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February 22, 1980     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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February 22, 1980

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Page 6. HERITAGE. Florida Jewish News. February 22. 1980 " 1980 Winter Olympic Games: A Very Personal View Ed. Note: Correspondent Howard Volpert phoned in the following first chapter of his "A Personal View of the ! 980 Olympics" from a snow-blasted phone booth on Main St. of the 1980 Winter Olympics' Lake Placid Village in the Adirondack Mountains of upper New York State. Vo|pert, vice president of Burdines in Orlando, is the grandson of an orthodox Jewish family who immigrated to this country and were part of the early foundations of their synagogue and. in large measure, of the tiny town In which it stands. Chapter two of his stow wig appear next week. Story and Photos by Howard Volpert Special to HERITAGE 5 MAIN ST., LAKE PLACID, N.Y. -- My grandparents, Simon J. and Ida Volpert, were Orthodox Jews who lived at 51 Sentinal Rd. here in Lake Placid. My father, Myron, was born just a mile from the site of the opening ceremonies of the 1980 Olympics, the second Olympic ame in which my family has participated. ow we have come home to pay homage to our family and to watch the 1980 Winter Olympic Games. They are spec- tacular. This year, for the first time, religion was brought into the Olympic Games and it was very beautiful. Religious leaders, including two rabbis, were brought into the center of the arena during a universal celebration of God before the official opening ceremonies. Rabbi Selig Auerback, rabbi to the ten Jewish families in Lake Placid, is the official Olympic Chaplain. (Daily services are available at the synagogues and kosher meals are provided for the athletes who want them.) It was a wonderful experience to watch the spectacular opening ceremonies, which took place only a mile from where my father, Myron, was born. My grand- parents had raised five boys and four girls in the village, and my grandfather was on the original organizing committee of the 1932 Winter Olympics. lie also ran for public office in Lake Placid, never lost an election, and served on the village board for many years. My uncle Samuel A. Volpert was one of the official doctors in the 1932 Olympics. HOWARD and children, Molly andAdam, stand (photo at right) on Main SL in the Olympic Games. i' "... THE OPENING CEREMONIES were spectacular and watching them back nostalgic memories of my childhood..." Now, watching the award ceremonies on Mirror Lake, behind my uncles Sam and Warren Volpert's drugstore, I feel nostalgia for my boyhood. My wife, Judy and I represent the third generation, and my children, Molly and Adam, the fourth generation, of our family to attend opening ceremonies of Winter uUlag "*We have come home to pay homage to our family and to watch the games here. It is thrilling to be back, f just for the games, but the brotherhood that obviously existed between Christians in this small place. Next I describe a special kiddush Shabbos, t held here tomorrow evening, Sat., 23, in memory of my father and parents in their old congregation. "Affluent but Uneasy" Civil Strife Threatens Rhodesian Jewry NEW YORK (JTA) -- F_,ighty-five years after the first Jewish congregation was established in Rhodesia, the 2000 Jews who Still remain in that strife-torn southern African nation are struggling to maintain a fully functioning community. There are synagogues, day and afternoon schools, a home for the aged, a central representative body and a Zionist movement. But their future seems bleak and their survival depends on whether whites in general can have an acceptable future as a minodty in a Black-ruled Zimbabwe-Rhodesia, according to a recent report published by the World Jewish Congress. Organized Jewish life in Rhodesia dates back to 1894 when about 20 Jews were among the purchasers of land in Bulawayo. They established their congregation a year later. The majority of the newcomers were from Russia dn Uthuania, later joined by Sephardic Jews. In 1900 there were 400 Jews in Rhodesia. By 1921, the Jewish community numbered 1289, in 1936 4760 and in 1961 it reached a peak of 7000. In 1968, it was down to 5500 and the decline continued. In 1979, the Jewish population of Zimbabwe-Rhodesia was estimated at 2300. "More than 60 percent of the community is over 50 years of age," the report said. "There are 500 Jewish children in the whole of Rhodesia," nevertheless the Sharon Day School in Salisbury and the Carmel Day School in Bulawayo continue to function, the former with 81 pupils, the latter with 6g. Salisbury is the only center in the country where an afternoon school continues to function. Non-Jews and non-whites have recently been admitted to the day schools. "There has been a merger of the Progressive and Orthodox communities n Bulawayo, where there is no rabbi or shocheL Salisbury has a rabbi CUT cantor and he serves both cities," the WJC reported. But "in spite of the steady outflow, there has been some expansion in communal institutions and facilities. A new synagogue was completed in Salisbury in 1977. A home for the aged was completed in ] 976; Children Going Elsewhere According to the WJC, "Rhodesian Jewry is affluent but uneasy. There is an awareness that there may be great difficulties ahead, and a number are encouraging their ! THE SYNAGOGUE of the Bulawayo Hebrew Congr gation, foundation stone laid in 1897. Encyclopedia Judafca children to seek their futures elsewhere...There appears to be no difficulty in meeting all the community's bud.qets and the amount of money raised for Israel are, on a per capita basis, comparable with those raised in other affluent communities. The life style is similar to that of South African Jews," the WJC said. Until 1976, the majority of Jews leaving Rhodesia went to South Africa. "The choice was understandable in view of the fact that many were born in South Africa and had relatives and interests there," the report noted. But after 1976, "more Jewish emigrants opted for Israel than in the past, and some looked to the U.S., Australia, Canada and Europe. Since 1976, between 250-300 Rhodesian Jews have emigrated to Israel annually," the WJC reported. Rhodesia contains one of four small communities among the WJC's African affiliates. The others are in Kenya, Zaire and Zambia. The WJC reported that "There are about 200Jews left in Kenya and with the help of some of the Israelis in that country on construction or economic projects, a degree of communal life is possible. Zaire has about 700 Jews and they manage to provide religious, educational and social fac!tities. Dutch Royalty Protocol in of Holland's AMSTERDAM (JTA) -- memories of ther Crown Princess Beatrix, who tion are still will become Queen of The their wedding, Netherlands on April 30, and with t her husband, Prince Claus, dam, Gysbert have quietly manifested a had been a sympathetic interest in Jewish ber of affairs and in Israel over the munity who years. They have done so the Mayor's inconspicuously within the latter were restrictions imposed by couple's wish tO protocol, lations with them. It is not customary in Cordial Relati01t Holland, as it is in Great Prince ClauS, Britain, for members of the law in Royal Family to attend Jewish man, worked for or other fund-raising func- offices of a tions. But Princess Beatrix and Later, as Prince Claus have shown a West Germany strong sensitivity to Jewish the Dominican concerns. In 1972 they can- maintained celled their official visit to the with Jewish Olympic Games in Munich as Similarly, in a gesture of protest over the and Princes murder of Israeli athletes by friendly with Palestinian terrorists although then junior the Dutch Olympics Commit- Avraham tee did not withdraw from the When the Games. broke out and They visited Israel several countries years ago; ,lot officially relations with because the Dutch govern- Beatrix and ment would not approve such offered to take a visit for political reasons. But young they impressed many Israelis home for with their sincerity and Israelis interest, especially by the obvious manner in which they had pre- Beatrix, who is pared themselves for the visit, her mother, Princess 13eatrix's marriage The Queen to the German:born Claus von she will step Amsberg aroused furious throne on her opposition in Holland where April 30. i