COVER S TORY
A E L
Detroiters joined Israelis
in the fight for statehood
through deed and spirit.
he making of a nation was not accomplished with a single
United Nations vote. In Israel's case, it took prayers, hope, sweat
and money. And it didn't matter where you lived — every Jew
could contribute to the establishment of the Jewish homeland.
Detroit Zionists claimed an unflagging loyalty to Israel,
which turns 55 on May 7, Yom HaAtzmaut. Some, like Betty
Provizer Starkman of Bloomfield Hills, Dena Greenberg and
Tova and Sy Salinger, all of Southfield, belonged to Zionist
youth groups in high school and college. They remember cele-
brating as a community on the grounds of Central High
School when the U.N. partition of Palestine passed in 1947.
Starkman longed to go to Israel to help in the war, but was
told by an Israeli relative to stay home instead and educate others about Zionism
Max M. Fisher of Franklin developed a love of Israel from his initial trip — the first
United Jewish Appeal study mission in 1954. He was stunned by the reality of the
Jewish state and found ways to help it grow, both as a philanthropist and as a diplo-
mat representing the whole American Jewish community to many U.S. presidents.
In Israel, there's a whole generation of longtime heroes — men and women
who fought in Israel's War of Independence in 1948. Stories abound of their
courage and their resourcefulness in defeating an overpowering enemy. But now
a new generation of historians is challenging that assumption and many others
about the Jewish state's first war.
As they face this new, revisionist history, it's important for us to remember
their sacrifice and bravery in forging a country --- now home to 6.6 million
residents, 76 percent Jewish — where no Jew shall ever be turned away. That is
Jewish, settlers raise the
liraeliflag on the site
of the new kibbutz
:2. settlement in Yazur, in
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