympathy was
so strong. The Nazi-dominat-
ed government expressed a de-
sire to "purge France of
undesirable Jewish expatri-
Despite this, French clergy
supported those who had giv-
en refuge to 8,000 Jewish chil-
dren and the bishops of France
issued a threat of excommu-
nication against any French-
man who buys property and
household goods ofJews who
are deported.
A group of Detroit leaders
made a concerted effort to de-
s ruy the Axis menace. Under
the chairmanship of Irving W.
Blumberg, Knollwood Coun-
try Club was planning spon-
sorship of a Million Dollar War
Bond Banquet. To reach the
goal, planners were asking
each couple who attended to
buy or sell bonds in the
amount of $1,000 or more.
Detroit's Orthodox, Reform
and Conservative rabbis con-
curred with action taken by
the Synagogue Council of
America on the question of ob-
servance of the High Holy
Days by Jews engaged in war
work. In response to a letter,
the chairman of the War Pro-
duction Board agreed that it
was proper that the days be
observed and that Jewish
workers make arrangements




Staff Writer


to make up the production
time lost.
Some interesting facts
about out-state Jewish fami-
lies was reported by Rabbi
Max Wohlgelernter, chair-
man of the religious and edu-
cation committee of the
Michigan Synagogue Confer-
ence, in seeking funds for a re-
gional rabbinate for Michigan
South Haven was not inter-
ested in the plan since they
had "a shochet and a minis-
ter." Traverse City with 13
families, "mostly Orthodox,"
was very interested; Cadillac,
with three families, needed a
rabbi once a week for teach-
ing and was willing to pay $10
a month plus traveling ex-
penses from Traverse City.
Petoskey had nine resident
families; Mackinaw City, six;
Ironwood, eight; Iron River,
16; Gladstone, 13.
In the field of art, there
was news made on the arna
teur and professional levels.
Leon Makielski was planning
advanced art classes at the
Jewish Community Center;
Saul Rabino, a Los Angeles
artist, was to be a guest in De-
troit for a few weeks while ex-
hibiting his latest works.
Budget balancing was
then, as ever, a problem felt
in the community. The Jew-
ish Community Center was
faced with mounting costs
and was led to reducing oper-
ating costs, eliminating ac-
tivities and raising dues.
Men's Health Club went from
$60 to $75; Women's Health
Club from $25 to $30; Moth-
er's Club from $2 to $3.50.
Neither money woes or
war news could keep some
dedicated couples from an-
nouncing their plans for mar-
riage. Jennie Hoffman was to
wed Charles Amberg Shirley
Weisman was engaged to
Philip Herman; Shirley
Fleisher and Lawrence Kopel
were betrothed. ❑


t the request of the
Jewish Federation,
Sinai Hospital has
cancelled its fourth Heritage
Ball fund-raiser, planned for
this fall.
Instead, Federation
leaders asked Sinai, the only
member agency scheduled to
hold a separate fund-raiser,
to cooperate with Federation
to revive a flat Allied Jewish
The ball each year has at-
tracted 800 to 1,000 patrons
and raised about $400,000.
The money has been placed
into a medical endowment
"We are disappointed that
we cannot have the ball,"
said Sinai Director of Devel-
opment Pola Friedman.
"But as a good corporate
citizen, Sinai was happy to
comply with Federation's
Robert Aronson, Federa-
tion executive vice presi-
dent, cited a down Campaign
for asking Sinai to put off
the fund-raiser until next
year. In 1991, he said, Fed-
eration raised $26 million
for the Allied Jewish Cam-
paign. — the same figure as
the 1990 Campaign.

The 1990 Campaign was
down $1.5 million, he added.
"We need to concentrate
on raising money and spen-
ding time reviving the com-
munity ' s annual Cam-
paign," Mr. Aronson said.
Member agencies hoping
to launch private fund-
raising events have, as a
courtesy, an unspoken
agreement that they will re-
quest consent from Federa-
tion. Mr. Aronson said no
request by any agency would
have been honored this year,
although Sinai was the only
agency with a scheduled
"We will have to wait to
see what happens next

year," Mr. Aronson said.
For the past 18 years, Fed-
eration through the Cam-
paign has given $150,000
annually to Sinai. Federa-
tion and hospital officials
view the contribution as in-
significant in relation to the
hospital's $234 million annuli
budget, but ties between the
two agencies are deeply == I
Sinai's physical plant is in-
fused with Federation
leadership. Some members
of the Federation have been,
through the hospital's
bylaws and articles of incc
poration, members of the
hospital board and executive
committee. ❑

Beth Shalom Celebrates
Rabbi Nelson's 20 Years


Managing Editor


wenty years ago when
Rabbi David Nelson
became the spiritual
leader of Congregation Beth
Shalom, he was asked by
leaders of the Conservative
movement his opinion of the
future of the Oak Park Jew-
ish community.
It was 1972, 1-696 was a
long way from happening,
and Jews were already mov-
ing to the outer suburbs.
Rabbi Nelson did not say
what his feelings were. He
remembers thinking,
though, that he did not move
to Oak Park from his associ-
ate pulpit in Baltimore to
watch a synagogue close.
Instead of closing, Beth
Shalom has shown a steady
pattern of growth, moving
from some 400 member
families to over 600. The key
number, though, is the 65 per-
cent of its membership which

has come aboard since Rabbi
Nelson's arrival.
The rabbi, meanwhile, has
established himself not only
in his congregation but also
as one of Detroit's Jewish
leaders. He is past president
of the Conservative Rabbis
of Metropolitan Detroit and
the Michigan Board of
Rabbis. There are many
organizations that he works
with, including the Detroit
Police Department as a
chaplain. Where he finds his
home, though, is within the
walls of Beth Shalom. And it
is his congregation that
honored him last Thursday
night, 500-guests strong at a
tribute dinner that was so
big that it had to be moved
from Beth Shalom to
Shaarey Zedek. The rabbi
will also be honored Friday
night at a shul Oneg
Rabbi Nelson is a second
generation Conservative
rabbi. His father, Harry, was
the spiritual leader of his

Rabbi Nelson:
A matter of trust.

shul in Bridgeport, Conn.
Rabbi David Nelson attend- I
ed law school and also held-
the assistant rabbi's position
at the Associacao Religiosa -
Israelita in Rio de Janeiro,
Brazil, before moving on to
Baltimore's Chizuk Arnuno.
He and his wife Alicia raised
their children Harry, Debra,
and Reva here.
He said that the many
rabbis of his father's genera-
tion had to build synagog-Lue
buildings and congregations
from the ground up. The con- )
temporary generation of


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