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April 07, 1989 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1989-04-07

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Local Mazon Groups Organize
To Boost Funds For The Hungry


Associate Editor




woman in Philadel-
phia saved two peas
from her Friday
delivery from Meals on
Wheels. She ate one pea on
Saturday and one on Sunday
when no meals were
"She told me that for the
two, three or four minutes
that she would have the taste
of the pea in her mouth, she
could pretend she wasn't
hungry," Iry Cramer said last
week in Detroit.
The Philadelphia woman is
one of one billion people in
the world who are hungry.
One billion of the world's five
billion population on a planet
that can feed 7.5 billion.
A group of Detroiters map-
ped strategy this week to ex-
pand their efforts for
Cramer's oranization, Mazon
— A Jewish Response to
Hunger. Since Mazon was
founded- 31/2 years ago,
Detroiters have contributed
$50,000 to the organization
through Passover and Yom
Kippur appeals and in-
dividual contributions.
Participating congregations
include Temples Israel, Beth
El, Emanu-El, Kol Ami, Shir
Tikvah and Shir Shalom, and
Congregation Beth Abraham

Hillel Moses and Beth
Mazon has given 150 grants
totalling $1,052,000 in its
three years. They include
local grants to Mother Wad-
dles ($10,000), Wellness
House ($7,500), the Oakland
County Food Bank ($6,000)
and the Southeast Michigan
Food Coalition ($10,000).
National contributions to
Mazon are expected to reach

"Nine years ago
there were 1.5-2
million hungry in
this country. Today
there are 20

$750,000 this year, making it
second only to the Ford Foun-
dation as a private organiza-
tion helping the hungry.
Cramer, director of Mazon,
sees that statistic as a scan-
dal, not an achievement.
"With the unprecedented
abundance and prosperity in
this land, we still have 20
million people hungry and
one in every five kids below
the poverty line. Forty thou-
sand kids each day — 17
million each year — will die
throughout the world because
of starvation. And the cause
is politics and money.


Agudath Israel
Files Brief


Washington — Agudath
Israel of America has filed a
friend of the court brief with
the U.S. Supreme Court argu-
ing that there is no basis for
abortion to be considered a
fundamental constitutional
right, except in cases where a
mother's life is at risk of
when her religious beliefs
mandate the termination of
her pregnancy.
The Orthodox group's brief
was filed last week in
response to a case pending in
Missouri, in which the state
formally "finds" that life
begins at conception.
David Zwiebel, general
counsel for Agudath Israel of
America and author of the
brief, said the Missouri law
posed a dilemma for his
The thrust of the legislation
is in consonance with the
Agudath's position in favor of
overturning Roe vs. Wade, the
1973 landmark decision strik-

ing down most anti-abortion
measures as unconstitu-
tional, Zweibel said. Yet he
expressed conc.ern that
secular law determined that
life begins at conception.
Such a ruling, he said, carries
the danger that abortion
might be prohibited even in
cases where they are man-
dated by religious belief —
such as in Jewish law when a
mother's life is endangered by
the preganancy.

Vigil Planned
For Soviet Jews

Ann Arbor — The Student
Struggle for Soviet Jewry will
hold its third annual vigil for
Soviet Jews from 7 p.m.
Thursday through April 14 on
the University of Michigan
Throughout the evening,
students and community
members will read more than
10,000 names of refuseniks. A
service will be held at mid-
night to honor the Soviet

"Governments use food as a
weapon," he said, "not aid."
Talking to representatives of
the local congregations and
Mazon recipients last week at
Beth Abraham Hillel Moses,
Cramer blamed the U.S.
government for worsening the
When the Reagan ad-
ministration came into office
nine years ago, there were
1.5-2 million hungry people
in the United States. Today,
he said, there are 20 million.
"We knew how to solve
hunger then, but not now."
Expensive priorities such as
the savings and loan bailout
and cleanup of nuclear wastes
are taking precedent, he said.
Mazon is a partial answer
to hunger, Cramer said. "In
the Jewish community, we
celebrate our milestones, and
that's appropriate. One bless-
, ing is to celebrate and the se-
cond blessing is to invite the
poor to our table." Cramer
called contributions to Mazon
a way of fulfilling the second
blessing. -
"On Passover," he said, "we
ask all who are hungry to
come and eat. But we do it
behind locked doors. And if
we opened the door, we would
be afraid of what we might
find there. So Mazon gives us
a way of fulfilling the bless-
In introducing Cramer,
Rabbi Norman Roman of
Temple Kol Ami used Jewish
gematriah to explain that the
Hebrew word mazon — food —
adds up numerically to 103.
"Experiencing life to the
fullest is the 100 percent,"
Rabbi Roman said. "But we
must go beyond that, adding
the 3 percent for Mazon."
Mazon asks individuals to
contribute three percent of
the cost of a wedding, bar
mitzvah or other family party.
Representatives of the
Mazon recipient organiza-
tions explained at the
meeting what they had ac-
complished with the grants.
Mother Waddles was able to
buy a new kitchen for her
mission. "Mazon is the first
and only foundation to give
us $10,000," she said, "and it
didn't have a lot of rules and
paperwork attached."
Jim Macy of the Oakland
County Food Bank said a
walk-in freezer will be install-
ed next week that will handle
100,000 pounds of frozen food.
Said Rabbi A. Irving
Schnipper of Beth Abaham
Hillel Moses, "This is what
Judaism is all about — to save
a human life." ❑

Iry Cramer has lunch in Detroit.

'Rachel' Conference
Has Jewish Component


Special to The Jewish News


. he story *of Rachel and
how it has been misin-
terpreted will be the
focus of a three-day con-
ference on women's spirituali-
ty presented this week at
Mercy College in Detroit.
"Remembering Rachel: The
Second National Conference
on the Spiritual Woman." will
be held Sunday through Tues-
day at the Mercy College Con-
ference Center, 8200 W. Outer
Drive, Detroit.
The goals of the conference
are to provide a rich cultural
exchange among women of
many different faiths who are
seeking equal time for the
feminine experience within
their traditions; to develop
strategies for the opposition
of personal and collective
violence, economic and
spiritual impoverishment,
and political and racial exclu-
sion; to develop resources for

bringing to campuses those
issues related to women's
spirituality, and to celebrate
the groups and individuals in
our past and present who
bring us to this moment.
"This conference is a place
for women to be comfortable,"
said Dr. Jacqueline Zeff, dean
of Mercy's division of arts and
sciences, and conference plan-
ner. "Our issues are the same,
although they might not
manifest themselves in the
same way. Gaining access to
the bimah — whatever it's
called — is always the same.
Prayer is another example."
Zeff said that while blacks
. and Jews presently may not
have a lot to say to each other,
in this setting the women do.
The conferences were an
outgrowth of a shared study
venture by Zeff and one of the
Mercy sisters. Last year they
explored the idea of studying
together and began with the
story of Devorah and Yael and

Continued on Page 12



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