4, N c
Celebrating 50 years of growth with the Detroit Jewish Community
THE JEWISH NEWS
ADAR/MARCH 5, 1993
Bridging The Split
A play is being brought in to serve as a catalyst for renewing
the dialogue between blacks and Jews in the Detroit area.
LESLEY PEARL STAFF WRITER
hat may seem like an end is often
only a means.
Nothing could be more true of
Crossing The Broken Bridge, a
play stopping in Detroit this month
which explores black-Jewish rela-
According to Adele Silver, cul-
tural arts director for the Jewish
Community Center, the real ex-
citement is not the work itself, but
rather the coalitions that have
formed around it.
Crossing The Broken Bridge,
presented by Traveling Jewish
Theatre of San Francisco and
Junebug Productions of New
Orleans, is the story of a black man
and a Jewish woman and their
dealings with misconceptions
about each other. It is the joint cre-
ation of Naomi Newman, a found-
ing member of Traveling Jewish
Theatre, and John O'Neal, direc-
tor of Junebug Productions.
The Michigan Chronicle and
The Jewish News are co-sponsors
of the local performances: 7 p.m.
The Rev. Jesse Jackson's relationship
with the Jewish community reads like
a roller coaster ride. In the early
1970s. he stood with Jews against
Nazi marchers in Skokie. In 1979, he
embraced PLO Chairman Yassir
Arafat. He has been outspoken on be-
half of the Jews of Syria. He labeled
Zionism a poisonous weed. Today. the
Rev. Jackson is making a new effort to
reach out to the Jewish community.
He's working with the American
Jewish Congress and meeting with
Israeli leaders. But is it enough. and
does it truly reflect what's in his
Stogy r on page 48
logue, poetry and song. Its creators
said they hope the performance
acts as a doorway to dialogue —
not just among Jews and blacks,
but among all ethnic groups.
When Ms. Silver booked the
play, she knew it should be per-
formed not just in a Jewish arena,
but in a black one as well. She ap-
proached various Detroit church-
es, only to find opposition.
Six weeks ago, with the help of
Jewish Community Council, Ms.
Silver found a partner in Hartford
March 18 at the Jewish
Community Center and 7:30 p.m.
March 20 at Hartford Memorial
Ms. Silver lear-
ned about Cros-
sing The Broken
Bridge in Decem-
ber 1990 at a
"I was immedi-
she said. "Econo-
mic times are
such that minori-
ties bear the Black-Jewish ties have been strengthened by the play
brunt of venom Crossing The Broken Bridge.
and hate. Right-
wing politics are growing. I want- Memorial Baptist Church.
"This was new and different. It
ed to help make a difference in the
was unknown and I think that is
"Our communities, Jewish and why I met with resistance from
black, are not in continuous con- some churches. But Hartford
Memorial Baptist jumped in with
tact. I hope this is a first step."
The play explores issues of both feet," Ms. Silver said.
Hartford has prior ties to the
stereotypes, racism and anti-
Semitism through historical mono- BRIDGING page 12
House In Order
The Yeshiva's cuts
have restored balance.
A lighthearted look
at the national "news."
Lending A Hand
A volunteer makes
For some Israelis,
only the fondest memories.
Contents on page 5