Buys A School
DAVID ZEMAN STAFF WRITER
Zedek has won a keen bid-
ding war for the Walnut
Lake Elementary School,
agreeing to pay $1.5 million for
the now-vacant building.
While the deal likely will not
be finalized for months, Shaarey
Zedek officials are hopeful they
can begin Hebrew and religious
education classes at the West
Bloomfield Township site by the
"We are very positive about it,
very excited," said Shaarey Zedek
administrator Malcolm Katz. "It's
a much-needed space, and it's our
very own space."
Assuming the deal goes
through, the purchase means
that Shaarey Zedek will not have
to expand its B'nai Israel Center
in West Bloomfield after all. Con-
gregation officials have main-
tained that it would cost the
congregation less money to buy
the Walnut Lake school than to
expand the B'nai Israel facility.
The congregation currently
rents space at Ealy Elementary
School to conduct Hebrew school
classes. On Sundays, the stu-
dents go to the Shaarey Zedek
site in Southfield.
The Birmingham School Dis-
trict voted unanimously to accept
the Shaarey Zedek bid at its
March 19 meeting. The bid was
the highest from among five fi-
nalists, and was $400,000 high-
er than the congregation's initial
offer for the facility on Walnut
Lake Road near Inkster Road.
As part of the deal, the con-
gregation agreed to sell an ath-
letic field and tennis courts on
the west side of the property to
West Bloomfield Township. This
provision was included to satis-
fy area residents who wanted to
see at least part of the proper-
ty put to a community use.
Under the terms of the con-
tract, the congregation agreed
that it would make a good-faith
effort to sell off this recreation-
al area for something close to the
$331,000 already earmarked for
the project by the township.
Leonard Baruch, executive di-
rector of Shaarey Zedek, said
talks have yet to begin with the
township concerning the outdoor
area. Mr. Katz, the administra-
tor, said the purchase of the
school itself will be paid for by a
The Walnut Lake school was
attractive to Shaarey Zedek be-
cause it offered about 35,000-
square-feet of space, compared
to the proposed 23,000-square-
foot expansion at B'nai Israel.
The proposed B'nai Israel ex-
pansion had also caused grum-
bling among some of residents
in the area who complained that
the added classroom space would
mean more traffic congestion.
Mr. Katz estimated more
than 600 students will use the
Walnut Lake facility when it
opens. At some point, officials
say, the site also will be used for
latchkey and day-care programs,
kindergarten, adult education,
summer camps and cultural
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DAVID ZEMAN STAFF WRITER
ut 30 Jews in a room to-
gether and 40 opinions
And yet for all the views
expressed at a recent forum on
Middle East peace, the partici-
pants struggled with their own
vision for solving the region's con-
"I feel the peace process must
be continued and that's it," said
audience member Ruth Born-
stein, expressing the sentiment
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quandary, of course, was how to
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raeli life and security intact.
"How do I think that should be
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"God, I wish I knew."
Ms. Bornstein's frustration
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The seminar, sponsored by the
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