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August 15, 2003 - Image 6

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2003-08-15

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We prefer letters that relate to artides in the Jewish News. We reserve the right to
edit or reject letters. Brevity is encouraged. Letter writers generally are limited to
one letter per 4-6 week period, space permitting.
Letters must contain the name, address and title of the writer, and a daytime
telephone number. Original copies must be hand signed. Mail to the Jewish News
at 29200 Northwestern Hwy., Suite 110, Southfield, MI 48034;
3 fax to (248) 304-8885; or e-mail to: rsidar@thejewishnews.com

Soldiers' Plight An
Emotional Drain

Rabbi Baruch Yehudah Gradon's
remarks in the last Editor's Notebook
("The Fight, The Hurt," Aug. 8, page
5) are sadly familiar. Five years ago, my
husband and I made the difficult deci-
sion of leaving our families, friends and
country to come to the United States.
Both of us served in the Israel
Defense Forces (IDF). After complet-
ing our degrees, our real struggle
began. We lived in a small rental unit
and, because of our financial frustra-
tion, were unable to purchase a car or
start a family. This frustration corn-
pounded our worries about the politi-
cal and security situation.
The decision to leave brought with it
a feeling of failure. We were giving up
while others struggled and stayed.
Now, five years later, emotional frus-
tration and worries are with us every
day. They are with us in the morning
while we read the Israeli newspapers,
during phone calls with our parents
when they talk about nephews in the
IDF and when we hear of friends laid
off from their jobs. I turn to what I can
do as Michigan Friends of the IDF
executive director to ease my nephews'
For soldiers, it becomes a necessity to
receive packages from the Friends of
the IDF during holidays, snack in free
booths attended by volunteers, and rest
for a while in a clean and comfortable
room while drinking coffee, listening
to music and getting away from it all
(for a few minutes). These may seem
like perks yet are the only way soldiers
can recharge for that little bit of energy
necessary to continue.
Today, the IDF's Project Ezra enables
soldiers with no source of financial
support for their personal needs to
receive free meals, housing and ameni-
ties, travel and personal expenses. The
goal is to make sure the soldier-turned-
civilian has opportunities to succeed.
The Friends of the IDF's new Impact
scholarship program helps soldiers
answer new struggles facing Israeli soci-
ety today. The objective is to encourage
discharged soldiers who come from
acute socioeconomic backgrounds to
pursue post-secondary education en
route to expanding job opportunities
and having a better quality of life.
For us, Michigan has become a
home. Both of us are working in jobs
we love. And we were able to purchase
a small home and, most importantly,
welcome Yuval, our almost 2-year-old
daughter into our lives.




Every visit brings tears; every phone
call is hard to end, but keeping the
connection, being able to do some-
thing that may allow another young
couple in Israel to build a modest and
happy life similar to the one we have,
well, then the ache does ease a little.
Anat Borenstein-Tsafrir
Walled Lake

Jewish Fund's
Jewish Benefits

Thank you for your editorial recogniz-
ing the Jewish Fund's contribution to
the metropolitan Detroit community
as a legacy of Sinai Hospital ("Granting
Dignity," Aug. 1, page 25).
The work we do beyond the Jewish
community, which you described in
the editorial, is an important part of
our mission. However, the work we do
within the Jewish community should
not be overlooked. The Jewish Fund
actually has approved a total of $22.5
million in grants since it was created six
years ago.
Forty-three percent of our grants (or
a total of $9.6 million) has stimulated
the creation of 17 innovative new pro-
grams to improve the lives of our
Jewish community's elderly. These
include three multi-million dollar com-
mitments by the Fund to help establish
the Dorothy and Peter Brown Adult
Day Care Program, expanded in-home
support services and an escorted trans-
portation service and apartment subsi-
dies for low-income seniors at the
Norma Jean & Edward Meer Jewish
We also have invested heavily in pro-
grams to help Jewish people with spe-
cial needs and their families. The cen-
terpiece of these grants includes
$600,000 to the Jewish Community
Center to include children with special
needs in the Center's ongoing recre-
ational programs, especially its summer
camp. A total of $1.6 million in other
grants has supported 14 other critical
programs for those with mental illness,
developmental and physical disabilities.
We appreciate the Jewish News'recog-
nition that our grants are designed to
have a lasting effect. We encourage
agencies to work together where possi-
ble — to share knowledge and coordi-
nate resources so as to reduce costs and
improve service delivery. We hold agen-
cies accountable for the dollars we
grant them, requiring written evalua-
tion and financial reports and on-site
We have been able to do all of this

and still maintain a healthy endow-
ment to assure that we can continue to
serve the community for years to come.
However, in the end, our dollars are
but a drop in the bucket compared to
what is needed. Ultimately, it falls to
the combined efforts of the entire com-
munity to assure the lasting impact of
the good works we are able to help set
in place.
David K. Page
chair, the Jewish Fund
Jodee Fishman Raines
director, the Jewish Fund
Bloomfield Township

Health Story
Serves Others

I just wanted to thank you so much for
Staff Writer Sharon Luckerman's fol-
lowup on the joint announcement of
the Gynecologic Cancer Foundation
and U.S. Rep. Sander Levin, D-Royal
Oak, regarding Johanna's Law ("From
Grief To Advocacy," July 25, page 66).
Sharon did a great job synthesizing
all the information we discussed —
about Johanna, the legislation, the
newspaper supplements and the med-
ical facts relating to risk factors, symp-
toms and methods of detecting and
lowering risk for gynecologic cancers.
It's very healing for our family to know
that other women are getting this
information. It assures us that the
death of Johanna Eisenberg Gordon,
my older sister, was not in vain.
As a point of clarification, Johanna
could have taken birth control pills as
late as her 40s and still received the risk
reduction benefits they provide. Of
course, there are other potential risks
— e• b cr ., stroke — that need to be con-
sidered. Women at elevated risk for
ovarian cancer, however, need to weigh
their risk for ovarian cancer versus their
other potential health risks.
Although gynecologic oncologists
note that women who take birth con-
trol pills starting in their mid-forties
can still get the risk reduction benefits
oral contraceptives offer, they also sug-
gest women consider taking birth con-
trol pills prior to their forties — in
their 20s and 30s — for the same risk
reduction purposes. In fact, at ovarian
cancer conferences I've attended, the
speakers recommended the use of birth
control pills as early as the late teens for
young women who come from families
with elevated risk for this cancer.
I want to make sure we don't over-
state the case. Such risk reduction
measures cannot necessarily prevent or

guarantee that a woman will not be
diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Studies
have, however, shown that use of birth
control pills can dramatically reduce a
woman's risk for ovarian cancer.

Sheryl Silver
Hallendale, Fla.

Giving Light
To Shabbat

The Worldwide Light a Candle for
Israel Campaign brought back a mem-
ory about Sabbath candlesticks. –
After my divorce 28 years ago, I had
a blind date with a young Lubavitch
widow. Since she had small children, I
asked her for suggestions on what
activities I could do with my 7-year-
old daughter. I had other children, but
Friday night was my youngest daugh-
ter's special night together.
My date suggested we could light
Sabbath candles and say prayers
together. She gave me a set of simple
candlesticks, probably not costing -
more than a dollar, but sufficient. My
daughter and I bonded while lighting
candles on Friday night.
When Rabbi Berel Shemtov and the
late Rabbi Yitschak Meir Kagan came
to my office 12 years ago to introduce
themselves and ask for my help in get-
ting West Bloomfield Township zon-
ing approval for the Lubavitch 40-acre
Maple Road campus, the word
"Lubavitch" jumped out at me. I
remembered the candlesticks.
Also, the rabbis brought back mem-
ories of my late grandfather Isaac
Henig, who never turned away from
his door a rabbi requesting help.
Lubavitch candlesticks and rabbis at
the door — a powerful combination
of memories that led me to feel that it
was now Lubavitch rabbis at my door
and it was my turn to help.
I immediately said yes. Only later
did I find out that Rabbi Shemtov was
one of the rabbis whom my grandfa-
ther helped get established in Rabbi
Shemtov's first year in Detroit,
decades ago.
Who could have known that
one gracious outreach act of sug-
gesting candles by this young
Lubavitch widow, whom I only
saw that once, would be a signifi-
cant part of a decision that would
grow into my 12 years of dedicat-
ed and emotionally satisfying
service to Lubavitch.
Edward Barry Stulberg
preside n t,
Stulberg Development Corp.
Farmington Hills


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