Quick Click … From the William Davidson Digital Archive of Jewish Detroit History: May 19, 2016

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Dalai Lamadjn-1989-10-20-0-001I often tell readers that, “while cruising or surfing or researching” the pages of the JN and Jewish Chronicle in the William Davidson Digital Archives, I discover fascinating stories. Indeed, that is my pleasure. This week, I discovered a story from the Oct. 10, 1989, issue of the JN that brought-up a cherished personal memory: “The Dalai Lama Discovers Judaism.”

Why a personal memory? In April 2012, while attending the Nobel Laureate Summit in Chicago as part of the delegation of former Polish president and Nobel Peace Prize winner, Lech Walesa, I was privileged to attend a private meeting with the Dalai Lama (private, if you do not count the U.S., Polish and Dalai Lama’s Secret Service guards).

It was a wonderful experience and, to my surprise, the Dalai Lama was a “regular guy” — a person who was obviously highly educated and intelligent and aware of the position he held, but a person you would want to invite to your house for dinner.

The JN story is a great story, with some interesting facts. This was the first encounter between the Dalai Lama and the Jewish community, and it was 10 days before he received the Noble Peace Prize. And, even the most skeptical member of the Jewish delegation “could see immediately that he was special.”

I recommend this story as a good read about a good person.

Want to learn more? Go to the DJN Foundation archives, available for free at www.djnfoundation.org.

By Mike Smith, DJN Foundation Archivist

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