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April 05, 1985 - Image 16

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1985-04-05

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Friday, April 5, 1985



bottle?" The second bottle had been
placed on the floor of the car by Dr.
Kaplan and the lady drove off happily,
wishing him a happy Passover.
Making a happy Passover for poor
Detroiters begins in November for
Moies Chetim. Shirley Robbins and
her daughter began planning for
Passover at that time, updating lists
provided by the Jewish Family Service
and other sources.
Mrs. Kaplan explained that "let-
ters come in all the time. We try to
screen them, but we don't investigate.
We won't turn anybody away. If people
taken off the list still need help from
Moies Chetim, we ask them to get a
note from their social worker."
Some 100 names were removed
from the list this year, but many were
put back on before the completion of
the distribution. The five months of
paperwork for Mrs. Robbins and her
daughter also included making ad-
dress changes, updating files and or-
dering the Passover products. Ben
Weisman had been the organization's
bookkeeper and accountant for many
years, but Mrs. Robbins is now taking
over. "I'll be 83 in August," Weisman
explained. "This is getting too strenu-
ous for me, so I'm going to retire."
Morrey Gould, Moies Chetim vice
president and treasurer, is a com-
parative youngster at age 59. He says
the organization needs young volun-
teers, but added sadly, "I don't think
the majority of youngsters know what
Moies Chetim is."
Gould, Morris Dorn and Mrs. Abe
(Bea) Katzman recently discussed the
62-year history of the local group,
which was started by Louis Smith in
1922. Dorn Produce in Eastern Market
was only a few stalls away and that is
how the Dorn family got involved.
Smith and his son Charles distributed
money to poor Jews that was contrib-
uted by various synagogues. Shaarey
Zedek and Adat Shalom members
have been among the largest con-
tributors in recent years.
"Funds were distributed at the
Edmund Street shul. Then Manis-
chewitz had a big warehouse on 12th
Street and they used to let us distrib-
ute matzah there," Mrs. Katzman re-
called. Unofficial historian for Moies
Chetim since the death of her husband
last year, Mrs. Katzman said the
group moved to the Jewish Commu-
nity Center on Davison, to Bais Tefilo
Emanuel on Wyoming, and with the
synagogue to Southfield 20 years ago.
The group worked from larger quar-
ters for a few years when Yeshivath
Beth Yehudah was leasing, space
across Greenfield at Oak Park's
Roosevelt School. Mrs. Katzman's
husband, Abe, was a Moies Chetim
volunteer for 40 of those years.
Moies Chetim funds are also used
to purchase supplies for the annual
Seder for 250 handicapped, elderly and
isolated Jews which is sponsored by
the Cooperative Council of the League
of Jewish Women's Organizations and
Rabbi and Mrs. Solomon H. Gruskin.
Additional supplies have been sent in
the past to the Hillel House at the
University of Michigan.


Money For Wheat

Detroit's Jewish poor depend
on the Moies Chetim Organization
for their Passover food.


News Editor


e climbed out of the
seven-year-old, rusting
Chevrolet and waited
for his wife, hobbling
slowly with a cane.
They quietly entered the narrow hall-
way of Cong. Beth Tefilo Emanuel
Tikvah, piled high with boxes of mat-
zah and wine, and presented a form
letter. In exchange, they were given
ten pounds of matzah, a bottle of
Passover wine and a small check to
purchase other Passover foods.
This scene was repeated 500 times
last week as the Moies Chetim (Money
for. Wheat) Organization of Detroit,
Inc. distributed 4,500 pounds of -mat-
zah and 600 bottles of Passover wine to
Detroit's Jewish poor. It is a task that
Moies Chetim has been accomplishing
since 1922, but unfortunately the
organization, like its "clients," is get-
ting a little tired.
Moies Chetim in recent years has
been Morris Dorn, his family and his
friends. And Morris Dorn is 83. Aiding
him at the four-day distribution last
week were his daughter, Shirley Rob-
bins, his granddaughter, Ann Kaplan,
and her husband, Dr. Kale Kaplan,
and cousin Robert Dorn. Even great-
granddaughter Erin, who is "almost
four," helped on Sunday by placing the
bottles of wine into paper bags. Other
"workers" helping with the Sunday
crush of 250 orders were 30-year vol-
unteers Morrey Gould and Ben Weis-
man. Over the next three days they
would handle an additional 250 cus-

Moles Chetim

The Moies Chetim Organiza-
tion of Detroit, Inc. is continu-
ing to accept donations to defray
costs for this Passover and fu-
ture Passovers. Persons wish-
ing to contribute or volunteer
can write to Moies Chetim in
care of Morris Dorn, 25165
Biarritz Circle, Apt. C, Oak
Park 48237.





Morrey Gould, Bea Katzman and Morris Dorn checked Moies Chetim's Passover supplies
before the organization's four-day distribution to needy Detroit Jews.

"We hired some boys from the
yeshivah to help us on Sunday," Mrs.
Robbins explained, "but they didn't
come. We were supposed to open the
doors at 9:30 a.m., but the people were
lined up outside at 8:45 so we began
early." Through long experience, be-
ginning early means giving the reci-
pients numbers, seating them in Beth
Tefilo Emanuel Tikvah's sanctuary,
and filling the orders as quickly as
Moies Chetim has other volun-
teers, of course. They number in the
hundreds — Detroiters who have
raised or contributed $18,000 an-
nually the last few years to help their
fellow Jews make Passover. The
budget however, like the budgets of
the recipients, does not stretch as far
as it once did. Last year, Moies Chetim
distributed matzah, wine, farfel, cake
meal and other Passover foods, along
with a small check, to 600 persons. But
the organization had to -draw $5,000
from its dwindling reserves in order to
do it.
The vast majority of this year's
clients gratefully accept whatever is

given. One elderly woman, wearing a
brown leather coat, bright blue shoes,
a print dress and a blonde wig, joked
with Dorn about the lack of farfel.
"How can I make Passover without
farfel?" she demanded. This led to a
discussion in Yiddish on the proper
way of crushing Passover matzah into
Walking back to her car, the
woman explained to The Jewish News
that she had been accepting Moies
Chetim packages for her daughter for
many years, but had been coming the
last two years for herself since her
husband died. Tears welled up in her
eyes as Dr. Kaplan placed the two or-
ders in the back seat of her car. "I used
to have everything by me," she ex-
plained."Both Seders. It's not the same
now without my husband. I just can't
do it."
She then checked the packages of
matzah and wine, and found that one
bottle of wine was missing. "Oh, well.
There must be a mistake, but I
shouldn't say anything. They are al-
ways so very generous . . . Maybe you
could ask them about the second

Continued on Page 20


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