parochial school students, including
many Jewish groups, took it on the
chin last week when Washington,
D.C., Mayor Anthony Williams
abruptly reversed course and publicly
endorsed voucher proposals for his
beleaguered city schools.
"There's no question it is a boost to
voucher supporters," said Michael
Lieberman, Washington counsel for
the Anti-Defamation League, which
strongly opposes voucher plans. "One
would be hard pressed to distinguish
between the quality of education in
D.C. and in any other major city. If
it's OK for Washington, why not the
ELEBRATING Wrrn TEE RABBI._
Below: Rabbi William Lebeau shares a
moment with Rabbi Elliot Pachter during the
April 6 "Perfect 10" celebration at
Congregation B'nai Moshe in West Bloomfield.
Rabbi Lebeau is vice chancellor for rabbinic
development and the Pearl Resnick Dean of
the Jewish Theological Seminary of America
Rabbinical School in New York City.
Despite all the usual uncertainties of
organizing a big event involving top
political invitees, plans for the May 19
"Spirit of Israel" concert and rally in
downtown Washington seem to be on
The event, at the MCI Center, will
feature entertainers Jerry Seinfeld,
Norah Jones, Tony Bennett and Noa,
among others. Still uncertain:
President George W.
Bush and Israeli Prime
Minister Ariel Sharon.
Event planners say it is
still on the calendar of
both leaders; Israeli
sources say the Prime
Minister's Office has
not yet made a decision.
es by the high-profile entertainers, the
audience will watch slickly produced
video segments highlighting Israel's
dramatic achievements in a number of
fields, including engineering, business
and "new drugs for cancer created
"The goal of the evening is for you
not just to be entertained, but to come
away and say, 'Wow, Israel is more
than I ever dreamed,'" said Jeanne
Ellinport, a former White House liai-
son to the Jewish community now
serving as executive director of the
Israel Forever Foundation, a group cre-
ated to mark the 55th anniversary.
Planners reportedly were worried
that they wouldn't sell enough of the
pricey tickets — which range from
$75 to $500 — to fill the giant arena.
Ellinport declined to say how many
tickets have been sold, but
Washington sources say sales have
been satisfactory of late.
"It's a hard arena to fill up unless
you have Michael Jordan," said a top
Jewish activist, "But they seem to have
enough for a good audience base." 111
Above: Helping Rabbi Pachter
mark his 10th anniversary at B'nai Moshe
were party-goers Annie Rubin, 8, of
Farmington Hills; Leah Shepherd, 8, and
Alex Zack, 6, both of West Bloomfield.
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