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September 14, 1990 - Image 124

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1990-09-14

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

SINGLE LIFE

NO ONE PUTS
MORE INTO YOUR CLOSET
THAN US!

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September Dilemma

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• A Selective Jewish Dating Service

124

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 1990

For non-native Detroiters, handling the High
Holidays can be a particular challenge.

RICHARD PEARL

Staff Writer

S

o what are you doing
for the High Holi-
days?"
For unmarried Jews who
are not native Detroiters,
that can be a particularly
tough question.
It's hardly an easy query
for singles anywhere, con-
sidering Judaism's emphasis
on marriage and family: at
least the married person has
his or her spouse with whom
to share the holiday.
Among singles, most
Detroit-born sons and
daughters can enjoy the con-
venient advantage of being
able to spend Rosh
Hashanah and Yom Kippur
with parents, siblings, fami-
ly members or longtime
close friends.
Not so the non-native.
Often brought to Detroit by
career moves, the newcomer
finds him or herself far from
the familiar. Loneliness is
the operative feeling, espe-
cially on the High Holidays
— and even more so if the
newcomer gets divorced
after moving to the area.
"Jews look forward so
much to the High Holy
Days," said Diane Buffalin,
a Birmingham psychologist.
"They are such meaningful
times.
"The significance of the
major Jewish holidays is so
intrinsic to the Jewish iden-
tity that gravely ill Jews
have been known to rally,
even recover, so that they
can observe the holidays and
celebrate."
In the absence of any
community-wide singles
observance of the High Holy
Days in the Detroit area,
how do non-native, unmar-
ried Detroiters cope? If the
schedule permits, they go
back home to be with their
families. If not, they either
observe the holidays alone or
with friends.
"It's sort of catch-as-catch-
can," said Jim Berk of his
holiday observances.
A native of Lincoln, Neb.,
Berk is a television sport-
scaster who was married
when he came to Detroit
several years ago. "We had
two Yom Toys together, then
got divorced," said the West
Bloomfield resident. He kept
his membership in Adat

Jim Berk:
Smaller community.

Shalom Synagogue, but said
he at times felt overwhelmed
by both the congregation's
and the Jewish community's
size and diversity compared
to that in Lincoln. "I came
from a much smaller, more
close-knit community. For-
tunately, I've had people
here who have taken me in."
Miriam Greenbaum, a
New York native who mar-
ried a Detroiter there in
1978 and moved the same
year to her husband's city, is
now divorced and living in
Southfield with her 9-year-
old daughter. "I depend on
and hope to get invited by
friends for the holidays,"
said Mrs. Greenbaum, a
member of Young Israel of
Southfield. "I usually do"
get invited.
Patti Liss of Royal Oak, a
media relations/marketing
professional who is a native
of Buffalo, N.Y., said she
went back home for the holi-
days the first year she was
here and has spent others
with friends, but now prefers
spending the holidays alone.
"I get lots of invites" from
Detroiters, whom she de-
scribed as "warm and pleas-
ant."
"Most of my friends are
married or with somebody,"
she said. "Holidays are a
real intense, family thing. I
don't have family here," she
said, and so she has decided,
"I'd rather be by myself
rather than be with people
wanting to be nice.
"I don't feel alienated —
it's my choice," she said.
One of those non-natives
whose experience prompted

her to move into the host
role is Valerie Rubenstein,
who also is from New York.
"The first holiday I was
here, I felt pretty lonely,"
recalled Ms. Rubenstein,
who divorced before she
came to Detroit three years
ago. "There was not much to
do — I didn't know where to
go, hadn't met too many
people."
An advertising represent-
ative and party-planner, she
gradually became friends
with both native and non-
native Detroiters. Over the •
next two years, she dated
someone steadily, observing
the holidays with him. "But
after that first year, I always
had an Eruv Yom Kippur
dinner for other singles, in-
cluding some who are na-
tives."
Psychologist Buffalin, who
specializes in stress
management, suggests that
divorced parents who host
observances realize that,
while it's important "to
maintain the Jewishness of
the holiday," some "family-
type traditions can be
changed. For instance, we
must realize that, because of
distance and time, we can't
always go to Aunt Sadie's for
eruv Rosh Hashanah, for ex-
ample."
And, adds the Temple Shir
Shalom member, "If you're
alone on the holidays and
feeling sad and lonely, give
the greatest gift you can:
give your own time to people
less fortunate than yourself
— people in homeless
shelters, shelters for the
abused, or who are in nurs-
ing homes." ❑

City Of Hope
Group Organizing

A group for singles over 40
which will plan and par-
ticipate in social activities to
benefit the City of Hope Na-
tional Medical Center will
hold its organizational
meeting 7 p.m. Sept. 16 at the
Colony Park Clubhouse in
Southfield.
The City of Hope National
Medical Center and Beckman
Research Institute is a cancer
research and treatment facil-
ity near Los Angeles.
For more information about
the singles group, call Sharon
Stein, 552-9237; or Fern Fine,
356-2265.

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