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May 27, 1994 - Image 1

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1994-05-27

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17 SIVAN 5754/MAY 27, 1994

Asking Right Questions


Admission eases Holocaust doubts.


I ii
gi hen an American
Jewish Conimittee-
commissioned poll re-
sulted in the an-
nouncement that one
in five Americans
doubted the Holocaust
occurred, Sid Bolkosky
• didn't lose much sleep.
The University of Michigan-
Dearborn professor and co-au-
thor of the Holocaust curriculum
"Life Unworthy of Life" doesn't
put much stock in polls.
Recent admissions lend little
credibility to the AJCornmittee-
sponsored survey.
Mr. Burns Roper, a private
poller, recently announced to a
conference of professional poll-
sters that the work he complet-
ed for the AJCommittee, which
sent many Jews into a flurry
about Holocaust "revisionism"
one year ago, was flawed due
to the wording of survey ques-
The statement in question
read: "Does it seem possible
or does it seem impossible to
you that the Nazi extermina-
tion of the Jews never hap-
Results from the question said
22 percent of adults and 20 per-
cent of high-school students sur-
veyed thought it was possible the

Holocaust never occurred. Twelve
percent of adults surveyed were
However, when the Gallup
Poll conducted a similar survey
in January, rewording the ques-
tion to read, "Do you doubt that
the Holocaust actually happened
or not?" and added the phrase,
"Holocaust as usually referring
to the killing of millions of Jews
in Nazi death camps," 9 percent
of Americans surveyed expressed
Less than 0.5 percent re-
sponded that the Holocaust "def-
initely" did not happen.
Seventy-nine percent said it "def-
initely" occurred.
"If the (AJCommittee) poll had
been accurate, the results would
have been quite distressing,"
Professor Bolkosky said. "But
those results didn't say 22
percent of Americans are anti-
Semitic or Holocaust 'revision-
ists,' just ignorant in regard to
the Holocaust."
Professor Bolkosky said he
viewed the 22 percent of doubters
as high at the time the results
of the poll were made public. But,
he added, "I figured most
Americans don't know much, if
anything at all, about the
Holocaust. Teaching the Holo-




Kosher marks the spot for the

Page 32


Fund raising and retailing
mix well at Gorman's.

Page 40


The age is the same, but
the issues are different.

Page 84

Expanded living.

Location, Location, Location!

One of Detroit's hottest
neighborhoods is in Oak Park.

See page 54

B'nai David Pursues Merger

Congregation talks to B'nai Moshe as it leaves its Southfield home.


embers of Congrega-tion
B'nai David voted
Sunday to pursue a
merger with Congrega-
tion B'nai Moshe in West
Because of the sale
four years ago of its building to the city of
Southfield, B'nai David will move next week from
its synagogue at Southfield Road and Mt. Vernon
(91/2 Mile) and establish a temporary office on 10
Mile Road to complete business during the next
three months.
B'nai David President Lawrence Traison said
the congregation wants final negotiations to "start
immediately and consummate this summer so
that we can be at B'nai Moshe officially Sept. 5,"
erev Rosh Hashanah. •
B'nai David must leave by Tuesday, but the
city will allow it to store its possessions in the build-
ing until August. The city will convert the build-
ing into an arts center. The congregation plans
to have a sit-down lunch after morning Sabbath
services tomorrow, and "next Shabbos we'll start
attending B'nai Moshe," Mr. Traison said.
B'nai David's clergy and staff are not included
in the merger. The clergy have been given termi-
nation notices effective May 31. Sexton Hershl
Roth will retire, Mr. Traison said, and Cantor
Stuart Friedman and Rabbi Morton Yolkut "are
young and can establish themselves in other
The rabbi said he is pursuing other rabbinical

positions. "It is unclear right now whether that
will be in town or out of town."
Pearlena Bodzin, president of B'nai Moshe, said
the two congregations will quickly convene a merg-
er committee. At a presentation made last week
to B'nai David members by B'nai Moshe ritual
chairman Leonard Wanetik and past president
Michael Grand, the two discussed ritual at B'nai
Moshe, future expansion and options for contin-
uing the B'nai David name at B'nai Moshe.
Mr. Traison said B'nai David chose B'nai Moshe
over a possible merger with Congregation Shaarey
Zedek because "our board felt we would have more
impact at B'nai Moshe because of the size of the
congregation. Shaarey Zedek is terrific, and we
would have no problem there.
"But we are 200-300 members and they are
2,000. B'nai Moshe is 450-500 and only about a
mile from where we intended to go."
B'nai David had an option on a parcel of land on
Maple Road near Halsted, but was unable to raise
enough pledges to build on the site. B'nai Moshe
is on Drake Road, just south of Maple.
"There will not be a B'nai David as it was," Mr.
Traison said, "but there will be something new.
And we are getting in at the beginning with B'nai
Moshe and its new building."
B'nai Moshe moved from Oak Park into its new
synagogue in the summer of 1993.
"I'm happy because we are able to offer B'nai
David members a home," B'nai Moshe's Ms. Bodzin
said. "We can offer ways for them to keep their

MERGING page 10

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