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August 18, 1995 - Image 4

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1995-08-18

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

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Disobedience Defined

In a strange confluence of ideology and public re-
lations, the increasingly sophisticated battle to
cull sympathy for Jewish residents of the West
Bank has moved to North America with a
vengeance. In addition to a blitz of faxes and ral-
lies across the continent, a stream of visitors has
come as well. Last week, it was American-born
West Bank settlement leader Yechiel Leiter. He
came to raise awareness and dollars for Yesha,
a leading settlers organization. He also came
to set up a relief fund for the families of what
Yesha expects will be an increased number of
Jews arrested for protesting the Israel govern-
ment's policy of ceding more power to the Pales-
tinian Authority.
The message Mr. Leiter brought was intrigu-
ing, albeit one in need of exploration. In an in-
terview in this week's Close-Up, which begins on
page 22, he said, "We are doing what the blacks
did here in the 1960s. We are marching and sit-
ting and willing to go to jail."
He spoke of the settlers' vow to continue their
civil disobedience campaign that has included
using women and children in nonviolent con-
frontations with Israeli soldiers, the disrupting
of traffic throughout Israel and a seemingly dai-
ly series of protests outside government facili-
ties.
Earlier this week, however, came an uglier
view of life on the West Bank. Jewish settlers
shot at the Palestinian Arabs destroying a hasti-

ly erected Jewish settlement. The Arabs took
sledge hammers to concrete frames and burned
Torah scrolls and prayer books. Such heinous ac-
tions should obviously be punished. However,
wantonly shooting at the perpetrators — and
killing one of them — is reprehensible, particu-
larly when the army was only minutes away.
Such responses have nothing to do with the
long, proud tradition of civil disobedience. One
cannot fathom the Rev. Martin Luther King or
other great civil-rights leaders even hinting at
violence. In fact, they repeatedly spoke out
against it. That's not to say that Yesha leaders
condone what happened. However, they appear
unable to stop such episodes from occurring. At
times, some of them even say that such incidents
are regrettable, but understandable.
Jews on the West Bank are entitled to believe
that Judea and Samaria are indisputably part
of Israel, particularly after being encouraged for
decades by successive Labor and Likud govern-
ments to move there. They, however, are not en-
titled to promote vigilante actions and challenge
the validity of a democratically elected govern-
ment.
They also have a right to protest, within the
bounds of the law. And, in the next election, they
have the right to vote in a new government. Their
rights, however, have nothing to do with the civ-
il, dignified era of Dr. King and his many fol-
lowers.

Letters

Education Remains
Federation Priority

Alan Hitsky's Editor's Notebook
of Aug. 4 finds our community
wanting in its support of Jewish
education. He is correct to sug-
gest that more dollars would be
desirable.
Unfortunately, Mr. Hitsky
didn't make note of the fact that,
over the past four years, since the
Giles Report was issued, the Jew-
ish Federation has allocated
$7,492,000 to Jewish education.
Included in that figure is this

A Man Of Peace

It's not easy being a good judge. Like any other
It is no easy task to govern the Jewish Corn-
vocation, a person can routinely do things, get munity Council, an umbrella agency for more
into a pattern, adequately fill a slot. It is some- than 200 area Jewish organizations. The com-
thing to be avoided in any profession, and cer- plaint against consensus-building, especially for
tainly a dangerous attitude for a
a group with such a broad spec-
jurist.
trum of constituents, is that con-
Fortunately for the Jewish
sensus means watered-down or
community and the State of
bland. Judge Shepherd worked
Michigan, John Shepherd was
hard to avoid that label.
not one who did things routine-
As a jurist, he was respected
ly.
throughout the state. At the time
After a seven-year battle with
of Judge Shepherd's departure
myelofibrosis, Judge Shepherd
from the bench, Chief Appeals
died this week. Until the disease
Court Judge Martin M. Docto-
forced him to resign last October
roff commented that his retire-
from the Michigan Court of Ap-
ment would leave a gap on the
peals, many in the community
court. "He brings a balance to
did not even know he was ill.
situations, and he is so vital and
The reason: John Shepherd
so giving of himself," Judge Doc-
was
a
man
who
preferred
to
stay
toroff
said.
1—
— out of the headlines. During his
In a sense, a judge is a peace
cc tenure on the court, and as pres-
maker. He brings two parties to-
ident
of
the
Jewish
Community
gether to resolve disputes. In the
Judge John Shepherd
CD
▪ Council of Metropolitan Detroit,
best circumstances, both sides
Judge Shepherd affected a behind-the-scenes ap- find comfort in the judge's decision.
proach. His was the consensus-building style
John Shepherd strove for those kinds of deci-.
of the 1960s, with an abhorrence for the harsh- sions,, both in court and in the community.
er, self-serving rhetoric of the' 90s.

4

year's grant of $938,409 to the
Agency for Jewish Education (an
increase of $70,000 over 1994-95)
and the $1 million-plus to our day
schools.
Nor does he mention the up-to-
$100,000 per year that Federa-
tion allocates for scholarships to
supplementary schools.
Nor, when he mentions a
dearth of funding for adult edu-
cation does Mr. Hitsky note that
Federation granted $10,000 from
its Max M. Fisher Jewish Com-
munity Foundation for the sec-
ond year of the highly praised
intercongregational scholar-in-
residence program.
Or that the Fisher Foundation
awarded $18,000 for the second
year of single-parent program-
ming sponsored by Jewish Expe-
riences for Families.
Is this "a massive infusion of
new funds" to make the changes
work? It depends on what Mr.

Hitsky means by massive. We be-
lieve that the increased alloca-
tions and the careful, and
creative, use of current dollars,
in fact, are starting to accomplish
what the Giles and Tauber re-
ports set out to achieve.
Perhaps Alan Hitsky's unhap-
py awakening to "the real world
of teaching" would have been less
traumatic had he checked into
the many in-service training pro-
grams available to all congrega-
tional schoolteachers through the
Agency for Jewish Education.
The popular Nirim teacher-train-
ing program was intended as a
response to the
very issues that
Mr. Hitsky raises.
Federation also
has made it pos-
sible for the AJE
to grant $25,000
annually for
teachers to attend
the annual CAJE
(Coalition for the
Advancement of
Jewish Educa-
tion) Conference,
which excites and
energizes educa-
tors throughout
the country.
Our communi-
ty must provide
the resources to
ensure our Jew-
ish future. But
with all the re-
sources in the world, there will
never be a substitute for enthu-
siastic, energetic, committed and
well-trained teachers — and car-
ing parents who are involved in
their children's Jewish education.
Nowhere is the importance of
our community partnership more
vital — or the consequences of its
absence more clear.

Richard Krugel, M.D.
Chairman,
Jewish Education Division
Jewish Federation of
Metropolitan Detroit

Letters Policy

Letters must be typewritten,
double-spaced, and include the
name, home address, daytime
phone number and signature
of the writer.

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