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August 11, 1995 - Image 112

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1995-08-11

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

Notice of

ANNUAL MEETING OF THE
JEWISH FEDERATION
OF METROPOLITAN DETROIT

The Federation Annual Meeting will take place on Monday, October 2, 1995, 7:15 p.m. at
Adat Shalom Synagogue.

The following business will be conducted at the meeting:

A resolution to amend the bylaws of the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit will be
brought before the members.

A new investigation looks into the disappearance of
300 to 500 children of Yemen immigrants in the
1950s.

RESOLVED, that Section 2(a) of Article III of the Bylaws of
Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit be amended by
increasing the number of at-large members of the Board of
Governors from 42 to 57 and increasing the number of at-large
members elected at each annual meeting of the members to
serve for a three-year term from 14 to 19.

LARRY DERFNER ISRAEL CORRESPONDENT

In accordance with the bylaws of the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit, the Nomi-
nating Committee has met and designated the following list of nominees for election to the
Board of Governors as members-at-large:

FOR RE-ELECTION

Penny Blumenstein
Eugene Driker
Douglas M. Etkin
Marvin H. Goldman
Barbara Grant

Carolyn Greenberg
James Grosfeld
Sharon Hart
Mark R. Hauser

Peter M. Alter
Eugene Applebaum
James M. August
Michael S. Feldman
Nancy Grand
Hugh W. Greenberg
Stuart E. Hertzberg

Selwyn Isakow
Lawrence Lax
Terran Leemis
Hannan Lis
Hon. Susan Moiseev
Allan Nachman

The Lost Children
Of Yemen

Joel E. Jacob
Brian E. Kepes
Sheila Potiker
Rabbi Efry Spectre

FOR ELECTION

Marta Rosenthal
Alan S. Schwartz
Joel H. Shapiro
Jane Sherman
Barbara Tukel
Kathleen Wilson-Fink

EDZ

T

he controversy of the "Lost
Children of Yemen" has
grabbed the spotlight again
in Israel. This time,
though, after 46 years of
heartache and bitterness on the
part of the children's survivors,
this horrible chapter in Israel's
history finally may be approach-
ing its close.
The lost children are believed
to number between 300 and 500.
They came with their families
from Yemen to Israel from 1949
through the early 1950s, part of
the 51,000 destitute, deeply pi-
ous Yemenite Jews who immi-
grated to the new state.
The Yemenites, like hundreds
of thousands of other Middle
Eastern and North African im-

ish parents in the United States,
without their biological parents'
consent.
The memory of the lost chil-
dren, the belief that they are out
there in the world somewhere,
and the recollection of the callous
treatment accorded those first
immigrants by Israeli officials in
the ma'abarot and hospitals,
have haunted three generations
of Yemenite Jews in Israel.
"I want to be very careful
about making comparisons, but
I think a psychiatrist would find
similar personality characteris-
tics in the second generation of
Yemenites in Israel to those of
the children of Holocaust sur-
vivors," said Amnon Hever, 42.
Hever's 7-month-old sister

EN

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migrants, were housed for years
in impossibly overcrowded, chaot-
ic, unsanitary Israeli tent camps
called "ma'abarot." The
Yemenites were extremely sick-
ly. About half their children died
in infancy.
The lost children are those
who were taken by nurses in the
ma'abarot to nurseries and hos-
pitals, ostensibly for medical
treatment, and were never re-
turned. Their parents were told
the infants had died.
Most of the surviving parents
say their children were healthy,
or at worst suffering from mild
illnesses — certainly not life-
threatening diseases — when
they went to the nurseries.
With few exceptions, the par-
ents could not bury their children
because they never were shown
the corpses or graves. It is be-
lieved that many of the infants
did not die at all, but were giv-
en over for adoption, often to Jew-

Masha was lost in one of the
ma'abarot. Like many other
Yemenites of his generation, Mr.
Hever has spent years searching
government files trying to track
down his lost sibling, without suc-
cess. He assumes Masha is liv-
ing in the United States.
Two Israeli commissions have
examined the issue of the Lost
Children of Yemen, in 1967-68
and 1988-94. Both concluded that
most of the children had died,
dozens could not be accounted
for, and a few evidently had been
adopted. Neither panel found any
criminal behavior by authorities,
and ascribed the loss of the chil-
dren to the extreme disorder and
confusion in the ma'abarot. But
these findings, and the limited
powers of the two panels, have
never satisfied the Yemenite
community and their many sym-
pathizers.
Last year Uzi Meshulam, a
charismatic religious teacher of

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