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October 08, 1993 - Image 1

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1993-10-08

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23 TISHREI 5754 /OCTOBER 8, 1993



Volunteers prepare
to teach about AIDS.
Page 14

Two Sides

With peace on the way,
Gaza remains difficult.
Page 55

To The Stars

Two Jewish astronauts
aboard the Columbia.
Page 63


Joel Grey has
great lines here.
Page 73

4 -


In Mourning

Grieving can take
strange twists.
Page 93

contents on page 3

Surveying Our Neighbors

The Jewish News, Wayne State and the Jewish Council take a look at how
Jews view themselves in relation to the people they live and work with.


obert Brown believes metropolitan
Detroit is one of the most polarized
communities in America.
"I think we have become a little
too insulated in the suburbs," said
Mr. Brown, chairman of the South-
field-Lathrup Multicultural Coali-
tion. "But Jews should not be
singled out. A lot of people don't as-
sociate with those who are not like
themselves. And a lot of this comes from lack
of contact."
Mr. Brown's views lend support to key find-
ings of a study released this week on attitudes
among members of the Jewish community.
The survey of 500 Jewish News subscribers
and non-subscribers indicated that Detroit
area Jews believe they have few ties with lo-
cal Arabs, Chaldeans or blacks.
Participants also said these other ethnic
and minority groups have stronger negative
feelings toward Jews than Jews have toward
them. Mr. Brown was surprised by the re-
sults of the survey because he interacts with
blacks, Arabs and Chaldeans on a regular ba-

sis. He added that more contact with other
groups may help to change these attitudes.
The random telephone sampling was
drawn from a data base containing 24,000
identifiable Jewish households in metropol-
itan Detroit. In total, 892 people were con-
tacted and 505 interviews were completed.
The survey, the first ever conducted for
The Jewish News, was done jointly with
Wayne State University's Center For Urban
Studies and the Jewish Commu-
nity Council of Metropolitan De-
Arthur M. Horwitz, Jewish
News associate publisher, said he
initiated the survey to put into
place some bench marks on Jewish commu-
nal perceptions and attitudes toward other
groups who live in the metropolitan Detroit
"We hope this will precipitate discussion
and more action within the Jewish commu-
nity," Mr. Horwitz said. "This also will help
The Jewish News to develop an agenda for
future stories, sponsorships and other com-
munity involvement."
Mr. Horwitz said future studies will be
designed to track progress on the
issues raised
in the sur-
Gad- Harf,
executive di-
rector of the
Jewish Com-
munity Conn-

cil, said survey findings affirm his be-
lief that more work must be done to
improve intergroup relations in met-
ropolitan Detroit.
"I think the most startling thing
is the perception about the Jewish and
Chaldean/Arab relationships," Mr.
Gad-Harf said. "It's problematic and
it needs attention.
"Jews have to ask themselves, do
they want to come togeth-
er with Chaldeans and
blacks? Is it a priority?
There's a lot more work to
be done in these areas," Mr.
Gad-Harf said.
Members of the Arab and Chaldean
community agreed that dialogue, ed-
ucation and organizations aimed at
heightening relationships are the way
to build bridges between Jews and
other ethnic groups.
"If we expect to do anything to im-
prove these relations, the city (Detroit)
has to become the center of our effort,
and we have to arrest the sprawl that
characterizes itself around Detroit,"
said Arthur Johnson, vice-president
of university relations at Wayne State
University and immediate past pres-
ident of the Detroit Chapter of the
NAACP. "Unless we do this, there
won't be much point in talking about
these relationships."
Added Terry Ahwal, president of
the American Arab Anti-Discrimina-
SURVEY page 6


Jpws, Blacks As Neighbors



ome black commu-
nity members say
strong leadership,
dialogue and education
are essential to over-
come stereotypes, espe-
cially between blacks
and Jews.
They were not sur-
prised to hear Jews tend
to have negative feel-
ings toward blacks and
feel blacks have nega-
tive feelings toward
Arthur L. Johnson,
vice-president of uni-
versity relations at

Wayne State Universi-
ty and immediate past

president of the Detroit
Chapter of the NAACP,
said the only way to im-
prove relations between
blacks and Jews is by
working together to de-
velop the city of Detroit.
"Rebuilding and fur-
ther developing life in
the city, this is our call-
ing," he said. "If we ex-
pect to do anything to
improve these relations,
the city has to become
the center of our effort

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