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November 6, 1986     The Jewish Transcript
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November 6, 1986

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i( " ii:, Volume LXII, No. 19 Seattle, Washington THE Pub. No. ISSN 0021-678)( 75 c 4 Cheshvan, 5747 November 6, 1986 First liver transplants in Israel Page 3 The Reagan administration and Shamir Page 4 Why a Jew moves to Israel Page 4 Yael Dayan Issues call for excellence Page 10 Telephone call to refusenik Page 11 Jewish Food Bank drive Underway Page 13 JEWISH VIDEO The VCR revolution has hit the Jewish community in force by Michael Elkin ane Fonda, move over -- Kuni Leml's going to run you ragged. Julia Child, take off that apron -- two Yiddishe mommas are turning up the heat. The VCR revolution has hit the Jewish community, with Jewish-content video- cassettes doing battle for premium shelf space against such tape titans as exercise maven Fonda and chef Child. It is a revolution with more winners than losers at this point, acknowledged by more and more video producers as they entertain the idea of offering Jewish entertainment and educational videotapes for both home and school use. Avraham Rosenblum is doing more than musing on the subject of Jewish home videos these days. As one of the leaders of the popular Diaspora Yeshiva Band, Rosenblum is considering the idea of producing a video. He is no stranger to the experience; he and his band released a video three years ago. "That was three years too soon," he says now. Indeed, dozens of interviews with leading video pioneers, insiders, performers, analysts and critics indicate that this is the year for Jewish video programmers to make their mark. In a business speeding along at fast forward, they reason, this is no time to push the hold button. "No doubt, there's a growing market This seder scene is featured in "The Animated Haggadah" produced by Scopus Films and available in videocassette. for such tapes," says Max Eisen, a New York press agent/public relations director whose work has brought him in close contact with varied Jewish performance groups and audiences. Mike Burstyn agrees. A performer with roots in the Yiddish theater, Burstyn has taken note of the lure of the video. "It can provide wonderful home entertainment," he says. Although he portrayed "Kuni Leml the fool" on the screen in a series of films, Burstyn is no fool when it comes to com- mitting himself to a project. "For a Jewish video to succeed, it must be of high quality, that goes without saying," he notes. Burstyn has appeared in "Sing Yid- dish!" and "Candle Unto Candle," both originally broadcast on cable television and now available for home use. But... available from whom? Mail- order houses offer a variety of Jewish titles. Indeed, Jewish Media Service in New York is a bastion of Beta and VHS tapes, with such offerings as "Gimpel the Fool" and "Story of Basha," based on Continued on page 5 At AJC meeting: Constitution under attack, says Evans The U.S. Constitution is under attack to- day not so much from fringe political groups or individual zealots, but from well- meaning, dedicated people, Sen. Dan Evans said in a speech to the American Jewish Committee in Seattle last week. Speaking to the opening luncheon of the AJC's National Executive Council meeting, Evans, R-Wash., said these well-meaning people are seeking constitutional ratifica- tion of their beliefs. "Congress today is flooded with more proposed amendments to the Constitution than possibly at any time in our history," Evans said. These include amendments for school prayer, against abortion, mandating balanced budgets, equal rights for women, anti-busing, a guaranteed right to employ- ment opportunity and English as a second language, he said. The Senator urged his audience to be "ever vigilant -- and ready to fight when necessary -- against those who would sup- plant their values for ours." "Only the strength of our arguments, the power of our reasoning, and the sharpness of our vision will enable us to prevail." Evans said the 99th Congress just ended demonstrates the variety of threats the political process poses for the Constitution. The bill designed to fight drug use was one example, he said. An amendment was Sen. Dan Evans, left, and Rep. Ron Wyden proposed that would have allowed the death penalty for specified drug offenses. "While I am against the death penalty, I'm not averse to full, open debate," Evans said. "But because time was so short at the end of the session, there was no opportuni- ty to debate fully. It was a poorly drafted and poorly thought out proposal." Evans also cited the impeachment case of former federal Judge Harry Claiborne. Claiborne is serving a prison sentence for income tax evasion and became the first federal judge removed from office in 50 years. "I voted for acquittal on each of the four articles, not because l necessarily believe Judge Claiborne is innocent, but that the Senate did not follow the course prescribed by the Constitution." Evans was opposed to the decision to have a committee take testimony in the Claiborne case, rather than the full Senate. "In the case of the drug bill and the Claiborne trial, constitutional threats came not so much from direct assault but from carelessness and inattention," Evans said. Preserving religious freedom is a "para- mount concern" in American political af- fairs, according to the Senator. But when religion and politics mix, he said, neither should take precedence over the other. "Any move to 'Christianize' America, or to stipulate that a given religion or set of beliefs have greater merit than others, runs flatly contrary to the fundamental precepts of justice and equality," Evans said. Evans shared the podium with Rep. Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat who in 1980 became the first Jewish congressman from that state. His election "really illustrates how far we've come," Wyden said. Wyden said the ability of the U.S. to compete in the world market will be a ma- jor issue in the next several years. "Can we compete in this global village?" he asked. "It's a question that's going to determine how we live." Wyden has worked in Congress to create new opportunities for the Pacific North- west in international trade. []