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Fink Is Best
astic debate and I saw respectful dis-
agreement. In a conversation with
Diane Brown, the spokeswoman for
the university's Department of Public
Safety, I was assured that the universi-
ty was committed to safeguarding the
students as she outlined many of the
I commend the University of
Michigan administration and security
officers fisr their efforts. And I left the
campus that Sunday confident that the
University of Michigan was indeed the
kind of place where I want my chil-
dren to learn.
Ruth L. Beitner
assistant director, American Jewish
I would like to heartily objeCt to Greg
David Fink is running an intelligent,
Thrasher's statement about the Ann
positive, issue-oriented campaign that
Arbor "Let's Attack the Jews" conven-
has made the Michigan 9th
tion that "the rejection of Israel's poli-
Congressional District race truly com-
cies does not make one anti-Semitic
petitive ("Capitol Stakes," Oct. 4, page
nor pro-Arab" ("U-M President's
16). Most U.S. House races, sadly, are
Stance Praised," Oct. 11, page 6).
not. Fewer than 10 percent out of 435
The purpose of the convention was
seats nationwide are said to be in play
to destroy Israel. That makes it and its
because of the enormous built-in advan-
supporters anti-Semitic, bigoted and
tages enjoyed by incumbents.
The Democrats need only a net gain
Further in his letter, he refers to
of six seats to win a majority in the
"America's holocausts." Note the moral
House and take control of the legislative
inversion in . this phrase and in our
calendar. This would enable them to put
enemy's cry that Israel is a Nazi
forward many worthy proposals that
have been blocked by House
one of these many "holocausts" he
Republicans since 1994.
refers to is the slavery that was
Imagine, by electing David Fink to
brought over from the morally bank-
Congress, we can not only have excel-
rupt continent of Europe and soundly
lent, proactive representation in
defeated at the cost of one-quarter
Washington, but can also help restore
million American white male lives.
our founders' vision of a government
On behalf of the Jewish Ensemble
based on healthy checks and balances by However, slavery of blacks is still prac-
we would like to thank you for
forging a Democratic majority in the
in promoting our Nov. 3
House of Representatives.
fund-raiser, the world premiere of our
Jews must know that we have only
spoof Jeffrey Eric Tischler's UETV Bar
West Bloomfield one claim to Israel, and that is as
Rashi comments on the first word in
Mitzvah, celebrating JET'S 13th season.
Over the past 13 years, the Jewish News
the Torah: that the One who created
has been a friend to JET, helping to
and owns the world gave it to us. We
build a theater with national recogni-
should, therefore, strive to be worthy
by doing mitzvot, giving tzedakah, per- tion.
So why do we do fund-raisers? Most
forming acts of kindness and especially
of your readers now recognize JET for
loving our fellow Jews.
I was more than a little dismayed to see
Joel Letvin its outstanding productions — our audi-
that in your analysis of the race for the
Bloomfield ences have grown every year. But JET is
9th Congressional District, you
far more than its four-show, main-stage
described U.S. Rep. Joe Khollenberg, R-
theater season — although the theater
Bloomfield Hills, as a "conservative"
was certainly proud to accept communi-
while describing challenger David Fink,
ty accolades for its 2001-2002 season,
D-Birmingham, as a "moderate."
including "Best Season" from the Detroit
("Capitol Stakes," Oct. 4, page 16)
Free Press, Oakland Press and Between the
Speaking at my high school (West
Lines, all of which hailed the theater for
Bloomfield), Fink clearly expressed all
I am a parent with two sons attending
its season-long theme, "Stop Hate."
the key tenets of modern American lib-
the University of Michigan. I am also
What most people do not know is
eralism: that Al Gore is our rightful pres- an alumni and a Jewish communal
that a significant portion of JET's pro-
ident, that the Bush tax cut plan is
professional. Last Sunday, I visited the
gramming is its educational outreach
responsible for our current economic
campus fearing the worst.
problems, and that the Second
I was concerned about the "Second
For the last seven years, JET,
Amendment is a collective, not an indi-
National Student Conference on the
the Dorfman Foundation
Palestinian Solidarity Movement"
program, has produced The
While those opinions are all more or
("Fighting Back," Oct. 11, page 16).
Diary of Anne Frank (the last two sea-
less in the mainstream of American poli- Instead of observing out-of-control
sons at Detroit's Masonic Temple),
tics, it is clear that Fink is as liberal, if
demonstrations, jeering students and
seen by more than 40,000 students.
not more, as Knollenberg is conserva-
destructive behavior, I found a differ-
Many of these students knew nothing
tive. If the Jewish News is closer on
ent scene all together. I saw an atten-
of the Holocaust and were seeing their
domestic issues with Fink than
tive team of university security officers
first live theater production — what a
Knollenberg, then that's fine. Calling a
monitoring the spirited group of
candidate "moderate" instead of "liberal"
young people draped in Israeli flags
In addition, last year alone,
or "conservative" may indeed be helpful
and the students filing solemnly into
JET/YES reached more than 40,000
in winning votes. But that doesn't mean
the Michigan League Building.
more youngsters with two traveling
the label is accurate.
I saw young men and women for
shows that visit schools focusing on
Ryan Peisner the most part in vigorous and enthusi-
the theme of bullying, both verbal and
Helps Lift JET
Watch How You
physical. After these productions, chil-
dren interact with the actors, asking
questions and reacting to what they
have seen. These shows often result in
intense dialogues between students
School administrators and teachers •
demand that we return annually.
These JET/YES productions must
be subsidized; neither the schools nor
the students could afford the full cost
of a ticket price set to cover costs.
That's why we have fund-raisers.
That's why we need the entire Jewish
community to understand and help us
continue one of JET's most important
missions: teaching schoolchildren
about the Holocaust and about caring
for one another, through the powefful
medium of theater.
Jonathan B. Frank
JET board president
Janette E. Frank
co-chair, JET' bar mitzvah
An 'Unsung Hero
Regarding your cover story on Ira
Boykansky ("EShanah Tovah," Sept. 6,
page 14). Those of us who are charter
members of Shomrey Emunah. in
Southfield would like the community to
know what a true, unsung hero Mr.
When Shomrey Emunah began in the
basement of the Labor Zionist building
on Schaefer in Detroit in 1957 under
Rabbi Sholem Flam (currently rabbi of
Stretiner Bais Medrash in Brooklyn),
Mr. Boykansky, then in his 20s but
already struggling with his lifelong afflic-
tion of cerebral palsy, was instrumental
in keeping the shul going.
Every Shabbat, he would walk the 10-
12 blocks from his home on Freeland to
attend services and then make the return
trip on foot, of course, afterward. But
that wasn't it.
Ira would walk again on Shabbat
afternoon to make sure the shul would
have its quorum of 10 adult men for
Minchah services. Mercifully, he was able
to get a lift home after sundown on
Every community must have its rab-
bis, leaders and great men. But let's take
a moment to salute one of the "average"
heroes, one whose personal dedication,
despite physical hardship, laid the foun-
dation of the first Orthodox syna-
gogue in that part of town.
on page 10