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Page 2-THE NEWS-September, 198S
THE CHARLOTTE JEWISH NEWS
Published monthly by:
Charlotte Jewish Federation
Foundation of Charlotte Jewish Community
Marvin Bienstock, Director
Jewish Community Center N.C. Hebrew Academy
Martin Schneer, Director Eleanor Weinglass, Director
Editor. Rita Mond
Advertising. Blanche Yarus
Copy deadline the 10th of each month
P.O. Box 13369, Charlotte, N.C. 28211
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Ethiopians Protest On
Only recently there was a march by hundreds of
Ethiopian immigrants living in absorption centers in
Carmiel and Safad, Israel, to protest against the Chief
Rabbinate’s order that they undergo a symbolic con
version. The demonstration was halted when they
were promised a meeting with Prime Minister Peres.
The Jewishness of the Falashas was affirmed in
1973 by the then Sephardi Chief Rabbi Ovadia Yosef.
In 1975, the Israeli government recognized them as
Jews entitled to immigrate to Israel under the Law
of Return. However, their long separation from
mainstream Jewry and their unfeimiliarity with
talmudic rabbinical tradition, made them suspect in
the eyes of some rabbis. These rabbis have insisted
that they undergo a form of conversion signifying
“renewal of the covenant."
The rabbis feel that they “must follow the law” and
based their opinion on the fact that some of the Ethio-
piguis had intermarried with non-Jews over the cen
turies. They said that any other community that pos
ed a simileir problem would be dealt with in the same
way. They said that the U.S. and USSR were places
where a similar problem might also arise.
The rabbis noted that in the past, the chief rab
binate had also demanded a token circumcision pro
cedure, but that this was eliminated when it became
apparent that the Ethiopian circumcision ceremony
was accepted according to the Halacha.
Members of the Czirmiel group described their pro
test as a “march of pain.” They charged that the rab
binate’s decree had stamped them with the “mark of
Cain” and made them feel like outcasts. One of the
marchers said, “Maybe it would have been better if
we had stayed in Ethiopia despite everything we suf
fered there. At least there we knew who we £u*e.
“We suffered famine, disease and beatings from
those who did not like us because we are Jews, but
we kept our faith. We are happy to come to Israel,
to the land of Zion, even though many have paid a
heavy price £ind some died before they could reach
the Promised Land.
“But now we find we have less here than we had
in Ethiopia. We could put up with the beatings and
all the other things, but not a blow to our. faith.”
Others such as The Jerusalem Post have come out
strongly against the ritual conversion requirement.
The Ethiopian Jews who came to Israel in “Opera
tion Moses” have gone through enough without hav
ing humiliation thrust upon them. Israel’s standing
as the land of the ingathered Jewish exiles is at stake.
|——— ‘liHf I
■■ Letters to the Editor
The Charlotte Jewish should be typed and double-
News encourages its readers to spaced. They may be edited in
submit articles and letters ex- order to fit the available space,
pressing their opinions on mat
ters of interest to the Jewish Mail to CJN - P.O. Box 13369,
community. Such submissions Charlotte, N.C. 28211.
From the Desk of Marty Schneer
—JCC Executive Director
This summer’s day camp ex
perience has taught me once
again never to take anything
for granted. As you may be
aware, due to the sale of the
old Sharon Amity property
last September, we have had
to move our camp program
three times, from the Hebrew
Academy to Providence Bap
tist Church to Gus Purcell’s
campground. While we great
ly appreciate the willingness of
these institutions to open their
doors to us, it has presented a
number of significant pro
blems for the camp staff. I
should add that despite these
inconveniences our camp pro
gram has been quite suc
cessful in terms of creating a
caring environment and a
variety of day camp ex
periences. In light of these dif
ficult circumstances, I would
like to emphasize the need to
focus on and appreciate how
far we have come as a com
munity. Recently, a consul
tant from the Jewish Welfare
Board (JWB) visited Charlotte
and was tremendously im
pressed, not only by the
physical facilities, but by our
overall communal concept.
Having worked in other
Jewish Community Centers, I
recognize the importance of a
central address for a small
Jewish community. Hopefully
the experience of the last two
years will teach aU of us to tru
ly appreciate and take full ad
vantage of our new home.
It seems only appropriate at
this time of year to reflect on
such matters. Our dream for
the Charlotte Jewish com
munity is clearly within reach.
It is my hope that our new
physical space will be a vehi
cle for enhancing the quality of
life for all Jews in Charlotte.
Perhaps we should take a
closer look at what quality of
life really means and how the
Center can contribute to the
elusive goal. Last month I
talked about our role in
responding to the need for
companionship and stimula
tion for the isolated older
adult. My vision of a com
munity center includes an in
finite number of service
possibilities; however, there
are some very basic issues
that we need to address. It is
my belief that the Center can
contribute significantly to the
social life of Jewish singles in
this conmiunity. Our program
ming, whether it be recrea
tional, cultural or educational,
needs to have a built-in compo
nent that tends to attract
single adults. We have
struggled as a people for
thousands of years to main
tain our faith, £md in this
generation the Center is uni
quely qualified to continue
that struggle in regard to the
most vulnerable of age
groups, our college students
and young singles. We must
demonstrate our commitment
to Jewish values and ideals so
that these young people may
find their own positive sense
of identification. In our
materialistic and in some ways
superficial society, the Center
can play a role reminding peo
ple of what is truly important.
Family programming, inter-
generational activities, holi
day celebrations, these are
just a few of the ways that the
JCC can achieve this goal.
Remember that together we
can create an environment of
our own choosing in this facili
ty. Let us define excellence in
As the summer draws to a
close, I would like to thank
two dedicated lay people for
their work on behalf of the
Center. David Fox, chairman
of the Swim Team committee,
and Brenda Manes, chairman
of the Camp committee,
assumed key positions last
winter with the understanding
that we faced some real uncer
tainty in regard to the use of
facilities. Both programs have
been very successful due in
large part to the strong leader
ship Brenda and David provid-
. ed. Again, thank you.
I would like to wish JCC
Fundraising Chairperson, Lin
da Greenfeld, a speedy
recovery from her recent
surgery. I look forward to see
ing her dance at our next
Silent Auction on November 2.
y NEW YEAR
Israel In S. Africa:
A Miniscule Role
WASHINGTON — How do Israel emd the Third World com
pare in the dealings with the controversial government of South
Africa? Israel's role is miniscule compared to the Arabs.
• South Africa’s trade with Israel is approximately $100
• About one half of one percent of Israel’s exports go to South
• About one half of one percent of South Africa’s exports are
received by Israel.
• In contrast, four percent of South African exports go to
Black African nations; and three percent of exports from Black
African nations are received by South Africa.
• Arab oil exports alone to South Africa are 10 times greater
than all of Israel’s exports to South Africa.
• South Africa receives 76 percent of its oil from Arab nations.
• In 1982, Arab nations received close to $1 billion in gold,
diamonds and minerals from South Africa in exchange for oil.
Sept. 13 - 7:15 p.m.
Sept. 15 - 7:12 p.m.
Sept. 16 - 8:12 p.m.
Sept. 20 - 7:08 p.m.
Sept. 24 - 7:00 p.m. (Erev Yom Kippur)
Sept. 27 - 6:55 p.m.
Sept. 29 - 6:53 p.m.
Sept. 30 - 7:53 p.m.
Oct. 4 - 6:45 p.m.
Oct. 6 - 6:42 p.m.
Oct. 7 - 7:41 p.m.
(Erev Rosh Hashanah)
(Erev Shemini Atzeret)