Document 178207

ORT: Teaching How to Think
Assessing Jewish Feminism
ku xaoA PUN
Israel's Protest Movement
WAO National Convention
Public Education: An Editorial
"99 Down—Organization sponsoring vocational training," The answer to this recent
Sunday New York Times crossword puzzle
definition is, of course, "ORT," While better
lhan the more widely-used definition of ORT
— " a scrap o r bit"—
s still i
superficial definition of our global network and
particularly of W o m e n ' s American O R T .
While o u r schools are our first concern and
responsibility, o u r c o m m u n i t y activities are
also of great importance. It is hoped that
our concern for and activities on behalf of
quality public education are becoming equally well-known.
T w o weeks prior t o the appearance of the
puzzle, the Sunday Times published a 7 5 page section on Education, almost a quarter
of which was devoted to a chart summarizing some of the findings and r e c o m m e n d a tions of four studies and programs for
change in education and articles on h o w
these programs can be carried out and fi-
Findings & R e c o m m e n d a t i o n s
T h e overall findings of the four studies,
A Nation at Risk, Action for
America's Competitive
Challenge, and Educating Americans for the 21st Century, generally agreed that continued progress in education is vital to o u r survival, that we are
losing o u r preeminence in science, c o m m e r c e
and technological innovation, that more
math, science, computer and technology education must be provided and that standards
must be raised. The chart covered recommendations having to do with time, standards, curriculum, tests, teachers. Federal,
State, and Local governments, the public,
and financing. The pages of articles following this chart covered various aspects of
Much at Stake
One article titled, "In Reform Ideas, A
Certain Deja Vu," compared a study, The
Pursuit of Excellence, issued in 1958, by the
Rockefeller Brothers, with some of the current reports, cited some findings common
to the 195S and 1983 studies and spoke of
some of the changes and reforms adopted in
the years between. The article ended by
quoting a 1963 newspaper headline which
said, "Educalion Produces Many Reports,
but Few Lead to Fast Action." It may be
that action cannot be fast, but action there
must be, for there is too much at stake. It is
the very future of our democratic society that
is at stake—and so as members of this great
society and of Women's American ORT—
we must keep pressing for, working for, and
speaking out for quality public education.
—fl. E. S.
letters to the editor
"Open Pages"
I have always been an admirer of
ORT, and since becoming a member (of WAO) in Chicago some
years ago, my admiration has extended to your excellent publication.
j Most impressive is your willingness
• lo open your pages to varied opin} ions in the best tradition of Amert ican journalism, and of course Yid' dish journalism.
Chicago, in.
The review of Yehoshafat Harkabi's book on Bar Kochba by Da. vid Szonyi (in your Fall issue) is
' one more manifestation of the self! hatred some Jews possess for their
| own people and its glorious history.
I Attacking Akiba and Bar Kochba
I as a means of undermining the pres| ent Israeli government is just an• other tactic of the intellectual goon
| squad which feels uncomfortable
• with Jewish nationalism and selfidentity in any form. However, sid• ing with Hadrian's Roman Empire
• which was about to turn Jerusalem
j into another perverted pagan capi] tal in complete disregard of the
promises to restore Jewish Jerusalem made by Trajan marks a new
: low in self-denigration. Debunk Bar
= Kochba today—debunk the Warsaw
j Ghetto tomorrow! Why can't we
• leave anti-Semitism to the gentiles?
Humanities Coordinator
M. Van Buren High School
Social Studies Dept.
i Seaford, NY
The problem with Shelly Koenigsberg's letter to the REPORTER regarding American Jewish dissent and
criticism of Israel's policies (Summer 1983) is that it proceeds from
an incorrect assumption: viz., that
the United States and Israel are
peers—equally independent "functioning democratic governments,"
to use the letter's phrasing.
In fact, Israel cannot remotely be
considered economically self-sufficient—certainly not with respect to
the United States. "The unpleasant
truth," writes Lawrence Meyer in
his highly praised book Israel Now:
Portrait of a Troubled Land, "is that
Israel has become a country living
on the dole, dependent on foreign
aid not to assist her development
but to underwrite maintenance of a
comfortable standard of living higher
than she could afford on her own."
In Dr. Koenigsberg's somewhat
tiresome analogy, a father presumes
to advise his economically independent son how to manage his income
and budget. But as a virtual ward
of the United States, Israel is precisely not economically independent,
and the analogy does not hold.
Rather. Israel pursues such policies
as its West Bank settlement program
with American (including American
Jewish) money—and could not do
so without this money.
Aside from the consideration that
Israel presumes to speak for, and
demands the support of, Jews everywhere—which I think is the more
important basis for the legitimate
right of American Jews to express
e legitimates Am
• • : • _ • : : . -
of Israeli policies that are judged
destructive of Israel's or America's
interests and that could only be
carried out with our help.
Brooklyn, N.Y.
Feminist Agenda
Address correspondence:
here in Calgary to receive the R E PORTER on a regular basis, so that
our Executive and general m e m b e r ship could become aware of much
of the world-wide O R T news which
y o u r R E P O R T E R would a p p e a r to
carry. If you could see fit to send
it to us on a regular basis, w e would
be most appreciative; I promise to
see to it that such a copy is curculated, o r the O R T news in it s u m marized and presented at o u r regular meetings, o r some such.
O u r C h a i r m a n joms me in hoping
that you can find it possible to meet
with o u r request.
Calgary Section
Canadian W o m e n ' s O R T
Calgary, Alberta, C A
Turning the pages of m y current
copy of the O R T REPORTER I got
a terrible shock. There, under the
heading, "Warehousing the Elderly"
sat m y m o t h e r just as I remember
last seeing h e r . T h e lady in t h e
u p p e r left corner is m y mother. I
spent all day thinking a b o u t h e r
and what ( D r . F o r m a n ) had to say
in his article. It is a terrible decision
one must m a k e to put one's beloved
parent in a home. This was m y
mother's choice, though m y brother
and I pleaded for her t o live with
one of us. W e certainly had room.
My m o t h e r did not w a n t to be a
b u r d e n to h e r children. A t first
when she went into Kings H a r b o r
she was in fairly good condition and
played Bingo, attended Services and
entertainments, b u t she was there
for six years. T h e last t w o were
awful for all of us. M y mother suffered mini-strokes and in h e r final
years did not recognize us a n d
know where she was. While m y
brother and I took turns visiting
her every week, it was most trau-
The" REPORTER Reserves the tight
bership in Jewish women's organizations. I continue t o support Jewish causes and identify with the
Jewish community, b u t am active in
the National Organization for W o men, which fights for issues which
concern all w o m e n ; the Equal Rights
A m e n d m e n t , equal p a y for equal
work and w o m e n ' s health issues.
r agree with M s . Wolfe's r e m a r k s
that if the Jewish women's organizations want to attract and keep
their members, they must direct
activities towards issues which concern American (Jewish) w o m e n :
equal job opportunities in the Jewish c o m m u n a l agencies for w o m e n ,
Jewish-run day care centers, and
higher pay for w o m e n professionals
in Jewish agencies.
Of course I was torn with guilt
but h o w could I possibly care for
this person w h o was incoherent,
dizzy, bewildered, and totally confused at al! times.
While a nursing h o m e seems to
(Continued on page 6, col 1)'
of the WOU Ccr
>ard and ( mber of i
Executive Committee; a member of the National Cabinet
of the UJA; a trustee of the
United Israel Appeal, and former chairman of the Large
City Budgeting Conference of
the Council of Jewish Federations; a delegate to the Jewish
Agency Assembly, a member
of the Board; and Executive
Committee of the American
Jewish JDC; and the Board of
Directors of United HIAS
Service and its Executive Committee, his leadership and devotion to ORT were instruments in the growth of the
112,000 students throughout
the Jewish world.
A member of the Board of
Jewish Counseling and Service Agency he also served on
the Board of the Hebrew
Youth Academy and President
of the Jewish Community Federation—Metro West (N.J.).
The Jewish people will miss
his humanity, wisdom and
vision. Our deepest sympathies
to his wife, children, and
• •
"o notional « wspnper for the Air
Copyright 01984 by Women's /
Reproduction will- out prior writ! r^i^'p^h
• - ; •
Published qi larterly by Woman'
Editorial ond Business office 1 at 315 Park Aye
, NY,
Gertrude S. While
of the Editorial Board
Silver Spring, M d .
Honorary National Preside
Nathan Gould
Executive Vice President
On " A g i n r
Editorial Board:
Marcy Marks
Beverly MinkofF
Florence Rosenthal
ing a copy of the Fall, 1983 edition
of the Women's American ORT REgerontology in which my brother,
Dr. Benyamin Yanoov, from Bar
Ilan University in Israel, was quoted
at some length. I thought the article
in question was excellent, as did my
While writing, I wanted to tell
you that, in general. I was most im-
The leadership and nationwide membership of Women's
American ORT profoundly
nourns the death of Sidney
E. Lei w , honorary pre
and i media ; past president of the American Federation, who died Dec. 5 at the
age of 71.
A close and warm friend
af Women's American ORT,
seles devotio he
worked for the expansion and
development of the global
ORT program of vocational
and technical education which
was so dear to him, and his
lifetime dedication to Jewish
survival epitomized the selfless
spirit of Jewish communal
Associate Member, A,n e , i t a n J ewishP, eSi Ass DC i, .tion
Se :ond
ISSN : 0043-7S M
Class p 3stagB paid at NYC, NY #o89780
linen's A mer
orld ORT Ur
affiliate of the American ORT Federati
receives iti
jnd from The Joint Distribi
the United J swish App>rat which is supported by the Jewish Federations
sarily the
ind breadth of coverage of the articles and news contained in the R E is irreversible" (Forum, Fall 1983) PORTER. In fact. I feel it would be
reflects my own feelings about mem- advantageous to our ORT Section
(Jewish) c
must) r
WAO or its •dilon. No res;K««JbUityo ccepted \ or unsolicited mam ueifpto
Po id
circulation approximately 150,000. Annual ..ubsciption:
m B m b ers
S I ; non-wot**.
r Dept., WAO, 315 Park /•
Jewish Feminism: "Coming of Age"
October 1983 marked the "Bat Mitzvah"
of the Jewish women's movement For it
was in October of 1981 that Ezrat Nashim,
the first feminist group in the Jewish community, was founded to advocate and press
for equality of access for women to the
central arenas of Jewish life. Now, some 12
years later in that same month, a prime
Ezrat Nashim objective has been attained
with the landmark vote of the (Conservative) Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS)
Faculty Senate to ordain women as rabbis.
The vote, a milestone in the struggle of
Jewish feminism—and possibly even a
watershed event—is but one of the achievements of the pasl 12 years. During this time,
the issue of women's equality has been
placed squarely on the "agenda" of the
Jewish community. The subject of lectures,
scholarly research, popular articles, task
forces and conferences, it has inspired changes in synagogues, temples, schools and Jewish organizations — and even more significantly, in what might be called the atmosphere of Jewish life.
"There is no aspect of the Jewish community that has not been affected by Jewish
feminism," said Arlene Agus, one of the
founders of Ezrat Nashim and currently the
Director of External Affairs and Planning
of Yeshiva University's Cardozo School of
Agus was a major speaker at the "Jewish
Women's Conference 1983: Challenges and
Changes" held at Congregation Ansche Chesed in New York City in October, devoted
to evaluating the achievements and challenges of Jewish feminism, sponsored by the
rce Center and paid
'ish Won
New York Section
for by its s
icil of Jewish Women.
of the National Count
Dr. Paula Hyman, : lother Ezrat Nashim
ntly Dean of the JTS
Seminary College of Jewish Studies, observed
that "much of what was considered radical
15 years ago has now become mainstream"
in the Jewish community. "Fifteen years ago.
when Jewish women looked into the mirror
of Judaism, they saw nothing," she told the
250 participants in the conference. "Today
we have begun to discern a pale woman's
reflection in the mirror. This is the main
accomplishment" of those years, she said.
Two Main Issues
Hyman divided the issues Jewish feminists
have raised into two main categories: "equal
access" and "the feminization of culture."
In a recent interview, she expressed the
view that "we haven't achieved equal access
—that women should have all the opportunities that men have had, fo participate fully
in religious and secular life and to have
positions of status and authority."
In the realm of the "feminization of culture"—exploring what a feminist perspective,
a feminist interpretation of Jewish sources,
experience, and history would have to contribute to Judaism—"we haven't done
enough," she said.
A run-down of the list of requests presented by Ezrat Naskim to the (Conservative) Rabbinical Assembly in March 1972
clearly shows that the gains in equal access
have been spotty.
• The inclusion of women in the minyan
AVIVA CANTOR is Managing Editor of
Lilith, the Jewish feminist magazine, and
author of the Bibliography on the Jewish
Woman {Biblio Press). Her recent contributions to our pages include "Women Rabbis
& the Conservative Movement," and "Jewish
Women & the Communal Agenda."
(All photos Courtesy, NCJW. Credit: Diane Balestra)
FULL PARTICIPATION OF WOMEN IN RELIGIOUS OBSERVANCES is a major goal of Jewish feminists. Above, morning services at the Conferente. Below, Conference speakers Dr. Paula Hyraan, Dean, Seminary College of Jewish Studies, Jewish Theological Seminary (right) and (left), Arlene
Agus, Director, External Affairs and Planning, Yeshiva University, Cardoza School of Law, both founders of Ezrat Nashim, "the first feminist group in
the Jewish community."
ist stereotypes. Men and their sons are por
trayed as participating in the synagogue and
in study, while women and their daughters
are depicted cleaning the house and cooking
in preparation for their men's return from
i the
s this
• Divorce reform: The disabilities of
local level have largely been piecemeal, eswomen in divorce procedures—being unable
pecially among Conservative congregations,
to initiate proceedings and lacking legal recreating a kind of crazy-quilt effect all over
course when their husbands refuse to grant
• Obligating women to perform miizvot a gel (religious divorce document)—are be(commandments} and be recognized as wit- ing recognized, said Hyman, but "with retiSom
rvativ congregatio
nesses in Jewish courts: neither of these fun- cence." No balachic solutions have dealt
petely "integrated"; thers allow
en aliwith the fundamental problem, hut Greent but do n
clude the in the
berg expressed optimism that "within 15 to
Byz ntin rules, s
20 years, women facing recalcitrant husallowing women aliyot on certain special
". . . much of what was
bands will be authorized to deliver the get."
occasions, such as a child's Bar or Bat Mitz(quorum of worshippers) and their full participation in religious observances: While the
Reform and Reconstruct! on ist movements
permit and encourage women's inclusion in
minyan and in aliyot (calls to the Torah
reading), and the Conservati
: • . . ; • ;
vah. In the Orthodox synagogues, of course,
women are still spectators during religious
services, cordoned off behind a mechitza
(partition between the sexes).
Even in the Orthodox community, however, there are certain ritual changes, such
as the Shalom But ceremonies celebrating
the births of baby girls, and women's prayer
groups. The power of such models in ritual
matters, said Orthodox feminist Blu Greenberg at the conference, "carries great weight."
Significant Achievement
Another significant achievement Hyman
called attention to is the "grassroots supand proliferation of egalitarian religious
mities, said
Agus in a recent interview, there is tension
between their egalitarian principles and the
feeling that they have to allow all Jews
within the movement to express themselves,
"even if some members can only express
themselves religiously in services where women are not counted." Agus found this "tolerant" approach unacceptable.
considered radical
• Enco rage
bodies and
o join dec
e leadership
and secular communities: The la
. . . years ago has now become synagogue
leadership of the community continues to
be dominated by a handful of wealthy men
and their hired male executives. The major
fund-raising organizations, such as the local
Federations and the UJA, continue to run
separate men's and women's drives, with
damental demands has yet been considered priority given to the men's campaigns; the
seriously even though, said Hyman, the ha- UJA Young Leadership Cabinet is all-male.
lachic (Jewish legal) mechanisms exist.
A sprinkling of women across the country
• The ordination of women rabbis and have succeeded to the presidency of local
cantors: The Reform movement began or- Federations but have not supported any
daining women as rabbis in 1972, with the changes in terms of women's participation
graduation of Rabbi Sally Priesand; currently or special needs.
there are some 61 women rabbis in the
(Continued on page 4, col. I)
Reform and Reconstruction ist movements.
A minority are working as congregational
rabbis. But there is still considerable resistance to the hiring of women except as
assistant rabbis or educators, and the Reform movement has established a task force
to work on the problem.
Great gains have been made in training
women scholars, said Hyman. They are beginning to explore women's experiences in
Judaism and to incorporate them into curricula. This process has also made strides
in the Orthodox community, added Greenberg, who told the conference that it will
"ultimately lead to the ordination of women
in the Orthodox community."
Women scholars and educators have pointed out that most of the textbooks used in
Jewish schools as well as Jewish children's
literature generally, continue to promote sex-
Jewish Feminism
(Continued from page 3)
Until last year, there was no woman heading a major "coed" national Jewish organization. At that time Jacqueline Levine was
elected to chair the National Jewish Community Relations Advisory Council (NJCRAC),
and Esther Leah Ritz became President of
the National Jewish Welfare Board.
Neither have any major changes been
made in the unequal position of paid female
communal workers. A 1977 survey by the
Conference of Jewish Communal Service
disclosed that one in 500 women earned
over $30,000 a year compared to one in
four men; a follow-up survey in 193] raised
the women's percentage to 3.5. The 1977
survey also revealed that only 5% of the
paTed to 29% of the men; the 1981 survey
upped this to 8% for women and 45% for
Evan Bayer, a professional communal
worker wifh the American Jewish Committee, told a Conference workshop that there
are no women directors of Jewish community centers. And only recently has a large
city Federation — Philadelphia — hired a
The small number of tangible gains women have made even in the equal access area
point to considerable resistance in the community. This generally takes the form o£
passive resistance; the strategy is to favor
women's equality officially while avoiding,
postponing or side-tracking attempts at implementing specific demands.
"The feminist issues that we have raised
are either seen as incidental or potentially
dangerous for Jewish survival," said Hyman
in the interview. "They have never been seen
as positively linked with Jewish survival,"
or as a "moral challenge. Why," she asked
the conference participants, "does feminism
—which provides the opportunity for revivi-
fying and refreshing Judaism—strike such
fear into the hearts of Jewish communal
Puzzling Aspect
Perhaps the most amazing—and puzzling
—aspect of Jewish feminism is that whatever has been achieved to date has been
achieved in the absence of a real movement
—a body of people with political understanding of their situation, direction, goals,
strategies and organization. Said Agus in the
"We haven't achieved a lot of our aims
partly because of our tactics, and partly out
of a lack of clarity of goals. If we rethink
the last 10 years, this was not a revolution
at all—it was pockets of resistance that we
have formed."
Several Factors
An organization called the Jewish Feminist Organization (JFO) struggled briefly in
1974-75 before folding quietly. While the
failure of JFO was variously attributed to
"low energy levels," premature appearance
on the scene, and structural defects, there
were several other important factors-in its
failure that go to the heart of the problems
facing Jewish feminism today.
One is that Jewish women have refused
10 organize themselves to struggle politically
for equality. This is exemplified by the fact
that the only two major national Jewish women's conferences—in 1973 and 1974—were
organized not by women, but by the North
American Jewish Students' Network, at the
time a progressive umbrella group. After
Network went on to focus on other issues
and later, evolved into a right-wing group,
there were no more national Jewish wornWhile there were local JFO meetings in
Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, and Toronto in the immediate years after these two
conferences, the approach of Jewish femi-
nists in the past few years has been to ti
to find established organizations to sponsc
these conferences instead of organizing thei
by themselves.
V::c suit, of course, if L lack of control
• the structure and Dntent of these
Jewish feminist
(Two ye;
panel at the 92nd. Street Y was turned into
an inane debate by the man in charge when
he added a male rabbi to the panel.) And the
recent conference at Ansche Chesed, under
NCJW sponsorship was, in the opinion of
one participant, "very tame."
The approach of most Jewish feminists
seems to be to influence "leaders" to lead
the rest of the community in the right direction and to come up with solutions and
strategy, rather than to struggle politically
themselves for the attainment of equality.
This approach, of course, is rooted in the
politically naive premise that the people—
men—holding the power will be willing to
press for changes that will weaken or take
away their power.
Furthermore, even the "influencing" itself
is not direct. The main activity of leading
Jewish feminists has been in the areas of
research, writing, publishing, and lecturing.
While these are important prerequisites for
action, they are no substitute for it. The
assumption is that by some process of osmosis, the ideas expressed via these media will
inspire correct action on the part of the
"leaders." Even these written and spoken
words are lacking in analysis of how and
why the power structure keeps women powResistence to Confrontation
This attitude and approach derives from
the consistent, though unacknowledged, resistance among Jewish feminists to confronting the Jewish establishment on issues that
concern them, and demanding specific reforms. At a session of the Ansche Chesed
conference, a woman in the audience asked
author Francine Klagsbrun, a Conservative
Jewish feminist, why there was "no uprising"
in the community when the ordination of
women was tabled in 1979.
Her answer was that many women were
unsure of their position because their rabbis
opposed ordination—even though the hearings held by the Conservative movement in
the community had revealed high grass-roots
support for ordination. Further, she said,
"women were scared, mostly of causing divisiveness in the community." Said Hyman
in her interview, "We are reluctant to get
too far from the Jewish community."
Nor have Jewish feminists employed the
alternative strategy for bringing about social
change: organizing their own institutions—•
such as Jewish day-care centers; programs
for women's higher education; aid to distressed women such as battered wives, the
homeless, and the elderly; and publishing
companies to print non-sexist material—or
even organizational frameworks to fund such
projects. (An organization called "Women
to Women" funds only Israeli projects.)
Lilith, the Jewish feminist magazine, continues to operate on a shoe-string while serving as well as the major referral center for
people seeking services such as day-care,
shelters, non-sexist wedding ceremonies,
speakers, women rabbis, and sources for
No Real Support
Finally, Jewish feminist concerns have
generally received little or no real support
from the leading Jewish women's volunteer
organizations, who have vast resources, political savvy, and large, though mostly inactive, memberships at their disposal, Their
response has ranged from outright hostility
to withdrawal, to paying tepid lip-service
to general feminist demands such as ERA.
The arguments advanced by most of these
organizations on their lack of involvement
in Jewish feminism is that it is not their
reason for existence and/or that it will conflict with their fund-raising. Underlying these
arguments is an unwillingness to deal with
the issue of restructuring volunteerism to
meet the needs of today's multi-committed—
and vastly over-worked—women, and the
Jewish community as a whole.
In the final analysis, what has made the
achievements of the past 12 years possible
was not so much the work of the Jewish feminist movement, but, primarily, the faM-oul
effect from the general women's movement
and its revolutionary impact on society.
Whether or not this will continue to obtain
in what Agus called the "second stage of Jewish feminism," or whether there will be recognition—at last-—of the need for organizational structure to advance further, is the
main issue Jewish feminists will now have
to begin to confront.
• •
of your
cluck chef s apron.
_ MltCHIG (blue scripo
• FLEISHIG (red script)
Postage & handling
Total amount enclosed
Thanks to Diet PARKAY
people are starting to take traditional
foods more lightly.
From bagels to kasha. Diet PARKAY Reduced Calorie Margarine is helping to make
traditional foods lighter. Because il has 50% less fat and 50% fewer calories than
regular margarine. And it has a delicious flavor your whole family will tave.
PO. Box 6133 • seading. P A • 19610
_ _ _
Landmark WAO Convention Stresses Needs of "Technology and People"
In what is already being spoken of as "one
of the most exciting, relevant and significant
Conventions in its history," some 1200 delegates representing Chapters. Chapters at
Large, Area Councils, Regions and Dislrics
from across the country met in Los Angeles
October 16-19 to focus on the theme of
"People Need Technology/Technology Needs
Innovative programming and a star studded
roster of speakers including experts from the
world of education, high technology, Jewish
and American public life and the world ORT
network, provided, in the words of Sandy
Isenstein, National Convention Chairman, "a
perfect occasion to highlight the importance
:rconnection between scientific
lal and fc
:al edui
Setting the tone, the gala opening night banquet featured a major address by Congressman Ed Zschau (R. Calif.) and the presentation of WAO's Human Rights Award to Beate
and Serge Klarsfeld fsee story below). Special
guests included donors and sponsors of
LAOTI. the Los Angeles ORT Technical Institute (which is scheduled to open in September 1986 and serve as part of ORT's expanding Operational Presence in America) and
leading members of the Los Angeles communiiy.
In his address. Congressman Zschau declared thai the development of high technology in the U.S. and around the world will, in
contradistinction to conventional opinion, re~
nology, if "properly applied." will serve to
"extend human strength and intellect and provide human beings with increasing freedom
from routine and drudgery." Declaring that
the purpose of technology is to enable human
beings "to achieve their full potential," he
stressed that the educational system in a high
technology society must prepare people "to
tolerate and adjust to change: the educational
system must have a "broad-base" and must
give its graduates the "ability for general
thinking" and education should "continue for
a lifetime."
Unique Exhibit
A unique high technolooy Exhibit featuring
computers donated by Digital Equipment and
Apple Computer and outfitted with ORT softRETIRING FROM WORLD ORT after a life- ware augmented by a Resource Center slocklime of service, Bernard Wand-Polak, Director ed with cassette tapes as well as WAO organiLatin American Operations, WOU receives a spe- zational liteurature. and an ORT Screening
cial award from Mrs. MinkolT on behalf of WAO. Room showing ORT videotapes and films, enabled delegates to obtain the latest information and experience "hands-on" some recent
developments in technology.
A distinguished roster of guests from the
ORT world offered first hand reports: Joseph
Harmatz. Director-General. World ORT Union; Joshua Flidel. Director. WOU for Latin
America; Israel Gorainik, Director-General,
ORT Israel; and Jules Bloch. Director-General, ORT France. Parvine Moatamed, Coordinator. WOU Programs. U.S. was a special
guest. In addition, Bernard Wand-Polak, former Director of Latin American Operations,
FIVE PRESIDENTS: Helen Rosenberg, WAO who is retiring from the World ORT network,
Honorary National President; Gertrude S. White, received a special award for his lifetime of
newly elected National President; Beverly Min- extraordinary service and Nathan Gould. NakofF, whose term expired al Convention, and past tional Executive Director and Executive Vice
presidents, Ruth Eisenberg and Florence S. Ros(Continued on page 12, col. 1)
WORLD ORT UNION DIGNITARIES played an important role in the week's activities, delivering major addresses and participating in panels and informal meetings. With Beverly MinkolT,
WAO National President (center); Gertrude S. White, Chairman, National Executive Committee
(second from right); and Nathan Gould, National Executive Director and Executive Vice President (second from left) are Joshua Flidel, Director WOU for Latin America; Parvine Moatamed,
Coordinator, WOU Programs, US; Jules Bloch, Director, ORT France; Israel Gorainik, Director
General, ORT Israel; and Joseph Harmatz, Director General, WOU.
FRESHMAN DELEGATES RECEIVED ORIENTATION at a special meeting conducted by
Convention Chairman Sandy Isenstein right, and Reese Feldman, Chairman Organisation Subcommittee, Riling in for Ruth Talfel, Convention Co-Chairman, who could not attend.
Beate Klarsfeld: 'Stalking Nazis for 20 Years9
In 1939. only months before Adolf Hitler
plunged Europe into World War II, Beate
Kuenzel, the only child of a Berlin insurance
clerk, was born. Her father was a "good
German," his daughter recalls, who. because
he was ordered to. fought for the glory of
the Third Reich.
"My parents were like many Germans,
neither for nor against Nazism," she says.
"They were passive, the kind of people who
made it possible for Hitler to come to pow-
"Serge . . . introduced me to the history
of my own country, and through him I encountered the terrifying reality of Nazism."
Beate says.
That knowledge changed Beate's life in a
way that she. a child of Nazi Germany,
could never have imagined. As her naivete
crumbled, she became increasingly interested
in the atrocities of the Third Reich. In doing
so. she spurred her husband, a militant Zionist, into looking even harder at the conditions
that led to the death of his father.
In 1960, while in Paris as a student, Beate
Kuenzel met her future husband. Serge
Klarsfeld. as both waited in a metro station
for the train to come. He was the son of
a Jew who had died in Auschwitz, and he
to!d Beate how he had hidden in a closet
of the family apartment in Nice as his father
was taken away by German soldiers one
night in September of 1943, never to return.
Single-Minded Mission
They immersed themselves in the subject
until they finally decided to dedicate their
lives to a single-minded mission: They would
hunt for members of the Nazi hierarchy
responsible for ordering the deaths of six
million European Jews during the war.
The Klarsfelds have been successfully
stalking Nazi fugitives around the world for
nearly 20 years, yet until recently they were
relatively unknown in this country compared
with Simon Wiesenthal, the Holocaust survivor best known for capturing Adolf Eich-
IRA RIFKIN is a slaff writer for the Lc*
Angeles Daily News, where this article origi
nally appeared, and from which it ix reprinte<
with permission.
i in Fra
they 1
and in
to Beate Klarsfeld by Beverly MinkolT, National
President "with deep admiration and recognition
for your untiring efforts to eliminate injustice.1"
Israel, where they are repeatedly honored.
Beate came to Los Angeles to accept WAO's
Human Rights Award, presented to her at
fhe Convention's Opening Night Banquet, on
behalf of their work. A friend's death caused
Their obscurity outside of Frar • and
Israel changed earlier this yeaT with the extradition of Klaus Barbie from Bolivia to
France to stand trial for his alleged role in
the deaths of 7,000 Jews deported from
France to German gas chambers and forcedlabor camps. The Klarsfelds were largely responsible for the return to France of the
69-year-old former head of the Gestapo in
Lyons, France. Barbie is currently in a
French prison awaiting trial.
Barbie's case made headlines in this country when it was revealed, also by the Klarsfelds, that the United States had protected
Barbie after World War II in return for his
intelligence information and had arranged
for his resettlement in South America.
The news of U.S. involvement touched off
shock waves in this country, but it came
as no surprise to the Klarsfelds.
"It was much more surprising to the
young people in particular, than it was to
me because we know that all the Allies, the
English, the French, also shielded Nazi war
says ,
upset by it, but Serge and I
are very much realistic," she continues,
speaking in heavily accented English. 'There
(Continued on page 12, col. 1)
network news
The ORT Spivack Educational Center in Holon was recently awarded
the President's prize for the second consecutive yei
the exceptional volunteer work performed by its students and teachers.
The students undertook to help the neighborhood's
few hundred elderly residents, particularly the blind.
They visited hon ies regularly, did domestic and repair work, organized
holiday celebrati' )ns for the Golden Agers, made toys and distributed
them to kinderea tens in the neighborhood, helped youngsters with school
work and performed plays and musicals in hospitals.
Through the collaboration of ORT Milan with the Lombardy region authorities in joint projects researching educational techORT Italy
nology and methodology, the five-year business and
commercial school ORT operates in the Milan Jewish
day school continues to meet the demands of parents
and students. Recognized by the Ministry of Public
Instruction, the curriculum offered gives students an all-round education,
equivalent to a high school diploma, as well as access to the job markets.
Sections in computer technology have been added recently both to
the curriculum and after regular hours, enhancing the already wideranging courses in Italian, English, French, math, physics, science, business and office skills which helps play an essential role in keeping this
community vibrant.
A number of innovations in curriculum as well as additions of "state of
the art" equipment are currently being incorporated
in classes at the Bramson ORT Technical Institute
in NYC, designed to help those seeking to learn the
latest developments in high technology and business
as well as the unemployed.
Through the addition of a number of computer terminals linked to
a remote IBM 4341 system, and an on-site PRIME 550 super minicomputer, computer programming has been vastly expanded. Students now
have easy acess to terminals for computer time and the school is also
increasing its number of microcomputers, since the expansion of its
APPLE lab and the establishent of a second micro computer laboratory.
Help Us Charter New Chapters-at-Large in the Following Target Areas for 1983-84:
Spr.ingfield/Holyoke, Massachusetts
Danbury, Connecticut
I X ^
. Ann Arbor, Michigan
Binghamton, New York
jr \
Louisville, Kentucky
Uttca, New York
S J - ^ | _/^
> * T X > ^ L ^
Omaha, Nebraska
Kingston, New York
> ^ "^—T v ^
Evansville, Indiana
Sant3 Ros3r Califorrlia
Panther Valley, New Jersey ^^M ^ B / T ^ V
Vineland, New Jersey
^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ 9 | " ~ ^ ^*S
^ \ t ^ ^ H ^ ^ ^
Portland, Oregon
Frederick, Maryland
^^K J , i .S
Sacramento, California
Anapolis. Maryland
y T / / | /
v ^ \r -f W
Long Beach, California
Naples, Florida
—\ J^
Beverly Hills, California
. J ^
\ X. 1 X
Santa Monica, California
New Part Richey, Florida
Florida Keys, Florida
^ s , L ^
* ^
Give us the names of your contacts... Give us the names of
your friends... Give us the names of your daughters...
your acquaintances... your neighbors... Give us
members to support our global program!
May we use your name?..
Send to:
Telephone: (212) 505-7700
letters to the editor
Project. What The Hunger Project dered milk should not constitute a
have a stigma—like a stepmother ix concerned about doing, is to asso- problem in those countries where
or other bad ideas—it does have a ciate itself with organizations such water is not drinkable. Water can
useful function. It gives totai care as ORT that are actually taking be boiled and then mixed with powto people who need it. I have concrete action to make the world dered milk, making it perfectly safe
learned to live with that thought. a better place. Other than describ- for drinking. We ourselves lived for
Maybe there is a better way, but ing how it has signed up 2,604,854 many years in Bolivia, South Amerour society has not yet found it. people "as an expression of their ica, and did drink powdered milk
Years ago when people lived on commitment," there was no other mixed with boiled water. Even imfarms, grandparents were part of indication of The Hunger Project's pasteurized milk has to be boiled,
as it is not 100% safe to drink.
the large households—but certainly activities.
Students will also use Computer Assisted Instruction (CAI) in mathe- our lives are different today—and
Critics have condemned The Oakland, Calif.
matics and Accounting, and study special packages as Visicalc.
my dear mother understood that. Hunger Project as an attempt to
Word Processing has also seen major expansion and now has four It is a year since my mother died, give the world of est a "do-good"
Jacquard 425 systems. Extremely sophisticated, these machines include but to us she died long before— image and the letter did little to
an Optical Character Reader (OCR).
dispel these criticsms. Like ORT,
Being a member of O R T for over
the est organizations are interna- 12 years and the mother of three
The Department of Electronics Technology is now offering Robottional in scope, and are now con- asthmatic children, I was extremely
ics in its curriculum, aided by a Smart Arm and a Genesis Robot. Comducting training sessions in Israel. distressed t o see the picture accomputer Aided Design (CAD) is aJso stressed, and the college continues to Livingston, N.J.
In my opinion, while est may be a panying t h e article entitled "Teachoffer an advanced course allowing students to build their oyn TIMEX/
Hunger Project
temporary pep pill for some who ers a n d Public Education" on page
go through the training, it is a 15 of your Fall 1983 issue. I also
I regret to see that your publi- Mickey Finn for the Jewish Comwas an educator and never smoked
cation has allowed its "Letters to munity as a whole.
while in t h e vicinity of m y students.
the Editor" collection to have beH o w can t h e pictured teacher
>c for;
ntro" c a r e " for the students leaning over
versial organization, The Hunger Encino, CA
him when h e is inflicting his smoke
on them? Also, what kind of examThe Hunger Project is an entity TO OUR READERS:
Since the letter from the Hunger
ple and influence is he having on his
which has close ties with the same
organization that rakes in large Project's NGO Representative to the students when they see him indulgsums of money providing est "train- UN appeared in our pages-, we have ing in his habit and they are making
ing." The Hunger Project is essen- received tz number of letters com- decisions whether or not to smoke?
tially manned by est "graduates" ment'mg on, and raising similar quesJANET HANRAHAN
and therefore embodies est's rather tions about that organization's purun-Jewish world view in expressed pose and activities. Subsequently we Bainbridge Island, W A
efforts to "end hunger and starva- made several inquiries and learned
that the issue I s very complex with
tion by the end of this century."
• clet
• easy c
Est "training" itself is controverYour Fall. 1983 issue included an
We would, he er. like
sial. The four-day program it proarticle in tribute to o u r recently d e vides, at a rather hefty expense to mind our readers that the purpose ceased H o n o r a r y National Presi11
its participants, is physically and of our "letters column is to enable dent, Florence Dolowitz. I call y o u r
emotionally debilitating. Psychiatric
attention to the photograph of M r s .
journals have reported psychotic press the if views on a variety of Dolowitz beneath which is a caption
breaks following the training. Some subjects-—including responses, pro stating that it was taken a t the 23rd
of the individuals that get through and ct?n, to articles that appear in National Biennial Convention in
the training, aside from vigorously our pages—and to letters from other N e w York, 1975.
attempting to sign-up all their rela- readers. Thus, publication of a let-.
Correction: T h e picture was taken
tives and friends for est seminars,
a couple of years earlier at a meetfind themselves on an emotional endorse the
' of the individual
ing of t h e North Shore Long Island
"high," as the seminars have con- or organizat
-but simply that we
vinced them that they are essentially believe that view1 has a right to be Region held in Westbury, Long I s T h e region banner is hanging
Gods within their own universes.
presented toOuri eadt **•
• • land.
behind M r s . Dolowitz in the photo,
Therefore, using the kind of posi- —The Edit,>rs)
and some of the lettering of t h e retive thinking approach that breaks
gion name can clearly be seen. I was
the sound barrier. The Hunger Proj- To the Editor:
region president at the time.
ect believes that if enough people
. . . In reference to the article in
simply "take responsibility" to end
President, District II, WAO
hunger, it will disappear. Ignorance, about World Health Efforts, regardsocial injustice and political corrup- ing bottle feeding of children with NYC, NY
tion—factors that all have a good milk formula — of course, breast
(We sincerely regret the error and
deal to do with world hunger—are feeding is the best possible nourish- appreciate the correction. — The
not a major concern of The Hunger ment. But after breast feeding, pow- Editors)
. - ' " • -
- • • • - ; . - . -
i= " . . ' ' •
ad from page 2)
Page 7
"Dissent in Judaism":
An Opposing View
Meyer Bass' article on "Dissent in Judaism" (Spring '83) rests on the unquestioned assumption that liberalism is as natural a home for Jews as air is to humans or
water to fish, and all that need worry us are
some minor pollution problems. It can no
longer go unchallenged.
Upset at the transformation of American
Jewry, Bass accuses them of "biand conformity, adopting the current . . . conservative mentality as their own." Well, so what?
Conservatism is not anti-Jewish, nor the intellectual equivalent of pork. It isn't an alien
philosophy grafted onto liberal Jewish naturalness. No one "owns" it. It isn't conformity, bland or otherwise. For a variety of
reasons Jews are abandoning or modifying
their traditional liberalism. Instead of sinking to name calling, Jewish liberals would
do better to understand why the change is
Bass makes the totally unsubstantiated
claim that there is no "dissent," that "timidity" characterizes Jewish thought with "limits
on our right . . . to express criticism," Bass
implies Jewish life is not, holy of holies,
Nonsense! Meyer Bass was certainly free
to express his "dissenting" opinions in the
REPORTER. Similiar views appear ad nauseum
in both the Jewish and secular media and
are voiced at meetings and conventions. But
he is absolutely correct stating "opposing
views are no longer tolerated." Seldom is
there support for a conservative "viewpoint,
an unapologetic understanding of Israel.
He continues. "Democracy can only be
predicated on the experience of an open society where dissent is accepted as a tenet of
human rights." Again correct. So accept the
fact that there are Jewish conservatives, religious Jews, Jews who back Menachem Begin, identify with Gush Emunim!.
During all the years secular liberal Jews
and organizations dominated Jewish public
life in America—during all the years the
Labor party controlled the Israeli government there was little or no talk of the "right
to disagree" or "the need for religious and
cultural pluralism in Jewish life"—despite
the fact that organized Jewish life was basically monochromatic and those with differing outlooks such as the religious or conservative were relegated to marginal roles
within the greater community, with little
influence, made to feel their attitudes were
un-American, un-Jewish, or "not good for
the Jews."
In the past several years, the situation has
begun to change. The same receptivity to
new ideas and people that has occurred in
the United States at large has also penetrated its Jewish leadership. Formerly-ignored voices have become louder and stronger, at ihe same time as some of these formerly powerful have waned.
Seeking new alliances and new solutions,
these new segments have expanded Jewish
But how ; i the Jewish representatives
ETHEL C. FENIG-is a writer and tec
living in Chicago.
adjusting to the new openness and the new
diversity in their community; to sharing their
leadership with people whose opinions and
core beliefs differ so radically from theirs?
A Strong Response
Unfortunately, the majority can't tolerate
it. Many resent it and strike back, discrediting the emerging ideas as Jewishly inauthentic; at the same time claiming paradoxically
that now, suddenly there is "no dissent" in
Jewish life, it is suppressed.
Ironically, they are correct. However, the
liberal leadership is not the victim, hut the
cause. Exaggeration? No. A few examples.
• Outraged and out of power now that an
avowedly conservative President is in the
White House with Jewish votes, some liberal Jews seek a scapegoat, and find it in
agement, and on their own initiative, many
of these Christians have stretched out a hand
of friendship toward Jews. It has been
slapped down—and hard.
Understandably Jews are somewhat suspicious because so many people from this
background have been so anti-Jewish in the
past; some still are. Fundamentalist support
for Israel is further questioned because it
is often based upon an envisioned ultimate
We Jews have carefully courted various
liberal, left groups of all kinds for years,
often diluting or distorting Judaism while
ignoring our own interests. We've been rewarded with abuse and scorn; Israel is regularly condemned in the harshest terms.
Yes, it is time for Jews to "build coalitions
But Menachem Begin was enthusiastically
supported by the Sephardim, who don't necessarily equate Western civilization with cultural superiority.
Meyer Bass, like many other liberals, does
not like Menachem Begin. That is, of course,
his privilege. But his disapproval distorts
his perspective.
Bass parrots the (erroneous) canards about
Begin and the Israeli government—a leader
of "an underground . . . organization that
. . . restorted to terror tactics," "Judaea and
Samaria are "Occupied Areas" where "Israel's tough, restrictive and sometimes punitive occupation policies have . . . sharply divided factions in her Knesset."
As a person who argues for the right of
disagreement within the Jewish community,
sidized by a major Jewish organization. Ignoring the basic liberal article of faith—free"For a variety of reasons, (American) Jews are abandoning
dom of the press—a few demand an end to
or modifying their traditional liberalism. Instead
the subsidy, or at least revamping the magazine's tone. As far as I know, and to its
of . . . name calling, Jewish liberals would do better
credit, the organization has not yet interto try to understand why...."
But it makes one wonder: Does freedom
of the press and speech extend to only those
who agree with the liberal line?
with other responsible constituencies." Most Bass is amazingly unperturbed that Begin's
• As a private citizen, an employee of an elements of the New Right, the Old Right, party, the Revisionists, was forced out of the
World Zionist Organization because the latAmerican Jewish organization living in Is- and Fundamentalism meet this standard.
ter disagreed with them. No dissension alrael publishes an article which supports the
A "Democratic Revolution"
lowed in those not-so-halcyon days.
Israeli action in Lebanon. As a result, the
But if the liberal old guard is upset by
In Mr. Bass's eyes, virtues become defects
the metamorphosis of American Jewry, it when practiced by the opposition. Israel,
• Menachem Begin accepts an award from was and is still absolutely livid at the fairly under Begin, did not suppress the Labor
a fundamentalist Christian organization that recent defeat of the Labor Party by Mena- Party; people are as free as ever. And yet,
strongly supports Israel. The liberals howl, chem Begin and the Likud. They still haven't "after 35 years and five major wars, Israel
claiming the fundamentalists want to de- reconciled themselves to this democratic rev- finds itself in conflict." No, no, no. This is
stroy the Bill of Rights, and denounce Mr. olution, the fact that after 30 solid years of not sudden. When has Israel not been in
Begin for exercising his right of freedom Labor rule, Menachem Begin, a leader of conflict? Why can't he interpret this as an
of association.
the opposition, won election and re-election example of a vibrant democracy continuing
The list could go on and on.
as Prime Minister. In Israel's history, the to function under extreme external pressures
I believe that, whatever their, reasons, Jews views of Begin and his party, Herut, have
should certainly listen to, and become ac- at best been ignored and at worst, wildly
There is "a storm of controversy and
quainted with, all segments of the population distorted and-a Hacked.
dissension over government policy," Israeli
Menachem Begin of the Revisionists, a
ship with them and with Israel. Doing so man with deep respect for and knowledge opinion is "split," the various ethnic groups
doesn't necessarily imply agreement with the of Judaism; a man who didn't need to re- are supposedly even more hostile. Well, there
entire philosophy of that group, it merely place Judaism with socialism or other ideol- goes his argument that dissension is not alacknowledges the "religious and cultural ogies. Menachem Begin, content at being lowed in the Jewish community!
pluralism" that exists in America, while Jewish and proud of living in Israel; who
But Bass's confusion and those of his feloffering those opportunities for open dia- understands all too well the depths to which low thinkers regarding "dissent" and Israel
logue that didn't previously exist.
peaks as he asks a question that has been
Christians and Moslems will sink.
By all means there should be a "shedding
Menachem Begin as Prime Minister of repeated so often that its implied answer has
of 'parochialism, passivity and paralysis' by Israel. Oh, how it grated! What can the become unquestioned Truth.
the adoption of vigorous countermeasures Jewish liberals say to their Genlile liberal
"Why," he whines, "should American Jews
and responses—such as the "education of friends? What will they think?
(Continued on page 10 col.])
membership, clear articulation of the issues,
and a strong commitment to action." So far
it hasn't been implemented. Let us truly
listen to these new voices, understand them
Open Forum is designed to serve as a vehicle for the free and
and see how we can work together.
The Fundamentalists
Adherents of the New Right and Fundamentalist Christianity have had very little
contact with the organized Jewish community. This wasn't merely because of antiSemitism, although it certainly played a part.
Many Fundamentalists live in small towns
with few or no Jews. Interests of those on
the right and the Jews usually do not overlap: indeed they are often in opposition.
Despite this, with absolutely no encour-
open expression of ideas and opinions on issues affecting Jewish
life both in the American and world community. Its basic principle
supports the right and seeks to provide the opportunity for topics
of concern to a democratic and vital community to be aired publicly
in the interest of stimulating responsible discussion, reflection and
debate even if those views differ with those of the editors of this
publication or WAO as an organization.
Traditionally one of the main principles of
Israel's political, military, and diplomatic
posture has been that all its wars have been
forced on it by the aggressive intentions or
actions of its neighbors. Linked to this fact,
and arising out of it is the additional principle of maintaining as broad a national
consensus as possible on the justice and unavoidability of a war, given added pertinence
because of the unique nature of the Israeli
Army with its heavy reliance on civilian
The lapse of time since the start of the war
in Lebanon (considered by many to have
violated these two principles) now provides
us with a perspective from which to gauge
the validity of these principles, as well as to
assess the myriad consequences of ignoring
Internally, the most noted consequence
Israel's Prote
and varied, and those who wish to underP e0 P Ie a t P res "
ent—at its deepest and most meaningful
personal and national level—would do well
punishment, when an individual feels that a
war is being waged which lacks mora! justification, strategic imperatives, or political advantage.
In dealing with the problem of selective
who hold the
has, for the most part, adopted a policy of
restraint. Nearly all the resisters have been
tried, not in court-martial, but through the
disciplinary procedures of each unit, where
the maximum penalty is 35-day i m prison mem. For the reservist, this often equals the
period he would have served anyway, and
at the end of his term of imprisonment he
is released back into civilian life, although
shortly afterwards received an
add it
Many members of Yeisk Gvul and likeminded non-members are not always confronted with the direct challenge of refusal,
since they are able to resolve their problem
by personally requesting their superior officers not to call them up for duty in Lebanon.
Often such requests are granted by officers
who respect the resister's motives, who know
of a given individual's impeccable service in
the past, and who may even identify with
the sentiments expressed.
s l a n d t h e m o o d of t h e Israe!i
Zionist cause dear, and those
ferael's welfare is of major concern.
As of October 1983, the number of soldiers who had been imprisoned for refusing
to serve in Lebanon was over 100. Some of
these draft resisters were acting spontaneously on their own; most have organized them
s into
a play on words in Hebrew which c otes
not only, ' These is a border, " but al
primarily in this case, "Ther e is a li
for w h o m
f the war, when a group of several hunred reserve soldiers, officers, and members
f combat units, came out with a public
eclaration stating their opposition to the
". . . until now, a key aspect of Israel's strength and spirit has
been that in matters of security, there is a national consensus."
has been a widespread opposition to the war,
including, for the first time in Israel's history, the phenomenon of draft resistance, or
to be more precise—the deliberate violation
of orders to serve in Lebanon.
The mood in Israel now is of a country
divided over the justice and justification of
a prolonged war. For since its outbreak in
June 1982, Israel has witnessed mass demonstrations, protest vigils, and selective conscientious objection on a scale unknown
heretofore. Never before has our society
witnessed the outpouring of resentment and
frustration that marked the war in Lebanon
from its earliest days.
Thus, today Israeli society is, in many respects, reenacting the agonies and trauma
which the American people underwent during its Vietnam war. Although some of
the pressures have subsided since our pullback to the Awali river, most of the scars
have remained. Indeed, white the Israeli
casualty rate fa major factor in the decision
to withdraw) has been reduced, the withdrawal itself has led to renewed debate over
Israel's moral responsibility for resumption
of the internecine slaughter in Lebanon m
A Unique Aspect
The unique aspect of protest in Israel
today—both in contrast to previous wars
and in comparison with similar protest in
other countries—is that so much of it emanates specifically from those who are integrally bound up with what is considered
the mainstream of Israeli life. Many of the
most vocal protesters are reserve officers in
the army, members of crack volunteer units,
instances, recipients of awards for heroism
or for exemplary conduct.
Manifestations of the protest are many
war and asking not to be called up for service in Lebanon, as such service would run
counter to their conscience. Over the course
of time the numbers of signatories swelled
to over 2,000, and the group has slowly
been making an impact on public opinion.
A Crucial Dilemma
The movement now serves as an overall
address for those whose opposition to the
war raises moral questions of conscience.
Some (veterans of many of Israel's past
wars) are facing a crucial personal dilemma
they never envisaged would confront them.
Yeisk Gvul provides these people with a
philosophical basis for their action, as well
as legal advice and moral support. It has also
made a point of ensuring constant pubicity
for what is a new phenomenon in Israeli life;
occasionally paid advertisements appear in the
newspapers, giving the names of the latest
soldiers who refused to serve and were punished, and calling upon the government to
recognize their right to selective conscientious
objection. Demonstrations of support have
been held outside the military prison, and a
recent all-night open-air concert and happening attracted over 10,000 people.
At a far deeper level, the movement is
Israeli public that there can be, in principle,
but that there
self or herself) that lay down the parameters
of permissible behavior for a thinking, concerned individual — however loyal to the
state, however responsible in fulfilling civic
obligations, however responsive to the needs
of his people that person may be. To the
contrary, it is precisely these qualities, they
claim, that demand personal sacrifice and
dictate the act of refusal and acceptance of
Most Notable Instance
While Yeish Gvul is an ongoing movement, the most.notable instance of refusal
during the course of the war was that of
Eli Geva, a high-ranking officer with no
known affiliation with any protest group.
Geva's protest was aimed not against the
war as such, but against one specific aspect
of it: the plans to send Israeli troops into
the besieged area of West Beirut.
Geva, the son of one of Israel's bestknown generals, was widely acknowledged
as an outstanding combat officer with a
demonstrate outside Hie Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv
which destroyed an Israeli military compound in Tyre
read "Admit failure; pull the IDF out of Lebanon" and
Video Games: Dangerous "Addic
Are our nation's young people" turning into
"video addicts" or simply learning to cope
No one has the answer at this point, but as
the video game cra^e continues to escalate,
there is growing concern among many parents, teachers and school officials at the pull
coin-operated video games still exert on their
Video games, critics argue, are nothing
more than "junk food for the mind." Arcades, they contend, encourage truancy problems, and drug dealing occurs at some of
of these
compose music, build imaginary structures,
etc., can produce "robotized," ill-tempered
are basically a harmless form of entertainment. However, they say, these games do
have a positive—they teach hand-eye coorther motor skills that will
someday be useful in a computer-oriented
society. Most importantly, kids obviously
love them.
Moves to Ban
As the coniroversy rages, some parents
are pressing municipalities to ban video game
:ctronic games may induce
their object, they argue, is "to destroy the
menacing obstacle before it has a chance
to destroy you." In short, war games. Video
games, say these opponents, in contrast to
useful computer games, which, they feel,
allow youngsters to create graphic designs,
DAVID ALLWYN is a new contributor.
"According to a recent survey,
teenagers now play video
spend over 10 million hours a da:
studies or other
st Movement
promising future, who had added to his
renown during the fighting in and around
Beirut in the early days of the war. His opposition to entering West Beirut was based
on the anticipated heavy casualties, both to
civilians trapped with the PLO forces, and
to Israeli troops endangered by the difficult
conditions of urban warfare.
Geva was not alone in expressing his reservations about the proposed action, and it
is widely considered in Israel lhat one of the
was the pressure on the military and political
leadership from members of the elite units
that had excelled in the early stages of the
war and would be expected to bear the
brunt of a West Beirut offensive.
Geva was, however, the most outspoken
of those who shared his views,'taking his
arguments to the Chief of Genera! Staff, the
Minister of Defense and, finally, the Prime
could not, in al! good conscience, lead his
soldiers into a battle which he so bitterly
opposed, yet unwilling to abandon his troops,
Geva asked to be relieved of his command
and to fight as an ordinary line soldier,
assuring his superiors that if the order to
enter West Beirut was given, he would, as
an ordinary soldier, carry it out. He simply
could not, as an officer, take responsibility
for the lives of his men or of innocent ci-
Photo Credit: Andre Bruti
e protest group composed of parents of Israeli
l November), following the suicide truck bomb
n, killing about 50 people. Some of the
as will we pay the price of your failnrel"
For reasons never made pubiic, the army
decided neither to grant Geva's request nor
put him on trial. Rather, he was relieved
altogether of his post in Lebanon and transferred from permanent service to reserve
It is of interest to note that, while the
at the time of the Eli Geva affair, the army
• • : . ' - . . , v;s:':.?]S
lion" or Valuable Learning Tool?
parlors: indeed, several municipalities, including Babylon, L.I., Oakland, Calif., Marlborough, Mass. and Durham, N.H. have already enacted ordinances that restrict the use
of coin-operated video games by teenagers
during school hours. Some large cities, including Boston, Chicago and San Francisco,
are presently considering proposals to regulate the public use of these games.
This past summer, Paul Nuzzi, 18, a college freshman from Kings Point, L.I., an
innocent bystander, was shot to death following an argument and fistfight over a PacMan game. There have been other incidents
around the country, scraps, people injured.
93% (22 million) of America's
•ames.Children of all ages . , .
on them—time once given to sports,
creative outlets."
"Parents in cities are trying to get kids
out of hangouts." says one Chicago public
official who favors a prohibition on the use
of video machines by those under 18.
"Is is definitely an addiction," says one
worried mother. "Society has always legislated to protect children — drinking, bars,
smoking," she adds.
"There is fear anywhere children congregate," counters the marketing director for
one manufacturer. "When I grew up there
were poo! halls, bowling alleys, pinball machines. Parents are just afraid of (he un-
was sent in weeks later, following the assassination of Bashir Gemayei, President-elect of
Lebanon. Ostensibly sent to prevent a bloodbath between Christians and Moslems, Israeli
soldiers ended up as passive bystanders while
vengeful Phalangists wrought atrocities upon
Palestinians in the Sabra and Shatila camps.
It was this very passivity that led to the most
significant protest connected with the war,
when 400,000 people gathered in the square
in front of Tel Aviv's City Hall to call for
a judicial inquiry into Israel's role in the
massacre, and call upon Prime Minister
Menachem Begin and Defense Minister Arik
, to r iign.
ation of 400,000
one of the high marks of opposition to
war, it focused mainly on the happenat Sabra and Shatila. Prior to this, other
onstrations had been he!d hy various
covered the war in the Falklands—even the
much-vaunted BBC comes off poorly in contrast to the independent reporting by much
of Israel's government-owned radio and teleIndeed, the ultimate testament to the
strength of Israel's democracy came from one
of [he biggest mishaps of the war—the bystander role of Israei's army to the massacre
of Palestinians by Christian Phalangists at
Sabra and Shatila. The government, finally
acceding to pubiic pressure, appointed the
Kahan Commission, which recommended
that Defense Minister Sharon resign, and
made critical comments about then Prime
Minister Begin, and the present Prime Minister (then Foreign Minister) Itzhak Shamir.
The report itself drew much positive response
from public figures and newspapers throughout the world, and is generally considered to
have made a major contribution to restoring
" . . . Yet today, like the U.S. in the '60's, Israel has had to face
the issue of protest against an unpopular and prolonged war...."
>nd year—
the Peace Now movement (about a month
Noi s the
of i
after the war had begun), at a stage when especially ; I becoi
some of its members were being demobil- in the mo? difficult of circus
ized, or returning from stints of duty for have the protests grown and taken on new
short holiday breaks. Most of the speakers forms. One of the most significant has been
who addressed this crowd of some 100,000 the spontaneous grass-roots movement of
were those who had fought in Lebanon. "Mothers Against Silence," who, in public
They spoke of their distaste for the war, meetings, and in private interviews with caband in some instances movingly invoked the inet ministers, have called for a withdrawal
memory of their fallen comrades. Peace of troops and described the anguish of their
Now could, in fact, claim that it had un- constant concern for the safety of their sons
impeachable credentials for voicing opposi- in Lebanon, exposed to surprise ambush and
tion, as it had been in the forefront of those embroiled in the regular eruptions of that
who had foreseen the possibility of 3 war nation's factional fighting.
and had warned against it. Some six weeks
Grassroots Movement
before the war actually broke out, Peace
Another small grass-roots movement has
Now had organized a rally of some 30,000
people at a time when there was a strong found expression through maintaining a 24hour
a handful of persons, acting in
possibility that military action would be taken in response to the killing of an Israeli relays, outside the home of the Prime Minister,
against the war. and with
diplomat in France. The later assassination
attempt in London, a few weeks later, did an up-dated number of those killed. On sevindeed touch off the war in Lebanon. One eral occasions, reservist troops have, on their
of the ironies of the war is that about a . demobilization, also come to express their
year after the attempt on his life, the injured protest. Less public, but far more prevalent,
Ambassador came out with a statement tttat has been the refusal of many soldiers to
(Continued on page 10, col. jl
was critical of the war, arguing that such a
response to the attempt on his life was not
DR. LEON SHELEFF, head of the DepartA spate of articles against the war have ment of Sociology and Anthropology at Te!
appeared in our press and Israel's leading Aviv University, and Associate Professor at
its Faculty of Law, is author of "Disobe-
Joseph Pearce, author of Magical Child
and The Bond of Power, is one of those who
look askance at video games as a learning
experience. He compares their learning value
to the nutritional value of pure cane sugar.
Video games, according to Pearce, consist
of "empty calories, momentarily satisfying,
but ultimately more detrimental than bene(Conlinued on page 10, col. )I
national prize for its honest and open coverage. Al one stage, the entire Israeli press,
mainly critical of the war, was in the running for an international prize, finally denied
it because of behind-the-scenes machinations
of the prize committee. Indeed, the fibre of
Israel s democracy has never seemed stronger
tin particular when contrasted with the chauvinistic and jingoistic manner in which, at
about the same time, most the British press
science" in the volume Civil Rights in Israel:
Essays in Honor of Deputy Chief Justice of
Israel. Haim H. Cohn, as well as a captain
in the Advocate General's office in the Israeli
reserves and a member of the Israeli Civil
Rights Association. A contributor to the Hebrew Encyclopedia, he is author of The Bystander; Behavior, Law. Ethics (Lexington,
1978); and Generations Apart: Adult Hostility to Youth (McGraw Hill 1981).
from page 9)
ficial. And the younger the mind, the more
detrimental the effects," be claims.
David Sudnow, a visiting professor of
sociology at the University of California's
Berkeley campus, currently working on a
book on the subject, sees video games producing "an assembly-line mentality. You're
just standing there, doing what the machine
tells you to do; move, shoot, move, shoot.
What you get is a technologically controlled
person. It is hardly playing a game," he asserts.
But Miicbell Robin, a professor of child
psychology at the City University of New
York (CUNY) and^ a paid consultant to
Atari, sees "absolutely no evidence that video
games are mesmerizing children." He says
that adults fear computers because "they
didn't grow up with them."
Some Positive Views
Sherry Turkle, an assistant professor of
sociology at M.I.T. who has studied [he im-
(Con ued from page 7)
discourage open forums to discuss Israel's
tactics, strategies, and internal disputes in
a democratic society such as ours, where
the right (o dissent is axiomatic? . . . Why
then does the American Jewish leadership
meekly follow the political line of whichever
Israeli party happens to be in power?"
The answer is so obvious, so breathtakingly simple that apparently it has evaded those
who ask:
Israel is a sovereign nation that has a
democratically (one of the few—and in that
(Continued from page 9)
receive or to wear the ribbon traditionally allocated to those who served in them following
each of Israel's wars.
On the personal level, the most poignant
expression of protest has been that of a
small number of bereaved parents, who
wrote to former Prime Minister Begin, criticizing him directly for embarking on the
war, and, in some cases, accusing him of responsibility for the death of their sons. Some
of the families have allowed these letters to
be published, noting that there has been no
official response to them. Indeed, some of
the families were not even sent the traditional letters of condolence which the Prime
Minister sends to the bereaved on behalf
of the Israeli people.
A Heavy Price
So, overall, a heavy price has been paid
for this war—it has been political, economic,
and moral. Economically, it has been a tremendous burden, and a major factor in the
economic crisis currently confronting our
sumer electronics. According to industry estimates, these games (in arcades and on home
cassettes) are currently grossing many billions annually (compared with about S3
biflion a year for all the movies shown in
theaters around the U.S.), even though they
overproduced in the last
year r so.
And Pac-Man, Space Invader and Missile
Command are being joined by Space Fury,
Space Vultures and Communist Mutants
from Space, to name just a few.
Until this year, four companies—Mattel,
Magnavox and Astrocade—dominated the
field. Currently, there are at least another
half-dozen producers of game machines
and about a dozen new companies making
software for these firms.
With Timex Corp. coming on the market
shortly with a S99.95 lightweight, compact
home computer, there is clear evidence that
the age of electronics is totally upon us,
whether we want it or not. Video games
seem sure to remain a factor in the 8Q's com-
15 Million Households
According to a recent Gallup survey, 93%
(22 million) of America's teenagers now
play video games. The average teen spends
$1 a day on them with many devoting one
or two hours a day to them. Children of all
ages, the survey shows, are spending upwards of 10 million hours a day on these
devices, time once given over to sports or
traditional creative outlets or studies.
And the craze is not limited to youngsters:
at the end of 1981, there were close to 8
million households with video game players,
but by the end of this year, that number
pact of video games on children, doesn't will have grown to 15 million households,
agree wilh the critics. She feels the games industry sources believe. And video games
are still in an early stage of development;
"There is a point in development, usually despite some recent setbacks, the video game
between the ages of 7 and 9, when compe- market remains a success.
tency becomes a central issue for kids. ChilPac-Man alone grossed three times as much
dren want to develop and test their skills, as "Star Wars," the most popular Hollywood
mentally and physically. At that point, the movie, earned in the five years since its
games become an important medium for release. Over 100,000 Pac-Man arcade mamastery."
chines have already been built, and retailers
Jorge Reina Schemont, associale professor have waiting lists of customers for all kinds
in the Annenberg School of Communications of home cassettes.
at the University of Southern California, is
At least a half-dozen magazines are deanother who feels that video games can voted to electronic game-playing. Publishers
have a positive effect on kids. "They are are firing off books on how to beat the mademanding and require high levels of ab- chines.
straction, dexterity, and coordination.'' ScheEven Disney, a conservative company, has
mont thinks video games should be used in licensed Bally-Midway Manufacturing to inpublic schools to introduce children to com- stall $50 million worth of a new "Tron"
puter technology.
video game in arcades across the country.
What no one does dispute is that more Several Hollywood studios . are hurrying
and more video games are definitely on the space films into production, primarily so they
way. Arcade games and home cassettes still can spin off video game and home cassette
are one of the fastest growing areas of con-
Since time immemorial children nave
been using games mastery as a valid way of
learning what it feels like to learn, applying
knowledge from one set of experiences to
another—in short, growing and developing.
Now in the 1980s, for better or worse,
electronic games seem to be one of the ways
youngsters are accomplishing this goal—
whether the older generation is ready for it
or not.
• •
area, the only) elected government that sets
policy and implements actions deemed best
Jewish community here, gleefully highlighted
and spread by those who wish to delegitimize
directly affects the Israeli population; they
and suffer
another country, far removed physically and
psychologically, emotionally and financially
from the tough realities of Arab intransiminimal rights in interfering in her life-anddeath internal affairs. No matter how we
may feel personally, our function is different.
Basically, it is to be supportive, to strengthen
and explain Israel's needs to all Americans.
Those who are uncomfortable with Israeli
policies can easily convey this to Israel's
leadership. To claim otherwise is arrogant
country. The personal and political price has
also been high, for it is generally felt that
the major reason for Prime Minister Begin"s
resignation (coupled with the mystery of his
disappearance from the public scene and the
well being) is directly related to the depth
of his belated, but full, realization of the
negative consequences of the war, and the
fact that he feels himself betrayed by those
on whose advice he relied regarding the original decision to enter Lebanon.
But perhaps most important is the moral
aspect, for until now, a key aspect of Israel's
strength and spirit has been that in matters
of security, there is a national consensus.
The differences—ideological, ethnic, class,
religious—that are a regular part of the
Israeli scene have generally been separated
from security issues.
The importance of a national
arking on the extreme
For protests and divisions within the country
are a heavy price to pay for whatever benetary successes, ihese gained at a heavier rate
of casualties than had ever been anticipated,
imperialism, obliterating the rights artd capabilities of others, Israel is not an American
ican Jewish colonial outpost.
Israel's Law of Return has not been rescinded; it is still an integral part of its
philosophy. American Jews are welcome to
move to Israe!, where !hey can express their
views and live with the results.
What Bass and his fellow thinkers are
advocating is a government-in-exile by noncitizens. Jewish kinship has its limits.
Ironically, there is a twisted kernel of
truth that disagreements about Israe! have
been suppressed. American Jewish supporters of Israel—who are probably the majority
—are cowed. Knocking Israel has become
de riguetiT within certain segments of the
For those parents understandably worried
that their children will become "game junkies," compulsive gamblers, sitting for hours
pumping quarters jnto slot machines, just the
way some people do in Las Vegas, psychologists stress the effects depend on the
child. If the youngster has the friendships,
the emotional and parental support he or
she needs, then video games will not pose a
threat. It is the youngster already seeking a
way out of school, out of responsibilities,
out of growing up, that is most at risk.
Kids with sound values, say the psychologists, will experience video games for what
they are—science fiction, imaginary and benign. For teenagers, they stress, have an
abundance of energy and need to test the
waters of life—be it through cars, motor-
ally dismissed with a "Well, what do you
expect? They don't believe it, they just have
to say/write it," attitude, while the vocal
critics are praised as brave, their influence
exaggerated. What a distortion of reality!
Indeed, for anti-Israel complainers to even
label themselves "dissenters," inviting identification with those brave souls in Russia, is
rather obscene.
By all means let pluralism and diversity
reign among the Jews. Let the voices of the
traditionalists, the conservatives, the "Lovers
of Israel" be heard throughout the land!
• •
cation and social services); one that has
developed an ethos in its fighting spirit that
stresses respect for human life, the minimization of unnecessary harm and destruction; and the creation of bonds of comradeship within the units. It has, over the years,
been a constant source of pride, not just for
its military successes, but for the manner in
which it has safeguarded its nation's security
while contributing to the maintenance of a
democratic framework. Surely those entrust"Not Enough"
ed with the decisions of when and how to
:cr=ls. activate its awesome power musi fully understand and appreciate the nature of this reof i
, is not enough to satisfy the demands sponsibility.
protesters. Like the United States in
"Operation Peace for the Galilee" was
s, Israel today has to face the issue intended to bring peace to the north of the
est against an unpopular war honestly country—thus its official name. Yes, today,
urageously. It must do so also in the the northern frontier is quiet (though, truth
very pccial circumstances of the many to tell, it had been so for almost a year
unique aspects of its army: an army that before the Operation). Yet to achieve its
is an integrative force for the coun- goals, over 550 Israeli soldiers have been
sisting mainly of young people draft- killed there (in ratio to America's population,
the equivalent of over 25,000 soldiers), and
of passage, and an older generation of re- m Israel, among large sectors of the population, there is a lingering sense of despair,
ups for training, and sometimes for wars; shame, and regret. Perhaps the words of the
an army that serves many functions beyond Prophet Jeremiah say it best: "Peace, peace,
those of most armies ffor instance in edu- when there is no peace."
with their benefits themselves only negligible.
Indeed, this view has been voiced even
by some who were party to the original
decision to invade. One cabinet minister has
acknowledged that never again should Israel
go to war without a clear national consensus
suporting such action, and another has admitted that, in retrospect, had he known the
full outcome, he probably would not have
agreed to all the actions taken.
Teaching Students How to Think
As many critics are now pointing out, the
American educational system is not working as well as it should. The reason, some
believe, is that students can't think or reason
as well as they should. It's not enough for
students to accumulate facts, they stress,
unless they can integrate and transfer these
facts to new and constantly arising problems.
For instance, a student can become knowledgeable about science or history or English,
but that youngster needs to he able to take
that mass of information and classify it,
compare itT make inferences, draw conclusions, and formulate hypotheses. Otherwise,
a student becomes merely a receptacle for
data which he or she cannot apply properly
to solve problems both in school and later
on in life.
Thus education is incomplete, it is stressed,
unless students can not only read, write, and
do math, but make use of the facts accumulated throughout their school years.
A recent survey of test results by the National Assessment of Educational Progress
discloses a serious decline in inferential reasoning by students in junior and senior high
school. The same organization's evaluation
;ates . drop i
problem-solving ability as well, fo
tion experts point out, poor reasoning and
thinking ability are often at the root of defiSituation Critical .
Educators feel that progress must be made
in these areas if schools are to do a competent job of preparing youngsters for their
role in society.
"A great deal of emphasis of fate has
been placed on basic skills and passing
tests," notes Bernard H. McKeona, a program development specialist for the National Education Association. "Unfortunately,
kids don't learn by simply answering A, B,
Although it is debatable if American
schools ever did a good job of teaching
thinking, the situation is now so critical that
many schools and colleges are designing new
programs to help pupils think and reason
integrated into existing courses and/or taught
as a separate subject. In some areas of the
country, students are being exposed to thinking skills as early as the fourth grade.
The University/Urban Schools National
Task Force, which is concerned about the
problem, is initiating a program in the publie schools of New York, Chicago, San
Francisco, Detroit, Minneapolis, and Memphis to teach thinking and reasoning as part
of the English and math curriculum for
high school juniors and seniors. If the program proves successful, it will be extended
to other parts of the
arch i
encourages educators to believe that the
thinking process can be taught.
There are many different methods used by
schools and colleges to teach thinking. Here
Lateral Thinking. The Edward de Bono
school of thinking, developed originally in
England, and widely used in New York City
schools, sees to show students how to break
out of traditional thinking patterns. This
means trying to devise new ways of looking
at problems.
Structure of the Intellect. This approach
was developed by J. P. Guilford, and breaks
down intelligence into more than 100 skills,
some 25 of which are considered to be critical in schools. Thousands of separate lessons
have been created to teach these skills. The
ALAN D. HAAS, a regular contributo
discussed "Teachers and Public Educatior
the whole into parts, sequencing, seeing relationships and synthesizing. Exercises unrelated to school are used, and the principles
are transferred to classroom applications and
sociates in Washington distributes the materials and trains the teachers.
At the A. Philip Randolph High School,
which New York's City College runs with
the Board of Education, a course in thinking
is part of the curriculum zn each grade, from
the 9th through the 12th.
)omAnother approach is being u
trueington, Ind., where the Agenc
tion at Television has created
for Children, is sponsored by Montclair
State College in New Jersey. Through it, a
series of books are made available to young
children. Though they appear to be novels,
they actually are carefully crafted didactic
dcvicss in which young readers arc exposed
to issues that provoke philosophical questions.
It is not designed to produce a generation
of young Platos, but affirms the belief that
keted by Innovative Sciences in Stamford,
Instrumental Enrichment. Developed by
the Israeli psychologist Reuven Feuerstein,
this approach is geared to low achievers. It
seeks to tap the intrinsic motivation to learn,
using problem-solving tasks to bring out
abilities that can then be applied to schoolwork. Many of the exercises require little
reading ability, so that all children can benefit from them. Curriculum Development As-
About" to help educ
Lessons tie in with Ian
"ThinkAbout" is a
15-minute color progr,
three years has mush
The Agency is also ]
series, "It Figures,'"
About," which deals
forthcoming languageOne very innovative
At the West End School in Lynbrook,
Long Island, which employs t le Philosophy
for Children program, a fou th grade will
e S.O.I. In:
program's headquartei
in El Segundo, Calif.
Strategic Reasoning. Based on th«
cepts of the late Albert Upton, this apf
concentrates on six problem-solving
JS of 60 differ
which in the p
Pupils read short
specially written it
about why the chara
and then talk
what they did.
ORT: "The Teacher Is the Key
Throughout its 100 year plus history,
ORT's basic educational philosophy has a!ways been to help students develop their
creative potential—to enable them to emerge
as whole individuals, capable of adapting to
new situations, as opposed to just learning
to pass their exams, finish school a d then
go on to hoped-for greener pasture ORT
has always believed that its teachers
ferent, that they are better trained t
normal run of teachers; that they st
from their
leagues; and that, in general,
leed for skilled teachers and has
pooled resources with the Ministries of Education and Labor to look for solutions to the
problem. Joint research and sludy have led
to the development of special ORT courses
and syllabi which aim at training technical
teaching students how to think.
Obviously, the key to accomplishing this
is the quality of the teacher, who works with,
motivates and trains his students. Thus, to
transform its philosophical concept into reality, ORT works constantly and unceasingly
to maintain a staff of expert teachers who
can not only transfer their skills, knowledge
and enthusiasms to their students and awaken
their creative spirit, but introduce them to
a logical and disciplined mode of thinking
as well.
For, as one expert has claimed, the questions a teacher asks in the classroom must
stimulate the thinking processes of the learn-
over and above the instructional level—that,
in fact, they often act as catalysts in the lives
of those whom they teach.
How is this achieved? Where do ORT
teachers come from? How are they trained
and continually upgraded? What draws them
to teach in the ORT system?
Some ORT teachers come from the ORT
network itself, from among its 800 schools
in Israel, France, Latzn America. India and
elsewhere, some from programs in countries
where ORT no longer operates, such as Poland; Others come from industry and bring
invaluable practical experience.
at recruiting teacher candidates from among
those who lack format pedagogical training
and from industry. Participants must be
highly motivated and devote four or five
evenings a week to studying the principles
of teaching, the learning process, adolescent
psychology, technical methodology, specialized subject matter, theory and social studies.
Graduates of the course receive a certified
Diploma and Teaching Permit.
One of the proble
:hat many teachers
in education today is
mply transfer their
es, highly-qualified people in technology
i more attracted to industry than to edution. Recently, this trend has been modi-
technical and vocational schools. ORT,
which has the largest vocational and technological education network in the country, has
daily basis, for the required
hours, to students whose motivat
pacities may vary, and whose n
Special Training
One teacher who took the c
the sti .ff of the ORT Syngalowski Cen
the course, I w;
•nfiand n
, but I had difficulty lra>
ny skills. I see tbat knowing and transferring
people is absolutely essential,
my students have benefited from
training I received. I am educating
ntinued on page 16, col. 1)
27th National Biennial Convention
(Continued from page 5J
President received an award "for his vision to
build an American Presence."
Major organizational addresses were presented by Beverly Minkoff, WAO National
President, "Keynote"; Gertrude S. White,
Chairman, National Executive Committee,
"Progress Report"; and Nathan Gould presented "Perspectives," outlining challenges
facing the organization in the months to come.
Seven concurrent Panels, comprised of
ORT dignitaries and prominent personalities
active in Jewish, academic, civic, and political
life, helped give expression to the concerns
affecting both contemporary American Jewry
and the nation at large: "New Educational
Standards: How Will They Affect Our
Youth?; Education for the World of Work:
Are We Preparing Our Students for the Job
Market?; Jewish Unemployment: Cause and
Effect; Economic Equity for Women; International Organizations as Forums for Political Pressure: Their Virtues and Vices: "High
Tech" in Israel's Future; and "1984": Fact or
New programming included an orientation
meeting for freshmen delegates, an Awards
Assembly highlighting achievement in Membership, Expansion, Education, Community
center with Co-Chairmen HileH Cross, left and
Barbara Rosenthal.
{Continued jrom page 5)
a Cold War and the
mation about the Comm
able to the Allied nation
"There's no morality
Beate Klarsfeld is
Nazis had infors mat was vaiuz secret service.
implex, intense
Honor Roll, Donor, Golden Circle and Financial Oversubscription, and 14 special workshops carefully designed for Chapter and
Chapter at Large delegates which focused on
the importance of the Chapter in relation to
organizational policies and goals.
In five Commissions, delegates were provided with an arena for an examination of
policy, dissemination of issues and strategies
for action on key organizational and community objectives: "The ORT Program"; "Organization"; Community"; "Basic Assignments"; and "Capital Funds."
To enunciate WAO's position on community and global issues, delegates approved a
series of Resolutions on ionics such as "ORTs'
Unique Role in the Western Hemisphere";
"Women's Rights"; "Preservation of Democracy"; "Anti-Semitism—A Call to Action";
"Israel and ORT Israel"; and "The Member
and the Organization."
In Plenary Sessions and other meetings they
discussed issues such as quality public education, tuition tax credits, public school prayers,
censorship and the growing influence of the
Radical Right, and dedicated themselves to
the continued struggle against anti-Semitism
at home and abroad; the fight for Soviet Jewry's right to emigrate; the attainment of full
equality for women; the security of Israel
and the betterment of conditions of embattled Jewish communities around the world.
They evaluated the giant strides made by
technology and the educational challenges
facing ORT, devised strategies to expand
ORT's worldwide operations, encourage the
maintenance of the highest educational standards, and dedicated themselves to both the
global and Jewish character of ORT's program.
TERSPECTIVES" for the Organization were delivered to the closing Plenary Session by Nathan
Gould, National Executive Directcr and Executive Vice President.
cers: Helen Rosenberg, Honorary National
President; Gertrude S. White, National President; Reese Feidman, Chairman, National
Executive Committee and Nathan Gould, Executive Vice President.
As Mrs. Isenstein summed up: "This Convention created a positive climate in which to
accelerate organizational progress. Our deliberations reflected the enthusiasm, strength, vitality, and dynamism thiU exists throughout
the country. Those of us m attendance were
privileged to see democracy at work in the
A musical show, "The Wizard of ORT,"
was presented by members of the Southern
California Region.
The week culminated with the election and
installation of a new slate of National Offi-
:ones, winning organizational
woman of seemingly irreconcilable conti
have been made against her life and her
dictions. She has raised her two children
Jews, even though she has never formal
She would have to be both tough-minded
converted to Judaism from the Luther;
and fearless to publicly slap the face of a
faith into which she was born.
West German chancellor surrounded by gunHer appearance gives the impression of .. carrying security guards to protest his warsmartly dressed, upper middle-class resident time Nazi connections. She did that in 1968,
slapping the face of ex-Chancellor Kurt
of some Paris suburb whose only concer
Georg Kiesinger while shouting "Nazi, Nazi."
is her family. But in conversation she com^
across as tough-minded and fearless, despi
Beate received a four-month suspended
the repeated threats, and even attempts, th:
jail term for the incident, which she describes as a decision to "publicly slap the
generation of our fathers."
It has been written that Serge's motivation
for tracking down Nazis is to avenge his
father's death and that Beate's reason for
her devotion to the work is to atone for the
sins of her father and her father's generation
Leave your Footprints
on the Sands of Time....
. . . . a bequest to Women's American ORT in your
Will insures the future for over 100,000 ORT
students all over the world.
. . . . name Women's American ORT as your life
insurance beneficiary.
Legacy & Insurance Endowments
Women's American ORT
315 Park Avenue South
New York, N.Y. 10010
(212) 505-7700
traditi with e
e participation from representatives of all echelons,
particularly the Chapters. All sessions led us
to a reaffirmation of our commitment to ORT
as a global movement in Jewish life and to
our fundamental responsibilities—to grow in
numbers and in units of organization, to increase our financial productivity, and to
broaden and deepen our involvement in the
community, strengthening our impact as a
mass membership organization, capable of
affecting change in Jewish life."
• •
"->.-; i
r breakfa:
cribed to her
smissed the motivation,
id her husband by others.
"I feel no guilt because of th. imes of
What I
iy parents. TheTe is no collecti
it to change the mentality that
ows this to happen."
Public recognition of the Klarsfelds' work
important, Beate continues, because it
foc es attention on the issues. That is why
addition to the tedious legal research concted, for the most part, by her husband,
attorney, both Beate and Serge fly around
Id publicly confronting Nazi fugitives
and the government officials who still protect them.
Beate has also been arrested or detained
in Syria, Morocco, Poland, Czechoslovakia,
West Germany, and Bolivia during attempts
to embarrass officials of those countries into
deporting Nazi fugitives so they could be
brought to trial.
"It's easier to do something that is public
and when you have mobilized public opinion.
With publicity, they are guilty even before
the trial starts," says Beate.
The Klarsfelds first began pursuing Barbie
in 1971 after a German prosecutor declared
invalid a suit filed against Barbie 10 years
earlier by a group of German Jews. The
prosecutor ruled there was no proof of genocidal intent in Barbie's actions, that he may
not have known the fate that awaited the
Jews he deported from France.
The Klarsfelds began interviewing hundreds of survivors of Barbie's reign until
they found one that provided proof that
Barbie knew what he was doing. "Deported
or shot, there's no difference," the witness
reported Barbie as having said.
That bit of information enabled the Klarsfelds to get the Barbie case reopened. Working from photographs contained m the orhcial file, they soon were able to determine
that Barbie was living under an assumed
name in Bolivia. Beate flew to South America, where she was arrested for holding an
illegal news conference at which she exposed Barbie's hiding place to the world.
Yet Beate insists that the actual trial "is
not important for us.
"There will he no surprises in the trial.
All the information is already out and he
will be sentenced to life in prison. My husband will represent the families of the victims at the trial," she says mafter-oMacUy.
"What is important is the public education
this will be in France, where the history
books still read that the Germans were responsible for what happened to the Jews.
"This is not true. Some 90% of the Jews
arrested in France were arrested by French
police who cooperated with the Nazis.
"It is important that the young people
know that. It is too late to change the older
generation, but the attitude of the young
people can be changed. That is how this
can be stopped from happening again." Q D
Fact Finding Trip Evaluates Situation of Falashas
Although their origins are shrouded in mystery, there
is little doubt that for many centuries the black Jews of
Ethiopia — the Falashas — have faithfully practiced preTalmudic Judaism. Today, in some 470 scattered and isolated
mountain villages [hey strictly observe lhe laws governing
Shabbat, Kaskrut, and circumcision. They celebrate Biblical
holidays {Rosh Hashanah, Pesach, etc.) but until recently
knew nothing of Purim or Hanukah. When first visited by
Jews from abroad, the Faiashas were astounded. Until that
moment they had believed they were the only Jews in the
blamed for misfortunes and illnesses. When a natural calamity occurred, they were often cursed and beaten. Sometimes
their villages were burned and the inhabitants forced to Hee.
Since the revolution, the government has sought to
rectify past injustices by distributing lands to the Falashas
and by outlawing the expression of such primitive beliefs.
'Those who call them names can now be brought to court
and will be punished," Mrs. Kohrman states. "Although
they said this does not eliminate deeply ingrained prejudice, at least now they have recourse to the authorities.
Synagogues Functioning
In'1976 the World ORT Union undertook a program of
rurat development in the Gondar province of Ethiopia,
where the largest concentration of Falashas lives. Lamentably, this program was closed by the government in 1981.
In May of 1983, Margery Kohrman. a National Vice
President of Women's American ORT, traveled to Ethiopia
with a national mission sponsored by NJCRAC (National
Jewish Community Relations Advisory Council). The mission's goal was to obiain current information on the Falashas and to bring them moral support.
The NJCRAC mission visited three Falasha villages in
"Although we had heard reports lo the contrary, the
synagogues in the villages we visited were open and functioning." Mrs. Kohrman continued. "We have no reason
to believe thai the situation is different now in the hundreds
of villages we did not see. However, the status of Hebrew
remains unclear. Although many Falasha priests and teachers
speak it fluently, only one would use it in the presence of
any official. Publicly, all declared that they no longer teach
any Hebrew, although government people assured us that this
is not illegal, that it was the teaching of Hebrew by ORT to
which the government had objected. To us it was clear that
of tukuh, the round thatched huts in which most Ethiopians live," Mrs. Kohrman explains. "Except that each
Falasha village also contains a synagogue, operated by a
Kess, a priest trained to transmit the Jewish religion. Traditionally this prayer house is only a large tukul, although
ORT had replaced the ones we saw with modern buildings.
In Ambober, the largest Falasha village, we also viewed a
road which ORT actually had Created."
Proud History
"Ethiopia continues to be implacably opposed to the
emigration of any of its citizens, and all who are caught trying to cross the border have been imprisoned. Recently the
government has also begun to arrest and imprison the families of those who succeed in escaping, which has signifi-
cantly reduced the numbers of those willing to attempt the
arduous and dangerous flight.
"Nevertheless," Mrs. Kohrman concludes, "it would appear that there is no immediate threat lo the Falashas.
either from persecution or from the counterrevolutionary
rife of the late 1970's, when Falashas were caught
the crosi
warfare and many tragedies <
"Slow but inexorable changes will undermine the ethnic
and religious distinctiveness of the Falashas. Already, educated children express the desire to leave their ancestral
villages in search of a better life in the towns and cities.
Unless the Falashas can be brought to Israel, they are probably doomed to extinction within a few generations."
"The Ethiopian Jews speak of themselves as Beta Yisrael
(the House of Israel). They are a living testament to the
wonder and miracle of Jewish survival. Helping them to
make aiiyah is a matter of highest priority for Israel, which
in 1983 alone received about 1,700. Now almost 5,000 Falashas live in Israel. All receive the tremendous support
and assistance they need to adjust to the modern Jewish state.
Helping them reach Israel must be a high priority for American Jews as well.
"However," Mrs. Kohrman warns, "we must approach
this delicate and difficult task with great concern for the
sensitivities of the Ethiopian government, so as not to jeopardize the safety of the very people whom we seek to help."
"Ethiopia is an ancient land with a proud and unique
history, the only nation in Africa which has never been
governed by a European power," Mrs. Kohrman
"Since the 1974 revolution, however, the govern;
become closely tied to the Soviet Union, both ecor
and ideologically."
At one time the Falashas numbered at least
million, but centuries of persecution, famine, and conversions have reduced their numbers to about 25,000. They
continue to pray and yearn to be brought to their spiritual
homeland, Jerusalem. However, modem politics are frequently unsympathetic to the concept of messianic redemption, and the borders of Ethiopia remain tightly closed to
Despite a wealth of detail and discovery, Mrs. Kohrman
is cautious about drawing too many conclusions from the
mission's limited experience. However, on a few questions
she believes that group's experiences were broad enough
to permit generalizations.
"We evaluated the Falashas' situation not against Western norms," she states, "but against the fact that Ethiopia
is one of the world's poorest nations. Like others in the area,
Falashas live by subsistence-level farming, in northwestern
Ethiopia, which has been plagued by serious drought for the
past several years. They are perhaps slightly better off than
their neighbors, because of the continuing concern of groups
like ours, and the lasting benefits of the ORT program.
The sad history of oppression and persecution suffered by
the Falashas began when their lands were confiscated at the
end of the 16th century, and they were forced to bi
craftsmen, potters, weavers, jewelers, and smiths, in order
lo survive. Because the very primitive peoples of this era
shared the superstition that such crafts were "evil arts," they
believed that all Falashas practiced a kind of witchcraft and
were possessed by the "evil eye." As such, they were often
a Cases and Yarmulkes
Specialty items for children
Traditional and contemporary
Challah Cloths & Matzah Covers
Tablecloths and Napkins
The finest from Israel, France & U.S.
Wall Hangings • Latch Hook
'Yes! Send me absolutely free, my copy of you
new Catalog.
Fleischmann's Margarine ^
to show you how mqch healthier
traditional cooking can be with
June Roth's Low Cholesterol Jewish
Cookery. In it you'll find favorites
like noodle kugel and bjintzes mad
the sensible way. Fleischmann's
Margarine can be part of your
traditional cooking. Fleischmann's
from 100% corn oil. It's tow in
5710 W. Mariposa #19, Phoenix, ftZ B5Q31
only $1.95 plus Sl.QL r___
with the front label from any package
•f F-leischmann's Margarine. Write to:
Fleischmann's Margarine Cookbook
P.O. Box 198
Tear-Bck. New Jersey 07666
saturated fat with no cholesterol.
And it's certified Kosher, too.
Whether you prefer regular
r leisciimann s or parve
Fleischmann's Sweet Unsalted. both
have a delicious flavor perfect for all
yourrecipes. So order your cookbook
n o w - it's a $3.95 value for only $1.95
plus $1.00 postage and handling
with the front label from any
package of Fleischmann's Margarine.
Fleischmann's Gives Every Meal A Holiday Flavor.
in the community
Expressing their members' interest and commitment to the Houston Public
Library, the President and Jewish Community Relations
Chairman of the Greater Houston Region (District IX)
presented iestimony to the Mayor and members of
Houston Library the City Council recently, voicing their membership's
deep concern about a proposed S2 million budget cut
for the Houston Public Library, and causing a tentative vote lo "consider
favorably" the restoration of funds.
Citing "the great concern today about quality education." and the
fact that "children, youth and adults depend on the library to make available to them materials which will upgrade their informational base,"
WAO asserted that "students and teachers must have current information
available as an adjunct to resources in the public schools. . . ." Stressing
their concern that the first area to feel cuts would be those that provide
scientific technical and industrial information," at a time of iocal unemployment of over 10%, WAO urged the Council to maintain a budget
that would provide "the most recent information available to our citizens
to train them to step into future technology."
Under a theme of "Light Their Way to Freedom" some 26 WAO areas
around the country joined in the 13th annual observWAO Areas
ance of Women's Piea for Human Rights for Soviet
Participate in
Jewry the week after Hanukah, December 10-17. BeWomen's Plea
ginning on Human Rights Day, the nationwide event,
sponsored by the Leadership Conference of National
Jewish Women's Organizations, with the cooperation of the National Conference on Soviet Jewry and the National Jewish Community Relations
Advisory Council, the observance is a "Call to Action" aimed at bringing
the now-worsening plight of Soviet Jewry before the public. For with emigration at its lowest since the early 70's and restrictions tightening—the
concern, commitment, and action generated by nationwide Plea activities
are now seen as more important than ever.
The areas are: Hampshire Hills Chapter-at-Large, District I; Mohawk-Hudson Area Council, Brooklyn Region, Mohansic Region, Queens
Region,'Rockland Region, Suffolk Region, District II; North Central
Jersey Region, District III; Allentown Chapter-at-Large, Makefield Chapters-at-Large, Pittsburgh and Rochester Regions, District VII; Indianapolis
Coordinating Committee, Madison Chapter-at-Large, District VIII; St.
Louis Region, District IX; Northern California Peninsula Region, Greater
Denver Region, District X; Greater Phoenix Region, Greater San Diego
Region, San Gabrie! Valley Region, Southern California Harbor Region,
and Las Vegas Coordinating Committee, District XI.
In addition to Women's League for Conservative Judaism, the National Convenor, and WAO, other National Jewish Women's Organizations
who participated in the observance include: American Mizrachi Women,
(AMTT), B"nai B'rith Women, Emunah Women of America. Hadassah,
National Council of Jewish Women, National Federation of Temple Sisterhoods, National Ladies Auxiliary, Jewish War Veterans of the U.S.A.,
Inc., Pioneer Women, the Women's Labor' Zionist Organization of
America, Women's Branch Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of
America, and Women's Division, American Jewish Congress.
stration of its support for career education, the Blu
Chapter, Cleveland Region (District II)
awarded a $100 U.S. Savings Bond to a grad
to Voc-Ed
Fairdale Vocational School, Terry Schwinhard.
as this year's Exceptional Vocational Studen t, who
went on to represent the Jefferson County Public
Schools in the VICA (Vocational Industrial Clubs of America)
a showcase for
tion for plumbing Skills Olympics,
o the
the trade
trade and te
skills of some 2000 vocational students in 30 occupational areas
ational students in 30 occupational
It's Tough Out There
Teaching How to Think
(Continued fi om page 11)
in th e classroom disc ussions is not hav
tea 7 ight or wrong an swer, k ut marshall ing
the s trongest possible argume nts to back up
what ;ver they say.
Recent tests of moie than 2,000 middleclass students in New Jersey v p<ho were gi1ren
this iinstruction had academi; gains nes
r peer
using the techniqui
At the higher level, Marymount Manhattan College in New York City now requires new students to register for a one-year
course in "Critical Thinking," an exploration
of the analytical skills essential to learning.
"We found that incoming freshmen needed
to learn disciplined thinking to write a good
essay," noted Eileen Bertach, dean for academic affairs at Marymount.
At LaGuardia Community College in
Queens, New York, students take a Critical
Thought Skills course, in which they learn
to measure risks, set objectives, and evaluate
results. "Many students need the course because they have great gaps in their education," asserts Dr. Michael T. Hoban, director
of developtmental education. "Over 75% of
reading, or other basic skills," he adds.
In New Orleans, Xavier University, a private black college, has a six-week course in
reasoning for its pre-med students. At Hunter College Elementary School, in New York
City, a school for the gifted, report cards
to parents have a section rating thinking skills.
Marks are given for critical, creative, and
logical thinking.
But perhaps before we can have students
who can think we have to have teachers who
can think.
The Institute for Curriculum and Instruction in Coral Gables, Fla., its director, Lyle
Ehrenberg, and the associate director, Sydelle Seiger. hold seminars and workshops
around the countrv, training teachers—who
will then train other teachers—to carry out
thinking strategies in the classroom.
Seiger and Ehrenberg operate a program
intellectual competency in students. They
teach teachers to focus on five types of learning" fact learning, concept learning, principle learning, attitude learning, and skill
learning. For each type there are distinct
thinking strategies.
Irving Sigel, distinguished research scientist at the Educational Testing Service, in
Princeton, New Jersey, runs programs similar to, but less structured than, the one by
Seiger and Ehrenberger.
Dr. David Weikart, president of High/
Scope Educational Research Foundation in
Ypsilanti, Mich., runs a nonprofit foundation that is training teachers to train their
colleagues to help students apply effective
thinking procedures to school work.
The National Council of Teachers of
English has calied for its members to take
special responsibility for the teaching of
thinking, because "thinking and language are
closely linked."
The organization has suggested that teachers employ crearixe thinking to help students
recognize relationships that lead to new
ideas, logical thinking to create hypotheses
and detect fallacies, and critical thinking to
ask questions and make judgments.
An interesting discovery that has grown
out of these teaching-teachers-lo^think programs is that parents who are authoritarian
do not encourage children to be independent thinkers. Such children, it was found,
often have difficulty in handling abstract
problems or conceptualizing. Such children
usually have to be taught to be active learners, to ask questions, to solve problems.
Thus some of the problem lies with the
average citizen's attitude about thought and
thinking. In many places it is viewed with
;nt \
s to a
"If a
were not going to the P.T.A. n
choir practice or to a baseball game, because
he or she needed time to think, such a person would be shunned by the neighbors,"
points out Carolyn Kane, an English instructor at Culver-Stockton College in Canton, Missouri.
And, "if a teenager were to announce that
he or she was not going to the dance tonight because 'I need some time to think,'
the parents might start thinking about finding a psychiatrist," she goes on. "Like Julius
Caesar, we distrust people who think too
much." Thus for too many Americans,
thinking is a neglected art. For too many
school kids, studies "won't do me any good."
As social animals, we tend to be suspicious
of people who spend time alone, "to think."
But America runs on ideas, and good ideas
require thought. Einstein understood that.
Today's decline in thinking skills, many
viewing, the lessening of reading for pleasure,
the debasement of language, the reduced
other factoi
lent in thinking and re
But i
ing' skills is nei essary for all students,
pedagogues, fro
who lag behind their peers.
Thus, many educators believe, this is the
key goal now facing America's schools. If
they can accomplish it, they will succeed in
their basic function—to help give our nation's youngsters the necessary tools with
which to embark on the road to a resilient and
self-reliant life.
• •
In order to get a good job, you
need more than a degree. You
need the skills demanded by
industry today.
We Can Help
At BRAMSON ORT, we provide the
latest college programs in high
technology and business such as:
Accounting, Business Management, Computer Programming,
Electronic Engineering Technology, Ophthalmic Technology,
Secretarial Studies and Word
You Get
Small classes, individualized
instruction, the latest equipment,
with plenty of practice time,
placement assistance, excellent
and committed faculty.
Far information contact:
ir publication will rec,
•se to 500,000 reader
r 1 50,000 hor
Holders-Mitts 4 pic :
nent Plans Available.
Write on Official Siai
ompiata details. Val-
sga Avenue, Canoga
rentals, toys, crafts and gifts, travel, etc.
RATES: 60<2 per word. P.O.B. and telephone numbers
= 2 words; abbreviations and zips — 1 word
All ads must be typed, double spaced and
prepaid; check or money order to Women's
American ORT, Inc. must accompany copy.
Ail ads will be subject to acceptance at the
discretion of the editors and will be included
in the earliest issue following their receipt.
Send copy
a n d p a y m e n t to W o m e n ' s A m e r i c a n O R T , ln<
Classified Seclion/315
Park Ave. South/New York, N.Y.
"Short ORT-er" Cooking
-I Spiral Bound 135 pgs. Family Recipes-Hoi)day
ion-S7.50 inc. posiage. Mail check ro WAO-Sou'h
S. 21 si
the Gifted
the booh reporter
UNWANTED, From the Liberation
of the Death Camps to the Founding of Israel, by Abram L. Sachar.
St. Martin's/Marek, N.Y. 1983. 334
pages including maps, notes, documents and index, S19.9S.
REFUGEES, by Ruth Graber,
Coward-Mann, N.Y. 335 pages including photographs and index,
Landsberg DP Camp Letters of Major Irving Heymont. American Jewish Archives, Cincinnati, 1983. I l l
pages including photographs, no
price listed.
Reviewed by DAVID M. SZONYI
In the past few years, there has
been a remarkable outpouring of
general studies, monographSj memoirs, and other works on the Holocaust. According to Judaica Book
at least 150 s
have appeared fay the end of 1983
the smattering of such books which
appeared annually as recently as 10
or 20 years ago.
Yet the overwhelming majority
of these books deal with the cataclysmic slaughter of six million
Jews by the Nazis and their collaborators between 1933 and 1945.
There is a relative dearth of material on both the refugees who managed to escape from Europe before
or during World War II, or on the
Holocaust survivors who became
"displaced persons" and who languished in German "DP camps"
until as late as 1957.
Indeed, we still have no overall
history of either the refugees in
genera! nor the DP's in particular.
But each of these books plays an
important role in closing this historical gap.
The Redemption of the Unwanted, the most ambitious and important of the three, is subtitled "From
the Liberation of the Death Camps
to the Founding of Israel." Abram
L. Sachar, the founding President
of Brandeis University, has written
what is the first history devoted to
the period from the last years of
the Holocaust to the signing of the
first Arab-Israel armistice agreement
following the new Jewish state's war
of independence (1944-1949).
Three Distinct Events
Photo Credit: Ruth Gruber
REFUGEES FROM EUROPE: PRESIDENT ROOSEVELT'S "GUESTS," waie at the Statue of Liberty as their ship
enters New York Harbor, Aug. 3, 1944. (From "Haven: The Untold Story of 1, )p0 World War II Refugees," by Ruth
into Palestine; and the Jewish revolt against British rule in Palestine,
as well as the diplomatic and military battles which led to the founding and securing of the State.
Truman's Efforts
Although the time period covered
is short, each of these developments
is momentous and deserves a book
in itself. Inevitably, then, The Redetnption of the Unwanted has an
uneven quality. Sachar is strongest
in chronicling President Truman's
efforts on behalf of Holocaust survivors, and particularly the key role
played by his Jewish special assistant, David K. Niles. Under Niles1
prodding, Truman in 1945 and 1946
"ordered that the borders of the
American zones in Germany and
Austria be opened to the survivors
trapped in Eastern Europe and the
Balks . . . , insisted that the Displaced Persons Camps be administered as shelters rather than as quasiprisons, and persisted in applying
unremitting pressure on the British
government to modify the White
Paper that restricted Jewish immigration to Palestine."
In the following two years, again
at Niles' urging, Truman came to
favor the creation of an independent Jewish state despite the opposition of the State Department's
Arabists (whom Truman called "the
striped pants boys"). After a memorable meeting with Chaim Weizmann, the President also backed
the efforts of Zionists leaders to
have the Negev included in the new
state's borders.
The two chapters on the remarkSachar covers three distinct, if
able Bricha comprise a compelling
closely inter-Telated. series of events:
and succinct narrative of Jewish
the last years of the Holocaust,
ingenuity, courage, and persistence.
Jewish and non-Jewish resistance to
But in writing about the Holocaust,
the Nazi onslaught and (he post-war
Sachar has a tendency to jump from
trials of German leaders; the Bricha
topic to topic. And his narrative of
efforts under which several hundred
the 15 months between the UN parZionist activists guided thousands of
tition resolution and the armistice
survivors through circuitous routes
agreement has the opposite probto European ports, from which they
lem: it focuses on the military asattempted to immigrate "illegally"
pects of the War of Independence
to the exclusion of almost everyDAVID M. SZONYI, Associate Director of the Radius Institute in New
York City and a contributor to many
lewisk publications, frequently reviews books for the REPORTER.
Sachar, it should be added, does
elate a great deal of fascinating
need ota 1 material and conveys
nuch useful information. While it
hardly constitutes the in-depth treatment this intense, dramatic "turnabout" period in Jewish history deserves, The Redemption of the
Unwanted can still be read with
considerable profit.
During the Holocaust itself, the
attitude of the American Government toward Jews trapped in, or
trying to flee, Europe was indifferent at best, outright hostile at worst.
True, second and third Roosevelt
Administrations initiated two conferences on the refugees—at Evianies-Bains, France in July 1938 and
in Bermuda in April 1943 — but
both ended with almost no concrete
results, in large part because the
U.S. itself was unwilling to modify
its rigid immigration quotas. Such
historians as Henry Feingold, Saul
Friedman, and Arthur A. Morse
have chronicled how some key bureaucrats in the State Department,
led by Undersecretary of State
Breckenridge Long, continually obstructed efforts to help Jews in Nazioccupied Europe.
Saga of 1000 Refugees
There was, however, one bright,
if curious, exception to the Roosedifference to the refugees. In June
1944 the President announced his
intention to "invite" as his "guests
—i.e. outside of ihe normal quotas
—1,000 refugees to come to the
U.S. They were interned in a military camp in Oswego, in upstate
New York on the shores, of Lake
Ontario. And before ihey left Europe, the 1,000 refugees (actually,
982 because of last-minute complications; about 90% were Jewish)
had to sign a release form promising to return to Europe when the
war ended.
Haven recounts their story. Author Ruth Gruber was delegated by
then Secretary of the Inferior Harold Ickes to meet the lucky refugees, and to sail with them back on
the Liberty Ship Henry Cibbins
from Naples to New York. During
the hazardous two-week journey—
the ship was almost bombed one
time and torpedoed another before
it left the Straits of Gibralter—she
came to know many of the refugees'
remarkable odysseys of survival,
which she recounts here. Haven also
includes a good section on life in
the Oswego camp, where a host of
Jewish and non-Jewish organizations assisted the refugees—it was
in Oswego that ORT established its
first Vocational Training Program
in the U.S. (it lasted two years before being transferred to NYC)—
and where the townspeople proved
friendly and helpful.
Gruber a!so describes the long,
surprisingly arduous and ultimately
successful struggle by Ickes, Camp
Director Joe Short and others to
persuade a Congressional committee and the governmental bureaucracy to allow the refugees to stay
in this country, permission for
which was not granted until December 1945. And in a concluding
chapter, she brings us up to date
on how successful most of the refugees were in starting "new lives"
in America. Haven is Ms. Gruber's
twelfth book, and it profits from
her considerable experience as a
journalist and author. It has a narrative fluidity and tells a moving
story personably and well.
DP's at Landsberg
The 400-500,000 Holocaust survivors who found their way to
American DP camps in 1945 lived
in austere, often primitive condi
tions. Only 27 when he was p
in charge of the Landsberg Cam
in September of that year (wher
Jacob Oleiski was in charge of th
ORT program that was to have suc
major impact in years to c o r n e l
then Major Irving Heymont por
trays life in the camp in Amon
the Survivors of the Holocaust —
1945, which contains some 34 le
ters to his wife written during
10-week period (September 19-De
cember 5, 1945). This slim wor
reveals how traumatized many o
the survivors were and the difficu
ties that ORT was to encounte
Thus, although conditions at Lands
berg were very overcrowded, th
DP's resisted being taken by trai
to the nearby Fohrenwald Cam
because such trips reminded them
of "transports" to the death camp
Unfortunately, some members o
the Army weTe insensitive to th
survivors' deep wounds (a DP
caught with three pounds of stole
butter was sentenced to thre
months in jail).
Personal Transformation
The real hero of Heymont's le
ters is the author himself, wh
worked incredibly hard to unde
stand the refugees' sensibilities an
needs, and to attend to the dozen
of tasks needed to provide them
with adequate food and shelter, a
well as ORT's educational and v
cational programs. In ihe proces
Heymont, like Gruber, evolved from
being a marginal to an "affirme
member of the Jewish people."
All three of these books show
how the physical and psychologica
suffering of the Holocaust survivor
continued long after Germany sur
rendered and the last concentratio
camps were liberated in May 194
Yet they also relate how they en
dured and coped with difficult situ
ations during the transitional year
of homelessness between the tortur
and slavery of Nazism and fu
freedom in the U.S., Israel or else
where. As such, Sachar's history
Gruber's memoir, and Heymont
letters testify to the resilience and
resourcefulness of the human spir
Poignant Love Story
A FORBIDDEN LOVE, by Chay- Malek, the father, also dreams of
ym Zefdis. Berkeley, N.Y., 1983. peace for the Middle East.
$3.95. pp. 404.
As they grow from boy and
A touching and dramatic love girl to man and woman, thefr chil
story set amidst the struggle of the dren, Layleh and Uri, fall in love
Arab-Israeli conflict, this novel writ- attempting through the years of po
ten by WAO's National Director litical conflict to remain loyal to
of Public Affairs, Chayym Zeldis, each other despite their other obli
uses a pair of young lovers, a mod- gations and the tragedies that occur
ern Romeo and Juliet, Arab and Layleh enters university, planning
Jew — separated by their cultural to become a teacher, and Uri join
heritages—to point up the futility the military, hoping the fighting
of the current situation in the Mid- will soon cease and peace will pre
vail. Throughout, their love with
dle East.
Two families live side by side in stands the censure of their families
Jerusalem: the Arnons are a Jewish the conflict of their nations, and
family whose father, Arie, believes the trials of separation. In all, a
in the possibility of peace between poignant and moving story of the
Jews and Arabs — but not in the triumph of love over the barriers of
20th century. The Maleks, an Arab language, culture, and world polifamily, live next door. Mahmoud ucs.
ORT Teachers
(Continued from page II)
my students—not just teaching them my area of specialization!"
A unique aspect of some of the Israeli schools are the "diploma
projects" required for graduation, exercises in applying logic and principles
creatively—and clear thinking. Some are so sophisticated students sel! them
to industry or start their own businesses.
ORT Israel also offers teacher-training courses for practical engineers.
Other teacher-training courses developed by ORT Israel are in semitechnical subjects, such as fashion, commercial studies and painting.
Supervised teaching is also part of these courses.
One teacher-training unit is located at the Moshinsky Pedagogical
Center in Tel Aviv and another will open shortly in Jerusalem. Every
year, over 1,000 teachers take courses there. Emphasis is on technical
upgrading and on "problem-solving" teacher methodology. Courses are
given for teachers who work in special education centers in Holon and
Kfar Saba, and there are one-day seminars throughout the year on general subjects. Research on and development of new curricula and study
material for a broad range of subjects, including electronics, computersciences, mechanics, auto-mechanics and carpentry, are also part of the
In France teachers have to cope with a constant influx of immigrants
from North Africa, many of whom have to be brought up to required
French educational standards. Teachers have to be expert in the use of
audio-visual methods as well as skilled in applied pedagogy. In the urban
areas where French ORT schools are located, teachers often must be the
students' friends and counselors, as many of them come from families
trying to adapt to a new country. Also, most ORT teachers continually
work at upgrading themselves. All are helped by refresher seminars and
by the tutorial system which enables new teachers to be supervised by experienced colleagues. An in-house teaching evaluation system has been
established throughout ORT France.
"Most Important Aspect"
An ORT France teacher who emphasizes the importance of continuous self-betterment is "David." A graduate of an ORT school and the
ORT Central Institute, his specialty is nuclear engineering, and he now
teaches math and electronics at ORT-Montreuil. For David, the most
important aspect of teaching is to establish communication with his students. "The effort a teacher must exert varies in relation to the motivation
of his students." he says: "Young people need reassurance, motivation
and discipline. They must be encouraged, and they must be convinced by
the teacher that what they are doing is applicable and useful. I always
adapt myself to the level of the students and create a climate of confidence, because a relaxed class is one in which the teacher teaches well
and the students learn well." He feels that his experience as an ex-ORT
student has enabled him to establish excellent rapport with his students.
"My approach to teaching has changed over the years," he says: "A
growing mastery of my subjects and teaching methods has changed my
classroom personality. Teachers must constantly adapt to different student
levels and personalities—this I regard as extremely important. He also believes lhat the material covered by examinations doesn't keep pace with
technological change. He says: "To train students adequately, curricula
must be related to industrial needs. As well, teachers have to work together and use material from other disciplines."
In Latin America, teachers are trained and upgraded at the Teacher
Training Institute which is part of ORT Argentina and the network on that
continent can count on high quality personnel, who are not only specialists
in their fields, but who, as individuals, bring to their work an original mind
and a creative spirit
In New York at the Bramson ORT Technical Institute, teachers' evaluation sessions and students' assessment of their teachers are an integral
part of the structure. Director Ira Jackoll believes that "evaluation helps
teachers to improve. Of course, teachers also attend seminars and conferences in their areas of specialization, as well as in teaching methodology."
Most Bramson ORT teachers have had some experience in industry,
as well as either Masters or Doctoral Degrees. Its over 250 students can
choose to study electronics, opthamology, computer sciences, or business
administration skills. There is also a Learning Resource Department,
which includes Jewish Studies, English, Math and Physics. Close interdepartmental contact and a frequent exchange of ideas is stressed, and
teachers serve on Advisory Boards with industrialists and businessmen, so
they can keep courses up-to-date and reality-oriented. Extra-curricular activities keep them in touch with the world of work and they pass this knowledge on to students.
"We ask a lot of our teachers, who must adapt to our unique, selfpaced method of instruction. This requires much more preparation and
ingenuity. Our teachers must be willing to try—that's why so many of
them are young. Bramson is an excellent experience for them!"
Despite the fact that industry offers salaries double those currently
paid by Bramson, the school has managed to recruit and retain a highlytalented faculty. "The challenge is greater at Bramson," Jaskoll declares,
"and so is the teacher's sense of accomplishment. Members of our faculty
work long hours, but they enjoy the person-to-person teaching. There is
discipline, of course, but our atmosphere is comfortable and relaxed."
Indeed, Bramson's teachers—as well as all in the ORT networkbelieve in people; they get involved in much more than teaching, and
the satisfaction they take in the enriched lives of their students is a large
part of their reward.
• •
These are some of the treasures of the Jewish families of Central Europe.
As Hitler was methodically exterminating their Jewish owners—and millions of
other Europeans of all faiths—he was just as methodically collecting in Prague
all the Jewish art and sacred objects he could gather from Bohemia and
Moravia, today's Czechoslovakia. He wanted to show the collection in a
proposed "museum of an extinct people." Rescued from the Nazis at the end
of the war, this collection can now be seen for the first time in the United States,
in an exhibition tided "The Precious Legacy: Judaic Treasures from the
Czechoslovak State Collections."
It dramatizes art and history, tragedy and transcendence. And the treasures have
become what their owners wanted them to be: links in a chain of
continuity, beauty and faith. So long as we treasure these things,
the people who loved them can never be extinct.
'The Precious ^Legacy: Judaic Treasures from the Czechoslovak Slate Collections" appears at the
Bass Museum of Art Miami Beach January 21-March 18.1984;
The Jewish Museum. New York, April 15-Angust 26.1984; San Diego Museum of Art
San Diego. September 22-November 18.1984; New Orleans Museum of Art. New Orleans.
December 15-February 10 1985- Detroit Institute of Arts Detroit, March 12-May 5,1985; The Wadsworth
Atheneum. Hartlbrd. June 3-July 29.1985,
Philip Morris Incorporated
It takes art to make a company great.
Makers of Marlboro. Benson & Hedges 100 s. Merit.
Parliament Lights. Virginia Slims, and Players:
Miller High Life Beer. Lite Beet and Lourenbrau
Special and Dark Special Beer; 7UP and Diet 7UR