MJAC begins 13-day
JILL DAVIDSON SKLAR STAFF WRITER
ome sections of the AIDS Memorial
Quilt which hang in the lobbies of
the Jewish Community Center build-
ings this week carry sayings or stories
written on them, illustrating a favorite
memory of the person who died;
others use pictures or inanimate objects.
All of them tell a collective story of
suffering from a health crisis that has
invaded cities and towns from Paris to
The display, unfurled during a
memorial service Sunday at the
Maple/Drake building, is part of the
Michigan Jewish AIDS Coalition 13-
day program, "...Until There's a Cure."
The memorial service, part of open-
ing ceremonies, was the second
portion of MJAC's program which be-
gan with the Friendraiser, a private
party for contributors held at
Maple/Drake Saturday night.
The whole program is designed to ed-
ucate the community about various
AIDS issues, said Edwina Davis, ex-
ecutive director of MJAC. Forums for
teens, families and adults will be held
at the Jewish Community Center
Maple/Drake and Jimmy Prentis Mor-
About 90 people attended the open-
ing ceremonies in the lobby of the
Maple/Drake building. The hour-long
memorial service included the reading
of a list of victims represented by the
quilt pieces, a memorial candlelighting
and prayers for the care givers.
As large sections of the quilt hanging
from the ceiling of the lobby were unrolled, some participants sobbed
openly while others choked back tears or stared at the floor.
Fay-Ann and Jim Popkin of West Bloomfield came to the service
on Sunday to remember their daughter, Shelley Zagacki. They gripped
each others' hands and cried as her name was read.
Ms. Zagacki's 6-foot x 3-foot pink piece of cloth is adorned with two
hearts, her name and her date of death, Aug. 20, 1994. The Pop-
kins were told that it was made by a class from one of the afternoon
religious schools in the area.
"It was very hard for us to see but it was touching," Ms. Popkin
"She was a very brave and wonderful girl," Ms. Popkin said. "It
was a lousy break for someone who had so much to give."
Peter Cooper, a MJAC board member, said the quilt was brought
to the JCC for the second time since 1991 but this is the largest show-
ing to date. It includes panels from all over the United States and Is-
"The quilt gives a name and face to AIDS rather than quoting dry
statistics," he said.
MJAC's planned activities will wrap up Dec. 8 with closing
ceremonies to be held in Shiffman Hall at the Maple/Drake
Susan and Michelle
Eros console each
other during the
a section of the AIDS