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December 09, 1994 - Image 60

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1994-12-09

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

Focus: A Bridge To
Evangelicals

Candlestick Lamp.
Packaged in special
holiday gift box.
22 inches high
Reg. $169 95
Sale $129 95

Traditional Lamp.
Old English brass finish
with pleated shade.
28 inches high
Reg. $149 95
Sale $129 95

Past
Present
onternporary

Stiffel; on sale through December 24th.

Whatever the decor, a Stiffel lamp will enrich your room.
And our special sale prices will enrich your savings.

Contemporary Lamp.
Polished brass finish,
ivory inverted flute shade.
27 inches high
Reg. $25995
Sale $179 95

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Where Good Ideas Come To Light

Bloomfield

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810-626-2548

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810-344-0260

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THE D ETRO IT J E WI SH NE WS

200 E. Second St., E. of Main St.
810-651-4302

58

He lives in Chicago, but recently
Washington was his stage:
Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, who has
toiled for almost two decades on
Jewish-evangelical relations, is
convinced that his lifework is be-
ginning to bear fruit.
The rabbi was the prime
mover behind the Washing-
ton summit between Jewish
and evangelical leaders. Although
the meeting had been in the
works for years, it took this sum-
mer's public spat between the
Anti-Defamation League and the
Christian Coalition to make it
happen.
Rabbi Eckstein fell into his un-
usual specialty after joining ADL
in 1977: While in Chicago during
the Skokie march to rally Chris-
tian support for the Jewish posi-
tion, he met the head of the Bible
Department at Wheaton College,
Billy Graham's alma mater.
"Before we knew it, we put to-
gether what may have been the
first Jewish-evangelical confer-
ence."
Rabbi Eckstein became con-
vinced that the Jewish commu-
nity was not buildingbridges to
evangelicals — and that evan-
gelicals were becoming an im-
portant force in American politics.
The result was the Holyland Fel-
lowship of Christians and Jews,
later renamed the Internation-
al Fellowship of Christians and
Jews.
Of Jewish leaders' coolness to
his efforts, he said, "At the be-
ginning, especially, it was hard
to convince them that the effort
at dialogue was important. Peo-
ple like Jerry Falwell were anath-
ema to many Jews."
And while Jewish leaders were
suspicious about Rabbi Eckstein's
attitude toward evangelism, he
said he has "always" maintained
that Jews should not dialogue
"with missions that seek to con-
vert Jews or with Messianic
Jews."
But he also believes in evan-
gelicals' "right" to evangelize,
which, he said, "is intrinsic to
their self-definition as Christians.
What I've tried to do — and what
I've worked out theologically .7—
is to talk about how Christians
can fulfill their 'great commis-
sion,' as they call it, in ways ac-
ceptable to us, such as dialogue
or blessing Israel or serving as
models of piety, rather than sim-
ply passing out tracts."
This week's Jewish-evangeli-
cal conference, with the theme of
"Building a Moral Society," was
intended to help the two groups
"know each other as people and
to shatter stereotypes. We want
to find ways we can cooperate,

when possible, and ways to differ
civilly."
That latter goal became all the
more urgent, he said, after the
angry exchanges that followed
this summer's ADL report on the
Christian right — and the recent
GOP victories that were widely
seen as a big boost for the Chris-
tian right agenda.

Arrow
Hits Target

One of the most important as-
pects of Mr. Rabin's trip was
barely noticed by the press: He
won some badly needed assur-
ances that American support for
the Arrow missile system would
continue, despite the budget-cut
fever raging through Washing-
ton.
Funding for the anti-ballistic
missile program was near the top
of the agenda for Mr. Rabin in his
meetings with Secretary of De-
fense William Perry and Presi-
dent Clinton. Mr. Rabin
apparently came away with a
commitment for $14 million a
year for the next five years to fin-
ish research and development of
the Arrow. That agreement will
be firmed up in detailed talks be-
tween defense officials in Wash-
ington and Jerusalem in the next
few months.
The Arrow missile's future is
particularly timely since there
were recent reports that Iran and
Syria are deploying Scud-C mis-
siles, with a range of more than
300 miles. Iran may already be
manufacturing advanced Scuds
and preparing to add longer-
range Nudong 1 missiles to its
arsenal.

Reform Targets
Immigrants

Legal immigrants, including
Jews from the former USSR,
could be the big losers if new
Republican leaders in Congress
have their way on welfare
reform.
Under one scenario being con-
sidered by the GOP leaders, wel-
fare reform will be financed, in
part, by denying immigrants who
have not yet become citizens ac-
cess to some 61 different govern-
ment programs.
That could affect thousands of
Soviet Jews who were brought
here under family reunification
programs, and who depend on an
assortment of government pro-
grams to supplement support by
families.

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