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October 15, 1993 - Image 66

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1993-10-15

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J RFE1001?

MAINZ page 65

invites you to


Sunday, October 31
1-4 p.m.

Jewish Community Center
Jimmy Prentis Morris Building
5110 W. 10 Mile, Oak Park


of the world's largest
matzoh ball!

• Free samples • Prizes • Entertainment •
• Cooking demonstrations •
• Nutritional information•
• Meat & dairy •

All food under supervision of the Council of Orthodox Rabbis

proud of the Hebrew school
which now serves 36 young-
sters, who are taught by the
cantor, Zvi Gassel from Lithua-
nia (the community has no rab-
bi); and of the bar mitzvah in
August of a boy born in Mainz.
`That was a big event — and a
rare one."
The present community is, of
course, very different from Jew-
ish Mainz of the past. The pre-
war Jewish population of Mainz
numbered 3000, and this small
town had three synagogues —
all destroyed in 1938.
After the war, the Jews who
settled in Mainz started to or-
ganize a small community, and
by the early 1960s they opened
the present synagogue. Mr.
Landau was among the found-
ing members. Born in Vienna,
he later moved to England and
spent the war years in the
British Army. He's also lived in
Cracow and in the United
States, but he moved to Mainz
in 1960 to be near to a sister
who was ill.
He's been leading an active
Jewish life in Mainz ever since.
He's vice president of the com-
munity, supervisor of the city's
two Jewish cemeteries, pinch-
hitter for the cantor — and he's
also involved in a special project
to honor the Jews of Cracow by
establishing a school in Israel

as a memorial to them.
Spurred by his leadership,
his own community has raised
$30,000 for the project. "And
we're trying to get people from
other places, including the
United States, to participate,
too," says Mr. Landau, who
speaks fluent English — and
also German, Polish, Yiddish
and Hebrew.
Like other Jews in Germany,
he said he's often asked why he,
as a Jew, lives in Germany.
"People always ask me that," he
said, relating an anecdote
about an Israel couple who,
meeting him at the synagogue,
asked the question before they
even said hello.
And his answer? `Tm as com-
fortable being Jewish in Ger-
many as I would be any other
place — except Israel," he said.
He stresses that it was cir-
cumstance more than choice
that brought him to Germany.
But he's led a committed Jew-
ish life here for over 30 years.
He's part of a Jewish com-
munity whose members are ac-
tive Zionists (they raise
$120,000 for Israel every year),
conduct their own services
every week — and where Mr.
Landau and others are living
Jewishly in the 1990s in a city
where Jewish life flourished
centuries ago. ❑

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The Jewish Community Center, Jewish Federation Apartments

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Jews, Black Caucus
Meet Over Farrakhan

New York (JTA) — Jewish
leaders met privately this
week with the leadership of
the Congressional Black
Caucus, in an effort to de-
termine how closely the
black power establishment
is embracing Louis Far-
Mr. Farrakhan, who heads
the Nation of Islam, is wide-
ly regarded as anti-Semitic,
in light of his past remarks
disparaging Judaism.
Representatives of the Na-
tional Jewish Community
Relations Advisory Council
and some of its constituent
agencies met in Washington
with Rep. Kweisi Mfume,
D-Md., and leaders of the
Anti-Defamation League
were scheduled to do so.
At issue are remarks made
to Mr. Farrakhan by Mr.
Mfume and Benjamin
Chavis, executive director of
the National Association for
the Advancement of Colored
People, at the black caucus'
annual legislative conven-

tion, which took place Sept.
At that convention, Mr.
Mfume said the caucus
would "enter a covenant"
with Mr. Farrakhan to work
on issues of concern to the
black community.
Mr. Chavis told Mr. Far-
rakhan that it had been a
mistake to exclude the Black
Muslim leader from
August's civil rights march
in Washington, which or-
ganizers reportedly did after
pressure was exerted by
some Jewish groups.
Representatives of Jewish
groups are now trying to de-
termine how sincere those
remarks by Mr. Chavis and
Mr. Mfume to Mr. Far-
rakhan were, said a source
close to the talks.
If they were intentional, it
may mark a sea change in
Jewish groups across the
political spectrum have long
refused to work with Mr.
Farrakhan. ❑

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