Ohio Jewish Chronicle, 1982-09-02, page 01
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If til Ir in BSB8 OfflOJE aUL^/V Serving Columbus and Central Ohio Jewish Community tor Over 60 Years ^T)/\\X til BRAKY, OH 10 HtStcmtCAL S<>c4^r<^ 1982 -VELMA AVE. ru*n VOL. CO NO. 35 SEPTEMBER 2,1982-ELUL14 Devoted to American find Jewish Ideals. BEHIND THE HEADLINES Jewish Community In Lebanon Dwindles er Israel's 'Operation Peace For Galilee' VSlsbair ^^w The 1982 R.E.W. Committee consists of: (seated) Rabbi David Stavsky, Marsha Schiffman, Polly Haas, (standing) Chairman Ron Golden, Dr. Fred Kape- tansky, Sam Kandel and Dr. Jeff Tilson. Not pictured are Donna Hara and David Goldmeier. Beth Jacob Announces Religious Emphasis Week Beth Jacob Congregation's Religious Emphasis Week (R.E.W.) committee chairman, Ron Golden, has announced the. speakers for this year's 24th annual program to be held at the Synagogue, Sept. 20 through Sept. 23. The opening address, sponsored by the Gertrude Furman Levin Memorial Fund, is to be delivered by 'ftabbi Joseph Grunblatt, Queens Jewish Center, New York City, on Monday, Sept. 20, at 8:30 p.m. at Beth Jacob Synagogue. Rabbi Grunblatt, recognized as a deep thinker with profound insight into contemporary problems, will explore the complexities of the "inner self" and the "outer self", as they relate to the theme of this year's program, "The Quality of Life." Chairman Golden said that a Yiddish lecture will be pre sented by Dr. Philip Singer, Brooklyn, N.Y., as the featured address on Thursday, Sept. 23, at 8:30 p.m., and will be sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Bernard Gerson. A special invitation to this program has been extended to the Russian-Jewish families in Columbus as well as the entire Jewish community. Other highlights of the. R.E.W. program this, year are an address by Rabbi David Stavsky to the teen- aged youth on Tuesday, Sept. 21, at 7:30 p.m., open to the entire Jewish teen-aged community, and the Sisterhood Luncheon on Wednesday, Sept. 22. This year's R.E.W. committee members are David Goldmeier, Poloy Haas, Donna Hara, Sam Kandel, Dr. Fred Kapetansky, Marsha Schiffman and Dr. Jeff Tilson. JERUSALEM (JTA)-A group of well dressed men, women and children sat on the terrace of a coffee house in Rosh Hanikra, Israel's border point with Lebanon, enjoying the view of the coastal plain stretching all the way to the gulf of Haifa. The group, which seemed like typical tourists who visit the scenic border town, chatted in a mixture of Arabic and French and occasionally in Hebrew. They were indeed tourists but hardly typical. They came from the north, from Lebanon. Speaking in Arabic and French. marked them as Lebanese nationals. But their usage of Hebrew indicated that they were members of the small Jewish community of Lebanon, a minuscule,, almost nonexistent community. No one knows exactly how many Jews presently reside in Lebanon, after the long ■p'nd bloody civil war. and after the "Peace for Gal'ir lee" operation, both of which have left the country in chaos. There are various estimates, but all agree that there are more than several dozen Jews in the entire country, with only six Jewish families remaining in west Beirut. Several other families are believed to reside in east Beirut. The group sitting on the coffee house terrace in Rosh Hanikra seemed to cohsti- Rabbi Berman Named To Advisory Board J- Under the auspices and with the support of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, theFoundation for Conservative Judaism in Israel has been formed. The purpose of the Foundation is to develop programs, educational and religious institutions for the Mesorati (Conservative) movement which already has more than 40 affiliated congregations in Israel. Rabbi Harold Berman of Congregation Tifereth Israel has been named to the Rabbinical Advisory board, together with 35 other rabbis in the United States and Canada. Dr. David M. Cordis. Already, the Conservative movement in Israel operates a network of educational and youth programs designed to introduce traditional Judaism to Israelis all over the country. The World Council of Synagogues operates a Center for Conservative Judaism in Jerusalem, and the Jewish Theological Seminary maintains a Jerusalem branch near the campus of the Hebrew University, Further goals of the Foundation are to establish ties with the Kibbutz movement and to expand programs so that intellectual leadership does not rest on visiting Americans but can be taken by Israelis of a new generation. For this, rabbis, educators and youth leaders will have to be educated and trained in Israel. It is also hoped that the Foundation for Conservative Judaism will be helpful in solving some of the legal problems that Conserva tive and Reform Jews face in dealing with the Ministry of Religions and other branches on the Israeli bureaucracy. Political and legal activity in this area will be undertaken in cooperation with other groups on the Israeli scene. Rabbi Berman received a Master's Degree and Rabbinic Ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary and spent a year studying at the Seminary's center in Israel. He has previously served on the staff of Rabbi Harold Berman the World Council of Synagogues, which is the inter national organization of Conservative Congregations with offices in New York, Argentina and Israel. >, tute the bulk of Lebanese Jewry. The group's members were quite tight-lipped about their lives and the lives of other Jews in Leba- - non. They said they came to see Israel, visit relatives and <* then go back home, They said their life in Lebanon was good, business was good and they would do a lot of thinking befpre they would decide to immigrate to Israel. A Steady Decline Forty years ago there were some 9,000 Jews in Lebanon. About 2,000 Jews emigrated after World War II. The numbers of Jews between the end of the war and now fluctuated, growing for a while as refugees from Syria and Iraq came to Lebanon and declining again as some of the wealthier Jews left. By 1975, when the civil war broke out, there were between 2,000 and 4,000 Jews in the country. . The civil war caused another sizeable segment of the Jewish community to emigrate, leaving the community without a rabbi and a ritual slaughterer. A rabbi often had to be brought in from Italy or Syria, as was a ritual slaughterer. By the end of the civil war in 1976, only some 2,000 Jews were left in the country. It was often difficult to hold a minyan. The few remaining Jews who still live in west Beirut are mostly old, poor and sick. The wealthy and the young live in east Beirut. Relations With Moslems And Christians The paradox of the Jewish condition in Lebanon is that, in spite of all the hardships the country has suffered, the Jews reportedly suffered little because of their Jew- ishness and relations with both Moslems and Christians were reportedly good. At the height of the civil war in Lebanon, the Jews of Beirut took shelter in the Magen Avraham Synagogue. The neighborhood in which the synagogue was located was the scene of fierce battles between the PLO and the Phalangists. The rabbi telephoned Premier Rashid Karame to ask for help, which he promised to send. But before government troops arrived, PLO leader Yasir Arafat took the opportunity to make a humanitarian gesture by sending his men with food for the Jews trapped inside the synagogue and to make certain that they were not harmed. However, as the situation in Beirut during the civil war became unbearable, many Jews fled to the mountains in the east. When they returend during a period of relative calm, they found that most of their property had been plundered. Emigration continued after the civil war, with Jews leaving for the United States, Latin America, France and Israel. The Lebanese authorities never prevented them from leaving. Some Of The Synagogues .. Remaining The Magen Avraham Synagogue is located on Wadi Abu Jamil St., once the center of the Jewish quarter in Beirut, now a predominantly Moslem Shiite area. The street is close to the city's commercial center, near the "Green Line".dividing east and west Beirut, and the scene •of frequent exchanges of fire between the PLO arid Christian forces. The synagogue was built in 1926, financed by Indian Jews. It is a cream and ochre-colored building, w[ith Stars of David in its two round windows. At the beginning of August, an Israeli shell hit the roof of the synagogue during the heavy bom bardment of the city, according to foreign press reports, There are reportedly plans to repair the damage, but it might take quite a while to do so. There are other synagogues in Bhamdoun, on the Beirut-Damascus highway, and in Sidqn. The one in Bhamdoun is described as an exceptionally beautiful synagogue. The terrorists reportedly used it as a fortified position. They ripped up prayer books and prayer shawls. The Torah scrolls had been removed earlier when the Jewish community left the town several years . ago. Jewish Communities Disappearing Until 1948, some 200 Jews lived in the southern town of Sidon. Then, as Palestinians fled to the area from Israel, most of the local Jewish population either left the , ■; country, took to the hills or moved north to Beirut. When Israeli forces captured the town during the "Peace for Galilee", operation, they . found one Jewish family, Jamilla Levy, a 52-year-bld widow, and her four grown children, livingina spacious apartment overlooking the port of Sidon. Edwin Ellman Appointed UJF Campaign Chairman Federation President Bernard K. Yenkin today announced the appointment of Edwin M. Ellman as 1983 United Jewish Fund Campaign Chairman. In making the appointment, Yenkin stated, "Ed's leadership in past campaigns and in so many other communal causes, as well as his, intimate understanding of the needs both within our local agencies and in Israel, make him a particularly appropriate choice to head the 1983 Campaign. The emergency in Israel, with its negative ramifications for Israel's economy, makes it more urgent than ever that we have a successful campaign with maximum community participation, I know that under Ed's leadership, we will reach the kind of achievement that we need in these difficult times." Ellman returned just two weeks ago from an emergency fact-finding mission to Israel, in the course of which he travelled not only through Israel, but into Lebanon and up to Beirut. Ellman has served as a Trustee of the Federation for 15 years and has been its Vice President and Treasurer. He continues to serve as Associate Chairman for Edwin M. Ellman the Jewish Center Building Campaign and has been Special Dinner Chairman for the Israel Bonds Campaign. Nationally, he is President of the National Jewish Resource Center. His wife, Geri, is currently President of Jewish Family Servide.
|Title||Ohio Jewish Chronicle, 1982-09-02|
|Subject||Jews -- Ohio -- Periodicals|
|Place||Columbus (Ohio); Franklin County (Ohio)|
|Creator||Ohio Jewish Chronicle|
|Collection||Ohio Jewish Chronicle|
|Submitting Institution||Columbus Jewish Historical Society|
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