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June 18, 1993 - Image 1

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1993-06-18

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

DETROIT

75¢

29 SIVAN 5753/JUNE 18, 1993

A Brand-New Pitch
In An Old Ballgame

As Days of Decision end, Federation thanks new fund-raising
techniques for beefing up Campaign enthusiasm.

I

RUTH LITTMANN STAFF WRITER

Birmingham
Temple At 30

hirty years ago,
eight Reform
Jewish couples in
Detroit asked a
young graduate of
Hebrew Union College to lead
their new suburban congrega-
tion. Informally dubbed the
"Birmingham Temple," it
became the birthplace of
Humanistic Judaism.
Members neither pray to
God nor listen to weekly Torah
portions. Over the years, the
movement has been the target
of criticism from other Jews
and Christians. Nonetheless,
it has grown to include nearly
10,000 followers worldwide.
Still, the question remains:
Can a religious movement
without theistic underpinnings
survive for future generations?
Local rabbis have come to
different conclusions.

Story on page 52

hey're playing hardball to win.
Seasoned Allied Jewish
Campaign solicitors have gone
to bat for agencies here and
abroad by using their expertise
to pitch to major givers.
They formed the Detroit Solicitors
League, led by "Commissioner" John
Marx. It is one of several new ways the
Jewish Federation of Metropolitan
Detroit is trying to boost the 1993 New Americans Margarita Zakharova and Irina
raised money for their new Jewish
Campaign during economic hard times. Ternyayeva
community.
Players in the league and other vol-
unteers agree the need for money is used to resettle Ethiopian and Russian
enormous. Ellen Labes, who chaired Jews.
Days of Decision soliciting this week
The Israeli government expects re-
with Irwin Alterman, points to mount- settlement costs to increase in upcom-
ing absorption costs in Israel. Part of ing years. More than 27,000 Russian
Campaign revenue will go toward the Jews have immigrated to Israel since
United Jewish Appeal, which, through last January.
Operation Exodus, has sent Israel $516
At home, some Jewish agencies face
million since 1989. The money is being possible staff reductions and cuts in

Wonder Water Or All Wet?

A court case pits a Howell metallurgist against
a U.S. district judge.

a

ELIZABETH APPLEBAUM ASSISTANT EDITOR

mong the mail U.S. District
Judge Bernard Friedman re-
ceived in his Detroit chambers
last week was a letter from a
woman admonishing him for
taking away her daughter's last chance
at life.
"Please, please!" it reads. "My daugh-
ter is dying!"
Another recent letter — one of liter-
ally hundreds — reprimands the judge
for placing an injunction against the
same "miracle water," which the writ-
er calls "my only hope against blind-
ness." A third asks who gave Judge
Friedman "the right to make a death
sentence."
Edward Sopcak, former distributor
of the so-called wonder cure, has his
own choice phrases for the judge. A
brochure produced by volunteers, ap-
proved by Mr. Sopcak and circulated
throughout the city, labels Judge

Friedman "in exactly the same posi-
tion as the Nazi government staff"
Just how one Detroit judge, whom
virtually everyone describes as the
nicest man in the world, became the
target of such fury is practically a sto-
ry line straight from "LA Law."
It all began in 1989, when Judge
Friedman was assigned the U.S. gov-
ernment's case against Mr. Sopcak, a
metallurgist from Howell.
At issue was Mr. Sopcak's CanCell,
which he claims helps the body cure
everything from cancer to AIDS. He
describes CanCell as "a very pure wa-
ter" in which he has "erased the mem-
ory in the water crystal and
reprogrammed it with synergy to make
a new series of vibrational frequen-
cies."
The case came to court after Mr.
Sopcak failed to file for registration

CANCELL Page 26

funding from outside sources, like the
United Way and the federal govern-
ment. Agency directors say they hope
the Campaign will be able to compen-
sate for these losses if they occur.
As of Wednesday morning, the
Campaign had raised $24 million.
Though this falls $3.5 million below
the $27.5 million target for 1993,
Federation staff and volunteers are op-
timistic about breaking $26 million,
the amount raised in the 1991 and 1992
Campaigns.
They also are optimistic that Days of
Decision will surpass last year's $1.2
million total. As of Wednesday morn-
ing, the five-day plug for pledges had
brought in more than $600,000.
During their Monday night "game," the
League batted in money from many
major contributors. The League also
provided incentives to players, who
comprised five teams. The team that
brought in the the most money won do-
nated tickets to sit in Max Fisher's box
during a Detroit Tigers baseball game.
They also will receive baseballs auto-
graphed by Federation staff. "I think
it was extremely effective," Dr. Marx
said. "It got some very capable solici-
tors there and they were motivated to
continue working for more than two

BALLGAME page 24

Inside

The Risk Takers

Sweet deals are not always
enough for young
entrepreneurs.

Page 34

Trading West

Two emigre coaches
find a gym in Warren.

Page 49

Catching On

Baseball is quietly gaining
a foothold with the young.

Page 92

Contents on page 3

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