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June 10, 1988 - Image 34

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1988-06-10

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Chabad House

Continued from Page 32


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Take the other entrance and
you come to mikvah, which
will be named Mikvah Chaya
Mushka, in memory of the
late wife of the Lubavitcher
Rebbe, Menachem
The impressive structure
probably is not the sort of
thing Rabbi Weingarten
could have envisioned in
September 1977 when he, his
wife and their one child (they
now have seven), came to
Grand Rapids.
"The idea," the rabbi says of
his move from New York to
Michigan, "was to bring Yid-
They started with a Shab-
bat minyan in a rented home.
Then Rabbi Weingarten
and his wife compiled
brochures for the holidays
and sent them to Jewish
families throughout western
Michigan. Next, the rabbi
began working with college
students and giving lectures
at universities in the area.
All that has changed.
The rented home expanded
first to a Chabad House on
Michigan Avenue, and is
about to do so again in the
new facility.
The brochures evolved to
the Chabad Times, a
newspaper published in con-
junction with Jewish
holidays. Edited by Mrs.
Weingarten and Miriam Roet-
ter, the Chabad Times is sent
to some 2,000 Jewish families
in western Michigan.
And meetings with area
residents have resulted in the
establishment of the largest
Jewish nursery school in the
area, Hebrew classes, services
to Jewish veterans, a kosher
awareness week and Purim
dinners. Five years ago, about
50 people attended the Purim,
dinner; last year that figure
jumped to 200.
In the summer, the Chabad
House sponsors Gan-Israel
Day Camp, now extant for 10


years. Participants include
children not only of Chabad
families, but from Reform and
Conservative ones as well.
Roetter, who works at the
camp, says programs include
games, sports, arts and crafts
in addition to Jewish fare like
lighting Shabbat candles and
baking challah. She says the
children come away from the
sessions "feeling proud and
excited about being Jewish."
"And parents are happy
because children know the
Jewish holidays," Mrs. Wein-
garten adds. "The children
are able to tell their friends,
`I'm Jewish and I have Pesach
and Chanukah and I know all
about them.' "
The Chabad House also
joined last year with Grand
Rapids Temple Emanuel and
the Conservative synagogue,
Ahavas Israel, in sponsoring
a children's concert featuring
Moshe Yess.
Those expecting Rabbi
Weingarten to offer hard
words for Jews who do not
share his religious perspec-
tive will be surprised. He
recently gave greetings at the
Reform temple and called the
Conservative rabbi, Michael
Rascoe, "a great asset to the
For Rabbi Weingarten, af-
filiation with a particular
movement is unimportant.
What does matter, he says, is
the very thing that draws peo-
ple to the Chabad House —
"People are looking for
more of what they have," he
says. "They are really
reaching out for more mean-
ing and more Yiddishkeit.
And that's what we're there
His wife concurs, describing
a situation with which many
doctors' spouses must em-
phathize. "People," she says,
"call my husband all the time
— even late at night. But he
never thinks it's a bother."

Adat Shalom Elects Its
First Woman President

Barbara Cook of Farm-
ington Hills has been elected
president of Adat Shalom
Synagogue. She is the first
woman to hold that office in
the congregation's 45-year
Cook is an attorney with an
undergraduate degree from
the University of Michigan
and a JD degree from Wayne
State University. She was
first elected to the Adat
Shalom board of trustees in
1978 and has since served as
vice president and first vice
addition to her

synagogue activities, Cook
has been active in the com-
munity as an officer in the
National Council of Jewish
Women and at Hillel Day
School. She was Phone-A-Gift
chairman for this year's
Allied Jewish Campaign.
Also elected to Adat
Shalom's executive board for
1988-1989 are: First Vice
President Harry Maisel; Vice
Presidents Sanford
Eichenhorn, Leonard Siegal,
Betsy Winkelman and
Sharon Hart; Recording
Secretary Neal Zalenko; and
Treasurer Jack Rubin.

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