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March 14, 2003 - Image 12

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2003-03-14

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

News Digest

Students Petition
Nelson Mandela

Cape Town/JTA — South African
Jewish day school students are trying
to enlist former President Nelson
Mandela in the war on terror.
The- New York-based group Mothers
Against Teaching Children to Kill and
Hate gathered a petition by more than
1,000 students in Cape Town and
Johannesburg this month asking the
Nobel Peace Prize winner to help stop
schools in some Islamic nations from
promoting ideologies leading to sui-
cide bombings.
Molly Resnick, a former NBC news
producer and head of the group, says
suicide bombing is a humanitarian cri-
sis that Mandela can help solve
through diplomatic channels.

NPR Protests
Are Planned

New York/JTA — Critics of National
Public Radio's coverage of the Middle
East are organizing a nationwide protest
against the network.
The head of a group called the Boston
Israel Action Committee told JTA it has
organized March 27 dem-onstrations
against local NPR affiliates in Baltimore,
Boston, Los Angeles, Newark, New
York, Philadelphia, Washington and St.

Louis. The marches are aimed at per-
suading the general public that NPR's
coverage of the Israel-Palestinian conflict
is "threatening" Israel's security by
reporting "untruths," a spokeswoman
for the group said. The group also aims
to convince NPR supporters to stop
funding their local affiliates until NPR's
Mideast coverage changes.

The Irish Jewish
Community Shrinks

fall, opening the door to the first ordina-
tion of a rabbi who has changed gen-
ders. The student, who belongs to a
largely gay synagogue in San Fran-Cisco,
said he wants to work for peace and jus-
tice.

House Honors
Bulgarian Jews

London/JTA — The Jewish population
of Ireland is steadily dwindling.
The Jewish community, which num-
bered some 5,500 just after World War
II, now numbers about 1,100, Reuters
reported.
Dublin, which once boasted seven
synagogues, now has one Orthodox and
one Reform synagogue, the report
added.

Washinbgton/JTA — The U.S. House
of Representatives marked the 60th
anniversary of the rescue of 50,000
Bulgarian Jews from the Holocaust.
The House unanimously passed a res-
olution Tuesday commending the
Bulgarian people for preserving and con-
tinuing their tradition of ethnic and reli-
gious tolerance. Despite being allied
with Germany in World War II,
Bulgaria refused to enforce anti-Jewish
legislation and saved its Jewish popula-
tion from the concentration camps.

Transsexual Will
Attend Seminary

Ancient Treasure
In Jaffa Flea Market

New York/JTA — The Reform move-
ment's main seminary accepted a trans-
sexual into its rabbinical program.
The Hebrew Union College Jewish
Institute of Religion in Cincinnati
acknowledged this week that an
Oakland, Calif., man who was formerly.
a woman will be entering the school this

Jerusalme/JTA — A cannon dating to
the period of Napoleon was unearthed in
the flea market in Jaffa, Israel.
Measuring more than two yards long,
the cannon is believed to be the largest of
its kind ever found in Israel. The artifact
was discovered during a municipal clean-
up project in the market area. The skele-

ton of an animal, believed to date to the
same periOd, with the remains of a sharp
implement in it, was found nearby.

Canadian Anti-Semitism
On The Rise?

Toronto/JTA — Anti-Semitic incidents
in Canada increased by more than 60
percent last year, according to B'nai
B'rith Canada.
The total number of 459 incidents is
the highest in the 20 years the group has
compiled such figures.
The largest increase in incidents
occurred in the Toronto area, which saw
an 87 percent rise.

.

Jews Work To Cover
The Uninsured

Washington/JTA — Jewish leaders
joined an interfaith alliance seeking to
help the nation's 41 million Americans
who have no health insurance.
"These are our people, our con-
stituents, our worshipers," said Rabbi
David Saperstein, director of the
Religious Action Center of Reform
Judaism. As part of "Cover the
Uninsured Week," organizers are asking
people to say a prayer for the uninsured,
and to build grassroots support for legis-
lation that would aid people without
insurance.

Synagogue Talks

Beth Ahm ponders links with Shaarey Zedek; Rabbi Bitran to leave ffnai Israe l.

SHELLI LIEBMAN DORFMAN

StgffWriter

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3/14

2003

32

t its March 11 meeting,
the board of directors of
Congregation Shaarey
Zedek agreed to schedule
a special meeting for talks of a pos-
sible association with Congregation
Beth Ahm.
"At that meeting — on Tuesday,
March 25 — we will discuss
whether we are interested in form-
ing an association," said James
Safran, Shaarey Zedek president.
Because the discussion is in the
early stages, no . talks have taken
place over rabbinic leadership and

use of synagogue buildings. Among
Shaarey Zedek members, those who
utilize the West Bloomfield B'nai
Israel Center would be most affect-
ed.
Three miles away at Beth Ahm,
discussion is also in a very prelimi-
nary phase. "We have a vibrant,
thriving, financially secure congre-
gation," said synagogue President
Sid Blackman. "We have a beautiful
facility, but don't have a lot of
young people. We're just looking for
options, including speaking With
other congregations in addition to
Shaarey Zedek."
Both Shaarey Zedek and Beth
Ahm maintain there have been no

commitments and
no decisions
made at this
point.
Regarding
rumors that
Temple Kol Ami
approached
Shaarey Zedek
James Safran
about the pur-
chase of the B'nai
Israel or Beth
Ahm buildings, Rabbi Norman
Roman of Kol Ami said, "No sub-
stantive discussions have been made
with anyone from Beth Ahm,
Shaarey Zedek or B'nai Israel about
making an offer on their buildings."

Also at the March 11 Shaarey
Zedek meeting, it was announced
that Rabbi Leonardo Bitran, the
synagogue's primary B'nai Israel
rabbi, would be leaving the congre-
gation at the end of his contract
term this June.
"As much as we would very much
like him to stay and had every
intention of renewing his contract,
we understand his seeking out a
head rabbi position at another syna-
gogue," Safran said.
Rabbi Bitran, who could not be
reached for comment, will stay at
Shaarey Zedek and serve members
until the end of June. A rabbinic
search will begin immediately. ❑

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