Freedom Behind Bars
When Jewish families throughout Michigan
sit down to Passover seders this year, Jewish
inmates will be doing the same in 13 pris-
ons across the country.
As they have been doing for nearly 25
years, the Miami-based Aleph Institute will
provide "Seder in a Box" kits to prisoners
who will receive matzah, grape juice, seder
plates, soup, horseradish and a Haggadah.
The nonprofit national organization,
founded under the direction of the
Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M.
Schneerson, has delivered 5,000 kits
through the years.
"There are about 45 Jewish inmates in
Michigan right now," said Rabbi Herschel
Finman of Oak Park, who is one of
several area rabbis who visit the state's
Jewish inmates. "Michigan allows one
religious festive meal a year and Aleph
is there to bring packages to those
wishing to use them."
This year, Aleph will ship seder kits,
totaling more than 30,000 pounds of
kosher-for-Passover food and materials,
to more than 300 prisoners nation-
wide. They will also intercede, where
necessary, when institutional red tape
makes it difficult for inmates to observe
Passover and other holidays. Aleph's
outreach also extends to families of
prisoners, many of whom lack the
resources to conduct a proper seder.
"We're trying to reach out to Jews in
the darkest of places," said Rabbi
Menachem Katz, Aleph's director of prison
programs. "Just because they're locked up
With the final wires installed and
inspected, the Sara Tugman Bais
Chabad Torah Center eruv has
become the largest in Michigan.
The 6-square-mile eruv, a ritual
enclosure allowing Shabbat-obser-
vant Jews to push and carry items on
Shabbat and Yom Kippur, became
functional as of Friday, March 12.
'An eruv serves to unify all the
enclosed area into one private
domain," said Rabbi Elimelech
Silberberg of the West Bloomfield-
based Torah Center. 'And in a pri-
vate domain, if necessary, one is per- -
mitted to carry on Shabbat."
The new eruv allows a greater
number of Shabbat-observant Jews
to go to synagogue and visit one
another's homes because strollers and
baby carriages may be used within its
"Others will find it convenient to
bring a tallis or siddur to shul, a
book to a class, or to carry eyeglasses,
a house key or other permitted and-
or necessary items," the rabbi said.
"Of course, wheelchairs, crutches
doesn't mean they have to lose touch with
Aleph also sends "Seders in a Box" to
more than 50 U.S. military bases world-
wide, including Iraq, Afghanistan, Japan
and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Military per-
sonnel may also benefit from Aleph's coun-
seling and educational programs and reli-
Aleph also carries out year-round pro-
grams for Jewish inmates, including the dis-
tribution of a newsletter, courses of study
and the 'Adopt-a- Prisoner" program in
which volunteers visit imprisoned Jews.
— Shelli Liebman Dorfman, staff writer
may be used."
with one that
has been in
place for sev-
eral years on
side of the syna-
gogue. The eruv now includes areas
between Middlebelt and Farmington
roads and 14 Mile to Walnut Lake
The eruv will be inspected on
Thursday afternoons or Friday
mornings to make certain there are
no breaks in the enclosure.
Those on the synagogue's e-mail
list will receive a weekly notice as to
whether the eruv is operational for
that Shabbat. Or call the Torah
Center's eruv hotline, updated each
week by Friday morning, at: (248)
788-6782 or check: vvww.baisch-
abad.com Click on "eruv."
— Shelli Liebman Dorfman,
Deli Of Dreams
Seder plates and other Passover items are ready
for shipment to prisons across the country.
Bobbie Lewis of Oak Park is making her national television debut on Jeopardy! at
7:30 p.m..Friday, April 2, on Channel 4 ( -WDIV-TV). The show was taped previ-
ously, but Lewis won't say;if she's a big winner or not. You'll have to watch to find
out how she does.
— Keri Guten Cohen, story development editor
Igor Gozman of the Detroit-based PuppetArt
and his hand-carved rod puppets, along with sto-
ryteller Corinne Stavish, will perform an original
play titled A Glezele Te at the Deli of Dreams at 11
a.m. April 4 at the Workmen's Circle, 26341
Coolidge, Oak Park.
Despite its bilingual tide, A Glezele Te is per-
formed in English. A saga of the Eastern
European immigrant experience, it's designed for
family viewing. There is no admission charge.
The play was developed through a grant from
the Alliance for Jewish Education Artists in the
Schools grant, made possible by the DeRoy
For more information, call (248) 545-0985.
— Diana Lieberman, sta f f writer
In the Holy Land, cities revered by Christians —
Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Nazareth — have lost their
once-Christian majorities and are Muslim-domi-
nated. Of the four cities there considered holy by
Jews, only one is not majority Jewish. Can you
qsTMf Aapolum. E - paps ‘sEpaqu,
quafesniaj — snip() ata •ualqaH :iamsuy
Igor Gozman demon-
strates one of his hand-
carved rod puppets to
Workmen's Circle mem-
ber Daniel Hurwitz-
Goodman, 11, of Detroit.
Do You Remembe&
"If I were to make a life plan,
I'd learn all I could," said Diane.
"Some say flu meloches
Just means vainik broches*,
But I say, be all that you can!"
— Martha Jo Fleischmann
* (idiomatic) Jack of all trades, master of none.
La'asote, a fledgling Jewish organization-created
by Detroiters is asking advertisers in the Brandeis
University student newspaper to withhold their
The action was taken in response to an adver-
tisement placed by Holocaust "revisionist"
Bradley R. Smith. The ad quotes a Roper
Organization poll saying, "22 percent of all adult
Americans have doubts about the orthodox
Holocaust story — particularly about the alleged
— Sy Manello, editorial assistant