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May 02, 2003 - Image 17

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2003-05-02

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Jewry's Role in

Human Affairs

marriages are taking place, he said.
Furthermore, none of the decennial
population surveys have shown an
intermarriage rate lower than 33 per-
cent since the mid-1960s.
Golin's report maintains that even a
conservative estimate of 40 percent
means that four intermarriages creating
four intermarried households are being
created for every six Jewish marriages,
which lead to three in-married homes.
At 50 percent the ratio widens to 2:1.
Only by seeing the intermarriage
rate in these terms can the community
begin to grapple with the importance
of reaching out to the intermarried,
Golin and Olitzky said.
Referring to the 1990 population
survey that found one-third of inter-
faith families raising their children as
Jews, Golin said the overall Jewish
population would grow if that rate
climbed. "Increasing the percent of
intermarried families raising Jewish
children from 30 percent to 50 per-
cent is an attainable goal, and should
be a primary mission for the Jewish
community," he said.
Hebrew University's Cohen, while
agreeing with the newest report's
math, said it only told "half the truth.
Even if half of the households being
formed with a Jew in them are inter-
faith, it doesn't negate the fact that a
vast majority of Jews continue to live
in in-married households," he said.
"In-married households have many
more Jews in them: The spouse is Jewish,
they have more children and most of the
children identify as Jews," he said.
Admittedly, Cohen also is a critic of
the outreach approach. In-married Jews
"generally do more to contribute to the
communal health of American Jewry,"
through membership in synagogues and

organizations, philanthropy, Zionist
support and religious observance, he
said. Therefore, he concludes, the com-
munity should focus on bolstering
Jewish identity rather than on outreach.
"If we're talking about allocating
resources and attention, I'd really hope its
a matter of one Jew, one vote," he added.
Ira Sheskin, a member of the National
Jewish Population Study technical advi-
sory committee and a University of
Miami academic who has studied local
Jewish populations, agreed with the out-
reach institute forecast to a degree.
"We will start seeing lots of synagogues
and JCCs where the majority of people
are intermarried, but I don't think we're
going to see that real soon," he said.

Less Involvement

Intermarried couples remain a minori-
ty in most Jewish communities, he
said. In addition, interfaith couples
don't generally join Jewish organiza-
tions, and aren't really considered
members of the community.
In a recent update to his book, How
Jewish Communities Differ, Sheskin
found that of 47 areas he surveyed,
intermarried couples were the majority
in only two: Seattle, where they made
up 55 percent of Jewish households,
and New Jersey's Essex and Morris
counties, where they were 50 percent.
Sheskin also remained skeptical of the
latest report, claiming it hewed too
closely to the outreach institute's agenda.
Golin did not deny that the report
backed up the institute's aims. But
we believe we represent what the
majority of American Jews want,
which is more outreach and more
inclusion, because they have intermar-
ried relatives," he said. ❑

"

Conununity To Mark Holidays

s

everal local events will commemo-
rate Yom HaZikaron, the day of
remembrance for fallen Israeli sol-
diers on May 6, and Yom HaAtzmaut,
Israel Independence Day on May 7.
• A Yom HoZikaron memorial cere-
mony will be at 7:30 p.m. Monday,
May 5, at Adat Shalom Synagogue,
29901 Middlebelt, Farmington Hills.
The audience is asked to be seated by
7:15. A Israeli Defense Forces soldier
will represent the military at this service
sponsored by the Jewish Federation of
Metropolitan Detroit.
• Young Israel of Oak Park will hold a
Yom HaZikaron commemoration
beginning with Minchah at 6:30 p.m. at
the synagogue, 15140 W. 10 Mile, Oak

Park. Prayers and a shofar blowing fol-
low at 7:45 p.m. with a meal of pizza,
salad and dessert at 8. Cost is $5 per
person or $20 per family. Babysitting
and arts and crafts will be available for
children. For reservations, Cheryl
Jerusalem at (248) 544-8686 or Esther
Posner at (248) 354-4153.
• Yishivat Akiva, 21100 W. 12 Mile,
Southfield, will host a Yom HaAtzmaut
barbecue at 4:45 p.m. with a concert by
Yaniv at 6:15. The Gedalya Mitchell
Kol Haneshama Youth Choir will per-
form. Dancing, music and dessert starts
at 7. Cost is $10 per person or $40 per
family. For reservations with Sarah
Kornblum at (248) 569 5220 or Sherri
Weil at (248) 557-8987. ❑

AMONG MASTERS OF COMPOSITION - I
At the start of this century we might look back with pride on the
achievements ofJewish composers in all musical forms. The great majority
were either American by birth or naturalized citizens, and it was they who
became a dominant force in classical, stage and popular music of these
times.
Swiss-born Ernest Bloch was the first and most compelling
composer of modern Jewish national music. Darius Milhaud, a
Frenchman, was one of the century's most prolific neoclassicists and wrote
startling new polytonal music. Arnold Schoenberg perfected the 12-tone
scale for organizing composition and revolutionized mu s ic within a fresh
and novel classical framework.
Leading figures in the popular genre include Jerome Kern who
single-handedly invented the modern American musical, and Irving Berlin
who laid early groundwork for the idiom of popular song. Among other
unforgettable creators of arresting and melodious symphonic works and
scores for the theater and ballet were:
AARON COPLAND
(1900-90) b. Brooklyn, NY While in his
twenties, the disciple of the famed Parisian music
teacher, Nadia Boulanger, at first shocked
American audiences with his early compositions:
the brash modernism of the Symphony for Organ
and Orchestra and the aggressive jazz phrasings
in his splendid Piano Concerto. But by the mid-
1930s, Copland turned from jagged rhythms and -\ •
complex dissonance to a simpler, more lyrical style which often drew
American folksong into his best works.
By then, Copland had been installed by Serge Koussevitzky, his
music's ardent champion and director of the Berkshire Music Center, as
head of its composition department--a post he held for 25 years. During
and after these productive years, he developed the rousing "Copland sound"
injected into a half-dozen film scores, piano and chamber music pieces, and
into three outstanding ballets: Billy the Kid (1938), Rodeo (1942) and
Appalachian Spring (1944).
Copland wrote, taught and lectured widely as well, becoming a
leading propagator of modern American compositions often premiered at
music festivals, and a generous advisor to young musicians. The articulate
and urbane gentleman also extensively conducted his own and others'
works with major orchestras in America and abroad. His collected honors
included several Guggenheim fellowships, a 1945 Pulitzer Prize and the
Medal of Freedom from a grateful nation.
• -;:.4,
LEONARD BERNSTEIN
(1918-90) b. Lawrence, MA It was not by chance
that Bernstein enjoyed a deep, lifelong friendship
with Aaron Copland, and frequently conducted his
contemporary's works with particular empathy and
sensitivity. Both were avid exponents of the
modern American repertory and were of equal
status as maestros with worldwide respect. He too
\ had been mentored by Serge Koussevitzky who
recognized his talent and made him his assistant in 1942.
Bernstein was in time aptly regarded as the renaissance man of
music, a dominant personality on the musical scene who also ranked high
as a gifted pianist, inspirational teacher, robust lecturer, television
commentator and author of five books. His career as a composer of both
serious and popular music produced three major symphonies, chamber and
choral pieces, and such works as the one-act opera Trouble in Tahiti, the
operetta Candide, the musical On the Town and the ballet Fancy Free.
With his frequent collaborator, choreographer Jerome Robbins, Bernstein
scored their award-winning masterwork West Side Stoly wh ich sealed his
international reputation.
As a conductor with mass appeal for his unabashed enthusiasm and
aesthetic excellence, Bernstein made guest appearances with leading U.S.
and European orchestras, and was named the Conductor Laureate for Life
of the New York Philharmonic.
- Saul Stmlimatier

-

COMMISSION FOR THE DISSEMINATION OF JEWISH HISTORY
Walter & Lea Field, Founders/Sponsors
Irwin S. Field, Chairperson
Harriet F. Siden, Chairperson

5/ 2

2003

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