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March 30, 1990 - Image 15

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1990-03-30

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

DETROIT

Athletes To Provide
More Than Competition

RICHARD PEARL

Staff Writer

M

ove over, Teenage
Mutant Ninja
Turtles. You're go-
ing to have serious competi-
tion this summer.
So say Stewart and Mardi
Bobkin of Oak Park, in
whose household the little
green warriors of toystore,
video and movie fame have
been holding sway over sons
Jared, age 41/2, and Bradley,
1 1/2, for quite some time.
The Bobkins said "Yes!" to
a recent caller and will be
housing two real-life com-
petitors in the Jewish Com-
munity Centers-North
American Maccabi Youth
Games — and for their sons'
attention, as well.
Both Bobkins work —
Stewart manages a
drugstore in Detroit, beginn-
ing some days at 7 a.m., and
Mardi works fulltime as a
pediatric clinic receptionist.
They take the boys to a
neighborhood babysitter.
But the Bobkins feel the
extra effort involved in hous-
ing two teenage athletes will
be worth the effort.
"We thought it would be a
good opportunity for our
children to be exposed to
other kids, either from other
countries or just from an-
other state," said Stewart.

Besides giving teenagers a
safe, Jewish home in which
to stay during the Aug. 19-
26 competition, the Bobkins
will enjoy being around
teens again. Both were in
the B'nai B'rith Youth
Organization as teens and
served as advisers before job
and family pressures
intervened.
The Bobkins want to host a
foreign exchange student,
but can't make the long-term
financial commitment right
now, they said.
They don't believe pro-
viding transportation for
their athlete-guests to and
from the shuttle bus pick-up
points, having two extras at
breakfasts and some other
meals and providing
Shabbat activities will be a
problem.
Working six days a week
does put a damper on things,
and Stewart has applied for
a vacation during the
Games. But even if he
doesn't get it, "we don't
mind struggling for one
week."
The bottom line, he said,
is, "We can't give from our
pocket, but we can from our
heart."
Mike and Joanne Bellet of
West Bloomfield understand
where the Bobkins are com-
ing from. They housed two
boys in 1984, when the
Games were last in Detroit,

Housing Questions

Following are questions
most often asked the Detroit
Maccabi housing committee:
• Should host families be
only those with teenage
children?
Answer: No, all Jewish
households in the commun-
ity — including "empty-
nesters" — are needed and
encouraged to participate,
and will benefit from this
experience.
• Does the host family
have to go to the airport to
pick up the athletes?
Answer: No, they will be
brought to the Maple-Drake
Jewish Community Center
and registered. Host families
will pick them up there.
• Can host families watch
their athletes compete?
Answer: Definitely. All
members of host families are
invited to Youth Games
events. There is no charge
for the opening ceremony at
the Palace of Auburn Hills
or any of the other activities.
• Which meals do host

families provide?
Answer: The Games or-
ganizing committee is serv-
ing all lunches and two
dinners during the week.
The rest of the meals will be
according to the host
family's schedule.
• For what transportation
is the host family responsi-
ble?
Answer: Athletes should
be dropped off in the morn-
ing at the Maple-Drake
Center or at one of the pick-
up points (Jimmy Prentis
Morris JCC, United Hebrew
Schools, Adat Shalom Syn-
agogue, Temple Beth El,
Bloomfield Hills Library,
West Hills Middle School in
Bloomfield Hills, Livonia
Jewish Congregation, Mar-
riott Inn - Ann Arbor, West
Bloomfield High School,
Somerset Mall, Burton
Elementary School in Hun-
tington Woods). Athletes
will be returned to those
points after competition at
the end of the day.

The Bobkins feel the experience will be good for their two boys.

and they're going to host two
girls this time, which they
think daughters Ashley, 7 1/2,
and Jordyn, 3, will enjoy.
"We had a great time,"
Bellet said of the first
Games. "It was really nice to
have the older kids here" for
Ashley, who then was
almost 2. The boys took her
around and played with her,
Joanne recalled.
Bellet, who sells data
communications equipment,
was able to take some time
off from work. "That was the
year the Tigers were
heading for the World
Series. I took our two boys
and the boy who stayed with
my in-laws to a Tigers game,
and they loved it."
The Bellets took Ashley to
the opening ceremonies and
enjoyed showing their
athletes around the area.
This year, both Bellets will
be busy - Joanne is a part-
time school psychologist in
Troy and an artist. But
they've taken on extra
responsibilities for the
Youth Games: Joanne is on
the hospitality committee
and Mike is a member of the
swimming committee.
The Bellets received nice
thank-yous from their
guests' parents, but more
importantly, said Joanne, "I
remember how special it
was, all of us becoming a
new family for that week."
Another volunteer host for
the Games is Micki
Grossman of Farmington
Hills.
A widow with three grown
children — daughter Marci
is Detroit Maccabi girls
soccer coach — Grossman
will take three or four of the
13- to 16-year-old Jewish

athletes into her home.
"It's fun to do," said
Grossman. " It will be fun to
have someone in the house
to make breakfast for again.
It'll be good to get into cook-
ing again — I eat out most of
the time now. And it's nice
to be part of a big event like
this."
That's not to say
Grossman has nothing else
to do. Besides working
fulltime at the Maple-Drake
Jewish Community Center
Health Club, Grossman is a
guide at the Holocaust
Center and also is studying

for her bat mitzvah in May.
The prospect of having so
many teens in the house
doesn't worry her. "So
they'll mess up the
bathroom. So it'll get clean-
ed when they leave," she
said.
The Bobkins, Bellets and
Grossman are among the
460 families who have vol-
unteered to serve as Maccabi
parents for the week. A total
of 1,000 homes are needed to
house the 2,200 athletes. For
information, call the JCC-
Maccabi office, 661-1000,
ext. 296.0

Fein Challenges
Community's Judaism

KIMBERLY LIFTON

Staff Writer

T

he Jewish people are
trapped between
dreams and night-
mares and do not know
which direction to take, Jew-
ish intellectual Leonard
Fein said this week.
"We will not let go of the
nightmare because if we do,
we lose our motive," said
Fein, a writer and educator
who founded Moment Maga-
zine and Mazon, the Jewish
response to hunger. "There
is a reason the Anti-
Defamation League
flourishes and the American
Jewish Congress and Ameri-
can Jewish Committee do
not. The ADL markets anti-
Semitism."
Fein, referring to the
dream that Israel will
become a peaceful

homeland, and to the night-
mare of the Holocaust,
offered his views during a
speech on "Beyond Survival:
A Jewish Agenda for the
1990's" on Sunday at Tem-
ple Beth El. He addressed a
packed house during the
temple's annual Theodore
and Mina Bargman Scholar-
in-Residence program.
Fein, known throughout
Jewish communities in the
United States as an icono-
clast, recreated the funeral
of Theodor Herzl, the father
of Zionism.
"They came in numbers.
They came with passion.
There was howling at his
graveside. There was mour-
ning like no one had ever,
seen before."
Herzl's death came in
1904, about 10 years after
the leader of secular Jewish
nationalism had proposed an
element of repair for a Jew-

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

15

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