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December 20, 2002 - Image 56

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2002-12-20

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

SURVIVAL from page 55

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Interactive Judaica
Internet, a cyber cafe, videoconferenc-
ing, an editing station and a film pro-
Still, a core goal for the Center is to be
duction lab.
"the central meeting place for the whole
The Weinberg Center is targeted to
[Jewish] community," Sorkin says.
children ages 6-12. The hope is to
And the JCC is banking on the
attract school groups and families.
Weinberg Judaic Enrichment Center,
Community volunteers and profession-
which will house the Ford Interactive
als will be involved as well.
Center and the David B. Hermelin
"This is going to be such an exciting
ORT Resource Center, to complete the
environment
for learning and for having
package. The facility is the first of its
a Jewish experience in a non-threatening
kind internationally, Sorkin says. It is
way," said Penny Blumenstein, chair of
expected to open around Chanukah
the Weinberg Center and immediate
next year.
past-president of the Jewish Federation
"We're building something that does
of Metropolitan Detroit.
not exist, and we're creating a national
She explains that for many non-Jews
model," says assistant executive director
and some Jews, the only experience they
Margo Weitzer, who is working closely
have about Judaism is a trip
with the project.
to the Holocaust Memorial
It's so new that even the
JCC members Dan
Center, which is important,
name is not certain — it's
Stoller, 15, of
but so are other aspects of the
not quite a museum and
Farmington Hills
Jewish
world and culture.
more than a simple interac-
and Adam Kay, 18,
Ford
Motor Company
tive center. Each person
ofWest Bloomfield
Foundation's $2 million gift
involved in the project has -
— a similar amount also was
his or her own way of
given to the local Arab community —
describing it.
was an impetus to open this interactive
Patti Aaron, national vice president of
center, Blumenstein says. For several
•Women's American ORT and associate
years,
Center leaders discussed wanting
chair of the Weinberg Center, says, "It's
something
for families to do together at
a fresh look at the Jewish world, current
the JCC that involved Jewish learning.
and past — and it's not a passive experi=
The Weinberg gift is part of a chal-
ence. Those who come will become part
lenge fund "to make sure we can sustain
of the ongoing story, active participants
ourselves," Blumenstein says.
... whether through video-conferencing
The Weinberg Center is a joint proj-
with students from around the world or
ect
with the Jewish Federation; the JCC,
researching how various Jewish commu-
which
will manage it; and American
nities celebrate a holiday."
ORT, which already has raised almost
By providing technical training and
$800,000 to fund the center, she says.
lessons on how to incorporate the
"It'll be a real jewel in our communi-
Internet into the curricula, Aaron says,
ty," Blumenstein says. "The key feature
the programs will appeal to kids today,
is that this is a project for the entire
"and Jewish education has to meet that
community.
Like all other programs,"
demand."
Weitzer says, "we're working closely
Hart, the JCC president, describes the
with congregations, day schools, youth
enrichment center as a 6,000-square-
and junior groups .— this,is for every-
foot interactive space with changing
body." ❑
exhibits, computers with access to the

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