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pmge 2—THE NEWS—August 1979
THE CHARLOTTE JEWISH NEWS
Published monthly by:
Charlotte Jeii^ish Federation
Jewish Community Center
Marvin Bienstock^ Director
Charlotte Hebrew Academy
Rabbi Sanford Tucker, Director
International Sews: Marta Garelik
Copy deadline the 8th of each month
P.O. Box S220188
Charlotte, .N.C 28222
“Where Were You?”
In the last issue of the Charlotte Jeu ish Sen s, “Shalom Y^all”
notes that the Jewish communit>' of Charlotte numbers ap
proximately 900 Jewish families.*
On Monday, April 23 at 8 p jn., a Service of Remembrance for the
\ictims of the Holocaust was held at Temple Beth EU. It was spon
sored by the National Conference of Christians and Jews. Charlotte
Area Gerg>‘ Association. Church Women United and the Federa
tion. We received a notice by mail, so I believe the other 899 other
names did also.
The entire ser\ice lasted less than an hour. It was beautifully
done by those people who so generously gave their time and energ>'
to pay homage to the helpless \ictims of the Holocaust.
Temple Beth Ell’s sanctuar>- seats 300. My eyes tried to avoid see
ing the empth seats. I was al^lutely appalled. How humiliating it
had to be for all the many people of di^erent faiths who had worked
so hard, so long, so diligently to bring this memorial to fruition. It
was obvious that many of those attending had come v^ith their
I am certain it would have been much more relaxing for all the
speakers to have spent that evening at home with family or friends,
most certainly a busy executive such as Rolfe Neill with 5 children.
I tried not to think what was in the thoughts of the 12 survivors of
the Holocaust who live in our midst, as they kindled the memorial
lamps. Perhaps their thoughts were too far away, their eyes too
dimmed by tears to see theempt>' seats that my husband and I saw.
The June-July issue of the Charlotte Jeuish Seus also an
nounced on the front page - top center - prominently boxed - large
headline - stating that "Holocaust Square" would be dedicated by a
monument honoring the many millions who had been tragically
slaughtered by the Nazis.
In ver>- large and clear t v-pe. the dedication was to be on Sunday,
June 10 at 12:15 p.m. at a clearly designated Morehead and
Dilworth.cosponsoi^ bv Temple Israel and its neighbor. Covenant
Presbvterian Church. \\*E WERE ALL URGED TO ATTEND::
\Mth restrained eloquence. Dr. Julian Hirschfield. the guest
speaker, relived for us the horror of his imprisonment and his
dramatic rescue. Once more I felt the sting of sorrow and humilia
tion at the sparseness of the audience. The square or triangle ac
tually is a rather small space and 150 people would have packed it. I
saw a few familiar faces, but most of the audience seemed to be
members of the co-sponsoring church, members of the speakers
groups, some curious neighborhood residents and the news media.
In reporting the dedication of the monument, the Obsen er was
more than kind in estimating the attendance at 400. Perhaps the
reporter shared the embarrassment my husband and I felt at the
shameful showing. E)iscussing the figures later tha: day «ith two
others who had attended, that was the consensus ot our opinions.
Again, when I realize the planning, the effort and the woiii that Is
needed to bring these things to realization, I cringe inside. How
then must the people who do all the work feel when they see how few
really give a d , how few care enough to take an hour or two
out of their rather comfortable lives to even attmd?
Can you who were not there remember what terribly important
events in your life on Monday. April 23 at 8 p.m. and Sunday. June
10 at 12 noon kept you from paving respect to the tortured souls of so
many millions who died so horribly?
If 90 many of us can't be bothered to shed a tear and bow oor
heads in tribute to their terribie suffering, then why should not
history repeat itself??
Just out of pure gratitude that you were not one of the victims who
suffered degradation, starvation, mental and physical torture, pai
nful medical experiments, and were worked to death. >’ou should
have cared enough to give them an hour of your time in respect.
Frankly. I consider your lack of ctHnpassion and interest in this
foulest crime in history on oor people absolutely outrageous and
horrendoas. FOR SHAME. FOR SHAME.
BY MURIEL LEVITT
The Jewish family beautiful has existed throughout the ag». Parents^ower affecuon up^ their
chUdren and thev, in turn, share the common bond of love. Still and all, ^ere comes a time when one
child will rebel against another. This is usually a temporar>* condiOon, but it s a real» hopper for as
I have great compassion and sincere empathy for anyone who grows up being the >ou^est cl^d in
a familv. It reall v is the pits. I have been there and I know for sure that old» sisters can be a roy^ pam
in the ear. Genei^y it works out that the older child is top banana while the youngest invariably feels
Using my case as a fair example, let me begin the slor>' by saying that Iprew upin a^iMcai Jewuh
home, in a t>*pical New York Jewish neighborhood, with typical Jewish parente. Tne only ti^g
at>i)ical was my older sister. Instead of being your everyday typical ordinary kid, she had to go and be
a multitalented, extremely gifted girl upon whom everv*one doted.
Without a question both of us were loved, but being the yoimgest alwa>’s bro^ht an i^comfortable
sensation that the first bom was the favorite. It was a bitter pill to swallow. My sister s musical and
dramatic abilities were enough to intimidate anyone. She was a magnificent soprano, an ac
complished pianist, and a stunning elocutionist who could move you to tears with one of her
emotional tedtations. It was a tough act to follow. « /- u • j
Most of my early years were spent wavering between envy and resentment. Tne five year bridge
between us made a close relationship almost impossible. Commumcation was minimal because we
had practically nothing in common. In retrospect. I am sure that our parents never suspected how I
felt. Thev gave us unlimited affection and much attention, probably assuming that similar emotions
were shared by their children. j • j
Sbling rivalry- ran be a hurtful thing. Trving to emulate my sister, I began to study music and
dramatics but never could even approach her point of perfection, to sheer adoles^nt frustration I
gave it ail up not wanting to be second best. It is never easy walking in another s shadow.
There can be no doubt that I must have been a precocious child and a sore trial to my sister. She
plav'ed baby sitter patiently and had to drag me along many tunes when I am sure she would have
preferred privacy. I baited her, abused her possestnons, and generally made her miserable whenever I
could. I adored and hated her simultaneously.
Several years later. I am happy to report, I finally found my own ^he. Und» the guidance of a
shrewd and observant Fjigli«h teacher, she brought me to the realizaOMi tliat while I had smaU
musical aptitude, my real strength was in the written word. I had discovered my own “thing” and it
was a glorious experience.
My sister had been married for five years when I became a bnde. T^ post-war housing shortage
and pure chance found us living in the same apartment building. At long last we met as individuals on
common ground and on equal terms. It was almost a magical confiiontation. We hapjHly rediscovered
each other when it became apparent that all the old negative feelings had faded with maturity. Only
familiar affection remained, stronger and greater than ever. It was pure joy and a stunning revela-
I must say unequivicaUy that my sister is an exceptional woman. She is fair of face and more impor
tant, beautiful inside. Her extraordinary musical talents are second only to being the complete human
being. She relates to people in all walks of life and has a particular affimty for the young. One of her
greatest attributes is the ability to communicate openly, honestly, and objectively. Active in reli^ous
and community affairs, she has been honored repeatedly on both local and national levels. She is in
deed a lady for all seasons. That she married an incredible man with talent, grace, wit. and plenty of
smarts is just more icing on the cake.
Developing mutual respect does not come easily. It took us years of growing and learning but we
have reached such rapport that we are able to say anvthing, but anything, to each other without guilt
or fear of recrimination. There is complete understanding and a feeling of oneness. When she is happy
I laugh, and when she hurts I cr>*. I know she feels the same way.
So take heart, little sister, whoever you are. Some day you will surely feel as I do. You may have
many friends and countless acquaintances, but there is only one sister on whom you can rely. She can
be your confidant, your advisor, your rock, and your alter ego. Tliere is a love between sisters that
transcends all else. I know, because I share it with my sister Hden.
^^Response to Where Were You''
* Editor's note: You noted m your original letter than 900 families
is an inaccurate count. This is true, there are actually closer to 1200.
Dr. Hirschfield is not included in our directorv' as he is a Gastonia
The Editors attended the dedication of ‘‘Holocaust Square” see
storv* page 3>, and also counted heads. There were approximately
•400 people in attendance: however, they were almost all from the
non^ewish communit>*, the participants in the program, and the
press. The lack of participati(»i in such events by the members of
the Jewish communit>’ is unfortimately an old stor>*.
For the past two years programs similar to these have been done
in the Charlotte community that were very well attended, and many
comments have been made that the issue is being overdone - the
public is tired of it. Just as in the editorial we wrote a few months
ago OHiceming voliuteerism. the same applies in this situation.
The apathy of the Charlotte Jewish community in general is ap
parent. Perhaps Mrs. Tuvin, with more people like you around we
can somedav overcome this maladv.
iStmi SApNCO 8U5TCR
Dear Ms. Langman,
Thank you for bringing the
news release as requested: we in
cluded a storv* in the next issue
of The Southern Advocate. I
hope we can carrv' more articles
like this in the future and look
forward to receiving your
I went over to the square last
weekend after receiving your
release. It is a moving reminder
of the horrors of the Nazis and
makes me more determined to
counter their efforts today.
Thank you again.
Charlotte Equal Rights Coun
Congratulations on your fine
editorial praising Charlotte’s
beaut>'Barbara and I have lived
in Charlotte fifteen years, and
we, too. share your enthusiasm
for our community.
As the incoming president of
the Charlotte Opera
Association N.C. Opera, I
would also like to thank you for
including opera in your list of
cuhural assets. If you or any of
your readers would like informa
tion regarding our coming
season of “Aida”, “The Magic
Flute”, or ‘The Elixer of Love*^,
please let me know. I would be
delighted to personally ac
quaint them with the advan
tages of attending our perfor
Keep up the fine work."
Jeffrey A. Haberman