Kids, parents usher in the secular New Year at upbeat temple party.
ROBERT A. SKLAR
att Jenkins, pushing a stroller with 6-
month-old son 'Jeremy, gazed around
the school wing hallway at Temple Israel
looking for his son Christopher, 6. It
was 8 p.m.
The West Bloomfield synagogue's third Family New
Year's Eve Party had just ended at the pretend stroke of
midnight with a festive balloon drop, reminiscent of
the giant ball drop in New York's Times Square that
would come four hours later.
"Chris is still running and jumping somewhere,"
said his dad. "I don't know where he gets his energy.
But I think he's trying to get some last-minute jumps
in before it's all over."
About 800 people attended the three-hour party.
There was fun fare, including trampoline-like big
bouncers, face painting, a magician, karaoke singing
and Israeli dancing. But a special activity accompanied
the evening's theme, "Jews From Around the World."
Kids, with help from parents and volunteers, made
Jewish projects from stations devoted to each country.
(Did you know that Australia has 95,000 Jews or that
China has only 50?)
At the Israeli station, families put notes in a replica
of the Western Wall in Jerusalem. The notes will go to
Israel with Temple Israel rabbis on Federation's
Michigan Miracle Mission 4 to Israel this April.
"It was neat to have all the different countries sup-
ported — it was really great," Matt Jenkins said.
"There was a huge amount of energy in all the
rooms," he added. "You could see the looks on the
faces of all the kids, and they were all having a blast."
Christopher Jenkins, a first grader at Carpenter
FAMILY FARE on page 50
Clockwise from top: Koby Ben-Ezra, 2, ofWest Bloomfield gets a higher view. Matt Dumond, 9, ofWest Bloomfield makes
noise of the season. Matt Jenkins of Farmington Hills watches as 6-month-old sonjeremy tests a football noisemaker. Joanne
Fisher ofWest Bloomfield and son Ethan, 1, are ready for the New Year.