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December 30, 1994 - Image 39

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1994-12-30

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

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FOOT SOLDIERS

They are Jewish and they believe in the mission of the Salvation Army.

T

_

eonard Krugel holds four Polaroids
in his hand. They are pho-
tographs of interiors of aban-
doned buildings in Detroit.
It's an interior shot that
causes the most effect. A mattress pushed
against the wall, surrounded by layers
of trash, old newspapers, empty food con-
tainers and soiled clothing.
Mr. Krugel has found children in these
buildings trying to stay warm.
He often points to the many pho-
tographs on his Salvation Army office
walls and bookshelves. Bright, strong faces
of friends and family offer a striking jux-
taposition to the squalor in the photos he
holds in his hands.
He is a big, strong man with a "get it
done" tone to his voice. His soft spot,
though, is easy to find.
It's on the eve of 1995 and Mr. Krugel
is in the hallway just outside his
Salvation Army office in the Kresge Center
near Northland. He and his staff are
completing the chores of packing toys
and clothing they will hand-deliver
the following day to underprivileged chil-
dren.
A mother and father are picking up a
bag full of clothing and toys for their chil-
dren. Capt. Cheryl Bailey, a Salvationist
minister, is there with Mr. Krugel. She'll
help in the toy distribution, also. They are
friends, seemingly for a long time. Capt.
Bailey was, after all, one of many uni-
formed Salvation Army personnel at Mr.
Krugel's son's bar mitzvah at Congrega-
tion Shaarey Zedek.
'We're working for a common goal, Jew
or Christian," she says.
Fade out and travel south along the
Lodge.
Attorney Robert Dickman looks hope-
ful that the workmen will be able to stop
the leaking from the corner ceiling tiles.
He's got clients coming in non-stop all day.
There are no wood-trimmed walls of a bar-
rister hall; it bears no resemblance to a
Jefferson Avenue law office downtown.
But still Mr. Dickman gives what is best
to his clients.
Mr. Dickman, active both on the Tem-
ple Israel and Jewish Community Coun-
cil boards, is director of the Salvation
Army's William Booth Legal Clinic. His
clients are the ones that no one else wants.
Their drug and alcohol abuse has helped

Left: Leonard Krugel turned his career over from
CPA to the "front lines" of the Salvation Army.

PHOTOS BY GLENN TRIEST

PHIL JACOBS EDITOR

them slip through the so-
cietal safety nets, and
they end up in one of De-
troit's many forgotten
neighborhoods. This one
is off of the Cass Corridor.
It is part of a Salvation
Army residential treat-
ment center known as
Harbor Light.
Sunlight refracts and
is enhanced through the
glass block wall behind
Mr. Dickman's desk. It
lights up the graying hair
of "Jerry," a client of the
Booth Clinic. Jerry is a
crack addict. He is from a
Jewish home in the sub-
urbs. Now this is home.
With a population from
the horrors of life on the
street, he'll take it.
Finally, there are the
volunteers: men like Dr.
Mark Diem and Richard
Jacobs, loading up their
vehicles at the Salvation
Army Kresge Center on
Christmas Day and ven-
turing into the neighbor-
hoods most prefer to
avoid.
They do it because it is
Christmas. They do it be-
cause they are Jews who
want to show the rest of
the community that they
care. Nobody can dispute
it on a day when practi-
cally everyone is taking
life off: these volunteers
are working the hardest.
These are four short
stories of Jews who have
a direct link with the Salvation Army, an
organization not usually associated with
Judaism.
What is the Salvation Army? It is an
evangelical part of the universal Christ-
ian church. Yet, none of the Jews inter-
viewed for this story were bothered by the
Army's Christian evangelical mission.
They were more interested in being part
of an organization that helps people. Its
literature describes the Salvation Army
as an organization with a "mission to
preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to
meet human needs in His name without
discrimination."
Its roots are in mid-19th century Lon-

al facilities, food, clothing,
counseling and other
forms of aid to those in
need, regardless of reli-
gion.
It collected $32 million
in metro Detroit in 1993.
That money paid for
300,000 nights of lodging
in shelters, 1.6 million
meals, 24,000 winter
coats for children and
hundreds of thousands of
other services and items.

A CPA Turned Social
Activist
Leonard Krugel loves it
when he's asked why a
"nice Jewish boy is work-
ing for the Salvation
Army."
He was a CPA some 10
years ago when a friend
asked him to settle a tax
dispute between the Sal-
vation Army and the IRS.
He took care of the prob-
lem and hasn't left since.
The faces of the people he
helps won't let him go
anywhere except back to
the soup kitchens, shel-
ters and places of aban-
donment.
Mr. Krugel is the social
services director, deputy
finance director and a
member of the Army's na-
tional disaster service
team. He was sent to
South Central Los Ange-
les to help rebuild that
part .of the city. He was
sent to California after the
don under the founding of Robert and Ellen
earthquake earlier this year to set
William Booth, a Christian Dickman:
up relief stations.
evangelist, who launched a Running a legal
"There is no new money," Mr.
massive outreach to the poor clinic in the Cass
Krugel said. "We have plenty of
Corridor.
called the "Hallelujah Army."
new people who need our help. We
The military rank, uniforms
need to bridge the gap and bring
and duties of the Salvationists were set people together. The interests of the
into place because the Rev. Booth saw his Jewish community, the black communi-
order more in terms of "soldiers of Christ." ty, the Christian communities, they all
To this day, the kettles stationed on overlap.
streets and outside of businesses raise
"I'm not going to say being Jewish and
enough money to feed more than 2 million working here has never come up," he con-
people on Thanksgiving and Christmas tinued. "Working here is more of a meet-
Day.
ing of the minds, of mutual respect. People
The Salvation Army offers shelters for
the homeless, emergency and transition- FOOT SOLDIERS page 40

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