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November 12, 1993 - Image 1

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1993-11-12

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10 CHESVAN 5754/NOVEMBER 12, 1993

Hard Hitting News

The latest plans for Borman Hall have left families wondering about the
future of their elderly relatives.


ome were sad; some
were angry.
Others expressed
sympathy for people
who had to make a
tough decision — one
destined to rekindle
the heated debate
over the Jewish com-
munity's commit-
ment to its frail
elderly population.
But befuddlement best describes
the overall response to news that
Borman Hall nursing home will be
sold or closed during 1994.
"I just feel a little lost in trying to
figure out what to do, because I don't
think (the community leaders) know
what they're doing," said Don Riger
of West Bloomfield. "Nobody has any
Mr. Riger, whose mother lives at
Borman Hall, attended a family fo-
rum meeting held Sunday at the 212-
bed facility on Seven Mile Road in
Detroit. Mr. Riger was among near-
ly 70 individuals who came to learn
more about how the future of Borman



Toss And Turn

Judy Kaye refuses
to be typecast.

Page 75


Passing Parade

Audience and authors make ICC
the place to be.

Page 7

at Book Fair.

Contents on page 3

situation, and I think ev-
erybody comprehends the
situation we're in with
Borman," he said. "The
one comment I hear is
that maybe we should
have done this 20 years
ago. But hindsight is 20-
Some people who at-
tended the family forum
meeting weren't shocked
by last week's news. They
saw it coming for years.
But others are wondering
why — after Borman
passed its latest state in-
spection — leaders have
decided to discontinue op-

Don Riger says nobody seems to have answers.

Hall will affect loved ones.
The news about Borman broke late
last week. Robert Aronson, executive
vice president of the Jewish
Federation of Metropolitan Detroit,
says people have responded with un-
"The family forum went well, all
things considered. Everybody would
like to see a good resolution to the

"A lot of families at the forum
wanted to revoice their commitment
to Borman Hall," said JHA Executive
Director Denise Bortolani-Rabidoux.
"They were very upset and hurt,
but...there was not a lot of anger. A
lot of them just wanted reaffirma-
tion from the Jewish Home for Aged

NEWS page 23

Terror In Egypt Hits Home

Merrill Kramer, whose.roots are in suburban Detroit,
survives an assailant's bullets.



errill Kramer sees his friend
Coby M. Hoffman hunched
over, his body reacting to the
deadly force of the gun of a
man gone wild.
His friend and colleague, Robert L.
Guidi, is shot dead in the next instant.
How can one reason during the un-
thinkable? Merrill Kramer had been
in many thought provoking situations
before. There were difficult decisions
that could make or break careers and
An attorney for the Washington,
D.C. firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss,
Hauer & Feld, he was in Cairo, Egypt
on Oct. 26 with Mr. Hoffman and Mr.
Guidi to discuss the construction of a
natural gas pipeline from Egypt to
Israel. The three Americans were get-
ting up from a table in a coffee shop
in the Semiramis Inter-Continental,
a luxury hotel, a place where deals
are put to rest, not people.
On the other side of the earth in a
small, bedroom community in
Farmington Hills, Billie Kramer was
waking up to a new day. School bus


kes S

brakes screeched to a halt, traffic
started backing up at 14 Mile and
Orchard Lake roads. The guy from
the radio helicopter talked about the
usual distant tie-ups: the Jefferies, I-
75 and Telegraph. How many times



■ 111111•

"I don't think
I've come to
grips with what
happened to my

Merrill Kramer

had she heard on the early morning
news about a murder in metropoli-
tan Detroit, a scandal in Washington,
D.C., or a terrorist attack in the
Middle East.
"You listen to this kind of news day

in and day out, but you don't really
hear it," she said.
Her telephone rang. It was news
from her daughter-in-law, Lois, and
Billie Kramer heard.
Merrill Kramer's mind had in-
stinctively tried to preserve a life, his
own. The assailant, 28-year-old Abou
al-Ila, had entered the Egyptian ho-
tel restaurant and opened fire with
his revolver. When he was done, and
he shouted in Arabic, "God is Great,"
he had killed Mr. Kramer's engineer
friends, a Frenchman, and wounded
a Syrian.
Merrill Kramer ran as fast as a
person can run with terror and life
and death at the whim of a stranger,
a killer pointing a gun at him. The
first bullet hit him in the back. The
second in the buttock, severing a
femoral artery and exiting his body.
"I crawled as fast as I could, be-
cause I lost the use of my leg," Mr.
Kramer said. "He continued to kill
the person at the next table.
"I had to think," he added. "Had I
stayed there, frozen, my fate would
have been the same as my colleagues.
What took over was preservation.
There was a moment there where he
had shot me twice. I fully expected
a third bullet. All that I could think
about was my wife, who is pregnant
with our first child, and I had every-

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