Thi s Week
Meanwhile, Rabbi Freedman asked Kamin to
print flyers calling for volunteers. At 5 a.m.
Friday, Rabbi Freedman began distributing the
100 flyers — printed by a copying machine con-
nected to a generator — at prayer minyans and
stores throughout Oak Park and southeast
The Yad Ezra kosher food bank in Berkley
canned tuna fish and salmon, applesauce,
bottled water and food. Several, according to JAS
and bread. Volunteers began mak-
Director Marsha Goldsmith Kamin, were at the
in the Prentis and Teitel dining
buildings until 5 a.m. Friday. They made five visits
campers and others began
aron Grossman, Gavriel Tennenberg and
lunch — walking up
Eli Weiss were swimming in the Jewish
Community Center pool in Oak Park
Water was a major issue during the blackout —
when the lights went out.
both for drinking and for flushing toilets. Judy
Little did they know that water would play such
Rosner, resident service coordinator at Prentis,
During occasional power outages, JAS facilities
a major role in their lives the following 30 hours
resolve the drinking water issue for all the
can borrow necessities from each other until power
last weekend, during North America's most wide-
JAS buildings. Rosner, her new husband Chuck
spread power failure.
Kronzek and daughter rented a truck for JAS and
more complicated because the entire agency was
The three teens were among 20-25 Orthodox
purchased 1,000 one-gallon jugs of water in
students participating in Yeshiva Gedolah's first
"Every emergency generator we had worked phe- Lansing, 75 miles away. Another JAS staffer, Leah
summer day camp program. Most are 8th- to
Barson, called an uncle in Oak
10th-graders from Yeshiva
Park who had a van. He, too,
Gedolah, Yeshiva Beth Yehudah
drove to Lansing for water for
or Yeshivas Darchei Torah.
At the same time the boys
"They spent 12 hours renting
were swimming, Zinaida
the truck, buying and distribut-
Kravets was 100 yards away at
ing the water," Kamin said. The
Prentis Federation Apartments.
last delivery wasn't until 2 a.m.
Kravets, a New American from
and included two round-trips to
the former Soviet Union, was
Lansing. "They went way beyond
stranded when the power went
the call of duty."
out. The Prentis I tower, JAS'
Other JAS staffers worked far
oldest and tallest at age 32 and
into Thursday night and then
15 stories, is the only building
returned Friday and Saturday
among Jewish Apartments &
with their families, who volun-
Services' (JAS) seven facilities
teered. By Friday afternoon, vol-
in Oak Park and West
unteers from all over the commu-
Bloomfield that does not have a
nity — "from 3- and 4-year-old
kids to teens to adults" — came
Kravets, 75, was on the
to relieve the Gedolah day camp
ground floor for dinner. With
teens, Kamin said.
the aid of a Prentis staffer, she
One of the more odious tasks
returned to her apartment after
at both the Oak Park and West
dinner — up 14 flights of stairs
Bloomfield JAS facilities was toi-
— to wait out the emergency.
let duty. In Oak Park, water con-
"The man would say, 'Climb
tinued to be available in the
one flight and relax. Climb one
Yaakov Feibusch of Oak Park distributes applesauce in the Prentis Apartments dining room.
apartments, but was undrinkable.
flight and relax,"' said Kravets,
At Prentis I, no water was avail-
"and I did."
able above the third floor. Volunteers and staffers
nomenally well," Kamin said. The Prentis I emer-
As daylight turned to darkness, the Prentis resi-
ran a garden hose up the stairs, and filled buckets
gency "pull cords" and apartment telephones con-
dents joined millions of others in the United
on every floor to give each resident one "courtesy
States and Canada wondering how long the power
flush," Kamin said. The volunteers carried the
failure would last.
generator next year as part of a federal grant that
Rabbi E.B. "Bunny" Freedman, director of the
is paying for the conversion of its third floor
Jewish Hospice and Chaplaincy Network and a
In West Bloomfield, there was no running water
apartments into additional Coville group living
member of the JAS board, has a son, Shlomo, 14,
the entire township. Myron Sedman, husband
participating in the Yeshiva Gedolah day camp
Meer Apartments Administrator Peggy
Thursday night, about a dozen Teitel residents
program. During the campers' post-swim study
Sedman, led the Meer "toilet brigade."
session, Rabbi Freedman asked the day camp
"One resident hugged Myron and thanked
the night in the Teitel lobby. "But our New
director, Rabbi Hershel Blumenfeld, if the boys
Kamin said, "and then asked if he could get
American residents were nonplussed by the whole
could help the seniors at the apartments. It was
thing," Kamin said. "They just went upstairs and
the beginning of the JAS emergency volunteer
of Temple Kol Ami and Temple
went to bed."
the toilets and other duties.
As refrigerators and freezers warmed at Teitel and
Most of the yeshivah students volunteered at
Buch, 85, a retired engi-
other JAS buildings, the staff passed out ice cream
Prentis and the neighboring Teitel Apartments
until midnight, checking on residents, distributing
Outpouring of volunteers eases blackout for seniors
in Oak Park, West Bloomfield.