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Matzah mitzvah aids Israel and the local needy.
day and a time and asked them to meet
SHELLI LIEBMAN DORFMAN
us at the store and buy boxes of
matzah." They also asked the parents to
call other parents.
y the time the 125 boxes of
"Everyone I called said they would be
matzah were unloaded from
there with their kids," said Karen
Shellie Achtman's car March
Schwartz of West Bloomfield, whose
18, 30 kids — and their par-
ents — had learned a trio of meaningful son Josh, 11, also participated. "In the
end, 30 kids came to Hiller's."
lessons about supporting Israel, commit-
Once in the store, the group began to
ment to ideals and helping others.
fill their shopping carts. "Hiller's had
The shopping spree for Israeli-made
piles of boxes of Osem matzah. waiting
matzah was sparked by an article
for us when we got there," Achtman
Achtman and fellow Walled Lake
Middle School parent Beth Kahn of
The group chose the brand because it
West Bloomfield read in the Jewish News
was Israeli-made and because of its spe-
about supermarket owner Jim Hiller
cial "Matzah with a
Israel," March 5, page
For every five
Bloomfield watches as Dina boxes purchased,
Hiller has been
Cwagenberg, 7, of Farmington Osem will make a
donating profits from
adds another five-box pack- donation to Jewish
the sale of Israeli prod-
matzot to the shopping cart. National Fund to
ucts in his six Hiller's
plant a tree in Israel.
Markets back to Israel
"The Jewish peo-
through the Jewish
ple are looking for ways to support
Federation of Metropolitan Detroit in
Israel," said Osem's President Izzet
Bloomfield Township. Recently, he
Ozdogan. "This is a great way to do it.
received an e-mail from a man threaten-
With one purchase, you are helping
ing an economic boycott of the stores if
Israel's economy, fulfilling the obliga-
Hiller did not publicly apologize for his
stance in support of Israel and withdraw tions of Passover and planting trees in
Israel; three mitzvot for the price of one."
that support. Hiller did not back clOwn
The offer is good for as long as there
— and responded by extending the
are boxes of Osem matzah in the store.
donations indefinitely and increasing his
The lesson of the pre-teen shoppers
stock of Israeli products.
also set an example for their younger
'After reading about what he did,
siblings; several also came along.
Beth and I decided we had to do some-
Continuing the chain reaction further,
thing, too — and to involve our kids,"
Achtman said, "There were people in
said Achtman of Walled Lake. "Most of
the store shopping with their children
us live around the Commerce Township
asked why we were buying so
store and shop there. So we decided we
much matzah. When we told them why,
wanted to help him out and also teach
they also bought matzah and then gave
our children (Ryan and Maxx Achtman,
it to us to add to ours."
11 and 10, and Hillary and Shane Kahn,
After all the purchases had been
11 and 10) about doing what's right.
made, all the matzah was loaded into
Next, the two organized a shopping
trip. "We started by calling other parents Achtman's car. She then drove to Yad
Ezra and delivered the boxes to be
who were on the bar and bat mitzvah
added to the Berkley-based kosher food
list [that parents compiled] at our
pantry's special Passover distribution. LI
school," Achtman said. "We picked a
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