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October 16, 1992 - Image 14

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1992-10-16

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

50 YEARS AGO...

War Chest Drive
Aids Three Causes

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.

SY MANELLO

Special to The Jewish News

T

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14

he focus of attention at
this time was still
reaching the goal set for
the War Chest drive in De-
troit. The front page fea-
tured a guest editorial from
Irving W. Blumberg, co-
chairman of the industrial
division of the War Chest,
and the reprint of a letter
from Mayor Edward J. Jef-
fries; each contained re-
minders to see our duty and
take action.
In addition to pledges, the
campaign saw a huge mobi-
lization of manpower from
the Jewish community.
Isidore Sobeloff, executive
director of the Federation,
noted the large number of
workers enrolled in the War
Chest effort. There was
manpower supplied for a
special gifts division, an ad-
vance gifts unit, industrial
and commercial divisions.
An awareness of the hor-
rors of the war was ex-
pressed by two sources, both
of which were somewhat
surprising. The bishops of
Rome, Turin, Milan, Trieste,
Fiume and Padua made
protests to Mussolini
against the persecution of
Jews in Italy. The misery of
the Jews in ghettos in Nazi-
held Poland was too much
for Werner Schramm, leader
of the German youth in that
country; he issued an apol-
ogy to the leaders of the
Jewish community there for
the sufferings they were un-
dergoing.
Even then, The Jewish
News was looking at news
of the past. In a column on
happenings of 20 years ear-
lier there were these items
of note: Professor Albert
Einstein was planning a vis-
it to Palestine after a test-
ing of his theory of relativity

in Japan; the Mexican gov-
ernment cancelled its offer
for asylum for Jewish
refugees from Eastern Eu-
rope; plans were revealed
for the opening of the philo-
logical department of the
projected Hebrew Univer-
sity.
Our college-age young
people were making news
at this time. The Sigma Al-
pha Mu fraternity of the
University of Michigan won
the scholarship cup for the
second year, having the
highest average of the fra-
ternities on campus; Detroit
members included Robert
and Genie Krause, Al
Shevin and Martin Green.
The Tau Sigma sorority
was planning a rush tea at
the home of Rosemary Em-
mer; other sorority officers
included Elaine Gerundasy,
Claire Grossman, Arlene
Gendleman and Donna
Carlson.
For keeping the "family
business" going, two broth-
ers were honored by the
First Hebrew Congregation
of Delray. Rabbi Harry A.
Greenfield, who had led the
congregation for nine years,
was leaving to devote ef-
forts to defense work. His
brother, Rabbi Ernest E.
Greenfield, assumed the
spiritual adviser duties.
Others in the commu-
nity were also being recog-
nized. Louis Dann, who
assisted in the founding of
Yeshiva Beth Yehudah, was
elected to an honorary life
membership by the board of
directors. Sheldon D. Schu-
biner, who celebrated his
bar mitzvah, asked that in-
stead of material gifts to
him, contributions should
be made to the Jewish Na-
tional Fund. George Liss,
with a score of 245, took the
prize for high score in the
Pisgah B'nai B'rith Bowling
League.
Among the births
recorded in this issue were
Heather Elaine Clamage,
Gerald Herschel Smith.
Jonathan Bayre Bodzin and
Carol Sue Rose. ❑

Rabbi David Nelson shows JARC Home residents in Huntington Woods their new sukkah. The facility was
constructed Sunday by members of Temple Emanu-El and Congregation Beth Shalom.

Why One Small Fruit
Costs So Much Money

ELIZABETH APPLEBAUM ASSISTANT EDITOR

W

hat looks like a lem-
on, smells sweeter,
and costs about 50
times as much?
It could be only one thing.
The etrog.
This lovely little gem —
necessary for Sukkot but
otherwise quite unpractical
— has been known to leave
Jewish families shaking
their heads in utter
bewilderment. Why, they
wonder, does a single small
fruit cost so, so much?
(Prices locally have topped
the $70 mark.)
Don't call Ralph Nader
just yet. Consumers are not
getting a lemon when they
spend big bucks on the etrog,
says Avrom Borenstein of
Borenstein's Book Store in
Oak Park, which sells
etrogim each Sukkot.
The etrog, he explains, "is
a product that has no other
commercial value." It's a
limited crop and, like many
soap-opera characters, quite
temperamental.
What that means is that
farmers in Israel spend a
great deal of time harvesting
a fruit needed just once a
year. And then only about a

third of those grown are
usable.
Included with the price of
the etrog is the lulav (palm),
hadass (myrtle) and aravot
(willow), also required for
use in the sukkah. The lulav
and hadass come either from
Israel or the West Coast, Mr.
Borenstein said. The aravot
is purchased locally. Many of
these will never even make
it to the sukkah.
The branches have a
tendency to fall apart, Mr.

Etrog jam has
been known to
surface in some
Detroit area
homes.

Borenstein said. Spoilage
also is a problem. The worst
case is the myrtle (which
costs about $1.50 a branch at
Detroit flower stores), with
about two of every five arriv-
ing in unusable condition —
after the store owner already
has paid for them.
Before being sold, the

lulav, hadass and aravot are
bound together and placed in
a bag. The etrog is wrapped
in flax and boxed. This labor
and packaging also adds to
the cost.
Customers occasionally =
complain about the price, c_
Mr. Borenstein said. "But
it's sort of like mezuzot. Peo-
ple come in to buy the scroll,
and they're amazed at the
cost. They say, 'Can't
somebody just write it as a
mitzvah?' "
Mezuzot scrolls, he noted,
take a scribe at least three
hours to write. Would
anybody ask his plumber to
work three hours for free, as
a mitzvah?
Though the etrog's
primary function is for
Sukkot, some creative souls
have come up with ideas
how to use theirs after the
holiday. Etrog jam has been
known to surface in some ,
Detroit area homes ("It's
different," one happy chef
reports), and a dried etrog is
said to ease the pains of wo-
men in labor. Some families
use an old, dried-out etrog
combined with spices as part
of the Havadalah service.



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