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April 16, 2004 - Image 17

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2004-04-16

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• ` — 'v,"

/11=I April 18-28, 2004

Israel Bound

Michigan Miracle Mission takes o on Sunday.

Marion Alflen looks at Judaica at her Southfield home.


Staff Writer


anion Alflen of
Southfield plans to
make aliyah in two
years when she's 85.
She's one of 573 travelers on
Federation's Michigan Miracle
Mission 4 from April 18-28, the
largest mission to Israel from any sin-
gle community this year. It's Alflen's
chance to get closer to her dream and
to visit her sister, who lives on
Kibbutz Ein D'Or in the upper
As young girls in Vienna, Alflen
and her younger sister, Susie
Margalit, escaped Hitler's armies on

the "kinder transport." Amazingly,
they were reunited with their parents
in England and came to the United
States in 1939.
Margalit, a Zionist, went to Israel
illegally in early 1948 with other
Detroiters and established Kibbutz
Ein D'Or, where Alflen hopes to join
Michigan Miracle Mission 4,
cosponsored by the Detroit Jewish
News and Michigan Board of Rabbis,
is attracting all kinds of people: from
honeymooners to those celebrating
anniversaries and birthdays to fami-
lies sharing their first taste of Israel
together to those who want to sup-
port the Jewish state.
Among the 13 buses will be groups

formed by synagogue members who
will travel together with a member of
their clergy.
Several groups of young adults,
including those participating in a
Camp Tamarack reunion and B'nai
Brith Youth Organization (BBYO)
advisers, also are traveling on the
The recent killing of Sheik Ahmed
Yassin in Gaza has not deterred this
determined group from its travels,
says Sally Krugel, mission director.
With such a wide variety of people
with varied Israel experiences travel-
ing together, the planners came up
with special interest tracks to satisfy
For someone like Alflen, who has
always been interested in history and
who found a 13th-century BCE coin
on a prior visit to Israel, one
track offers the chance of a
lifetime — to participate in
an archeological dig.
Visitors can choose from
10 other itineraries, includ-
ing visiting cultural and his-
torical sites to learning more
about volunteerism in Israel
— which includes more
than 20,000 non-profit and
non-governmental organiza-
tions as well as individual
and corporate philanthropy.
The most popular track, Krugel
says, is "Hiking Through the Bible,"
which takes people to biblical sites
and nature preserves. Also popular
are "Israel 101" and "A Cultural

Journey," which includes a visit to
the Bezalel Academy for Art and
Architecture in Jerusalem, the
Cameri Theater in Tel Aviv and the
Susan Delal Center for a dance ses-
sion with the Bat Sheva dance
Another highlight will be the lega-
cy of Detroit giving and building in
Israel. Places like the Ethan and
Marla Davidson Center in Jerusalem
Archeological Park, the Tali-Frankel
School, the Hermelin ORT School of
Engineering, Friends of Alyn
Hospital, Technion-Israel Institute of
Technology, Weizmann Institute of
Science and the Irwin Green School
in Nazareth.
Younger mission-goers will cele-
brate the tradition of giving and vol-
unteerism. The 10 advisers and three
staff members of BBYO
are going on the mission
courtesy of Federation's
Blumenstein Millennium
Fund and the BBYO
Cook Endowment, which
will pay for those who
have been advisers for
three years.
"I'm looking forward to
going back and sharing
this trip with friends,"
says Emily Weiss, 23, of
Waterford, vice president of
the BBYO Advisors Association. "It's
important to go because it's our his-
tory. It's important for a tourism
presence there and for people to see
we're not afraid to be in Israel." El




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