Half Baked At Halftime
City: Huntington Woods
Kudos: 4,000 Dolls
Why — at age 97 — did you decide to begin
your third year with the Hadassah Doll
Project, stuffing a total of 4,000 dolls to be
given to hospitalized children?
"I always want-
ed to be a volun-
teer — to help
people. I like that
I can stay home
and make the
dolls and I know
they make chil-
When your kids
were young, you
clothes and coats
as part of your
how do you
blend your work,
stuffing 30 dolls a week, with activities, includ-
ing weekly grocery shopping and nightly din-
ner preparation in your daughter's home where
you live with her family?
"I keep the dolls and garbage bags filled with
stuffing in one room in the house. If I am mak-
ing dinner I just take my work into the kitchen
so I can cook and stuff the dolls at the same
Do you ever hear about how helpful the dolls
are to children who receive them?
"I teach fifth grade," said Doris Schey, Paull's
daughter. "One of my kids brought in a doll
from the doll project and told the other students
it was given to her little sister who had just gone
through surgery. Who knows, the doll that
helped her could very well have been one of the
dolls my mother stuffed."
Shelli Liebman Dorfman, staff writer
very media outlet in
America, including this
one, wants to get
They worry about their aging
demographics and spend a lot of
time wondering how to bring in
younger readers and viewers. Only
they aren't sure how to do it. So, in
that context, you can understand
Reality Check how the Super Bowl halftime deba-
I have to confess I missed the
revealing denouement of this extravaganza. After
watching the first part of the halftime show, I mut-
tered something like, "If these are the greatest enter-
tainers in America, this country is in bigger trouble
than I thought," and wandered off to the kitchen to
make myself a corned beef sandwich.
I have better things to do than go
hungry in order to watch sublimely
untalented rappers and booty-shak-
ers. But then I'm not the audience
that CBS desperately wanted to
That's why the network
turned production of the half-
time show over to MTV,
which supposedly connects
with the youth of America
much more tightly than the
The part of the deal the
people at CBS didn't quite
understand, however, is that
they also had signed on to
embrace the slumbucket values
of an enterprise that feeds on
shock and vulgarity. They forgot
that when you lie down with
dogs, you usually get up with fleas.
On the same weekend, Shaquille O'Neal issued a
stream of obscenities on the air after a basketball
game. When hurriedly informed that the interview
was live, he said he didn't give a s—. And he is
supposed to be one of the nice guys in sports.
George Cantor's e-mail address is
Fans of the Detroit Tigers treasure the memory of
Eddie Brinkman letting a nasty word slip in a club-
house interview during the 1972 playoffs. He apol-
ogized profusely and was mortified by his mistake.
But that was then.
The steady debasement of popular entertainment
and the embrace of the corrosive ethics of show
business by sports are among the saddest aspects of
our culture. Is it any wonder that other, more reli-
giously observant societies, view us with contempt
and hatred for exporting this garbage?
I always promised myself that I would never turn
into one of those old poops who kept saying that
everything was so much better when he was young.
It may be true, but I swore I'd never say it. But after
watching this sad spectacle, I don't know how else
There was a time when
television was referred to as
the boob tube because it was
merely stupid. Now that, too,
has changed. And not for better.
My mood was further soured
by my first viewing of American
Idol, a show I had scrupulously
managed to avoid for the first
two years of its existence.
Many viewers are amused
and puzzled by some of the
delusional contestants who
appear on this thing, apparently
convinced that they can be
musical superstars even though
they cannot sing a note.
I really don't know why that is
surprising. They look at the big-
name "rap artists" (an oxymoron
if I ever heard one) or someone
like Britney, who sings in a
croak, or the Super Bowl gar-
glers. And they conclude that if these tone-deaf per-
formers can make millions, why can't they? It
sounds like a perfectly reasonable premise to me.
The media magnifies these stiffs only because it
doesn't want to risk offending the young audience it
pursues so avidly. My fear is, however, that in chas-
ing after eternal youth it may lose the older, loyal
audience that once was its mainstay.
"Shabbos candles bring a wonderful sense of tranquility to the home. It's like recharging your batter-
ies after another hectic week."
— Shoshana Forta, child care provider, Oak Park
REPORT A DOER...
Know a Doer — someone of any age doing interest-
ing, meaningful things in their life outside of their
job? Share suggestions with Ken Guten Cohen, story
development editor, at (248) 351-5144 or e-mail:
Friday, Feb. 13, 5:43 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 20, 5:52 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 14, 6:46 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 21, 6:55 p.m.
To submit a candlelighting message, call Miriam Amzalak of the Lubavitch Women's Organization at (248) 548-6771 or e-mai• mainzalakjuno.com