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January 09, 2004 - Image 16

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2004-01-09

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

INSIDE:

News Digest

19

Remember When . . . . 22

The Visible Jew

SAJE speaker to examine how the Jewish people decided to go public.

DIANA LIEBERMAN

StaffWriter

L

auren Bacall, born Betty Perske;
Paulette Goddard, born Marian Levy;
Piper Laurie, born Rosetta Jacobs —
these are only a few actresses of 40-50
,
years ago who disguised their Jewish roots to
make it big in mainstream America.
"Visibility equaled vulnerability," said Rabbi
Reuven Kimelman, who will speak at the kickoff
event for the 2004 Seminars for Adult Jewish
Enrichment (SAJE). His Tuesday, Jan. 13, talk,
"The Changing Image of the Ideal Jew," is the
fifth annual Shiffman Family Lecture._The talk
takes place 7:30 p.m. at the Jewish Community
Center in West Bloomfield. Admission is $5; call
(248) 432-5577.
"Fifty years ago, you would never see a Jewish
person in public," Rabbi Kimelman said in a
recent interview with the Jewish News. "There
truly was a dichotomy between private and public
life."
The reason for this dichotomy: Jews in
America, as in the rest of the world, felt that if
they didn't make waves, if they weren't conspicu-
ous, they would be safe, he said.

Rabbi Kimelman listed many
other well-known and influen-
tial mainstream American fig-
ures who kept their Jewish
identification far from their
public image.
Pulitzer Prize-winning,writer
Walter Lippman, a syndicated
columnist for 35 years, never
wrote about Jewish issues, he
said. President Franklin
Roosevelt's administration had
plenty of Jewish officials, but
the American public never
heard about their religious affil-
iations. And, even during
Hitler's rise to power, they
scarcely spoke up in defense of
their fellow Jews.
Today, as the late humorist
Rabbi Kimelman
Sam Levenson would have said,
it's truly a case of "in one era,
out the other."
U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman, D-Conn., a candi-
date for president of the United States, is an
observant Jew, and three other candidates, John
Kerry, Wesley Clark and Howard Dean, have

emphasized their Jewish con-
nections. Jewish actors and
singers keep their original
names — and their original
noses. Even children's books
have recognizably Jewish
characters.
At his Jan. 13 talk, Rabbi
Kimelman will examine the
internal and external factors
that combined to change the
Jewish people from a mar-
ginal minority into a proud
nation, both in their .own
minds and in the mind of
the world.
A professor of Classical
Judaica at Brandeis
University, Rabbi Kimelman
earned his Ph.D. from Yale
University in religious stud-
ies. He has written and lec-
tured on such varied topics as Rabbi Yochanan of
Tiberius, the mystical meaning of the Shabbat
prayer L'chah Dodi and the modern Jewish ethic
of power and conflict.



The SAM Way

Enrichment series o ers four weeks of mind-expanding experiences.

DIANA LIEBERMAN

StaffWriter

T

he dark, cold days of midwinter have
finally arrived. But, instead of snug-
gling under a pile of blankets, you can
explore the dynamics of change, dip
into the Kabbalah or expand your horizons with
an amalgam of yoga techniques and Jewish tradi-
tion.
These are only a few of the more than 40
courses offered from Jan. 20 through Feb. 12 by
SAJE (Seminars for Adult Jewish Enrichment). A
program of the Jewish Federation of
Metropolitan Detroit, Federation's Alliance for
Jewish Education and the Jewish Community
Center of Metropolitan Detroit, SAJE begins its
sixth consecutive year of presenting classes by

1/ 9

2004

16

rabbis, educators and experts from all segments of
metro Detroit's Jewish community.
"Lots of times, people will tell me, 'I don't
want to hear my rabbi, although I like him very
much,"' said Susie Citron of Birmingham, co-
chair of SAJE 2004 with Carol Weintraub Fogel
of West Bloomfield. "SAJE is very different from
anything else in the community. Rabbis teach
what they don't ordinarily teach. People learn
what they don't ordinarily learn, with people they
might never have met otherwise."
The short duration of the courses allows partic-
ipants to learn without making a full-time com-
mitment, Citron said. Several people have told
her they decided to register for the Florence
Melton Adult Mini-School, a two-year non-sec-
tarian course in Judaism, after attending SAJE
classes.

Once-a-week classes are held Tuesday an
Thursday afternoons and evenings and
Wednesday evenings at the JCC in West
Bloomfield and in Oak Park. Fees are $25 for one
class and $40 for unlimited classes. The classes
are free for Jewish agency or congregation profes-
sionals, and community Jewish educators.
To register or request a listing of classes, call
(248) 432-5577. Information also is available
online, at www.jccdet.org/saie
SAJE is made possible by an endowment from
Cis Maisel Kellman. Sponsors of the Jan. 13 talk
by Rabbi Reuven Kimelman, which kicks off the
four-week series, are the Anti-Defamation
League, the Morris and Beverly Baker
Foundation in memory of Morris D. Baker,
Sophie Pearlstein and Maida Portnoy. ❑

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