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July 11, 2003 - Image 26

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2003-07-11

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Excited To Be Jewish

our common purpose in life?
ing could have compared to
see the help she receives from the local
11 ho could have imagined
There are no easy answers,
the reality of being there in
Chesed, which is being partially spon-
that Jewish people still
as my father would say,
sored by the Jewish Federation of
live in the Ukraine? A
have to jump in with
Metropolitan Detroit.
corrupt government, a
feet. So, that exactly
She was so appreciative of us taking
"second world" economy without the
I intend to do.
the time out of our busy schedule to
pleasantries that we take for granted
The Grosfeld Leadership
acres of developed land. As I
meet with her. Quite frankly, it was
every day, direct religious persecution
Program renewed my Jewish
stood in this camp, I kept
just the opposite — I was so apprecia-
and a small Jewish community.
identity and sense of commu-
thinking of the mass of devas-
tive to spend those moments with her.
Given these facts, one might dismiss
nity. I hope that I may make
tation that
the diamonds in the rough. The
as big of an impact in another
Grosfeld Leadership Program that was
young Jewish person's life as
under my
prepared for us during our visit May
Jim and Nancy Grosfeld have
31 to June 8 allowed us to see these
In parting, what I
hidden gems. .
will take from this
I was able to meet with young
experience is simplis-
Jewish students, who for the most part
tic. As Jews, we have
were discovering their Jewish identity.
been persecuted for
This is an excerpt of a letter Lee A.
What was more interesting was the
years, yet we must
Hurwitz sent to the Grosfelds,
cheseds who serviced the elderly. What
never stop fighting for
Bloomfield Hills-based donors to
was clear to me is that no matter
our identity, our cul-
Federation's Millennium Campaign
where you are in the world, Jews are
ture and our place
for Detroit's Jewish Future. The
Jews. The sense of identity, the fight
within society no
Grosfeld Leadership Program pre-
for education, the strength of commu-
matter the cost.
pares young adults ages 30-40 to
nity and the call for philanthropy is
For the first time in
take part in missions to Jewish
what we are about.
many years, I am
communities in Eastern Europe.
A few days later, we drove to a shtetl
excited to be Jewish. I
Mission II was May 31 to June
in Zhitomir, where I met with Bella,
shared with my wife
8 with pre-mission workshops
an 80-year-old woman living in a one-
Chad Zamler, left, and Steven Susser, right, participated
the desire to rekindle
starting last January. Co-chairs
bedroom flat with her bathroom out-
the Friday-night
in a visit in Korostyshev, Ukraine, with a 91-year-old
were Scott Kaufman and Craig
side. She had fled the atrocities of Babi American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee client who Shabbat candles, and
Erlich. David Contorer, director,
Yar, migrated around the country until survived the Holocaust.
my interest to become
donor development,
after World War II and resettled in
more involved with
Other participants were Jonathan
the activities at Temple Israel and the
Aaron, Jeff Camiener, Dana Cohen,
It reminded me that my struggles in
After spending 20 minutes with her,
concern for my son's Jewish identity
Darren Findling, Robert Galperin,
life were hardly a fraction of the ones
I began to realize that the bond to her
and education.
David Jaffe, Jason Katz, Jon Klein,
she endured during the past 60 years.
Jewish identity was the reason for her
My mind is racing with ideas and
Brian Kolender, Steven Krasnick,
The final experience came during
very existence today. It was amazing to
ways to make a difference in the com-
Jeffrey Levine, Carin Rockind,
our visit to Auschwitz and Birkenau.
munity. How can I share my experi-
Steven Susser and Chad Zamler.
After researching the atrocities that
Lee A. Hurwitz, 31, is a Huntington
occurred at these Nazi Germany death
Woods resident. He and his wife, Jill,
er? How can I continue to perpetuate
camps in many different books, noth-


Mission Notes

have a 1-year-old son.

Saving El Al


fter some years of hesitation,
the Israeli government has
finally decided to sell off
another of its assets, El Al, the
Israel national airline. There are many
convincing reasons for the decision.
For one thing, the airline has con-
sistently been operating at a loss and
has been a drain on the national
budget. Further, with a growing
deficit of its own, the government is
eager to obtain cash, to be derived


Carl Alpert is a U.S. native who made

aliyah in 1952. He is former head of
he Zionist Organization of America's
education department. His e-mail address
is alpert@techunix.technion.ac.il




from sale of such assets as El Al, gov-
ernment-owned banks, the Israel
Electric Corporation, the Bezeq
phone company and other nationally
owned companies.
As a first step, 15 percent of the
company's shares were offered for sale
on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange and
brought in an income of some 64
million shekels.
During the coming year, additional
blocs of shares will be made available.
Until more than 50 percent of the
stock is sold, the government will
continue to control the company. The
present management put on a good
face and expressed satisfaction with
the initial sale, but experts in the
financial markets termed the first sale

More Flights?
a great disappointment and
As a government operation,
had no optimistic predictions.
subject to government restric-
However, when the now
tions and political influences,
privately held shares were
El Al is forbidden to fly on
offered for resale, there was a
the Sabbath and on Jewish
sudden enormous demand for
holidays. This means that it
them; prices almost doubled.
operates only 572days a week,
This was apparently an
commensurate loss of
indication that one or more
Spe cial
income, while its overhead
groups may be seeking con-
Com n tentaiy expenses remain practically
trol of the company. Such
100 percent.
competition could well result
As a privately owned company, it
in a much greater income for
will no longer be subject to that
the government in forthcoming
restriction; the new owners will
undoubtedly be desirous of utilizing
Sideline observers and financial
the planes to the maximum. Such a
commentators are once again review-
step, however, is bound to incur the
ing the several complicated factors.
They deserve attention and thought.
wrath of the haredim, the ultra-

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