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December 23, 1994 - Image 47

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1994-12-23

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

ber, Jewish activists working on
the domestic front have concen-
trated their efforts on tracking
congressional Republican pro-
posals on welfare, balanced-bud-
get amendments and school
prayer.
They did not, they said, expect
threats to come from the White
House.
Under the administration pro-
posal, 60 HUD programs would
be combined into three mega-
block grants for local communi-
ties.
Although low-income elderly
housing providers could compete
for diminished funds, Jewish pro-
fessionals hold little hope that
their programs would receive
nearly as much funding as they
do now, especially when compet-
ing against disabled housing,
public housing, and emergency
housing.
In addition, under the propos-
al, beginning in 1998, elderly
housing facilities will be compet-
ing for the same funds with
homeless programs and housing
for people with AIDS.
Calling the proposal "the final
blow" to the "dismantling of pub-
lic housing," Ms. Hoffman said,
"We will have no place to send the
low-income elderly. This is real-
ly a crisis."
Without low income housing
as an option, senior citizens will
be forced into nursing homes
without the "dignity and inde-
pendence we provide," she said.
At a news conference, Secre-
tary of Housing and Urban De-
velopment Henry Cisneros
argued that the restructuring will
actually benefit low-income el-
derly housing because the grant
application process will shift from
private organizations such as fed-
erations and B'nai B'rith to lo-
cal and state authorities.
The private organizations
would then be able to apply to the
state and local authorities, which,
according to Mr. Cisneros, can set
aside funds for specific purposes.
But some Jewish activists
aren't buying his pitch. When
asked whether she was reassured
by Mr. Cisneros' assessment that
funding would still be forthcom-
ing, Ms. Feingold said, "I am con-
fident of nothing."
While eliminating funds for
new construction poses a long-
term threat to the elderly popu-
lation, plans to eliminate grants
for support services that some
buildings receive pose a more im-
mediate problem.
Thanks to a HUD grant, for in-
stance, over 500 low-income se-
nior citizens living in B'nai
B'rith's Covenant House in St.
Louis currently eat hot meals sev-
en nights a week instead of the
five funded by private donations,
according to Judy Lee, executive
director of Covenant House.
The $487,000 grant over five
years also allows the Covenant
House to provide transportation

for its residents to doctors' offices.
"I just don't know what they
would do without this assistance,"
Ms. Lee said.
Ms. Lee added that low-income
housing "is important not only to
the older members but to the
families who are trying to do their
best. The ripple effect would be
dramatic."
In the meantime, CJF will join
B'nai B'rith and Christian non-
profit groups in fighting to keep
the grant program intact.
Officials from Jewish and non-
Jewish organizations that would
be affected by changes at HUD
met with HUD officials Monday
night to air their concerns.
Since Mr. Clinton will not de-
liver his budget to Capitol Hill for
months, activists plan to use the
time to lobby the White House
and prepare an all-out push on
the Hill.
`This is a significant battle that
we are going to fight both in Con-
gress and the White House," said
B'nai B'rith's Meridy.

A PREMIERE RENTAL
RETIREMENT
COMMUNITY

Terrorists
Are Sentenced

New York (JTA) — A Turkish
court has sentenced three mem-
bers of an Islamic terrorist group
to 15 years and a fine for the Jan-
uary 1993 attack against a mem-
ber of the Istanbul Jewish
community, the World Jewish
Congress has reported.
The attackers, members of an
organization called the Perse-
vering Workers of Islam, were
convicted for the attempted mur-
der of Jak Kamhi, a prominent
businessman and leading figure
in the Turkish Jewish communi-
ty.
The men were part of a heav-
ily armed five-person squad that
fired rockets at Mr. Kamhi's car
while he was driving to work in
Istanbul.
The three men were also con-
victed of membership in the Is-
lamic organization, a group that
is illegal in Turkey. They admit-
ted they were trained for the at-
tack in Iran.
At the time of the attack, Mr.
Kamhi, 69, who is a member of
the executive committee of the
World Sephardi Federation, was
driving an armored car with per-
sonal guards.
The attackers escaped but left
behind an anti-tank rocket, as-
sault rifles, pistols and hand
grenades.
The attack on Mr. Kamhi was
the third attack in less than a
year on Jews or Jewish institu-
tions in Turkey, a secular but
mostly Islamic country that has
historically been a safe haven for
Jews.
A week before that attack, two
assailants hurled hand grenades
at Istanbul's Neve Shalom Syn-
agogue.

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