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April 18, 2013 - Image 5

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2013-04-18

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frontlines >> letters

}low to Send Letters

We prefer letters relating to JN articles. We reserve the right to edit or reject letters. Letters of 225 words or less are considered first. Longer ones will
be subject to trimming. Letter writers are limited in frequency of publication. Letters must be original and contain the name, address and title of the
writer and a day phone number. Non-electronic copies must be hand signed. Send letters to the JN: 29200 Northwestern Highway, Suite 110, Southfield,
MI 48034; fax (248) 304-8885; e-mail, letters®the jewishnews.com . We prefer email.

I Remember Burton Gordin:
Gracious, Helpful, Dedicated
I was truly moved by the story, "Who
Killed Burton Gordin? (April 4, page
1). Publisher/Executive Editor Arthur
Horwitz's portrait of the slain civil
rights pioneer asks, "Does anyone
remember?"
Yes, there is at least one person
who remembers him — me.
Not long after his arrival in Detroit,
I invited Gordin to meet with the
newly formed city of Lansing Human
Relations Commission to advise us
on hiring our first director. Gracious
and to the point, he shared useful
insights with this group, which had
been begrudgingly formed by the city
council. At that time, I was the "out-
state" vice president for the Michigan
Anti-Defamation League.
A few years after the murder,
I was employed by the Michigan
Department of Civil Rights and the
picture was just as you described; no
acknowledgement of Gordin's exis-
tence, a politically fractured admin-
istration, the black nationalist disre-
gard for discrimination toward any-
one other than black men ... Gordin's
high ground had disappeared along
with his name.

Betty Goodman Krohngold
East Lansing

High School Debate Coach
Has Long Local Legacy
Thank you for the article about
debate coach John Lawson
("Changing Young Lives," April 11,
page 12). John Lawson's influence
lives on in other ways as well.
The Bloomfield Hills School
District boasts a robust forensics
program (competitive speech and
drama). Bloomfield Hills Middle
School's team is coached by among
others, Richard Elias and Alan Ruby,
both of whom were coached in
debate by John Lawson at Southfield-
Lathrup.
Andover High School is coached
by, among others, Jan Frank who was
coached by 11." at Southfield-Lathrup
as well. Joe Inwald, another former
Lawson debater, judges for Andover
and the Detroit Urban Debate League.
All of the adults mentioned have
children who have enjoyed forensics
success at the state level. There are
many more adults and their children
— too many to be listed here — who
owe their public speaking skills to
John Lawson.

At Andover, we often coach our
kids to the following standard: "Was
that speech good enough to earn a
top score from JL?"
John Lawson's legacy ... l'dor vador.

Jan Frank,
assistant forensics coach
Andover High School
Bloomfield Township

Orchestra Hall Was Fitting
Venue For Shoah Requiem
On April 8, the premiere of I Believe
— A Shoah Requiem by Hazzan
Daniel Gross was performed in
Orchestra Hall (April 11, page 22),
but most attendees would not have
known how poignant that venue real-
ly was. During World War II, it was
the Paradise Theater, the vaudeville
house that entertained the auto work-
ers who produced the heavy weap-
onry that defeated Hitler and ended
the Shoah.
My husband, Martin Adelman,
recalls his family's personal connec-
tion with the Paradise Theater.
Orchestra Hall was built in 1919
to accommodate the requirements of
Jewish conductor Ossip Gabrilowitsch
before he agreed to come to Detroit
as music director of the Detroit
Symphony. In 1939, the symphony
left because of the Depression, and
Orchestra Hall fell vacant.
My husband's father, Oscar
Adelman, was the lawyer for the
brothers Ben and Lou Cohen, who
owned movie theaters on Woodward
Avenue. In fear that a competitor
would buy Orchestra Hall and put in
a movie theater, they tried to think
of what they could do with the space.
Oscar suggested a vaudeville house,
since these were doing well across the
country during the war.
This is how the Paradise Theater
was born. Oscar left his law practice
to manage the theater and hire the
acts. Then Lou Cohen died, the war
was over and television began. In
1951, the Paradise Theater closed.
It was not until the late 1960s, when
birds were flying into the abandoned
building through holes in the roof,
that an effort began to renovate the
theater.
Hazzan Gross is a descendent of
Holocaust survivors. A number of
survivors were in the audience, and
Irene Miller, a survivor, read the last
passage on stage. Both the partici-
pants and the audience contained a
cross-section of southeast Michigan.

As we marveled at the beauty and
sadness of Gross' great work, we
looked around at the beautiful audi-
torium, at the Detroit pastors on the
stage and at the diversity of the audi-
ence.
In that space, the grandparents of
many of these same people would
come to see Ella Fitzgerald or Duke
Ellington between day and night
shifts on the line, where they toiled to
create the very same military equip-
ment that made it possible for many
in the audience to be alive today.

ELAj TrOtif

May 22, 2013 I 6-9 pm
at The Detroit Zoo

Susan Adelman, M.D.
Southfield

Anti-Zionism Is Just The
Same Old Anti-Semitism
Yes, anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism,
but not because of anyone's feelings.
Anti-Zionism is that same old Jew-
hatred because it is based on those
same old anti-Semitic canards, the
age-old demonization of the Jewish
people that is now focused on the
Jewish state. To accept the expression
of these lies as somebody else's "truth"
in conflict with my own "truth" gives
validity and life to the lies.
The lies against Israel and the
Jewish people are evil and must
always be confronted and con-
demned. There will always be a
divide between good and evil and
between the Jews and those who hate
us because we are Jews, even when
they deceitfully define their hatred as
"anti-Zionism." There can be no com-
promising with this evil.
That's wonderful that Brenda
Rosenberg and Samia Bahsoun are
now friends and can work together.
But if Bahsoun still believes that
Zionism is racism and a "terrorist
Jewish expansionist movement," and
if Rosenberg believes that there is a
moral equivalence between anti-Sem-
itism and "Islamophobia," nothing
has been solved because lies are still
being accepted by Rosenberg as part
of Bahsoun's "narrative."
Must we also approve The Protocols
of the Elders of Zion, stories of a
"Jewish blood ritual;' Mohammed
al-Durah and the "Jenin Massacre" as
part of somebody's narrative in order
to get along? I don't think so. A true
peace cannot be based on allowing
uncontested lies to circulate and evil
to flourish. That is the way toward
continued misery.

Harry Onickel
Ferndale

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April 18 • 2013

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