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April 30, 1993 - Image 30

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1993-04-30

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

MIRACLE MISSION

BASEBALL page 29

dously that he constantly
views and reviews the video
of the 1984 World Series. He
asked his visitors from
Detroit for information about
recent games with the
hunger of someone who
hasn't eaten food for days.
But baseball is one of the few
aspects of American life he
misses.
"I don't know, there's just
a feeling we have for each
other here that I didn't have
in the United States," he said.
"I missed baseball, and I felt
that I didn't have to miss it if
I could do something. That's
why we started with the
leagues."
He said most of the players
are children born in Israel to

American parents. There are,
however, many players
whose parents come from
Europe and even some par-
ents who are sabras.
In a country that is still
soccer- and even basketball-
crazy, baseball is still a
fledgling sport. Yet "Dr.
Baseball," as he is called in
Israel, has trouble driving by
a vacant lot without visual-
izing a backstop and a fence.
"So many love baseball,
and when they come to Israel,
they can find it," he said.
"People come out of the wood-
work to play. It's part of
them, and it makes them feel
good that they can find it
here." ❑

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M fission co-chair Jane
Sherman addressed
a breakfast at the ho-
tel at 6:45 last
Thursday morning by saying,
"Good morning, ladies and
gentleman, or should I say
good afternoon?"
The reason: Eight busloads
of people, who were scheduled
to leave at 8:45 a.m. for trips
north to Tiberias and Safat,
were told the afternoon before
to get a 5 a.m. wakeup call in-
stead. There was an opportu-
nity to get to Tel Aviv and see
an incoming El Al flight with
Russian olim unloading.

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Sherell and Sonny Gordon.

At 4:15 a.m., Mrs. Sherman
got a real wakeup call when
she learned that the plane was
running 1 1/2 hours late. The
busloads of people came down-
stairs, red-eyed and groggy, to
learn that the trip to the air-
port had been cancelled.
Federation public relations
director Charlotte Dubin was
in the northern part of the
country. She left her hotel at
3:30 a.m. to get to Tel Aviv on
time. She got all the way to
the airport before learning of
the Mission's intent not to go
there.



But Where's
The Restaurant?

us 28 was in Tel Aviv
to have dinner at the
Magana restaurant.
The bus let the group
off in the area of the restau-
rant in a place unfamiliar to
the tour guide. The guide de-
cided to take the group
through the closing Cannel
Market to the restaurant.
Five members of the
group, including bus captains
Dave and Fayga Dombey, fell
behind the rest of the con-
tingent and ended up at the
end of the market.
To their dismay, neither
the rest of the group nor the
restaurant was in sight. Mr.

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Dombey asked a cab driver
where the magana was lo-
cated. He was told to go back
three blocks and turn left.
After going one block, Mr.
Dombey decided to recheck
directions with someone else
and he was told to go three
blocks and turn left.
Getting suspicious, he
asked after another block
and was told to go three
blocks and turn left. Finally,
after going another two
blocks and losing his ap-
petite, Mrs. Dombey asked a
child, who came up with the
most accurate directions:
"one block and to the left." ❑

A War Hero Returns To Israel
After A 45-Year Absense

S

herell Gordon of
Southfield learned
that Israel was a dif-
ferent, changing place
since he had last been there
in 1948. He also knew that
the trip to Israel this time,
as part of the Michigan
Miracle Mission, was a
great deal easier.
It was in 1948 that a 24-
year-old Detroiter was re-
cruited as a pilot by Israel
in its struggle for indepen-
dence. Mr. Gordon, a World
War II pilot, was smuggled
through Belgium. He re-
members telling his parents
that he was flying for
Sabina Airlines and not to
worry.
Instead, he was looking
for adventure and to fight
for a cause when he became
one of 2,000 American Jews
to help in Israel's indepen-
dence effort.
Many of Israel's planes
were either captured or
smuggled. Some were held
together by the proverbial
chewing gum and chicken
wire.
Mr. Gordon would throw
hand grenades from his
planes as bombs. To scare
the enemy, he'd drop pop

bottles with razor blades
placed in them that would
make a noise that sounded
like a bomb was falling.
"I just remember back
then that the Israelis were
an amazing people," he said.
"They were a people that
not only had guts, but
brains. I can remember I
was flown to Haifa from
Switzerland and then we
took a bus to Tel Aviv. Even
back then, Israel was a
green, fertile land. You
could see the greenery rise
from the desert."

He'd drop hand
grenades and
pop bottles from
the planes.

Mr. Gordon had no spe-
cific reason for not return-
ing to Israel all these years.
The opportunity just had
not come around until now.
This time, he visited the
country with his wife,
Sonny. He said, though,
that through the years, he
has kept track of Israel, es-
pecially during wartime.

"Sure, I'm always inter-
ested," he said, "I still care,
and I still remember what
we did back then."
Time has had a major ef-
fect, however. In the lobby
of the Jerusalem Hilton last
week, Mr. Gordon said the
land he remembered has
changed drastically.
"I guess you can say that
you can't go home again," he
said. "I went to Tel Aviv and
it wasn't what I remem-
bered. It was very built up.
The whole country has ad-
vanced so well, it's amaz-
ing.11 ❑

Forty-
something

Judy Holtz was a teen-ager
when she first came to Israel.
She can remember the yellow
signs that said "Danger,"
warning Jews not to enter cer-
tain areas.
She's subsequently returned
to Israel once every decade,
this being her fourth trip. She
said that, among other things,
she and Israel have something
in common: They're both 40-
something.



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