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August 24, 1990 - Image 18

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1990-08-24

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cialization — created an at-
mosphere of klal Yisrael (the
peoplehood of Israel) that
was readily apparent from
the heartfelt applause.
One crescendo of cheers
followed another. While the
big delegations such as
Detroit, Chicago, Los
Angeles and Philadelphia
were given their due, special
cheers rang out for a few
There was, for example,
Amy Goldman of Charlotte,
N.C., and Justin Kaplan of
Memphis, Tenn., their
states' only representatives.
There was Barbara Barend
and Nancy Koster, who
made up Holland's delega-
But the warm feelings
were not limited to the ac-
tion on the Palace floor.
An Oak Park family,
Stuart and Mardi Bobkin,
got to know a Southfield
family, Seymour and Janet
Wander, because the
Wanders are first cousins to
Lester and Eileen Sherman
of Akron, Ohio, whose son
Bob is being hosted by the
Bobkins. The families met
and sat together at the open-
ing ceremonies.
While the three families
were meeting, Lisa Wander,
a daughter of Seymour and
Janet, was relishing the
news that an Israeli friend
she had met during a trip to
the Jewish state had accom-
panied the Israeli delegation
to Detroit.
"It just shows you how our
Jewish people, thanks to
God, are all over the world,"
Mrs. Wander said.
That certainly was true for
Leonid Givental Ind Vicky
Givental moved to Detroit
from Vilnius, Lithuania,
three months prior to the
Games and said he was look-
ing forward to meeting a
fellow Vilnian, Richard
Fikhmanas, chess coach of
the Lithuanian delegation.
The huge Jewish crowd
and the playing of the hora



by the Scarlet Brigade had a
special significance for Mrs.
The West Bloomfield resi-
dent, who came with hus-
band Bob to the Detroit area
from Israel 14 years ago,
said she came in part "to see
all these Jewish people.
"I started crying when
they played the hora because
I grew up on a kibbutz. It
was a very emotional expe-
rience for me."
She said she read through
the names in the Israeli
delegation and hoped to
learn whether Zohar
Nahmias of the Israeli team
was any relation to an
Israeli police officer with the
same last name whom she
had known.
Although it was still early,
many Jewish teens, both
athletes and non-athletes,
male and female, were prov-
ing themselves quick studies
as far as socialization was
They wasted little time in
engaging in the time-
honored activity of
"checking qut the other
delegations," as Detroit
tracksters Aaron Weitzman
and Scott Reizen of West
Bloomfield put it.
Weitzman and Reizen,
both of West Bloomfield,
were spotted outside on the
Palace parking lot where
delegations assembled prior
to the parade.
During the ceremonies in-
side, two other tracksters,
Alain Mazaud and Troy
Rosenthal of Philadelphia,
were strolling around the
Palace concourse, munching
slices of pizza as they check-
ed things out.
Torch lighters Robert
Kamins, 16, and An Nessel,
17, took their torches, march-
ed through the center of the
Palace floor and ignited the
Maccabi flame. The torch
sputtered a bit at. first, but did
finally ignite, adding another
level of chill to the already ex-
cited crowd.

Camp Maas dancers
open the Palace

Howard Larky (left) and
David Hitsky carry the
colors of !um/ and the
United States as they
lead the Detroit
contingent into the hall.

Games coordinators
Barbara, Jay and Beth
Robinson get a rare
chance to sit down and
enjoy what it took 18
months to put together.

Both boys were chosen to
light the flame because they
were competing in their
sixth games. Robert, a
swimmer and Ari, a soccer
player, were members of the
Detroit team that competed
in Columbus when 11-year-
olds were eligible.
"I felt a real sense of ex-
citement and elation,"
Robert said. "I didn't feel
any pressure or anything. I
was just very proud to light
the torch and proud that all
of these people from all over
the world came together."
"This is really wonderful,"
An added. "You are here
with your friends, and even
if you don't know most of
these people, you feel like
you are competing against
As soon as the torch was
ignited, the folk music group
"Gemini" took to the stage,
singing "Simon Tov." Lights
were dimmed and beams
from flashlights brightened
the upper stands. Down
below, the Palace floor
became a sea of dancing,
mingling athletes.
The Games had begun,
capping months of work by
JCC's Dr. Mort Plotnick, his
staff and countless vol-
unteers. ❑

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