Celebrating 50 years of growth with the Detroit Jewish Community
E EWISH NEWS
14 SHEVAT 5753/FEBRUARY 5, 1993
Strength In Numbers
Jewish faculty and staff at MSU organize to voice concerns.
RUTH LITTMANN STAFF WRITER
ewish humor has it that from
any group of three Jews, four dif-
ferent opinions arise.
With levity, William Rosenthal
affirms this phenomenon, but he
does not think it will prevent a
new, 75-member Jewish group
at Michigan State University
from fulfilling its purpose.
Mr. Rosenthal and Barry
Gross, professors at MSU, helped
form the MSU Jewish Faculty
and Staff Association to repre-
sent Jewish concerns on campus.
It began last spring when 40 in-
dividuals attended the first meet-
ing. Membership continues to
"One of the curiosities of our
time is that Jews are no longer a
minority," he said. 'We have lost
a voice. (Members of MSUJFSA)
believe that we have to regain
Of particular concern is a con-
flict between the academic cal-
endar and the Jewish High Holy
Days. Political Science Professor
Soon after her husband's death,
Elaine Hirsch sat reading the
newspaper at her kitchen table. For
the past few days, the cold had been
oppressive. Sharp frost had covered
everything in sight. From all
appearances, today would be another
typical, dreary November morning.
Mrs. Hirsch looked out into the back
yard. She saw them immediately -
they couldn't be missed - two
beautiful red roses. She set her paper
down and, for a moment at least, her
despair lifted. The roses were
blooming on a bush her husband
had planted. Mrs. Hirsch was sure it
was no coincidence.
Story on page 26
Ada W. Finifter, an association
board member, said faculty an-
nually receive school notices
encouraging them to avoid
scheduling important lectures
and tests on the holidays of many
religious groups. These notices,
however, do not specify when
Jewish holidays occur.
In fact, she said, class regis-
tration often has fallen during
the High Holy Days.
Members of the association
disagree with the university's
funding of groups that invite al-
leged anti-Semites to speak on
Referring to two appearances
by Nation of Islam leader Louis
Farrakhan, Professor Rosenthal
said he did not disagree with the
black activist's right to speak.
His main objection was that
then-Provost David Scott allo-
cated money to the event's spon-
sor, but afterward made an
insufficient attempt to comment
on Mr. Farrakhan's controver-
Interim Provost Lou Anna
Simon said Mr. Scott met with
members of the campus Jewish
community to discuss their com-
plaints after the speech. After
the controversy, conferences be-
tween blacks and Jews were held
A third purpose of the Jewish
Faculty and Staff Association is
to include Jewish speakers at
the university's multi-cultural
events. Professor Kenneth Walt-
zer, who also serves as adviser to
the new Jewish Student Union
at MSU, said MSU's Diversity
Conference will include a Jewish
speaker for the first time.
Michael Lerner, editor of Tikkun,
will speak at the March 31 -
April 1 conference.
A balanced forum - repre-
senting Jews as well as other
ethnic groups and races - is nec-
essary for a good education,
Professor Waltzer said.
Jack Kemp, Howard Wolpe:
Looking for Jewish votes?
STRENGTH page 24
Jason Hillman wants to turn
a campus show into a career.
Sex, Drugs, AIDS
Students, parents hear
a pilot curriculum.
Sunday Was Super
Hundreds helped out for
Campaign's Super Weeks.
Contents on page 5