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June 6, 1980     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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June 6, 1980
 

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Page 4. HERITAGE. Florida Jewish News. June 6. 1980 IIII III III I A Prediction Come True ... Two years aqo in this column, in summa,izing th,.- accomplishments of the outgoing president o4 Orlando's Jewish Federation, Sy Israel. we ended our piece with the following: He is leaving this indelible direction toward unity and new standard of excellence in Jewish leadership to his successor, Marcia Kerstein. It would not surprise us if she supersedes them. ... and she topped them gloriously! ... and a New Challenge Elliott Zerivitz is the new president of the Federation. He's held this position before, when it was known as the Jewish Community Council. That was before it entered the so-called current era of the area's Jewish growth cycle. Zerivitz has long been an active member of the community, but he has always shunned the publicity of his accomplishments. He certainly cannot be accused of being a headline seeker. As a member of the Chevra Kadesha, Congr..Ohev Shalom, the prime moverins-king Kinneret I and II to their successful conclusion, and this past year as executive vice president of the Federation, Zerivitz has made innumerable contributions to the Jewish community. Despite the fact that his predecessors have built a solid foundation of Jewish progress in the area. Zerivitz does not facean easy task during the coming year. Sy israel ! ! 97.6-78t set the Federauorfs direction and Maci Kerstein (]978 80) consotidatud that dhec io,; ,v,h: sn-:- increase in numbers oi ,Jewish r,sidents nere -- 12,000 compared to 8,000 just four years ago -- together with the limited cadre of responswe leadership to aide him, will make his job more difficult. We would hope that one of Zerivitz's immediate objectives is for wider participation in Federation enterprises by easing and encouraging the opportunities of sharing in building a better Orlando for its Jewish residents. Even with present shortage of able administrators, and with the difference in style and personality he brings to the office, we look forward to another exciting year of Jewish progress under Elliott Zerivitz's leadership. We wish him success. Correcting a Possible Misconception Last week on this page we may have given our readers a misconception. In our piece about Bill Frederick, a candidate for mayor of Orlando, we wrote: He said he had joined the University Club simply because "it was a place to play handball," bat he resigned when he learned of their bias, long before he decided to run for mayor. That is not true, although it was the we received in our conversation with have since learned that Frederick resi the Liniversitv Clut in late L)tober '  " o. a/t, he had announced his candida( .::,.:',d; enough tne io p' quote.) a.s ;;dw:: [; D' ahoy,- r:l;rot,:}; atlcJ a:),,-)v: " We apologize if you were misiej. Conventions End for Jewish Organizations by Boris Smolar (Editor-in-chief emeritus) (Copyright 1980, JT& Inc.) The Convention Season: The season of conventions of national Jewish organizations is almost over. Most of the organizations -- reflecting the various activities in American Jewish life -- held their annual meetings last month; others are meeting this month. Atthe end of this month many national Jewish leaders will proceed to Israel to paicipate there in the Jewish Agency Assembly, in the ORT Centennial Congress and in the three-day dedication ceremonies of the Joint Distribution Committee building in Jerusalem. As could be expected, discussions on Israel occupied a major place at the conventions. However, they did not overshadow the problems and realities within American Jewish life. Problems faced by the American Jewish community were widely analyzed and discussed. The collection of these problems was large. It included the constantly growing rate of intermarriage, low Jewish fertility, the rise of the proportion of Jewish aged in need of aid, the moving of Jews to the south and west of the count which affects Jewish family life and Jewish communal life, the increase in divorces, Soviet-Jewish immigration to the country, U.S. legislation affecting Jewish communal interests, Jewish-Christian relations, the issue of whether women should be admitted to the rabbinate, and numerous other problems. Nevertheless, the question how can American Jewry help Israel in the very critical situation in which she mayflnd herself in the coming months was foremost on the minds of the delegates. This was not the question of how to help Israel financially in her economic difficulties; it was the concern over the dangerous political situation she may face this summer both on the American and international scenes. Arabs and the U.S. Elections: This is a year of Presidential elections in the United States, and Arab rulers have chosen this year to flex their muscles in the Arab- Israel conflict in order to test their own power of influencing the United States as compared with the influence of American Jewry. This is not even an anti-lsrael test but one against the Jews in the United States. The Jerusalem issue, hitherto comparatively dormant, is now being "brought to the front by Arab rulers in full force. They know that in an election year the canidates running for President -- as well as the political parties nominating them -- are competing for Jewish votes and are therefore inclined to commit them- selves to pledges for Jewish causes, especially for the cause of the State of Israel. The Arab rulers are therefore embarking now on a strategy of not only trying to prevent the making of such pledges, they also seek to utilize the situation to secure a pledge for themselves -- a pledge that Jerusalem will be put under Arab control. The ruler of Saudi Arabia has now signalled to the United States to this effect. He indicated that he intends to raise the price of oil after the election results. He will probably do it anyway, but he obviously believes that his blackmail threat can influence the canidates running for President to be careful in making pro-Israel statements during the election campaign. He is also pressuring Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and the U.S. to alter the Camp David policies and include Jerusalem in the territories to be ceded from Israel. Jumping on the band- wagon of the Saudis is the King of Jordan -- himself a very small figure in the Arab world -- who now insists that Old Jerusalem be declared part of Jordan in the present Egyptian-Israeli negotiations, otherwise he will not jointhese negotiations at a time when the United States government as well as Egypt are most anxious to see him become a negotiating partner. And so, the Jerusalem issue has now been pushed forcibly to the forefront by the Arabs with a view to gain influence in the Presidential elections. That Israel will never agree to make concessions on Jerusalem goes without saying. There is also the question of what will be the policy of the U.S. President who is elected in November. He will be in the White House for four years during which he will not need Jewish votes. And in four years a lot of developments may take place with regard to Israel. A spirit of alertness therefore prevailed at the conventions of Jewish organizations. Jewish-Christian Relations in U.S.: One of the most important problems dis- cussed at the conventions dealt with Jewish-Christian relations in this country. In the earliest stages of Jewish-Christian relations in the United States -- from the 1920s to the 1960s -- Protestant-Jewish relations were the keystone of the interreligious movement. Liberal Protestants and Jews were "allies" and were in the forefront of major domestic social groups to combat religious anti-Semitism in Christian textbooks and preaching. This is not the case today. Strains have developed during the last few years in the relations between Protestant groups and the Jewish community. They are centered mainly about differing interests and perceptions of Israel, Jerusalem, and Palestinian self-determination. The question discussed at the conventions was whether it is possible to overcome mis- understandings about Israel, the Palestinians and the Middle East generally with liberal Protestants. The Catholic-Jewish relations were also examined at the conventions. The policies of the Vatican toward the status of Jerusalem and diplomatic relations between the Vatican and Israel are urgent current concerns of American Jewry. Another concern is to what extent have Catholic teachings about the Jewish people and the Jewish religion been revised in textbooks and through teacher training in the United States, in the light of the Vatican Declaration of 1 g6.5 condemning "displays of anti-Semitism by anyone and at any time." Anti-Semitism in the U.S. was naturally also one of the major problems discussed at the conventions. There is concern in the Jewish community about recent trends which suggest that among some important segments of the American society anti-Semitism is gaining ground. In the anti-Semitic press, a- calculated effort is being made to stir up hatred of American Jews by increasing propagation of the themes that Jews are more loyal to Israel than to America; anti- Semitic incidents and vandalism against syna- gogues and Jewish institu- tions has taken a quantum upturn during the last 12 months; a revived Klu Klux Klan in the south is now concentrating on anti-Jewish propaganda more than on anti-Black; prominent Christian clergymen and politicians are accusing the Jews of being active fighters against prayers in public schools; there is a disturbing amount of unadulterated anti- Semitism among some recognized Black leaders, while several prominent Blacks seek to curry favor with Arab governments and the Palestine Liberation Organi- zation. A Gallup Poll conducted for the American Jewish. Committee established, however, that 50 percent of all Americans reject the notion that Jews are more loyal to Israel than to America (only 29 percent felt they were; 21 percent had no opinion). HERITAGE welcomes atd encourages letters to the editor, but they n We will whold your name if you so request. Please limit k space limitations, vie reserve the dfl Box 742. Fern Pack, FL 72730. Proponent for Women Says "Always an Dear Editor: The commu Re: the letter questioning understand. ordaining of Women as rabbis. We don't have There is always an excuse for It's too radical. fighting a change, for It's too maintaining the status quo -- The rabb in this case the "tradition" The argument. Does being a It's too late. tradition automatically make It's too soon. something morally right? We need Often arguments could have There are too been used such as: involved. It will get bad We tried it once -- it didn't work. The people Won't buy it. Response To 'Mideast Dear. Editor: Cutting the Regarding the recent bone, this editorial comment ("Mideast proposal seems Limbo," May 31, ] 980) to be realistic, concerning the Egyptian mind with its Israeli stalemate, congratu- posture. TOO lations are in order to the approach is not editorial writer of the Sentinel government Star, perspective enough to on the national, see through the cloudy levels. obfuscations of the Mideast rhetoric evidenced in recent ELLEi months. Influencing 2 i ,000 Jewish readers each week in Orlando, Daytona Beach and Space Coast cities Florida. Published by Heritage Central Florida Inc., 207 O'Brien Rd., Fern Park, Fla. 2nd class at Fern Park and other mailing offices. Subscdptions: $11.00 per calendar year to ($1.00 more to the rest of the U.S.) and thereafter. Mailing Address: P.O. Box 742, Fern Park, FL GENE STARN, Editor & Publisher EDITORIAL: Barbara Coenson-Roth, Associate Yousha PRODUCTION: Elaine Starn, Rachel Scott ADVERTISING: Marsha Hyman " Phones: (305) 834-878' Members: American Jewish Pra Jewish Telegraphic Agency Religious  Serolces