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November 11, 1994 - Image 15

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1994-11-11

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

MJAC Organizes Major
Community Programs

BARBARA ACKER SPECIAL TO THE JEWISH NEWS

Peter gave up studying medicine to pursue his true love of performing. When his
dance troupe toured Detroit, Peter remained behind. During the decade he was here he
was involved in fund-raising, sound and light production, and was part of a singing
group known as "Peter, Paul & Ella." He planned to move to San Francisco, but instead
became a goat farmer in rural New York.
Peter was infected with HIV while in Detroit and died at his mother's house in New York
on Dec. 26, 1993. He was 43 years old.

I

n the hope that people like
Peter will not be forgotten,
the Michigan Jewish AIDS
Coalition (MJAC — pro-
nounced "magic") is bringing a
portion of the AIDS memorial
quilt to the Jewish Community
Center for 13 days.
The Jewish names on the pan-
el are a reminder to the com-
munity that AIDS is a reality
affecting everybody. To empha-
size this, MJAC has organized
an extensive program called
"...Until There's A Cure." It is a
multi-faceted, multimedia 13-
day event beginning Nov. 26
which is planned to coincide with
Chanukah and World AIDS Day
on Dec. 1.
"We want to create an atmos-
phere of openness and commu-
nication," said Linda Lee,
program chair of MJAC. By in-
volving everyone from school-
children to senior citizens,
MJAC hopes to raise awareness
and promote better under-
standing.
To that end, an AIDS educa-
tion curriculum was developed
by MJAC for area religious
schools. Utilized last year with
eighth- and ninth- graders in at
least six synagogues, the pro-
gram was beneficial to both stu-
dents and participating parents.
The three-part program, "Choose
Life, So That You May Live," will
be offered this year on Nov. 29,
Dec. 6 and Dec. 13.
"Educationally, we found the
kids knew more than their par-
ents did," said Ms. Lee.
Students are also being asked
to make quilt panels for some-
one who has died of AIDS and
had no one to make a panel in
his or her memory. To make the
experience more personal and
meaningful, biographies like the
one above will be 'given to each
student or group of students.
The finished panels will be pre-
sented at a Dec. 8 closing cere-
mony. .
A workshop is being offered
on Oct. 24 to show how to make
these panels. It will be held at
the Agency for Jewish Education
in Southfield at 7:30 p.m.

In commemoration of indi-
viduals who have lost their lives
to AIDS, Nancy Gurwin has
written a musical, "Memories,"
which will be performed on Sun-
day, Dec. 4.
For those who may think they
are not at risk, "You Are Never
Too Young or Too Old" on Nov.
29 and Dec. 7 will explore the
perils of dating in the 1990s.
Men and women who may be re-
entering the dating world after
many years are encouraged to
attend.
"There are 50- and 60-year-old
women out there with 15 locks
on their doors who haven't giv-
en thought to the safety of their

bodies," said Ms. Lee.
"Friend-Raiser," a preview
opening on Nov. 26 at the Jan-
ice Charach-Epstein Museum/
Gallery will include entertain-
ment by Marcus Belgrave and
friends.
The official opening ceremo-
ny will coincide with erev
Chanukah on Nov. 27. Rabbi
Arnie Sleutelberg of Congrega-
tion Shir Tikvah will lead a
memorial service of healing and
hope which will include memo-
rial services and Kaddish.
"We need to re-emphasize our
Jewish values of visiting the
sick, repairing the world, saving

MJAC page 16

All programs are at the Maple-Drake
JCC unless otherwise noted.

Saturday, November 26, 8
p.m.
"Friend-Raiser," preview
opening at the Janice Charach-
Epstein Museum/Gallery. En-
tertainment by Marcus
Belgrave and Friends. $25 con-
tribution.
Sunday, November 27,
1:30 p.m.
Opening ceremony. Memori-
al service. Quilt panels pre-
sented.
Sunday, November 27,
2:30 p.m.
"AIDS: Rx For Care." Sinai
Hospital staff will discuss med-
ical issues. Questions and an-
swers afterward.
Monday, November 28,
7:30 p.m.
"AIDS: Rx for Care." At the
Jimmy Prentis Morris JCC.
Tuesday, November 29, 1
p.m.
"You Are Never Too Young or
Too Old." Program aimed at
adults over 30 who think they
may not be at risk.
Tuesday, Nov. 29, 7 9 p.m.
"Choose Life, So That You
May Live." A three-part series
for teens and their parents on
AIDS education and Jewish val-
ues.

-

Wednesday, Nov. 30 7 p.m.
"Teens and Sex, An Open
Discussion." An informal op-
portunity for teens to ask ques-
tions and talk to people who
have firsthand AIDS experience.
Sunday, Dec. 4, 2 p.m.
"Family Album: The Many
Faces of AIDS." An outreach
program for the gay and lesbian
community, as well as an op-
portunity for the general Jew-
ish community to learn more
about gays and lesbians.
Sunday, Dec. 4, 7 p.m.
"Memories," a Nancy Gurwin
musical written specifically for
this program.
• Tuesday, December 6, 7-9
p.m.
"Choose Life, So That You
May Live." Second part of the
series. The conclusion is sched-
uled for Dec. 13, after the quilt
is no longer on display.
Wednesday, Dec. 7, 7:30
p.m.
"You Are Never Too Young or
Too Old". A repeat program at
the JPM JCC.
Thursday, Dec. 8, 7:30 p.m.
Closing ceremony led by Rab-
bi Arnie Sleutelberg. School
groups and individuals will pre-
sent new quilt panels.

Jeannie Weiner: Help continues.

Council Provides Food
For Soviet Jews

JILL DAVIDSON SKLAR STAFF WRITER

I

n changing the focus of their
Soviet Jewry efforts, the Jew-
ish Community Council re-
cently was able to assist 750
families in Minsk with food
parcels and homecare help.
Leonid Levin, president of the
Belorus Association ofJewish Or-
ganizations, notified the council
that their donation of $6,500
reached the Minsk community.
"We were able to reach many
needy, elderly clients who have
no other family members to take
care of them," Mr. Levin wrote.
"A large portion of these people
are bedridden and the only out-
side contact they have is their
homecare provider." •
The money for the donation
was left over from past fund-rais-
ing efforts of the Soviet Jewry
Committee.
The committee, now known as
the Minsk Task Force, has grad-
ually changed its focus to meet
the needs of Jews in the former
Soviet Union, said Jeannie Wein-
er, former chair of the Soviet Jew-
ry Committee and immediate
past president of the Jewish
Community Council.
At first, the committee fought
for the removal of travel restric-

lions for Soviet Jews and for their
right to immigrate to other coun-
tries. When that goal was ac-
complished, the committee raised
funds to support resettlement in
Israel, the United States and Eu-
rope.
The committee also funded
Jewish educational programs for
the resettled Jews.
"The numbers of people who
are leaving the former Soviet
Union are quite diminished,
thankfully," Ms. Weiner said.
Prior to the collapse of the for-
mer Soviet Union, the retirees
there lived off meager pensions.
Now the pensions are worth-
less, leaving many of those left
behind with little to no source of
income.
The funding provided by the
Jewish Community Council was
given to the American Jewish
Joint Distribution Committee.
The funding was then distributed
in the form of food packages and
sponsorship of homecare by the
Belorus Association ofJewish Or-
ganizations.
"It is so important that we re-
member the Jews who are still
there," Ms. Weiner said."They
still need our help." 0

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