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July 30, 1993 - Image 4

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1993-07-30

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

Leaky Band-Aid
At Borman Hall

The latest state health department inspection of
Borman Hall leaves this community wondering
and our Jewish elderly in a quandary.
After recently pumping $2.95 million in emer-
gency communal funding into the Jewish Home
for Aged's Seven Mile Road facility, the latest state
inspection would indicate we are back to square
one.
Not so, say JHA leaders. All that is needed now
is additional time to put in place what the $2.95
million in United Jewish Foundation dollars pur-
chased. State officials appear to be willing to give
the Home that additional time. The community is
certainly willing. So are the residents.
But the situation still begs the question, in fact,
numerous questions:
Why did the Jewish Home for Aged reach this
stage in the first place?
Why did Borman Hall fail two inspections last-
year, pass a third inspection after the $2.95 mil-

lion "fast-track" fix, and then regress?
Was the expensive quick-fix consulting team
pulled out too quickly, before all of its new ad-
ministrative systems were permanently in place?
Will the new systems and administrators be able
to change staff work habits in 45 or 90 days?
Will this newest fix need just time, or more mon-
ey? Does the community have the funds to spend,
and at what cost to other community needs?
Detroit's Jewish community is faced with a dis-
mal prospect: a Home for Aged that may contin-
ue to need far more dollars to move it back to the
highest level of care we expect for our elderly. The
alternative, that the Home is now unworkable and
may have to close, is frightening.
But it is an option we have to face, and one the
JHA, the community, its elderly and their fami-
lies must consider if Borman Hall requests an-
other Band-Aid.

Lebanon Should Not Change Madrid

Secretary of State Warren Christopher's sched-
uled visit to the Middle East comes at a critical
juncture. This week's counterattack by Israel
against Hezbollah guerrillas in Lebanon — while
warranted — makes peace even more elusive by
giving Arab negotiators further pretext to delay
making hard compromises.
But signs of frustration over the lack of progress
in the talks have been coming from the State De-
partment for some weeks now. There have even
been hints that the Clinton White House will end
its high-level participation in the talks if there is
no tangible progress soon.
To break the stalemate, Palestinians and some
Israelis — including some high in the Rabin gov-
ernment — have suggested junking the Madrid
formula, the rules under which the peace talks
were first convened in October 1991.
Palestinians want the guidelines altered so the
PLO can become a full participant and they can
skip talking about interim self-rule and leap ahead
to discussing a fully independent state, with east
Jerusalem as its capital.
Israelis who support changing the ground rules
see full Palestinian sovereignty as either justified
or inevitable anyway, and fear that to keep Madrid
in place is to doom the negotiations for no good rea-
son. They also note that Madrid's safeguards have

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already been breached by the inclusion of east
Jerusalem's Faisal Husseini and the PLO's obvi-
ous control over Palestinian negotiators.
American involvement is crucial to moving the
parties along, but curiously, Mr. Christopher him-
self has said that Madrid should remain intact.
Palestinians, he said, should concentrate on achiev-
ing interim self-rule in the West Bank and Gaza
Strip — the terms of the negotiations as defined
in Madrid — and then go from there.
Palestinian independence in some part of the
territories is justified and is inevitable. But set-
ting aside Madrid will not necessarily advance the
talks. It is just as likely to lead to even stiffer Pales-
tinian demands and even more insecurity — jus-
tified, at that — on the part of Israelis, who were
tested enough this week by the volleys of Katyusha
rockets falling on Kiryat Shemona.
The majority of Israelis have expressed a desire
to reach a negotiated settlement. But they also
fear that creation of a Palestinian state may re-
sult not in peace, but in one more sovereign Arab
enemy.
For that reason, the built-in tests of interim
self-rule must come first. Unless some unforeseen
and unexpected major compromise is forthcoming
from the Palestinians, Madrid should remain in
effect.

Half A Loaf
Better Than None

According to a Jewish News
editorial ofJuly 23, President
Clinton should have stuck by
his guns and accepted nothing
less than a complete end to dis-
crimination against homosex-
uals in the military.
Apparently, the writer of the
editorial would rather see
President Clinton get shot
down in flames regarding this
issue, than reach an accom-
modation with opponents of his
policy through negotiation and
compromise. This is like say-
ing that no loaf at all is better
than half a loaf.
What President Clinton did
was to take an important step
that will eventually lead to the
end of all discrimination
against homosexuals in the
military. He deserves to be
commended, not criticized, for
his efforts.
Arthur Lyons

Huntington Woods

Lack Of Caring
About The Home

After 21 years, we have de-
parted as bingo volunteers at
Borman Hall. As much as we
enjoyed doing a little some-
thing for the residents/pa-
tients, we no longer could
stomach witnessing the lack of
dignity afforded them. Or the
quality of food. Or the reduc-
tion of minor pleasures and
benefits.
Something as trivial as re-
ceiving 10 cents each bingo
game is important for a man
or woman in a wheelchair, or
simply confined to a nursing
home. When the source of the
bingo money cut the prize to 5
cents, it was no trivial disap-
pointment. For us, it was the
last disappointment we want-
ed to witness.
Your Editor's Notebook col-
umn ofJuly 2, "Healing Time
for Home," revealed primarily
that you have not experienced
Borman for more than a mo-
ment.
When the director walks the
hall, she should be seeing staff
straighten slumped-over resi-
dents, and not have to do it
herself. She should know more
than employees' names; she

should know that they are do-
ing their jobs, and getting a de-
cent wage to provide incentive
for compassion and efficiency. (
Federation funds should not
be considered a bailout. The
budget should reflect what is
required, not deflated and sac-
rificed to considerations oth-
er than the elderly, sick,
handicapped, etc. If the com-
munity's true "goal is the best j
care possible for our Jewish el- -1-\
as you contend, then
their budget share should not
be fixed at a point that imme-
diately makes the goal impos-
sible to achieve.
The budget needs to make
certain that wages are ade-
quate to attract caring and ef-
fective people who will be
tending to our elderly.
The professional staff is not
the major factor for the Home's
success. The Federation offi-
cials and Home directors —
those who already hint strong-
ly that the Home is expendable
— comprise the hope for Bor-
man. Unfortunately, however,
they may be involved with a
conflict of non-interest vs. sin-
cerity because their resources / 1
are much greater than those of
the average Jewish family and
they need not be concerned
about obtaining care for their
elderly in the Home. This may
or may not be an element of -/
the situation that exists, but
we believe it bears considera-
tion in view of the consistent
budget inadequacy.
The distracting "noise" men-
tioned July 2 has not been "so
much" but rather too little, be-
cause the Jewish community
simply does not care unless a
family member or friend is in
the Home. When each family
awakens to understand that
its elderly may one day need
the Home that vanished in the
magic of apathy, there may be
enough "noise" to compel the
Federation and JHA board to
provide a realistic, caring bud- `-\
get.
We are not optimistic on
that score in light of our com-
munity's lack of meaningful re-
action or concern when the
state inspectors found the
Home in deplorable condition.
It was a gigantic stain on the
Jewish tradition of caring, but
today's obsession with non-tra-
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