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March 01, 2007 - Image 30

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2007-03-01

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To Life!




Saving Culture

Yiddish scholar comes to Emanu-El.






March 1 G 2007

aron Lansky will be the visit-
older brother, who had preceded her to
ing scholar-in-residence at
America. On the ferry to Manhattan, he
Temple Emanu-El in Oak Park took her suitcase and flung it overboard.
March 9-11 to celebrate the 25th anniver- `You're in America now he told her. `It's
sary of Yiddish literature preservation. He time to leave the old country behind."'
is founder and president of the National
Eugene Driker summarized the impor-
Yiddish Book Center in Amherst, Mass.
tance of Lansky's work this way: "Jews
Lansky's journey is dear to his friends
are known as the people of the book.
Eugene and Elaine Driker of
When Jews were forced out of
Detroit. They met 15 years ago
the shtetl, the ghetto or any com-
at a YBC summer program.
munity, they were an itinerant but
"From the first moment we
not an illiterate people. They took
met Aaron, we were smitten:'
their books with them. Yiddish
Eugene said. "Here was this
gave them a portable homeland.
remarkable young man who
For more than 100 years, these
was performing a daunting
books mirrored Jewish life. These
rescue that was way beyond
books provide for current and
Aaron L ansky
his years by age alone. He was
future generations access to the
engaging and charismatic. His
richness, humor and complexity
enthusiasm is so contagious;
of Jewish thought and life."
he is like a Jewish Pied Piper."
Lansky looked through attics,
Their relationship flourished
basements and dumpsters to
over time, personally and pro-
"shlep" discarded books back to
the Yiddish Book Center he start-
"Our families have become
ed in 1980, and which now holds
very close;' Elaine said. Eugene
1.5 million volumes.
Elaine a nd
has served on the YBC board
He describes Norman
Eugene Driker
for six years and has been
Temmelman, 87, as a typical
involved in its fundraising, most recently
donor, giving Lansky his "yerushe, the
for its $25 million endowment campaign. inheritance his own children had reject-
The Drikers recently traveled to
ed. Book by book he was placing all his
Ukraine as part of the book center's
hopes in me:'
LiteraTour, which stopped at places
important in Yiddish literary history.
To learn more about the Yiddish Book Center,
"We wanted to visit the communities
click on this story on JNonline.us.
that inspired the great Jewish writers
such as Sholem Aleichem and Bruno
Following a 6:30 p.m. dinner March
Schultz': Eugene said.
9, Lansky will give a personal
The Holocaust is only one of many
introduction to modern Yiddish
explanations for the near-extinction of
literature at 8 p.m. services. At a
this mama-loshn, or mother tongue,
12:30 p.m. March 10 Shabbat lunch
which borrows from Polish, German,
and learn, his topic will be "Hope
Slavic and Russian languages and uses
and Fear: I.L.Peretz and Isaac
the Hebrew alphabet. Countless Yiddish
Bashevis Singer." Cost is $12 for
books were published in Europe, captur-
lunch; discussion - is free. At 9:30
ing the culture and richness of the liter-
a.m. Sunday, March 11, Lansky will
ary community of its day.
give a personal account of the last-
When Israel was established in 1948,
minute rescue of a million Yiddish
Hebrew was named the national lan-
books. Free coffee and bagels. For
guage. Yiddish represented the oppressed
information, call (248) 967-4020,
Jewry of the past. Yiddish was discour-
or www.emanuel-mich.org .
aged in Israel and often shunned in
developing American communities.
Lansky, in Outwitting History,
writes, "My grandmother was 16 when
Wings Alumni Play
she emigrated to America. She came
On Sunday, March 18, the Detroit Red
alone, carrying with her a single card-
Wings Alumni will take the ice at the
board valise packed with all her life's
Compuware Sports Arena against the
possessions .
Oakland County Public Safety All-Stars
"At Ellis Island, she was met by her
and Meltdown from WRIF. The game is

to benefit Mentor Connection, a mentor-
ing program of Jewish Family Service.
The game will begin at 4:30 p.m. and
game tickets are $10 in advance, or $12
at the door. The event includes a clinic
($10) for children beforehand and a
dinner reception ($15) with the Red
Wings alumni afterwards.
For information or to purchase tick-
ets, contact Lindsay Leder, (248) 592-
2309 or Ileder@jfsdetroit.org .

Understanding Jihad
Tawfik Hamid will speak on "The Roots
of Jihad: How do we save complacent
America from fundamentalist Islamic
holy war?" 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 13, at
the Jewish Community Center in West
Event sponsors are the Zionist
Organization of America—Michigan
Region, Jewish Community Center of
Metropolitan Detroit, Bert Stein and the
Anti-Defamation League.
Hamid is an ex-terrorist of Jammah
Islamiah and was mentored by Dr.
Ayman al-Zawaheri, Al Qaida's second
in command. He is a medical doctor
and child psychologist who has devel-
oped a peaceful Islamic sect.
For information, call Mark Segel,
(248) 208-2773, or the ZOA, (248) 282-

Eight Over Eighty
Jewish Apartments & Services has
announced the 2007 honorees for
its Eight Over Eighty-Tikkun Olam
Award: Harold Berry of Bloomfield
Hills, Marvin Danto of Bloomfield Hills,
Phil Elkus of Farmington Hills, Ethel
Goldenberg of West Bloomfield, Norm
Katz of Bloomfield Hills, Eve Lieberman
of West Bloomfield, Ida Nathan of
Bloomfield Hills and Jack and Miriam
Shenkman of Farmington Hills.
Money raised from the event will go
to the JAS Quality of Life Fund. It pro-
vides services not covered in a resident's
basic rent, such as Jewish cultural pro-
gramming, transportation, daily activi-
ties, trips exercise programs and more.
The Eight Over Eighty reception will
be held Sunday, May 20, at the Jewish
Community Center in West Bloomfield.
The brunch is from 11 a.m.-12:15 p.m.
Cost is $65. The induction ceremony
begins at 12:30. There is no charge for
the ceremony, though donations are

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