From the pages of the Jewish News
from this week 10, 20, 30, 40, 50
and 60 years ago.
After 30 Years
NCJW _panel discussion adds a rabbinic context to its support of Roe vs. Wade.
mandated school and hospital "gag
rules" that forbid discussion of any
form of birth control other than absti-
nence; the lack of insurance coverage
for contraceptives; and the scarcity of
training for medical professionals in
emergency abortion techniques.
Judy Rosenberg of Birmingham,
former president of NCJW-GD and a
current national board member for the
organization, began by stating that
before Roe vs. Wade, "women were
not trusted as decision-makers."
In the decade before the 1973
Supreme Court decision, a million
abortions were performed in the
United States, she said. "Whether legal
make tomorrow's decisions on repro-
ductive rights, she added.
She encouraged audience members
to make their feelings known through
NCJW's BenchMark Campaign to
Save Roe, which promotes the
appointment of "a federal judiciary
that will protect fundamental free-
doms, including women's right to
hen the United States
Supreme Court's Roe
vs. Wade decision gave
America's women the n t
to legal abortion, the National Council
of Jewish Women was in full support.
Thirty years have passed, and the
NCJW is in the forefront of defending a
woman's "right to choose" against limits
imposed by legislative or judicial action.
Rabbi Bennett's role in the discussion
On Jan. 22, the organization's
to explain his understanding of
Greater Detroit Section hosted a panel
and when Jewish religious beliefs
discussion that outlined those threats.
the abortion of a fetus.
In addition, Temple Israel's Rabbi
Past president of the West
Joshua Bennett focused on
the Jewish approach to the
Association, the Reform
abortion issue in the con-
rabbi has served on the
text of religious texts and
boards of the Michigan
Jewish AIDS Coalition
About 75 people attend-
(MJAC), the ADL, Detroit
ed the event, which was co-
Free Legal Aid Clinic and
sponsored by the Greater
Detroit Chapter of
Hadassah, the Anti-
Jews have argued "on all
sides" of the abortion ques-
Michigan Region and
tion, Rabbi Bennett said.
"Today, most function
Judy Karandjeff, execu-
within a spectrum of reality
tive director of the
that permits some choice
Rabbi Joshua Bennett of Temple Israel speaks with fellow
[in terminating a pregnan-
Parenthood Advocates of
cy]," he said. "For there to
Michigan, summarized the
be an abortion, there must
National Council of Jewish Women national board member.
threat to reproductive
be a reason for that abor-
rights caused by laws
tion — most frequently, the
passed both before and after Roe vs.
or not, women will seek them out."
Wade as well as by funding cuts and -
Most frequently cited is the concept
other proposals now wending their
of rodef(a pursuer), found in biblical
about abortion, Rosenberg said, includ-
way through state and federal legisla-
and other sacred writings beginning
tures and courts.
Deuteronomy 25:11. If a pursuer is
"Since [former Gov.] John Engler
after the life of a person, the Bible
associated with childbirth is 10 times
took office in 1991, 24 laws limiting
one is allowed to kill the pursuer.
greater than the risk of death from a
reproductive rights were passed in this
Jewish thought extends this con-
medically supervised abortion.
state," she said.
fetus, which is 'pursuing' the life
The NCJW also is concerned about
A woman's right to choose the course
Rabbi Bennett said.
of her pregnancy is not the only issue
have looked at psy-
at stake, Karandjeff said. In October,
the same way as a
Michigan's legislature passed an 18 per-
physical threat, he said. "In this past
cent cut in funds for family planning.
year, decisions were made in the Reform
"This has nothing to do with abortions well as more than 30 percent of feder-
and Conservative movements that the
al appeals court judges, Rosenberg
— just contraception," she said.
said. These are the people who will
AFTER 30 YEARS on page 34
She also took issue with legally
The Israeli government and the
United Negro College Fund have
arranged for seven historically black
colleges to send students to visit
The founders of Akiva Hebrew Day
School will be honored at the
school's 19th anniversary dinner at
Congregation Shaarey Zedek,
A serious crisis was averted when the
local Hebrew Teachers Association
signed a contract this week — class-
es will start again immediately.
Workmen's Circle of Detroit "dean"
Joseph Bernstein presents a check
totaling $7,000 from the organiza-
tion to Jewish Home for Aged.
The New York Board of Rabbis,
in concluding its 82nd annual
meeting, endorses the U.S.
Supreme Court ruling banning offi-
cial school prayers as unconstitu-
Eternal Light, the popular Jewish
radio program sponsored by the
Jewish Theological Seminary of
America, will devote an entire pro-
gram to the late Louis Stone,
Detroit's "corner druggist," whose
block parties and trips for children
won him the heart of the Detroit
The Boy Scout Sabbath and
Abraham Lincoln Sabbath will be
observed at this week's services by
Temple Israel in the Lecture Hall of
the Detroit Institute of Arts.
— Compiled by Holly Teasdle,
archivist, the Rabbi Leo M. Franklin
Archives of Temple Beth El