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April 30, 1993 - Image 31

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

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


Everyone Has
A Story To Tell


o sooner had the
Havdallah lights Sa-
turday night warmed
the fingertips of the
Miracle Mission, than the
participants got a dose of re-
ality beyond what any bus
ride could give them.
For several seconds, a
haunting siren pierced the
cool Jerusalem evening, pen-
etrating the walls, but most
obviously bringing everyone
within sight to a stop. This
was the beginning of Yom
In the lobby of the
Jerusalem Hilton, hotel em-
ployees wiped away tears.
Israeli hotel guests hugged
and comforted one another.
There are few people in this
country who have not lost a
friend or family member in
"This is part of the Israeli
experience we hope you nev-
er have to learn," said Danny
Hefetz, a veteran of two
wars. "This is what makes it
different for us. This is why
there is a commitment to a
"Everybody has some-
body," said Geela Gordon,
wife of Alan Gordon, former
Detroiters now living in
Israel. "During the war in
Lebanon in 1982, a relative
was ambushed and killed."
Mr. Gordon lived in Oak
Park and worked as a geron-
tologist at Fleischman
Residence. He said he knew
many faces on the Miracle
"I'm glad they came," he
said. "It's good to see them
Everywhere, people talk
about the experiences they
are having. Marc Beals ex-
plains how he told his father,
Leo, that when he got to
Israel, he was going to hug
Foreign Minister Peres. At
the opening ceremonies last
Sunday, Mr. Beals found
himself standing next to Mr.
Peres. He hugged him and
told him how glad he was to
be in Israel.
Jakob Liwazer sits down
to a table at Saturday night
dinner and begins telling a
story to a friend and to Rabbi
Alon Tolwin of Aish
HaTorah. Mr. Liwazer and

the rabbi were introduced by
the mutual friend at the din-
ner table.
Mr. Liwazer tells about
how he helped get tens of
thousands of displaced Jews
out of Germany after World
War II into Israel.
Rabbi Tolwin then told Mr.
Liwazer about his mother,
Esther Lipsky, who as a
Reuter's reporter and spy for
the Haganah, found out
where the British outposts
were located and delivered
the information to the
Haganah, so that the refugee
ships could make their hu-
man deliveries. Again, it was
a case of two Detroiters com-
ing all the way to Israel to
share a common bond.

Rabbi Nelson
was minding
the store, but
he didn't make
any sales.

Rabbi David Nelson of
Beth Shalom told of how he
went shopping at a
Jerusalem area antiques
store. While he was there,
the storekeeper said, "Can
you watch the store? I have
to go daven Minchah," and
the man left. The rabbi didn't
make any sales.
Just before Shabbat, the
Detroit contingent gathered
at the southern entrance to
the Western Wall. Trip chair-
man David Hermelin led ev-
eryone in the "wave" while
greeting Jerusalem Mayor
Teddy Kollek, who officially
welcomed the crowd to his
The group then walked to
the Wall, singing Hebrew
songs. At the wall, many lit
candles before saying Shab-
bat prayers.
Back at the Ramada Hotel,
an Israeli military chaplains
choir performed Shabbat
songs. Mission-goers danced
around their dinner tables
and sang along.
On Saturday, many people
attended services in their ho-
tels or at area synagogues.
During the afternoon, walk-
ing tours of the city were

Detroiters say Kaddish at Yad Vashem.

"People were walking
down the street and running
into people they knew 20
years ago," said Len Mil-
stone. "It was good, because
it showed that Israel just

isn't a foreign country like a
place like France. Here you
can see that you can live in a
different country. It's an op-
tion for living."
Speaking of living, at least
five households from Plea-

sant Lake Drive in West
Bloomfield are on the
Mission. The neighbors in-
clude Ilene Chair, Bob
Naftaly, Larry Hoffman,
Elliott Schubiner and Herb

Sister City Hosts
One Huge Party



of — happiness in
Hebrew — is how 8-
year-old Sivan Dadia
felt when a group of
Detroiters on the Michigan
Miracle Mission visited her
home for dinner on Yom
Ha'atzma'ut, Israel Indepen-
dence Day.
When the 30 mission bus-
es arrived, Sivan and her
friends rushed to shake the
hands of the participants.
"It was like being with old
friends, but you've never
known them before," said
Fred Safran of Farmington
Hills, who was one of the
guests at the dinner.
More than 250 families
hosted the Detroiters on the
Mission, who joined in cele-
brating Israel's independence
with nearly 10,000 residents
of Yavne, Detroit's Project
Renewal sister city.
"Project Renewal is aimed
at improving the physical, so-
cial and human environment

of Israeli neighborhoods in
distress," according to Peter
Alter, a member of the
Project Renewal Committee
of the Jewish Federation of
Metropolitan Detroit.
"It means a lot when peo-
ple from Detroit come here to
see how we are bettering our-
selves and we like the bridge
between them and us," said
Lilach Ovadia, who acted as
an interpreter for Fred
Safran's group of Mission-go-
ers during the "home hospi-
tality" visit.
When the Project Renewal
committee asked for volun-
teers to host Detroiters,
Mickey Dadia did not think
twice before volunteering.
"We were lucky to be able to
do it, because it's a big deal
that the trip came here," said
Mr. Dadia, who is Sivan's fa-
ther. "I feel a connection with
the Jews of Detroit and I
wanted to be a part of this ex-

Paul Polsky of Livonia said
the citizens of Yavne are the
most gracious people he has
met. "They even thanked us
for being their guests when
we should be thanking them
for hosting us."
Julie Nelson of West
Bloomfield was impressed
with the goodwill and the
good food she encountered
at the home of Rivka and
Meir Ben-Moyal. "My moth-
er doesn't cook like that any-
more," she whispered.
"I knew we were going to
have a wonderful time here,"
said Lois Pershin of West
"The difference between
this celebration of indepen-
dence and others was that
the Detroiters were a real
part of the program," ac-
cording to Eitan Ivan, who
has observed many
American missions to Israel.


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