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September 06, 2002 - Image 6

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2002-09-06

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We prefer letters that relate to articles in the Jewish News. We reserve the right to
edit or reject tenets. Brevity is encouraged.
Letters must contain the name, address and tide of the writer, and a daytime
telephone number. Original copies must be hand signed. Mail to the Jewish News
at 30301 Northwestern Highway, Suite 200, Farmington Hills, MI 48334;
fax to (248) 539-3075; or e-mail to: riddaretheiewishnews.com

Volunteer In Israel:
That's A Mitzvah

We were in Israel from June 20 to July
20 this summer. We went as volun-
teers with the Israel Defense Forces
(IDF) for three
weeks. We
would like to
make it very
clear that we
did not feel
afraid, threat-
ened or at all
uneasy during our stay.
We did feel at home in Israel, but
we also felt the impact of the current
situation on the economy of the coun-
try: Hotels filled at 20 percent capaci-
ty, tourist shops were empty and
restaurants were never really full.
Historic sites were almost empty of
tourists. Everyone we met thanked, us
for coming.
We went to meet up with the pro
gram of Sar El, volunteering to work
for the army wherever.they needed us.
We were stationed at an army base just
outside of Beersheva. This is a repair
base with a multitude of storage ware-
houses. Our jobs were to sort, package
and prepare parts for storage for the
future use of the army because when
[the IDF] will need these items, they
will need them fast and in quantity!
The group of American volunteers
we were with numbered about 25,
from ages 15 to 75. One man brought
his 20-year-old grandson; another cou-
ple brought their 15-year-old daugh-
ter. Everyone felt they just had to
come and do something to help Israel,

beyond just giving money. And the
work we did was needed. Israel is run-
ning short of money for defense and
also of people to do the non-combat-
ant jobs. We were joined by volunteers
from the surrounding area, mostly
retirees who gave one or two days a
week to help out.
There was also a group from western
New Jersey who came to Israel on a
Partnership 2000 mission.-One week
they spent volunteering with us at the
army base. It was an opportunity and
an experience they all enjoyed and
We are urging members of our com-
munity to try this volunteer experi-
ence both for the good of Israel and

Bernard and Sara Schiff
. Huntington Woods

Editor's note: for information about vol-
unteer opportunities in Israel, call the
Jewish Federation of Metropolitan
Detroit, (248) 642-4260.

EMU Offers
Hillel, Too

While your article about Jewish life on
college campuses in Michigan ("Jewish
Focus On Education," Aug. 23, page
25) contained fine features on many of
Michigan's Hillels, it did not feature
prominently the Hillel at Eastern
Michigan University. We write to you
today to tell your readers of the grow-
ing Jewish presence at EMU.
The Hillel at Eastern Michigan
University gains its support from the


wrenching time. How many times,
in the aftermath of a suicide bomb-
ing, has it been one of their ambu-
lances that has come to the rescue?"
Manny Charach, Dr. John J.
Mames Chapter chairman for the
past 11 years, called the dinner "a
humbling evening," while Natalie
Charach, chapter vice chair,
described her co-volunteers as "our
extended family."
In the invocation, Rabbi Charles
Popky of Congregation Beth Ahm
in West Bloomfield set the tenor for
the dinner when he spoke of Israel's
fight against "the forces that glorify
death, that desire death."
"The heroes that we honor

9/ 6



tonight," he said, "are those who
value life, who strive to save lives."
Manny Charach seized the
moment to praise any Jewish group
that helps people in need, reinforc-
ing the selfless philosophy of he and
his wife.
"Everybody who pitches in and
works hard — not only for this
charity, but all charitable causes —
is to be commended," he said.
Magen David Adorn is special,
though, and as the intifada contin-
ues in the shadows of the High
Holidays, let us take the time to
remember the good work that it
does in the struggle for normalcy in
our beloved homeland.

Jewish federations of both Metropolitan
Detroit and Washtenaw County. Since
1998, it has had its own facility, direct-
ly across the street from campus. Our
events --- which in the past years have
included Shabbat dinners, rock climb-
ing, speakers, coffee chats and Israel
programming — have attracted both
Jewish and non-Jewish students, with
average attendance at programs grow-
ing significantly during this time.
Jewish students at Eastern Michigan
University contribute to the cultural
pluralism and active life of the universi-
ty; and prominent Jewish alumni. from
EMU occupy important positions in
the Detroit-area Jewish community.
Jewish high school students in
Michigan have a wide range of choices
for where to go to college. We hope
they will remain aware of the signifi-
cant opportunities available to them at
Eastern Michigan University, and will
consider becoming part of the Jewish
renaissance that we are privileged to be
part of every day.
The EMU Hillel is at 965
Washtenaw in Ypsilanti, or call (734)
Jeffrey L. Bernstein
chair, EMU Hillel Steering Committee
Aaron Kaufman
campus director, EMU Hillel

We Stand Behind
Cantor Greenbaum

Cantor Samuel Greenbaum per-
formed a brit milah (covenant of cir-
cumcision) on our son Jack in
December 2001.
As Jack's mother, I was nervous
and overwhelmed by the whole
process of the brit. Cantor
Greenbaum made us feel completely
at ease and completed the ceremony
in an extremely gentle and compas-
Sionate manner. He went above and
beyond the call of duty with a phone
call that evening and a visit to our
home to check on the baby the next
We, as members of Congregation
Beth Shalom, stand behind Cantor
Greenbaum 100 percent ("We Will
Get Through, This Together," Aug.
30, page 16). We support him and
will be forever grateful for the spe-
cial mitzvah he fulfilled for us.
Rachel Katz
Huntington Woods

Note Full Record
Of Knollenberg

Citing an old English proverb, "A
friend in need ... Roger Leemis sug-
gested in last week's Letters to the
Editor that Jews should vote for U.S.
Rep. Joe Knollenberg, R-Bloomfield
Hills, because he has been a friend
to Israel ("Rep. Knollenberg
Deserves Our Vote," Aug. 30, page
Mr. Leemis concedes that both
Knollenberg and his Democratic
opponent, David Fink, would pay
serious attention to Israel's difficul-
ties. The problem is that Mr.
Knollenberg, who is a decent man,
consistently has been on the wrong
side of issues that most Jews hold
dear, such as gun control and abor-
The benefits of Mr. Knollenberg's
seniority that Mr. Leemis writes
about can be a two-edged sword. He
should note what Henry Adams
wrote: "A friend in power is a friend
Albert L. Holtz
Commerce Township

Health Article
Earns Plaudits

I commend the Jewish News for the
informative article that brings aware-
ness of the importance of early
detection of testicular cancer to the
public's attention ("Young Man's
Disease," Aug. 23, page 110).
Hadassah, the largest women's
Zionist organization, sponsors the
Check It Out program, which goes
to area high schools and teaches
breast cancer and testicular cancer
awareness to the students. This
nationwide program is being pre-
sented in many communities and
provides lifesaving information.
The Greater Detroit Chapter of
Hadassah is proud to join the Jewish
News in sending this message to
young people in the greater Detroit
Elaine R. Sturman
Greater Detroit Chapter of Hadassah
West Bloomfield

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