The Dark Side
Power outage generates no shortage of headaches
and heroes — as life goes on.
Left to right: Maria Hertz, co-owner of Oak Park's Unique Kosher Carty-Out;
with some of the deli items made fresh Monday morning after the outage.
Where were you when the lights went out?
Here are anecdotes of how your neighbors and merchants
in the Jewish community coped during the crisis.
Esther Lerner, 20, of Oak Park loads groceries into her mother's car at One-Stop
Kosher Food Market.
Back To Nature
A Frustratim Friday
hen the going gets tough, the tough become innovative. With water
out for several days during the power outage, many people found a
natural way to keep themselves cool and clean by taking advantage of
last Friday's downpour.
Jackie Fox, her husband, Frank Hoffman, and their children, Jordana, 10;
Jonah, 8; and Anna, 7, donned their bathing suits, passed the soap and shampoo
and enjoyed the rain outside their Farmington Hills home.
— Keri Guten Cohen
Have Power, Will Help
aving a backup generator put Temple Israel on Oakland County's list of
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) places to go during last
week's massive power outage, but no one needed the emergency service.
The West Bloomfield synagogue was equipped to regenerate a wheelchair battery
or the energy cell that powers an oxygen tank, said David Tisdale, executive director.
"It's the first time we've been called by FEMA, but we were glad to help," he said.
Having the diesel fuel-powered generator enabled the temple to accommodate
the Friday night rehearsal dinner for a Saturday night wedding there; the dinner
originally was to be at the Kingsley Inn in Bloomfield Hills.
With the water out, the temple brought in portable toilets.
"We also brought in 50 five-gallon jugs of water for cooking and 600 bottles
of water for drinking to accommodate a Slfabbat bat mitzvah luncheon and the
Saturday night wedding," Tisdale said.
"We had to scramble some," he said, "but everything that was scheduled went on.'
ernan's New York Kosher Bakery in Oak Park was able to bake only about
100 of the 900 challahs usually needed for Shabbat.
"It's hard to say how much money we have lost," said owner Jeff
Abraham, who bought Zeman's just a month ago. It must be close to $10,000.
It's our busiest day of the week.
He's considering investing in a gas-powered generator.
Abraham was in Warren when the power went out Thursday afternoon, and
his first thought was the order of dinner rolls he'd promised for a wedding that
night. "I drove as fast as I could down 1-696, with no traffic lights," he said.
"Those rolls were the last thing out of the oven."
Everything in the bakery's freezer and refrigerator had to be thrown out,
Abraham said, and he has no hope of recouping his losses. "Insurance doesn't
cover bakeries for less than 48 hours of outages," he said.
Unique Kosher Carry-Out also lost all its business on the busiest day of the
"\XTe walked in on Friday morning -- the refrigerators were warming up. We
e rabbis to give the food to people who really need it, and we gave it to
" said co-owner Maria Hertz. "That's the best thing about this com-
to help each other the best we can."
erience "a nightmare."
e store's losses will be yered by insurance.
— Robert A. Sklar
Honoring The Dead
Road at One-Stop Kos 'Food Market in Southfield, owner
shelves, serving customers and
any to have a long conversation.
' ark and her daughter, Esther, 20, left the
as their second visit to One-Stop in two
` w ,--
Devorah Lerner praised the sto r
"They were here Friday afternoo
They didn't have to do that."
for Nvorldng in Friday's blackout.
customers the best they cool
he sanctuary of the Dorfman Funeral Chapel in
Farmington Hills has plenty of natural light and the tape
recorder has backup power, said co-owner Jonathan
Dorfman, so the funeral that had been scheduled for Friday
morning went on as scheduled, despite the outage.
But the taharah, or ritual cleansing of the body preceding the
funeral, had to be done by candlelight.
"Watching the taharah brought me back to ancient times
when our ancestors performed this same ritual by the light of
candles," Dorfman said. 'And isn't this one of the reasons we
adhere to our traditions — to make us feel closer to our ancestors?"
Because the Farmington Hills chapel had no running water, the rabbis who
performed the taharah brought the required number of gallons from Oak Park,
The Ira Kaufman Funeral Chapel in Southfield held funerals both Friday and
Sunday. On Friday, the only drawback was lack of light. There was some anxiety
over the Sunday ceremony; the deceased had passed away in Chicago and the
airplane flight bringing his body to its final resting place was delayed until
"But that ultimately worked to our advantage," said Kaufman Funeral Director
David Techner. "By the time the body got here, the power was on again."
Hebrew Memorial Chapel has an emergency arrangement with nearby
Providence Hospital, said Rabbi Boruch Levin, the Oak Park funeral home's
executive director. This arrangement came in especially handy during the black-
out, when Hebrew Memorial used the hospital's refrigerated morgue.
TALES on page 18
— Diana Lieberman