Ohio Jewish Chronicle, 1990-06-14, page 01
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(/' r\j.r,; ;■;•>...■.*■ ;;:.*.*:■!);. VOL. 68 NO. 24 JUNE 14, 1990-SIVAN 21, 5750 Devoted to American and Jewish ideals. f Supreme Court Rules That Religious Clubs Are Entitled To Use Of School Facilities Dr. Judy Genshaft Receives Award From Jerusalem Mayor On May 24, Dr. Judy Genshaft (center), chairwoman of the Israel Department Committee of the Columbus Jewish Federation, was given an award from Teddy Kolek, mayor of Jerusalem and Simcha Dinitz, director of the Jewish Agency, at the home of Leonard (left) and Ellen Schottenstein (right). Dr. Genshaft was cited for her contributions toward the relationship between Israel and the diaspora and for establishing an interna-1 tional exchange college program that provides opportunities for American students from Ohio State University to study for full credit at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. WASHINGTON (JTA) - Jewish groups are distressed at the Supreme Court's decision last week to uphold a law requiring public high schools to give religious clubs the same access to school facilities as other "non-curriculum-related" groups. In an 8-1 ruling, the court said an Omaha, Neb., high school had to allow a Bible- study group to meet after hours on school property. In doing so, it upheld the constitutionality of the Equal Access Act of 1984, which requires public schools that allow "one or more non-curriculum-related student groups to meet on school premises during non-instructional time" to grant the same privilege to religious groups. Jewish groups strenuously Diversity Of Conservative Movement Has Precipitated An Identity Crisis ■> By Elena Neuman ■ KIAMESHA LAKE, N.Y. (JTA) - Conservative Judaism has been called a movement of both tradition and change, a midpoint between Orthodoxy and Reform Judaism and an example of unity that allows for diversity ■ y*;. - But as the Conservative movement has strived to be all of these things simultaneously, it has left many confused about what the movement stands for and where it is headed. In fact, the very identity of the future of Conservative Judaism was at the core of discussions during the recent 90th meeting of the Rabbinical Assembly, Conservative Judaism's 1,300-mem- ber central body of rabbis. "On this 90th year of the Rabbinical Assembly, we are struggling with the forces of dissension, doubt and dismay. Critical observers have opined that our movement is in disarray," Rabbi Irwin Groner,. the newly elected president of the assembly, said in an address to more than 600 rabbis gathered at the Concord "Hotel here. "We are challenged by an assertive and triumphalist Orthodoxy on our right and •OPERATION EXODUS' SOV i ET K ESli'l'TL KM ENT This Week Escort Soviet Jews ......3 fRCConWst,.,,.;v...,7 'J^^:'f^»^^L________i_\ by a vigorous, growing Reform movement on our left," he said. "We are dissatisfied with the state of our movement, we fall short in our own eyes, we are pessimistic about our future." Groner attributed this perceived malaise to the centrist position of the movement. Stressing the importance of halachah and tradi- , tion, while also affirming the value of adaptations to modernity, Conservative Judaism has often defined itself by what it is not. As Rabbi David Nelson of Temple Beth Shalom in Oak Park, Mich., put it: "There is a knowledge of who we are: We're not Reform or Orthodox; we buffet somewhere in between." Conservative rabbis point to the movement's membership of over 1.5 million congregational members - making it possibly the largest branch of Judaism in the United States and Canada - as testament to the success of Conservative Judaism's centrist position. "Our strength is that we serve a whole range of thought, which is where people are at," said Nelson. But many Conservative rabbis today feel that such diversity of thought and halachic observance has been a mixed blessing, leaving congregants confused as to where the movement stands on ideological and spiritual issues. "If you don't adapt, you ul- ' timately dry up. But if you fall for every fad, you stand for nothing," observed Rabbi Arnold Goodman, a past president of the Rabbinical Assembly and religious leader of Ahavath Achim Congregation in Atlanta. Rabbi Neil Gilman, associate professor of philosophy at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, criticized the movement in general, and JTS in particular,. for its emphasis on thought and scholarship, at the expense of spirituality and theology. CONTINUED ON PAGE 17 oppose the law and have challenged it in court, contending it violates the First Amendment's bah on government endorsement of religion. The court also rejected a petition from Jev/ish and other religious groups to reconsider its April 17 decision allowing Oregon to prosecute two members of an Indian church who use peyote in religious rituals. In that case, the court ruled that enforcing a state law that makes it a crime to possess or use the hallucinogen would not infringe upon the Indians' First Amendment right to free exercise of religion. Jewish groups have expressed, concern about the ruling, fearing it could be used as a precedent to prosecute Jews for various practices that might be banned by local laws. An example would be drinking of Kiddush wine by minors not old enough to consume alcohol legally. In light of the court's re^ fusal to rehear the case, Jewish groups such as Agudath Israel of America and the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith will now examine various state laws to see if they can be strengthened to protect religious practices. The decision in the peyote case "turned back free-exercise jurisprudence many, many decades," commented Abba Cohen, Agudath Israel's Washington repre- Jewish Community Blood Drive Scheduled For July 5 At Center When it comes to celebrating life, nothing surpasses the gift of life itself both for the giyer and the recipient. Community members can give the gift of life by taking part in the Jewish Community Blood Drive July 5 at the Leo Yassenoff Jewish Center, 1125 College Ave., from 12:30 to 6:30 p.m. Blood is badly heeded for hospital patients and emergency situations. The blood is supplied to 50 central Ohio hospitals and medical facilities. It may find its way to a premature baby, a leukemia victim, an organ transplant or a surgery patient. Community response to the contirtuous need for blood has been on the rise. Last year almost 400 pints were collected and the prospect of increasing that number this sentative. Donald Mintz, chairman of ADL's Civil Rights Committee, called the ruling "extremely disturbing;" Mark Stern, legal director of the American Jewish Congress, said both court decisions threaten religious liberty, although he would not say whether the greater threat is government interference in religious practice or government "allowing it^ self to aid religion." Both cases show that on religious issues, the court is "not willing to second-guess the judgment of democratic bodies," Stern said, referring to the Oregon state legislature in the peyote case and to Congress in the case involving the Omaha high school. The Omaha case pitted Westside Community High School against Bridget Mer- gens, who as a senior had tried unsuccessfully in 1985 to win official recognition from the school for a Bible- study group she wanted to hold after classes. A federal district court ruled that the school could refuse to grant recognition to the Bible study group, but the decision was reversed in February 1989 by the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis. When the case went to the Supreme Court, AJCongress served as co-counset, largely writing the brief filed on the high school's behalf. Friend- of-the-court briefs backing the school were submitted by the American Jewish Committee and the ADL, which did so on behalf of the National Jewish Community CONTINUED ON PAGE 9 Local Community Members Invited To Escort Soviet Jews To Israel year is excellent, according to organizers. Last year, a number of donors were newly arrived in Columbus from Russia and communicated through an interpreter. Donors must be at least 17 years of age, weigh at least. 110 pounds, be in good health and have no history of hepatitis. The entire procedure, from filling out some health forms, receiving a medical check and donating, takes little more than an hour. Actually, giving blood accounts for only ten minutes. Afterward there are free sandwiches, cookies and beverages in the canteen. And, best of all, the body quickly replaces the pint of blood given. Donating is a quick and easy procedure. It is not possible to get AIDS or other in- CONTINUEDON PAGE 7 Members of the Columbus Jewish community are invited to escort Soviet Jews to freedom during an upcoming community mission, announced Irving Schottenstein and Leslie Wexner, co- chairmen of the ^^"Operation Exodus" Campaign. The mission will fly to Budapest, Hungary on Thursday, Sept. 6. Mission participants will spend Shabbat in Budapest after which they will escort 200 Soviet Jews to Tel Aviv aboard an El Al charter. The mission will return to Columbus on Sunday, Sept. 16. "The number of Jews leaving the Soviet Union has been increasing monthly and is expected to reach 20,000 a month by July," explained Norman Traeger; co-executive vice chairman of the Campaign. "By the tens of thousands, Soviet Jews are making their way from a land of oppression to new lives in freedom, with over 80,000 Soviet Jews anticipated to pass through Budapest this sflmmer." Marcy Gross, co-executive vice chairwoman and one of,: the mission leaders, notes that "members of the Columbus Jewish community are invited to join in this experience as we literally walk in their footsteps as we accompany these Soviet Jews on their flight to freedom." Mission participants will learn firsthand about conditions in the Soviet Union and the fear of anti-Semitism that now permeates the Soviet Jewish community. In Is rael, the mission will meet with high level government officials to learn about the challenges of providing housing, job training and acculturation to Israeli society. The mission will cost $995 per person for first time mission participants and $1,495 for those who have participated on missions in the past. In addition to one's 1991 regular Campaign gift, there will be a minimum commitment to the Operation Exodus Campaign for first timers of $1,000 per person or $1,500 per couple, and for returnees, $1,500 per person or $2,500 per couple. The Operation Exodus gift is payable one third in 1990, one third in 1991 and one third in 1992. An informational evening has been planned for Tuesday, July 10, at 7:30 p.m. at the offices of the Columbus Jewish Federation in the Esther C. Melton Community Services Building, 1175 College Ave. The community is invited. Gross explains, "We have the wonderous chance to literally bring them home. Fifty years ago, our people had nowhere to turn. Today there is Israel. We will embrace our brothers and sisters in Budapest, board our charter to Tel Aviv and be with them, hand in hand, as they begin new lives in freedom. I can't imagine anyone passing up such a momentous opportunity." For more information about the mission, call Mitch Orlik at the Federation office, 237-7686.
|Title||Ohio Jewish Chronicle, 1990-06-14|
|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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