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November 06, 1992 - Image 18

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1992-11-06

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

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JOURNEY page 16

mother and walked alone for
three days and nights, final-
ly deciding she would help
her mother find her sister —
perhaps having one child
there would be enough of a
comfort — then return to the
convent.
Two months later, Miriam,
Chana and Sarah were
reunited. For Miriam, too, it
was not an easy reunifica-
tion. She had lived as a gen-
tile with a Polish family who
had adopted her after she
was smuggled out of the
Warsaw Ghetto.
"I brought Miriam to my
mother and I said, 'Now, do
you want me to return to
Zakopane?' " Mrs. Avrutsky
recalls.
"What do you want to do?"
Sarah asked.
For reasons still unclear to
Mrs. Avrutsky, she decided

— that very moment — to
stay with her mother and
sister.

In 1946, the three left
Poland, later settling in
Israel — Chana's father had
perished in Treblinka.
Miriam married a judge and
had two children; Chana is
married and has a son, and a
daughter named Meira,
after her father. Sarah
Mandelberger has since
died.

In 1989, Mrs. Avrutsky
returned to the St. Ursula
convent for an emotional
reunion with the Mother
Superior. Her visit was ar-
ranged by the Holocaust
Memorial Center, after an
HMC board member told her
story to Memorial Center
Director Rabbi Charles
Rosenzweig. ❑

Christian-Jewish
Dialogue Started

LESLEY PEARL STAFF WRITER

rowing up listening to
Jewish-Christian dia-
logue in her family
room, Marcy Sturman
decided she wanted to be in-
volved in talks as well.
She is getting the oppor-
tunity to do so through a
series of discussion classes
involving high school
students of Temple Beth El,
North Congregational Chur-
ch in Southfield, Christ
Church Cranbrook in
Bloomfield Hills and
Magnolia United Methodist
Church in Southfield.
The eight-week program
was put together by the Rev.
James Lyons, director of the
Ecumencial Institute for
Jewish-Christian Studies in
Southfield, and Rabbi Barry
Diamond, director of edu-
cation at Temple Beth El.
The Ecumenical Institute
originated 10 years ago as a
way for Jews and Christians
to get together and develop
understanding. Marcy's
mother, Elaine Sturman,
has been involved in dia-
logues through the
Ecumenical Institute for
almost that long.
"When I first signed up for
the class, I wasn't sure what
to expect. I knew I was look-
ing for a better understan-
ding of what Christians
believe and to understand
the prejudices we have
against each other," Marcy
said.
She already feels she is
gaining that understand-
ing.

G

At the class, students
brainstormed questions and
wrote them down anony-
mously. The Jewish students
answered the gentile
students' questions and the
gentile students answered
the Jewish questions.
The questions ran the
gamut — from views on the
afterlife and abortion to
what it means to keep
kosher.
The religious leaders
helped answer questions
only if the students were tru-
ly stumped or unfamiliar
with the material discussed.
"A Christian-Jewish dia-
logue motivates people to
study their own religion as
they know they will be
discussing it," Rabbi Dia-
mond said. "This helps peo-
ple feel comfortable talking
about their religion and
helps raise Jewish and
Christian self-esteem."
Rabbi Diamond said the
first few dialogues are a way
for the students to test the
waters and get to know each
other.

Thus far, the students ap-
pear comfortable.
"The kids are enjoying the
style," said Susan
Broadwell, director of re-
ligious education for the
North Congregational Chur-
ch. "They especially like
Rabbi Diamond. He let them
know that their questions
are confidential, and that no
question is too foolish to
ask." ❑

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