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December 11, 1992 - Image 40

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1992-12-11

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ditor Gary Rosenblatt
contributed admirably
to the recognition of
the dominant factors
in the revived movement to
avert continuing Jewish
crises in his Nov. 20 article
"Twenty Years Later, the
Same Pronouncements."
His recollections of the es-
tablishment of a task force
by the Council of Jewish
Federations of June 1971 is
vital to current planning as
an admonition to prevent
continuing failures. Twenty
years ago, the planning for a
wholesome continuity of
Jewish legacies resulted
from the 'formation of the
task force when Jewish
students registered their
demands at the Council ses-
sions in Boston. It was under
the Council presidency of
Max Fisher that the move-
ment commenced as the In-
stitute for Jewish Life. It
was marked by revivalisms.
The announcement was
made at that year's con-
ference banquet and the pro-
testing students even
demanded adherence to
kashrut. At that dinner
there were concluding
Hebraic blessings recited by
Elie Wiesel.
There were new demands
for Jewish loyalties. Then
began the task force palnn-
ing sessions. I was a member
of its 100-member consti-
tuency appointed by Mr.
Fisher. We met regularly on
one Sunday a month.
Many notables joined us
for the sessions. The revered
Dr. Abraham Joshua
Heschel was usually there.
That's when Gordy Zack
either gave or pledged a
million to assist in our
But as Mr. Rosenblatt in-
dicates in his challenging
article, the tasks ceased
after four years. Did we get
tired? Why?
It was when we became
concerned over hesitancies
in the non-Jewish com-
munities to give us en-
couragement in support for
Israel. Turn back the pages
of The Jewish News and you
will find editorials under the
title "Tired Liberals?" They
were appeals to our fellow
Americans who were judged
as liberals and friends of
Jewry "not to get tired" of
their liberalism.






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We could well have applied
this sadness to our Ameri-
canism in the years that
followed. The term liberal
became an anathma in the
Reagen-Bush years. Did we,
in the era of "tired lib-
eralism" become "tired
At the current Council of
Jewish Federations in New
York in November,
Shoshana Cardin emerged
as a powerful awakener form
the lethargy. We have an
awakening of our forces for
the continuity that will con-
front the perils of assimila-

tion, mixed marriage, indif-
ference to tradition and the
failure to properly advance
educational needs.

What is happening now is
the admission of challenges
of crises. We are under in-
dictments created by the
crises. We are indicted and
are, therefore, called to ac-
tion by the new demands be-
ing created for us. We are be-
ing. awakened from unfor-
tunate lethargies. Our duty
to be loyal to the tasks is
great under these serious
challenges. ❑

Rabin Tells Europe
Remember The Past

Rome (JTA) — Israeli Prime
Minister Yitzhak Rabin this
week called on Europe to
remember the past and cry
"never again" to mounting
racism and anti-Semitism.
Allowed to go unchecked,
attitudes of hatred do "not
just threaten the Jewish
people alone," he said.
Mr. Rabin urged European
nations to combat hatred as
he addressed ceremonies
commemorating Holocaust
victims and honoring
Italians who fought the
Nazis and helped Jews dur-
ing and after World War II.
He honored 335 Romans,
including 73 Jews, executed
by the Nazis in March 1944
in reprisal for a partisan at-
He laid a wreath at the
monument to them at the
Fosse Ardeatine, the
Ardeatine Pits, where the
Nazi massacre took place,
before launching into a
series of meetings with
Italian leaders.
He also stressed the neces-
sity of combating anti-
Semitism and racism, dur-
ing an award ceremony for
four Italians who helped
Jews immigrate clandes-
tinely to the land of Israel
after World War II.
At a ceremony hosted by
Foreign Minister Emilio
Colombo, Mr. Rabin said

that it was impossible to
look toward the future
without remembering the
The current wave of
hatred, he said, is "a cancer
in the heart of European
"When I see what is hap-
pening in some parts of
Europe, I think that people
tend to forget history that
took place less than 50 years
ago," he said.
"Together, we must cry,
`Never again.' Together, we
must not permit that all this
happens again," he said.
Mr. Colombo, too, con-
demned the current wave of
xenophobia. "It is not
enough to condemn it," he
said. "We must be present
with laws" and strict inter-
pretation of them, he said.
At the ceremony, four
Italians were honored for
helping Jews in 1945 to flee
to what later became Israel.
In what was known as
Aliyah Bet, as many as
20,000 Jews, most of them
survivors of Nazi camps,
passed through Italy en
route to British-mandated
Palestine immediately after
the war.
They sailed secretly from
Italian ports in converted
fishing boats and other
vessels, or flew in rickety

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