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June 28, 1996 - Image 12

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1996-06-28

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As Usual, Lexus Offers
An Impressive Array Of Options.

LENDING page 10

and blacks alike of the most tu- we share a great deal more than
multuous years of the civil- we differ on."
rights movement.
On June 6, two miles from
"We Jews are absolutely Rabbi Bennett's congregation,
tuned into the fact that the flip Matthews-Murkland Presby-
side of white supremacy is anti- terian Church burned to the
Semitism," said Melissa Fay ground (a teen-aged white girl
Greene, the author of a new has since been arrested). That
book, The Temple Bombing, Sunday, members from Beth El
about the 1958 attack on At- and another Charlotte syna-
lanta's leading synagogue by gogue joined black worshippers
white supremacists.
in an emotional prayer service
"The enemies list for right- on. the grounds of the charred
wing extremists and white su- chapel.
premacists begins with blacks
A pulpit appeal by Rabbi Ben-
and Jews," said the Atlanta au- nett brought in $750 in dona-
thor. "Jews know we're on the tions, with more money expected
same list."
from a mail campaign. While
After the 1954 Brown vs. Board acknowledging the historic
of Education decision struck down bonds between blacks and Jews,
school segregation, a series of Rabbi Bennett said the response
bombings destroyed scores of of his congregation should car-
black churches in the South. The ry a larger lesson.
most notorious, in September
"We would do the same thing
1963, killed four young girls at the for a white church, a mosque or a
16th Street Baptist Church in synagogue. These are human be- /
Birmingham, Ala.
ings whose church was attacked
Jewish worshippers were not out of hate, ignorance and a de-
immune. In the 12 months be- sire to destroy. We as Jews have
fore the Atlanta bombing, ex- an obligation not to stand for
plosions rocked temples in that." 0
Jacksonville and Mia-
mi, Fla., and a Jewish
community center in
Nashville, Tenn. Un-
detonated dynamite
was found in syna- To help rebuild churches destroyed by
gogues in Birmingham, fire, there are a number of groups ac-
Ala. and in Charlotte cepting checks, including:
and Gastonia, N.C.


Rebuilding Funds

A sense

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The Relentless Pursuit of Perfection



In all, about 10 per-
cent of the bombings
during the civil-rights
era were against Jew-
ish targets, a chilling
echo of the synagogues
torched in Nazi Ger-
many 20-30 years earli-
The wave of bomb-
ings forged a bond be-
tween blacks and Jews
that reached its apex
during the "Freedom
Summer" of 1964, when
three young Jewish civ-
il-rights workers were
slain in Mississippi
while investigating a
fire at a black church.
Sadly, that bond has
been strained by ten-
sion and recriminations
in the three decades
"Obviously, the Jew-
ish community has felt a
great affinity with the
African-American corn-
munity in this country,"
said Rabbi Jim Bennett
of Temple Beth El in
Charlotte, N.C. "This
helps to remind us that

• ADL-Rebuild the Churches Fund
823 United Nations Plaza
New York, N.Y. 10017

• The Burned Churches Fund
National Council of Churches
Attn: Joan Campbell, General
475 Riverside Drive, Room 880
New York, N.Y. 10115

• Rebuilding Faith in America/UAHC
c/o: Religious Action Center
of the UAHC
2027 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20036

• New York Board of Rabbis
"From the Ashes" Fund
10 E. 73rd Street
New York, N.Y; 10021

• American Jewish Congress
Tisha B'Av Fund for Black Churches
15 E. 84th Street
New York, N.Y. 10028

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