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May 27, 1994 - Image 10

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

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caust is a relatively new phe-
When preparing to write "Life
Unworthy of Life," Professor
Bolkosky and others studied U.S.
high-school texts. They discov-
ered that one or two paragraphs,
equaling about 70 words, in
world-history books are devoted
to the systematic killing of the
Jews of Europe. Most often
Auschwitz is mentioned along
with a photograph of stacked
dead bodies or a prisoner looking
through barbed wire.
"I think teachers have been
willing to teach but have been
scared. They feared objections
from parents and school boards
about teaching too singular a fo-
cus. And there is ignorance on
the teachers' parts too," Professor
Bolkosky said. 'This is a very dif-
ficult subject to teach. Steven
Spielberg has made the most
headway so far" in his movie
Schindler's List.
Rabbi Charles Rosenzveig,
founder and executive vice-pres-
ident of the Holocaust Memorial
Center in West Bloomfield,
agrees education — especially in
the form of museums and his-
torical centers — is key in fend-
ing off anti-Semitism and
Like Professor Bolkosky, Rabbi
Rosenzveig recognizes the di•er-
ence between deniers and the un-
informed masses. His greatest
fear is not deniers; it is the "uni-
versalizing' of the Holocaust —
counting war and political victims

MERGING page 1
name, their heritage and build
for the future.
"But at the same time I'm cau-
tious because we're dealing with
people who have a 102-year his-
tory. We have to be very caring
and very careful. B'nai Moshe has
been through this. We know their
While its West Bloomfield fa-
cility was under construction,
B'nai Moshe met for more than a
year at the Maple-Drake Jewish
Community Center. Its mem-
bership dwindled to the size of
B'nai David's.
B'nai David considers itself
traditional. B'nai Moshe is a
member of the Conservative
movement and allows women
aliyot during religious services.
B'nai Moshe's Ms. Bodzin said
there would be no compromise on
that issue.
"A Conservative synagogue is
the only place we can go," said
Mr. Traison. "It will be a big
change for us, but we will fit in
well with B'nai Moshe's mem-
During Sunday's meeting at
B'nai David, several longtime
members spoke tearfully about
the closing of the synagogue and
their inability to follow the con-
gregation to West Bloomfield.
Said Ms. Bodzin, "In one sense,

in the context of the Holocaust.
"There is a great danger in
submerging the two (Holocaust
victims and war and political vic-
tims)," Rabbi Rosenzveig said.
"There has never been a war

Sid Bolkosky: Education versus
without war abuses. Combining
the two only predicts repetition
of both. It makes the Holocaust
as acceptable as war."
Rabbi Rosenzveig commends
Mr. Roper for being forthright in
announcing the polling error but
added, "I'm not convinced of how
important these surveys are. But
I suppose if it (the poll) awakened
people, it served a purpose."
Mr. Roper has conducted a
new poll for the American Jewish
Committee. Data will be released
following a full analysis. ❑

it's ending for them. They are go-
ing out of their building and leav-
ing some of their friends. But we
are hoping to find common
ground and make this as smooth
as possible for all of us."
Rabbi Yolkut, who has been
spiritual leader at B'nai David for
17 years, called the closing of the
synagogue "unfortunate, even
tragic." He cited the loss of
Detroit's third-oldest congrega-
tion and the niche it served, "be-
tween the
(self-contained community) of the

The congregations
begin praying
together next week.

Orthodox and the leftward
movement of the Conservatives."
"In recent years we had bar
and bat mitzvahs of children
whose great-grandparents had
been married at B'nai David on
Hastings in the old Jewish neigh-
borhood in Detroit.
"It's sad," he said, "for those
who, because of distance, can't
join the merged congregations.
"It's sad for the Jewish com-
munity." ❑

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