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January 21, 1994 - Image 30

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1994-01-21

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

News

Jewish Institutions
Hit By L.A. Quake

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Los Angeles (JTA) — The
University of Judaism,
several prominent syn-
agogues and Jewish com-
munal facilities suffered se-
vere damage as the Jewish
community, along with the
rest of Los Angeles, tried to
reorder its life after the dev-
astating earthquake.
The epicenter of the quake
was in the San Fernando
Valley, abutting Los
Angeles in the northwest.
Although the quake affected
homes, buildings and
freeways throughout the
metropolitan area, the se-
verest damage was in the
Valley, home to 240,000
Jews.
While engineers were still
assessing the structural
damage of the region's
buildings, severe damage
was reported by the Univer-
sity of Judaism and the adja-
cent Stephen S. Wise Tem-
ple, which closed for the
week.
Also hit were the
Brandeis-Bardin Institute in
the Simi Valley, which ap-
parently lost its main and
adjoining buildings, and
Valley Beth Shalom, whose
rabbi, Harold Schulweis,
had planned to give a ser-
mon on "An Act of God?"
The 6-year old Bernard
Milken Community Cam-
pus, housing the main Jew-
ish agencies for the western
San Fernando Valley, which
was already being closed
down temporarily to correct
major construction deficien-
cies, suffered major water
damage.
Water from burst pipes
also damaged the Freda
Mohr Center of the Jewish
Family Service, while the
agency's western office was
badly damaged.
Possible structural
damage to the Jewish Com-
munity Building in West-
Central Los Angeles was
still being assessed. As in
homes and offices
throughout the area, floors
were littered with papers,
crockery, photographs and
computers.
The Jewish Federation
Council and its agencies
reactivated the emergency
program put in place during
the devastating Los Angeles
firestorms of early
November, including an
emergency hot line and pro-
visions for providing food
and shelter for the homeless.

,

Marlene Adler Marks of
the Jewish Journal, who had
barely escaped the fire and
was shaken by the quake,
recalled the biblical plagues
and asked rhetorically,
"What's next? Locusts?"
Contributions can be sent
to the CJF Earthquake
Emergency Fund, 730
Broadway, New York, NY
10003.
B'nai B'rith International
also announced that con-
tributions could be sent to
the B'nai B'rith Disaster
Relief Fund at 1640 Rhode
Island Ave., N.W., Washing-
ton, D.C. 20036.
The Union of American
Hebrew Congregations has
also established a disaster
relief fund. ❑

Georgia Raises
Exit Fees

New York (JTA) — The
government of the former
Soviet republic of Georgia
has backtracked on an effort
to tax Jews leaving the
country.
Early this month, the
Georgian government an-
nounced that passports,
previously issued for a nom-
inal charge, would cost $300,
which is equivalent to
several years' salary in
Georgian currency.
The Jewish Agency for
Israel, which maintains an
office in the Georgian capital
of Tbilisi, attributed the
measure to a desire for for-
eign currency, on the
assumption that the world
Jewish community would
pay for the passports.
Estimates of the numbers
of Jews in Georgia range
between 15,000 and 30,000.
President Eduard
Shevardnadze said that he
had not known of the mea-
sure in advance and told the
Jewish Agency that he
would cancel it.
Jewish groups have long
seen exit fees as an obstacle
to the right of free emigra-
tion.
"It must be made clear at
the first sign of any deteri-
oration of this right that
world Jewry will not be a
source of income," Baruch
Gur, director of the Jewish
Agency's unit for the former
Soviet Union and Eastern
Europe, said in a state-
ment. ❑

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