n a letter to the Belgian
ambassador to America,
Detroit attorney Michael
Traison expressed outrage over
the Belgium Supreme Court's
ruling that although Israeli Prime
Minister Ariel Sharon cannot be
tried while in office for alleged
war crimes, he possibly could face trial after he
"I do not think you need to be told how this deci-
sion is received by decent people and how disap-
pointing this move was to those of us in the legal
community," Traison said in a letter to Stephen F.
Brauer in Washington.
"As a lawyer, I am ashamed that my judicial col-
leagues in Belgium could make such a ruling, espe-
cially in a land with such an unfortunate recent his-
On Feb. 12, the court ruled that investigations
could continue against former Israeli army com-
mander Amos Yaron, now director general of
hrael's Defense Ministry. The original complaint
filed with Belgian prosecutors two years ago named
him with Sharon. Recent amendments to Belgium's
1993 war crimes law allow prosecutors there to
investigate suspected war criminals even if they live
The court ruling came after an appeal by
Palestinian plaintiffs. They want Sharon and other
Israeli officials prosecuted for the killing of
Palestinians by Lebanese Christian militias in the
Sabra and Shatila refugee camps during the 1982
Lebanon War, when Sharon was Israel's defense
minister, JTA reported.
Israel has recalled its ambassador to Belgium over
Yaron commanded the Israeli troops in Beirut
during the Lebanon war. He told Army Radio:
"Belgium is taking upon itself the mission of world
judge. This is an attempt to rouse disorder in the
world in an inexplicable manner."
— Robert A. Sklar
JET Welcomes Mosaic
or the first time in its 10-year history, the
Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit will play
two performances at the Jewish Ensemble
Theatre (JET) in the Jewish Community Center in
An original work, HeartBEAT, written collabora-
tively and performed by the adults and young peo-
ple of the Mosaic, will be presented at 8 p.m.
Saturday, April 5, and 2 p.m. Sunday, April 6.
"Using the story of a Greek myth as the basis of
the play, it's about the battle between love and hate
in our lives," says founder and executive director
Rick Sperling of Detroit.
While using techniques of Greek theater plus tap
dancing and live drumming, the play draws from
stories of young people's experiences today, he says.
Sperling, who is Jewish, is thrilled to be perform-
ing in West Bloomfield for the first time.
"I want there to be a space for young Jewish per-
formers in Mosaic," he says, adding that the multi-
cultural theater group that offers free after-school
theater and music classes and performance tours
serves students from 50 different schools in the
What's next for talented group? Sperling says he's
in the talking stage With members of Seeds of Peace
about a performance that deals with issues in the
relationships between African-American, Arab-
American and Jewish teenagers.
"Our play is a rare experience that an adult and .a
teenager can share together," Sperling says of
HeatBEAT. "The show will be exciting for both."
For information about Mosaic classes, call (313)
872-6970 — student tickets, $1; adults, $30 on
Saturday; $25 on Sunday. For ticket information, .
call (248) 788-2900.
-- Sharon Luckerman
Toys To Share
random drawing netted the Avi Smith family
of Southfield a chest of the hottest new toys,
thanks to Playthings magazine, a publication
covering the toy industry.
The Smiths selected the children's floor of the
Cancer Hospital at the Detroit Medical Center to
receive a duplicate batch of toys, also supplied by
To win, the Smiths completed a Playthings
national survey on toys. For every 1,000 respon-
dents, Playthings selects a name at random and
sends both that person and his charity of choice a
play chest of toys. The Smiths are the first family
to win — making their 4-year-old son very happy.
To complete the survey and be eligible to win a
big batch of toys for your own family and favorite
local charity, log on to vvww.playthings.com
— Keri Guten Cohen
At The Helm
eannie Weiner, a longtime
communal activist, is the
new board president for the
Lansing-based Michigan Jewish
Conference, which serves the
political and community relations
needs of Michigan Jewry.
The West Bloomfield resident
will work with Susan Herman, MJC director.
Weiner is a former president of the Jewish
Community Council of Metropolitan Detroit. In
1998, she earned the first Woman of Achievement
Award for Jewish Women International.
"The Jewish community is already a known target for
terrorist attacks," she said. "When you add the combined
effects of a negative economy and international instabili-
ty, you greatly increase the likelihood of the Jewish corn-.
munity being singled out and targeted as scapegoats.
"It is critical that we, the Jewish communities
statewide, maintain a strong and active presence in
Lansing and an open dialogue throughout the state."
— Robert A. Sklar
• The Staff Notebook item on the Jewish Ensemble
Theatre's public performance of The Diary of Anne
Frank (March 14, page 16) should have stated that
it will be performed 3 p.m. Sunday, March 23, at
the Scottish Rite Cathedral Theatre at Detroit's
Masonic Temple (not at the Jewish Community
Center). For information, call (248) 788-2900.
• In the article "Dissecting a Mitzvah" (March
14, page 78), the list of local authors contribut-
ing to Lynne Schreiber's book Hide & Seek:
Jewish Women and Hair Covering should have
included Aviva Zacks of Oak Park.
Remembering The Holocaust
Micki Grossman of Adat
Shalom Synagogue in
Farmington Hills takes
part in a program at the
Remembrance service at
the National Shrine of
the Little Flower in
Royal Oak on March 16
Sponsored by the
Ecumenical Institute for
and the Holocaust
50 people attended the
– hour-long event. Standing
next to her is Rev. Brad
Gee, pastor of the Hope
Lutheran Church in