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January 26, 1996 - Image 3

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1996-01-26

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This Week's Top Stories

Seeing Stars And Stripes


An oath of allegiance ceremony
is the high point of a week-long
celebration of citizenship.


Murder Man

A noted Jewish psychiatrist crusades for a
notorious army doctor.


ong before Boris Smolyar
stood on U.S. soil for the
first time in 1989, the So-
viet emigre held onto
grandiose visions of eventually
becoming an American citizen.
As a Jew living in the former
Soviet Union, Mr. Smolyar felt
persecuted and longed for a bet-
ter life in the United States.
On Feb. 4, Mr. Smolyar will be-
come an American citizen when
he takes the oath of allegiance,
promising to support and defend
the U.S. Constitution and the
"laws of the land."
Mr. Smolyar, a resident of the
Jewish Federation Apartments
in Oak Park, will join as many as
100 soon-to-be Americans, many
of whom come from the former
Soviet Union, in a community-
wide ceremony at Congregation
Beth Achim in Southfield.
The oath comes hi the midst of
a 10-day celebration of citizen-
ship sponsored by several com-
munal agencies as a way to honor
the contributions of New Ameri-
cans and inform the broader com-
munity of resettlement issues.
"The event gives us an oppor-
tunity to plan a program around
the Hebrew Immigrant Aid So-
ciety (HIAS) photo exhibit, high-
lighting the successful outcome
of the immigration experience
that is citizenship," said Rachel
Yoskowitz, the director of Reset-
tlement Service of Jewish Fami-
ly Service (JFS).
"A lot of the media focus on im-
migration deals with illegal im-
migrants. But, a majority are
here legally and contributing to
our society, and they are eager to
officially become Americans."
The celebration kicks off on
Jan. 27 at the Jewish Communi-


Boris Smolyar looks forward to citizenship.

ty Center's Jimmy Prentis Mor-
ris Building with the opening of
"HIAS Means Freedom," a pho-
to exhibit depicting 115 years of
Jewish immigration. Guest
speaker Martin Wenick, the ex-
ecutive vice president of HIAS,
will address recent legislation
that seeks to reduce the rate of
immigration by 30 percent and
attempts to limit the eligibility of
family members to immigrate.

The HIAS exhibit and a JFS
companion exhibit, which depicts
58 years of resettlement history
in Detroit, will be on display at
the Oak Park campus of the JCC
from Jan. 27 to Feb. 10. A Russ-
ian tea room musical cabaret fea-
turing New American musicians
concludes the event on Feb. 10.
The swearing-in ceremony will
be a high point for those seeking


Becoming A Citizen

or starters, an immigrant seeking Ameri-
can citizenship needs to be admitted to the
United States legally and must live in the
United States as a law-abiding permanent
resident for five years.
According to the "HIAS Guide to United States
Citizenship," published this month, the applicant
must be willing to affirm belief in the principles
of the Constitution and demonstrate the ability
to understand, speak, read and write basic Eng-
lish as well as possess some knowledge of U.S.
history and the country's structure of government.
He or she must also show good moral charac-
ter — that means no lies on the INS application,
marriage to only one spouse, and no involvement
in drug traffick Ing, prostitution or gambling.
Becoming a U.S. citizen is a three-part process


that begins with the application for naturaliza-
After the application is filed, an immigrant is
scheduled for a interview with the INS. An ap-
plicant can choose between taking the citizenship
exam orally during the interview or separately,
in writing. The written test has 20 multiple-choice
questions and a passing grade is achieved by an-
swering 12 correctly. It also has a one-sentence
writing exercise.
After completing the first two phases, an ap-
plicant must be sworn in during an official cere-
mony. Technically, an immigrant is not a citizen
until he or she has taken the oath of allegiance.
In some cases, New Americans know more
about this country's history than native-born

CITIZEN page 10

atal Vision, the 1983 best- Bundy ("A nice young man ...
seller on the Jeffrey Mac- but I knew he was a psy-
Donald murder case, chopath") and Jack Ruby among
seemed to offer readers them.
As a Holocaust survivor, Dr.
the definitive account of why a
North Carolina jury convicted Tanay, 67, said he is drawn in-
the army doctor in the 1970 exorably to outcasts and under-
slayings of his wife and two dogs. "I am sensitive to
scapegoating," he said. He sees
young daughters.
Among the few readers who a parallel, for instance, between
remained unconvinced was Dr. MacDonald and French
Emanuel Tanay, a Detroit psy- army captain Alfred Dreyfus,
who 100 years ago
chiatrist with a na-
falsely charged
tional reputation as
Ab ove:
with treason.
an expert on the
Dr. Eman uel Tanay
Dr. Tanay be-
homicidal mind. To
ins ists
lieves his fascination
Dr. Tanay, author Joe
Jeffrey M acDonald
with murder is . in
McGinniss' portrayal
is inn ocent.
some ways "a reca-
of a sociopathic killer
pitulation of my own
just did not square
with the facts of the defendant's survival" in Nazi-occupied,
Poland. It is not usual, as Freud
In the years since, Dr. Tanay noted and the good doctor
has quietly taken up Dr. Mac- agrees, for people to resolve
Donald's cause in a series of traumatic issues from their
scholarly articles and speeches. childhood by reenacting them
In October, he gave a presenta- later.
As a Jewish teen in 1943, Dr:
tion on the case to a national
conference of forensic scientists Tanay disguised himself as a
seminary student at a Catholic
in Seattle.
In return, he has received no • monastery in Krakow. When
money from Dr. MacDonald, his identity was revealed, he
just the sideways glances of escaped and joined an under-
ground resistance group, trav-
some colleagues.
Thankfully for Dr. Tanay, it eling through Poland and
is a position he has grown ac- Hungary with false papers and
customed to, and even relishes. narrowly escaping a second
This is, after all, a man who has time from Nazi soldiers.
That fear of somehow being
cheerfully involved himself with
some of America's most notori- revealed remains with Dr.
ous criminals, serial killer Ted MURDER MAN page 12

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