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July 18, 2003 - Image 32

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2003-07-18

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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from page 31

call me. Dad, let me know what's hap-
pening."
For Rothbart, the note is devastating
and crushing, but very real. "You get a
whole sense of this kid's life and the rela-
tionship, actually the absence of relation-
ship, he has with his dad."

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I VISA

From love notes to shopping lists, many
Found items have this kind of allure,
offering a window into a true story, he
said.
"What I think is really fascinating
about most of these notes is that they
only tell you a piece of the story," he
said. "They're just a fragment of a story
and it's up to you to fill in the blanks.
"I think I'm haunted by some of these
notes because I don't really know what
happened. I'm left wondering, did these
people get back together, why is this on
the ground, why is this ripped up? Each
find is a kind of riddle, and sometimes I
end up just laying in bed wondering
about these people, trying to figure out
what their story is exactly."
He said he feels the Jewish values he
was raised with and the community that
encouraged him in his creative endeavors
are important to where he is today.
"I think the Jewish people who influ-
enced me when I was young — teachers,
family, relatives, neighbors — those were
people who valued very highly things
like racial and gender equality, diversity,
education and arts," Rothbart said. 'And
so when I think about my interest in
people of all kinds and also having a
strong compassion for people who are
struggling — those aren't exclusively
Jewish traits, but I connect them to my
Jewish identity."
Jason Bitner, 29, of Chicago, is co-
publisher of Found Magazine.
"What we've been able to do is set up
a network of like-minded people to go
out and scour the streets and the alley-

ways and scan or send in submissions to
us," he said. "It's not our content, it's
everybody else's, whether they know
they're participating in it or not. All
we're doing is just putting it out for
other people to see."
Bitner, who is currently working on a
Found audio CD to be released in
October, also emphasized that the pur-
pose of the magazine is to share insight
and experience, not to invade people's
privacy or hurt them in any way.
. "The thing that we're really trying to
get across is that we're not trying to poke
fun at people and we're not laughing at
the subjects or the authors, we're just
bearing witness to all of the humanity
that's kind of blowing around in the
trash by our feet," he said.
Upcoming plans for the magazine
include individually hand decorating the
covers of the next edition, which will be
released this fall and feature a feiv hun-
dred finds.
Rothbart, who also writes short sto-
ries, is currently on tour for his new
book, The Lone Surfer of Montana,
Kansas. The book is published by
2l Balloons, a publishing company
Rothbart started. He is also working on
a documentary film about a young boy
in inner-city Washington, D.C. He also
works for National Public Radio's This

American Life.
"I think it's a great lesson that can be
learned and continually relearned, that
we're all human and we all have the
same struggles, and I feel like if the mag-
azine can teach that, I will have done
some small piece of good," he said. ❑

For information about submit-
ting found items to the maga-
zine or to obtain copies of the
magazine, check the Web site:
wvvw.foundmagazine.com

JWV To Visit VA Hospital

The Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America-Department of Michigan
and Ladies Auxiliary will kick off the program year with a picnic lunch for 300
patients at the Battle Creek Veterans Administration Hospital Sunday, July 27.
Commander Harmon Tron and President Elaine Klein will co-lead. The bus leaves
from the new JWV offices, 24901 Northwestern Highway, Southfield, at 8 a.m.
New JWV officers are: Milton Klein, senior vice commander; Sandy Pliskow,
junior vice commander; Jerry Schlussel, quartermaster; Jonathan Hyams, judge
advocate; Irving Marshall, national executive board; Tom Tannis, chaplain.
Robert Feldman was awarded the Norman Berkley Award and Mary Revich the
Jack Schwartz Award for outstanding veteran work during the year.
New officers for the auxiliary are Shirley Schlussel and Helen Pliskow, co-senior
presidents; Myra Gross and Sandy Feldman, co-junior vice presidents; Corrine
Cohn, treasurer; Faye Glosser, recording secretary; Belle Letzer, corresponding secre-
tary; Bernice Wilson, patriotic instructress; Frieda Samoss, conductress; Ann Green,
guard; Dorothy Goldberg, parliamentarian; Martha Hauptman,-chaplain.

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