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I saw with great interest Susan
Chessler's fine article on architecture
("Architectural Gems," Oct. 10,
I appreciated her including the
Shul-Chabad in West Bloomfield,
which I designed. Its opening has
been a wonderful experience. We have
been notified by the American
Institute of Architects Detroit chapter
that we will receive a design award for
2003 for the Shul-Chabad.
The building not only will appear in
Laszlo Regos' planned book on syna-
gogues, but also in New York architect
and historian Henry Stolzman's new
book, The American Synagogue, to be
published in February .2004.
On a disappointing note, this is the
fourth or fifth article in the Jewish
News that has included the Shul, but
this architect has never been men-
tioned as its designer.
Robert L. Ziegelman
My impression of Israel, formed in part
by my recent trip there with fellow
Michigan legislators and led by Dennis
Bernard, included the comfort and hos-
pitality I encountered at the Hillel Cafe,
in the German Colony of Jerusalem ("A
Trip To Remember," Oct. 10, page 43).
The patrons, staff and others simply
passing by left me with the sense that
the peace and normalcy w
_ e Americans
have is not only possible in Israel, but
part of the very firmament and founda-
tion of the country and its people. How
I wish that the peace could have lasted
My heart grieved instantly and over-
whelmingly when I learned about the
latest homicidal attack on innocents,
killing six in the cafe and wounding
dozens of others. That someone could
plot to kill so indiscriminately, and then
actually carry out the attack, illustrated
the exact opposite of the Israelis I came
While in Israel, a family showed me
unconditional friendship; its members
took a foreigner into their house and
made him feel at home. Their love of
life and happiness was boundless.
The murderer of innocents who blew
himself up in the cafe — destroying the
very tables where I ate a meal and would
have surely killed me, too — loved
death. His world had no hope but to
destroy all that is wonderful about
humanity. On the one hand, I encoun-
tered peace, love and joy for life; on the
other, I am so deeply saddened by the
purveyors of rage, hatred and the death
The Israeli people are resilient,
though, and they will not be removed
from their land. I know this because
they are still a loving and decent people,
despite the very powerful reasons they
have to be bitter and hate-filled them-
selves. Together, we will continue to
strengthen our bond, to strive for peace
and work for the day when pathological
killers are made into outcasts, even to
those whom they purport to represent.
A Big Hit
Even though I no longer reside in the
Detroit area, I am grateful to be able
to access the online edition of the
(vvvvw.detroitjewishnews.com) on a
fairly regular basis.
Through B'nai B'rith, bowling and
Jewish education, I have many friends
and family in the area. It brings me
joy to be able to read about the events
that continue to shape the Jewish pop-
ulation in my hometown.
I look back upon the times that I
grew up in and the friends I have and
had with a great deal of importance. I
appreciate the opportunity that you
and the Jewish News provide to bring
me up to date on things in Jewish life
and religion that are important to me.
Thanks for providing an outstand-
ing service and perspective to those of
us whose travels have brought us away
from Detroit, but through the Jewish
News, not far at all.
Mark B. Sperling
Crown Point, Ind.-
Writing as one who had great misgiv-
ings about the candidacy of Sen.
Joseph Lieberman, I must say that I
came away after viewing the biograph-
ical film Only In America (sponsored
by the Lenore Marwil Jewish Film
Festival) and hearing his remarks at
the Jewish Community Center, con-
vinced that he would have brought
dignity, common sense and wisdom to
the vice presidency ("Only In
America," Oct. 10, page 24).
His role should not be underesti-
mated in the next election. Based on
responses to questions from the audi-
ence, I concluded this country would
not be viewed with the present world-
wide animosity had the Gore-
Lieberman ticket prevailed.
systems, from heating and cooling to
electrical and plumbing.
We feel better about the future of
our community now that the project
of updating our JCC is near the end.
Investing in the future of our com-
munity is, indeed, a righteous act.
Ensuring that future generations will
have a viable JCC is a mitzvah and
the right thing to do.
and JCC board
The Jewish Community Center of
Metropolitan Detroit board wel-
comes Thomas I. Schwartz's com-
ments regarding the JCC renovation
project ("JCC's Upgrade Wasn't
Needed," Sept. 19, page 6). However,
we must take issue with his express-
ing a position that somehow puts the
JCC renovation project at odds with
Torah learning and tzedakah.
The project represents a process
that started more than five years ago.
The JCC was designed and built
almost 30 years ago. After 30 years,
the building needed urgent updating
to bring it up to modern codes, make
it handicap accessible and safe; and
address the changing needs of the
Every aspect of the project was
designed around community needs:
from the child development center
where young Jewish children get edu-
cated, to the new gym, which will
allow BBYO and the Jewish Academy
to continue to prosper at the JCC.
The Shalom Street museum, cur-
rently under construction, is all
about Jewish learning. The new Milk
& Honey restaurant represents the
most successful kosher restaurant ever
in our area. The new library, still
under construction, will provide edu-
cational and literary resources for
adults and kids.
The health club has been losing
members for years. With a dilapidat-
ed facility, we were unable to com-
pete in the market. The extra dollars
generated by the health club opera-
tion4 are used to fund much of the
center's educational and cultural
activities. Continued membership
losses would have resulted in further
erosion of the JCC educational and
Lastly, the JCC facility needed
urgent rehabilitation for its major
Jewish News Avoids
I was disappointed, but not surprised to
read your article criticizing a-Detroit Free
Press story on the high prices that non-
affiliated Jews pay to attend High
Holiday services ("Bad Timing," Oct.
10, page 12).
My colleague, Julie Edgar, wrote a
fair, straightforward news account the
day before Yom Kippur chronicling the
dilemma many non-affiliated Jews face
when they desire to attend Yom Kippur
services: tickets rising up to 8350 at
some area synagogues.
The article didn't say truly indigent
people would be turned away, as one
person asserted to the J/V. The Free Press
article's point was that some Jews either
don't have the budget to pay holiday
prices, or are turned off at paying as a
matter of principle — points never
actually disputed by anyone.
You then quote Rabbi David Nelson
(and others) saying he resented the tim-
ing of the article, and that forcing peo-
ple to pay "are not words associated
with Rosh Hashanah or Yom Kippur."
To which my only answer is, if these are
not words associated with the holidays,
then reconsider your policy. And when
else but on Yom Kippur should a news-
paper write a story about Yom Kippur?
The better question for your readers is
this: Why isn't the Jewish News interest-
ing in covering these stories honesdy
and critically, rather than leaving that
work to others?
Detroit Free Press
Editor's Note: David Zeman wrote
"Mitzvah to the Max," an April 13,
2003, Free Press story about higher-
priced bar and bat mitzvah celebra-