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"The success of
our business from
a little party store
into a major
player today is
due in part to our
advertising in the
Jewish News and
support it has
always given us."
Co-owner Ron Asmar
"Because of our
advertising in the
Jewish News, my
mother Lil Bloom's
became a great
success and we
are very proud to
serve the Jewish
Co-owner Shiriee Bloom
Lil Bloom's Kosher
Even-Yehuda is a small Israeli communi-
ty five miles from Netanya and seven
miles from Qalqilya in the West Bank.
My daughter Merav gave birth there to
Aviv, brother of Orr.
In the few days that I was there, Israel
has suffered five homicide bombings;
seven were killed and scores were
wounded. These crimes against humani-
ty cannot be judged only by those who
died. The wounded included people
who lost an arm or leg or eyes.
Thousands were maimed; some were
Yes, the economy is terrible and stores
are closing. People are collecting food
from garbage and there is some starva-
Israel needs help. The best way to help
is to visit. If Whitney Houston can dare
and come, you, the Jews of Detroit, can
do the same. Yes, there are dangers, but
so are there for New Yorkers.
Give to your brothers and sisters in
Israel not with handouts, but with digni-
ty So buy Israeli products. And donate
to Magen David Adom, Israel's emer-
gency medical service.
Buying Israeli stocks may finance
Israeli companies directly and may bring
you dividends as well. The truth is that
the money you may send is less impor-
tant than your visiting Israel.
In these difficult times, Israel is expect-
ing your support.
Isaac Barr, M.D.
Stop Israel Trips
We went to Israel for a family wedding.
My wife's "little" sister was getting mar-
ried and with the Passover holiday coin-
ciding, there was obviously no way we
weren't going. Certainly, it had been
apparent that the security situation had
improved [this was before the May 17-
19 homicide bombings] and, by the
time we left the United States, the war
with Iraq was in little doubt.
Had the circumstance been different,
we had made up our minds that the ter-
rorists weren't going to dictate our plans.
What was surprising was the palpable
energy of the Israelis.
Tel Aviv was Tel Aviv. The cafes were
full; Nahalot Binyamin was more crowd-
ed than I had ever seen it. We didn't
check with anyone regarding what we
planned to do. The Israelis are clearly
back to being themselves.
My new brother-in-law and I went
out with his friends the night before his
wedding to a restaurant near Tel Aviv.
The talk was about the wedding and
marriage and life; no mention of Iraq or
gas masks or Palestinian leader Yasser
Arafat or anything that wasn't what most
people would consider normal conversa-
Jerusalem this visit wasn't on our itin-
erary since we were with our family at
one function after the other, and that
wasn't unusual either. Nobody felt we
had to prove ourselves going there or not
going there, a different aspect, in my
opinion, than a lot of the solidarity trips
that make the point of going places that
maybe on a typical trip one might not
necessarily go or spontaneously go.
I have nothing against the solidarity
trips, especially when Israel suffered
waves of homicide bombers for months.
My point is now I think people should
go to Israel, as they normally would
have. Everyone talks about the situation;
the more people who travel to Israel ulti-
mately changes the situation.
We plan to return in August for a fam-
ily bar mitzvah. Time to stop denying
Israel to ourselves and our families.
JCC Day Camps:
While I appreciated your article
"Summer Day Dreams," about choosing
the proper summer day camp program
(May 9, page 82), I found it interesting
that one of the largest day camps in the
area — JCC Summer Day Camps —
was not mentioned.
The Jewish Community Center of
Metropolitan Detroit has run its day
camp- program since 1935, serving nearly
1,000 children each year. With free
door-to-door transportation, extended
care, swim lessons and Judaic program-
ming, JCC Summer Camps have much
to offer families in the community.
Campers in preschool through eighth
grade may choose from one-week
Imagitivity camps or Macabbi sports
camps, or four-week traditional, theater,
travel or counselor-in-training programs.
By partnering with Tamarack Camps,
two JCC camps offer day camping com-
bined with overnight camp experiences.
Camp begins June 23, with mini-camps
running June 9-13 and June 16-20.
To contact JCC Summer Camps, visit
the Web site at www.jccdet.org or call
Miriam Bergman, co-chair;
ICC Summer Camp Committee
Be Main Concern
As perhaps a concluding remark on the
Detroit Free Press piece on bar-bat mitz-
vah excesses ("Excess To The Max," May
9, page 33), let me suggest that most
observations have missed an important
The focus on editorial balance,
although certainly of significant concern,
skirts the issue of the problematic social
impact that these sorts of parties present.
Not surprisingly, this matter, like most
things Jewish, is not a new one.
[Rabbi Menachem ben Solomon]
Meiri, a 13th century Provincial scholar,
intones the following regarding an inci-
dent yet from the time of the Talmud:
Funeral concerns once caused more
stress than the actual death. People
would abandon the body rather than
suffer the embarrassment of being
unable to provide a socially "expected"
funeral, until Rabban Gamliel (the
wealthy leader of the Jews in first century
Israel) forwent his own personal honor
and status and directed that he be buried
in simple white linen shrouds. This prac-
tice has now become customary.
Discontent to let the matter stand at
that, Rabbi Meiri proceeds from the par-
ticular to the general:
And so every leader and community
official ought to forgo his own personal
honor even to what is otherwise appro-
priate for him so that others will follow
his example and not unnecessarily dissi-
pate their assets.
Overly lavish bar mitzvahs and wed-
dings impose an enormous social pres-
sure on parents to spend beyond their
means. These are ultimately religious
events, and Jewish children have success-
fully reached religious adulthood long
before the advent of Broadway and the
sports arena. A point is reached where
spending the marginal dollar infuses into
the event no additional spirituality, yet
imposes more than a dollar's worth of
As an 18-year Hebrew Free Loan
Association board member, I have heard
the plaints of parents who "had to" have
various celebration accouterments solely
to keep up with peers. It should be
unnecessary to incur a second or third
mortgage for a five-hour party. As
thoughtful individuals and as a caring
community, we should seek to avoid that
Stuart J. Snider