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March 26, 2004 - Image 49

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2004-03-26

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

in the West Bloomfield Jewish Community Center holds a preview fundraising
event to welcome glass artist John Kuhn and glass artists from the Center for
Creative Studies 6:30-8:30 p.m. Thursday, April 1, at the gallery. $50/$65 at the
door. Reservations: (248) 432-5449.

WHATNOT

Rabbi Sherwin Wine and the Rev. John West, pastor of Our Lady of Sorrows
Church in Farmington, hold a discussion on Mel Gibson's The Passion of the
Christ 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 31, at the Community House in Birmingham.
No charge. (2485 644-5832.

OUT OF TOWN

Rembrandt's Journey: Painter-Draftsman-Etcher, featuring more than 200
works, including several illustrations of Bible stories (Jacob Caressing Benjamin, for
one) and an oil painting of the artist's Jewish neighbor, Dr. Ephraim Bueno, runs at
the Art Institute of Chicago through May 9. (312) 357-1052.
Jewish Life in the American West: Generation to Generation, originally con-
ceived by the Autry Museum of Western Heritage and featuring objects, art, photo-
graphs and audio stations telling the personal stories of pioneer families, runs
through Aug. 22 at the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art in
Indianapolis. (317) 636-9378.1-7

Speaking With `One Voice

Ramallah without fear within a year.
Alexander first heard about One Voice. from its
main organizers during a meeting at the home of fel-
Tel Aviv
low actors Danny Devito and Rhea Perlman last year.
Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston, who are on the
or Jason Alexander, best known as Jerry
organization's
Seinfeld's hapless
American
advi-
sidekick George
sory
board,
were
Costanza, a grass-
also
at
the
roots peace initiative to pro-
meeting.
mote Israeli-Palestinian peace
Organizers are
is more than just "yadda yadda
planning to
yadda."
bring other
Alexander visited Israel for
celebrities to
three days late last month to help
Israel to help
launch One Voice, a project that
promote the
hopes to empower people on
project, and have
both sides of the conflict through
established an
a public, electronic referendum.
"Entertainment
Since the project's launch on
Council" to help
Feb. 24, Israelis and
mobilize actors,
Palestinians have been able to
writers, pro-
cast ballots that allow them to
41410t
LtAckl
ducers, direc-
present their positions on the
"Seinfild" actor Jaso 72 Alexander poses with Israeli stu-
tors and others
key issues of the conflict. From dents at the launch of One Voice near Tel Aviv.
to back it.
their answers, a synthesized
Among
peace proposal will be crafted
entertainment industry members who have
and then presented to leaders on both sides.
signed on in support of the idea are Ed Norton
In an interview with JTA, Alexander said the
and Mili Avital.
idea spoke to him because it held the promise of
While in the region, Alexander met with Israeli
tapping into the majority on both sides who do
actors
and members of the entertainment commu-
want peace.
nity in Tel Aviv and their Palestinian counterparts
"The vision was so specific, so well worked out
in Ramallah.
about how to reconnect the sort of silent majority
Daniel Lubetsky, an American businessman, leads
who have been silenced by the violence and get them
One Voice together with its Middle East director
reinvigorated and reinvested," he said.
Mohammed Darawshe, an Israeli Arab long
Speaking at a news conference in Petach Tikva,
involved in coexistence efforts.
Alexander predicted he would be able to bring his
Lubetsky said the project is different from other
children to Jerusalem and the West Bank city of

DINA KRAFT
Jewish Telegraphic Agency

F

"Best Indian food" -

recent alternative peace plans because the plan's
specifics come from the grass roots.
"We're essentially a .democratic process where we
are going straight to the people and asking them to
express themselves," Lubetsky said.
Participants in the poll may vote either by
Internet, via remote control on television sets, on
the telephone, through newspapers or in voting
booths.
The organizers say results will then be tabulated by
a computer system donated by IBM to the project.
Those results will be used to produce a consen-
sus-style mandate that organizers say would accu-
rately reflect the will of Israelis and Palestinians.
After Alexander toured Israel in 1991 at the end
of the first Gulf War, "Israel went from absolute
zero in •my life to something I really became con-
cerned with and passionate about."
He said Jews in Hollywood seem to be reluctant
to speak out on the subject of Israel. Some, he said,
think they will immediately be seen as choosing the
Israeli side because they are Jewish if they say any-
thing. Others, he said, priding themselves as leftists,
choose to overtly side with the Palestinians.
"In both cases I guarantee you that most of them
do not understand the history or nature of this con-
flict. American secular Jews distance themselves from
Israel; I was just as guilty before I came here," he said.
Part of what draws Alexander to Israel, he said, is
what he described as the passionate involvement of
Israelis in their country.
He says he misses seeing that involvement in the
United States and that his character George was
void of it altogether.
"George would not know Israel was on the
map. George and his cohorts were the most
supremely selfish people in the history of televi-
sion and anything that did not happen in their
apartment and diner was outside of their field of
experience," Alexander said, smiling. "So the best
you could get was he'd come here and try to
recruit a ballplayer for the Yankees."

.

The Detroit News

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3/26

2004

49

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