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January 24, 2013 - Image 27

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2013-01-24

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Commentary

Turning Point from page 26

Detroit, Negroes will be able to buy Jewish Community Council and
a house or rent a house anywhere
singled out Rabbi M. Robert Syme,
and that their money will carry
Harold Dubin, Leonard Gordon,
them, and they will be able to get
Sol Littman, Joseph Shore, Mrs.
Shomarya Kleinman, Mrs. Mollie
a job:'
While individuals from
Tendler and Nancy Ratner
the Detroit Jewish com-
for their local leadership.
munity participated in
The Jewish News devoted
the Woodward march
most of two additional
under the banners of
pages to the march.
In its Aug.16, 1963,
various organizations
(Avern Cohn said he
edition, Slomovitz led
marched that day with the
his editorial page with
Rabbi M •
American Civil Liberties
the following headline:
Robert Syme
Union contingent), the
"Civil Rights: Basic Jewish
Concern:'
Jewish community as
a whole had not yet
The editorial hoped that
coalesced around the civil rights
"the issue that has been brought to
movement.
a head will be solved, for all time,
A review of editions of the Jewish by the adoption of a program that
News from this period yielded
will wipe out the sins and the abus-
not one word, sentence or picture
es of the past and that will grant
leading up to, or in the aftermath
human rights for all of our citizens
of, the Woodward Avenue march.
... Rabbis have been among those
In fact, the front-page headlines
who had demonstrated in behalf
of the June 28, 1963, edition of
of the cause of just rights for the
the Jewish News were: "U.S. Group
Negro, and Jewish students have
Accused of Giving Anti-Israel
joined the demonstrations, some of
Group $4 Million Appeasing Fund:' them traveling from our own com-
"Eshkol Assumes Premiership with munity and from cities throughout
Peace Continuing as Israel's Major
the land to appear in southern
Aspiration" and "Hidden Assets
communities and to express their
Totaling $500,000,000 Believed
protests against discrimination and
Awaiting Survivors from Nazism in their demands for justice.
Switzerland:'
"These instances can be mul-
Why this apparent gap in
tiplied a thousand-fold to show
enthusiasm and passion from
the pioneering efforts of Jews
in every American community
Detroit's Jewish community? Some
speculated that the Race Riot of
on behalf of just rights for the
1943, that saw large numbers of
Negroes. Our people continue to
blacks looting and burning mostly
play a leading role in support of
Jewish-owned business
such legislation, and every
in the Hastings Street
effort that is now being
area, still tainted efforts
made — whether through
to build a durable and
prayers or through public
trusting local black-
declarations or by means
Jewish coalition. Others
of messages to members
believed that Jewish News
of Congress urging speedy
Editor and Publisher
action in support of civil
Philip Slomovitz, an
rights — assists in assur-
Philip
ing promptness in behalf
ardent Zionist, was solely S I om ovi t z
focused on Israel and its
of the urgent issue now
before us. Action in sup-
survival.
Yet, only two months later, the
port of civil rights brooks no delay"
In this, the 50th anniversary
Detroit Jewish community and
the Jewish News embraced the
year of the Michigan Constitution
Washington march and the civil
and its groundbreaking civil
rights provisions, the March
rights agenda.
down Woodward, the March to
Washington and the "I Have a
March on Washington
Dream Speech:' we should recog-
In its Aug. 23, 1963, edition, the
nize and celebrate the five months
Jewish News front page included
in 1963 that propelled civil rights to
a headline stating, "Detroiters
the forefront of our consciences in
Will Participate in August 28th
Michigan and ultimately brought
Washington March with 14
Co-Sponsoring Organizations:
the organized Detroit Jewish com-
The story included reference to the munity and the Jewish News firmly
into the civil rights movement.
endorsement of the march by the



EMU's promising new minor in full swing.

Ypsilanti

I

t has been a truly remarkable year for
Eastern Michigan University Jewish
Studies. Last February, U.S. Sen. Carl
Levin, D-Mich., helped us launch our new
minor in Jewish Studies, a curriculum boast-
ing a host of exciting, newly created classes,
including Introduction to History of Judaism;
Early Judaism; Israeli Politics;
Nineteenth-Century Jewish
Literature; and Jewish Children's
and Adolescent Literature (which
we believe to be the first Jewish
children's literature course taught
in the U.S.).
Thanks to an extraordinary gift
from an anonymous donor, we are
developing classes such as: Jewish
Theater in America; History of
Book Design: Judaism, Christianity,
Islam; Jewish American Politics;
Nazi Germany; American Trauma
– Intersections of the Jewish-American/
African-American Experience; and Becoming
Jewish in America (a travel class that will
bring students to Ellis Island, the Statue of
Liberty, the Tenement Museum, the National
Museum of American Jewish History and the
U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum).
This summer, we will offer our Study Abroad
class "Representing the Holocaust," which
takes students to Nazi concentration camps
in Germany, the Czech Republic and Poland.
Previous participants have described this
course as a "life-changing" experience.

Beyond Campus

EMU Jewish Studies also has been active
in the life of our community. This August,
for the third year in a row, we are offering a
seminar for school teachers at the Holocaust
Memorial Center Zekelman Family Campus in
Farmington Hills. We continue to build rela-
tionships with local synagogues, Jewish com-
munity centers, Jewish federations and other
Jewish Studies programs.
We sponsor both dual-enrollment Hebrew
classes and adult education courses at Temple
Israel in West Bloomfield. Next year, with the
assistance of a Covenant Foundation Ignition
Grant, we will expand our curricular offerings.
In this vitally important election year, EMU
Jewish Studies, in collaboration with the
Association for Jewish Studies Distinguished
Lectureship Program, sponsored a presenta-
tion by Dr. Pamela Nadel!, Patrick Clendenen
Chair in Women's and Gender History at
American University, on The Triangle
Shirtwaist Factory Fire: Out of Tragedy Comes
Social Justice."

Upcoming Events

With help and advice from our Jewish Studies
Community Advisory Board, we have sched-
uled a number of thought-provoking and
inspiring presentations for the winter semes-
ter of 2013. Please save the following dates:
• Sunday, Feb. 10, 7 p.m., EMU Student
Center Ballroom. Dr. Sascha Feuchert, direc-
tor of Germany's only Holocaust and literature
institute, will speak about "When
the Holocaust Did Not Have a Name:
Early German Texts on the Camps
1945-1949."
• Wednesday, Feb. 13, 7 p.m.,
Holocaust Memorial Center,
Farmington Hills. Dr. Sascha
Feuchert will address "The Ghetto
Chronicle of Lodz/Litzrnannstadt:
News Bulletins from a Horrible Life."
• Wednesday, April 3, 7 p.m.,
EMU Student Center Auditorium.
Dr. Miriam Brysk will talk about her
experiences when, as a young girl,
she survived the Holocaust, living among the
partisans fighting against the Nazis in the for-
ests of Belarus.
• Wednesday, April 10, 7 p.m., EMU Student
Center Auditorium. EMU Jewish Studies
welcomes Jim Gerstein, executive director
of Democracy Corps, a nonprofit organiza-
tion that conducts public opinion research
and provides strategic advice to Democrats
and progressive organizations. Before join-
ing Democracy Corps, Gerstein was executive
director of the Center for Middle East Peace
and Economic Cooperation. During the 1999
campaign for Israeli prime minister, Gerstein
took a leave from the center to join Ehud
Barak's American consulting team, overseeing
polling, paid media and message development.
• Thursday, April 11, 7 p.m., the Ann Arbor
Jewish Community Center. EMU professor
Andrea Kaston Tange, editor of the online
research repository Nineteenth-Century
Jewish Life, will discuss Jewish women and
philanthropy in 19th-century England.
EMU Jewish Studies has come wonderfully
far in just a very short time. We owe much of
our success to the support of the southeast
Michigan Jewish community.



Martin B. Shichtman is director of Jewish Studies and

a professor in the Department of English at Eastern

Michigan University.

If you are interested in helping the EMU
Jewish Studies program, on campus or
in the community, contact Professor
Shichtman at jewish.studies@emich.edu .



IN

January 24 • 2013

27

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