Six Days In October
To Focus On The Community
There's a sort of personal excitement about open-
ing up the family photo album and taking a look.
It's different than watching a video, because this
is something that we can hold in our hands, that
has touch and even a musty smell.
There's that photo of mom and her sisters
when she was a little girl. That oversized bow in
her hair. She tells us for what seems the hun-
dredth time how she refused to smile at the pho-
The photo of you and your friends playing
street ball out on Cortland. No gloves, and a ball
with the stuffing coming out. You wonder where
most of those guys are now.
Your class photo at Mumford. Your teen-age
kids look at the ankle-length skirt, and those
glasses. Where did you get those glasses?
Now, the albums are filled with experiences
in neighborhoods such as Huntington Woods
and Bloomfield Hills, the kids in-line skating,
the grandparents in aerobics classes.
From Sunday, Oct. 23, to sundown Friday,
Oct. 28, The Jewish News, in conjunction with
Perry Drug Stores, is asking that we as a com-
munity chronicle through photographs six days
in the life of Jewish Detroit (see related story on
It's an opportunity to capture the flavor of our
lives, our vitality and our community's Jewish
We urge everyone to participate. One doesn't
have to be an accomplished photographer, just
a person with an eye for Jewish life.
We'll publish an insert with many of the pho-
tos you send us this winter. It will be a keepsake,
something to open and treasure. Most impor-
tantly, it will still be a photo album...of our fam-
A Heavenly Faith
Guiding Bill Clinton
On Monday, Bill Clinton showed a side of him-
self we haven't seen much of recently — and that
we haven't seen in the presidency since Jimmy
Carter left the White House: The man of faith;
the man whosesustenance comes from God, not
necessarily voting booths and polls.
Speaking to about 40 Baptist editors, pub-
lishers and reporters who were attending a brief-
ing at the Old Executive Office building next
to the White House, the president said he reads
the Bible and other religious books for guidance
and to cope with the isolation of the presidency.
"Since I've been here," he said, "I've spent a
lot more time than I ever have in my life read-
ing religious books. ... It's made a huge differ-
ence, actually, in enduring what is the pretty
significant isolation of this job."
He also, he said, tries to find "quiet time" to
pray about difficult decisions.
This was the Bill Clinton of Arkansas speak-
ing, not the Bill Clinton who has now been in the
White House for 21 months. As governor of what
George Bush disparagingly referred to as "a
small Southern state" and as a determined seek-
er of the presidency, Mr. Clinton often alluded
to the Southern Baptist church's influence on
him, how it bolstered and enriched him, how it
provided a moral and spiritual tethering in his
modest beginnings in a town called Hope.
But rarely, now that he is chief executive, do
we hear from him about such religious themes
as national reconciliation and finding common
This past weekend, I attended
the Ecumenical Institute for Jew-
ish-Christian Studies' second an-
nual church-synagogue tour.
Participants toured Southfield
Presbyterian Church, Congre-
gation Beth Achim and Our Lady
of Chaldeans Cathedral. The tour
was very enlightening; those who
attended learned a great deal
about the beliefs and practices of
each religion represented as well
as about the histories of the in-
I was very disappointed, how-
ever, by the lack of participants
from the Jewish community. I
have heard Jews complain about
anti-Semitism and claim that it
would dissipate if the Christian
community would simply spend
some time learning about us. But
this is a two-way street. The ball
is not only in "their" court. Not
only must Christians learn about
Jews and Judaism, but so too
must Jews learn about Chris-
tians and Christianity.
Currently the Jewish commu-
nity has much on its agenda. Yes,
we must devote ourselves and
our resources to teen program-
ming, education for children and
adults, care for the disabled and
elderly and a whole multitude of
other issues. However, we can-
not afford to ignore the area of in-
terfaith relations. If we hope to
erase prejudice and hostility in
our community, we must partic-
ipate in programs and learning
experiences such as those pro-
vided by the Ecumenical Insti-
tute and other organizations.
Educating ourselves about our
neighbors is the first step in
procuring a world void of preju-
Rabbi Amy Brodsky
ground. And invariably, when he does speak
about them, it is before denominational gather-
ings and church congregations: Safe turf for such
yearnings; safe harbor for such personal reve-
lations that have national repercussions.
Mr. Clinton did not assume the presidency to
be a preacher. We have Billy Graham for that.
But he did enter it claiming to be a "new kind of
Democrat." The "old kind," along with the "old
kind" of Republican (although no one has come
along claiming to be a "new Republican"), of-
ten ignored religion and relegated it to muffled
As a breed, American politicians are reluctant
to embrace religion: Many are afraid of tres-
passing on the line that separates church from
state; many harbor the American suspicion that
religion is something intensely personal and not
for public consumption. But faith, in one way or
another, sustains us all: It provides a moral back-
bone, an ethical framework, a principled win-
dow through which we view the world.
Mr. Clinton could provide a service to us all if
he removed the muzzle from his obviously deep
spiritual foundation that has buttressed him
through all sorts of travails and trials. This would
help us know the man better — and also give I wish to compliment you on your
greater license and legitimacy to fusing the pub- new way of listing obituaries.
lic with the private, and the religious with the Now the individual appears to
secular in a country that too often puts civil faith have lived and is not merely a
before spiritual faith.
This Is Peace?
Your Sept. 30 front-page article,
"APN Turns A New Chapter In
Detroit," underscores one of the
basic problems concerning the
debate surrounding the treaty
signed by Messrs. Rabin and
Arafat. The article's subtitle,
"They feel peace is in Israel's best
interest," is a quote from Mr.
Knoppow which is repeated in
the story. Both the quote and the
subtitle suggest that those who
do not support the accord are not
interested in peace.
Is there any Jew who does not
want peace? The most hawkish
right-winger, the most "radical"
of the "settlers" sincerely desires
what is really at issue — name-
ly, will the treaty lead to a true
peace, or to ever-mounting ter-
rorism and fatalities?
During the year since the
"peace" treaty was signed, more
Jews have been murdered than
during comparable periods of
time during the intifada; Mr.
Arafat has refused to amend the
PLO covenant that calls for the
destruction of Israel, nor has he
made any attempt to apprehend,
convict, punish, or turn over to
Israel those who have murdered
our fellow Jews. This is peace?
The article further states that
APN policy calls for Israeli with-
drawal from the Golan Heights.
It should be noted that General
Barak, chief of staff of the IDF,
recently declared his opposition
to withdrawal from the Golan
Heights. He, as well as most Is-
raelis, believes that only by hold-
ing on to the Golan Heights can
we be assured that peace will be
Those who oppose the so-called
"peace treaty" do so not because
they oppose peace. Rather, it is
because they fear that negotiat-
ing with terrorists and giving up
territory are a prescription for
disaster, not for the peace that
they so fervently desire.
Rabbi Elimelech Silberberg
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