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April 23, 2004 - Image 23

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2004-04-23

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Clockwise from
top left:

Ron Charfoos of
Southfield waves
an Israeli flag in
response to the
children's performance
at the Sam and Jean
Frankel Tali School
in Jerusalem.

Tali School students
offer a patriotic
- demonstration.

Clare Swartz of
Southfield stands
in the Jewish. Quarter
offerusalems Old City
as a young observer

Sidney Stone of
Farmington Hills
is surrounded by
children at the
Tali School.

Morton Eden of
West Bloomfield
is framed by tanks
at the museum in

Ruth Vosko, right,
of Farmington Hills
embraces a shop
clerk in the Cardo
in the Old City's
Jewish Quarter.

into a memorial.
"I'm already learning from Israelis we have to have
hope," said Linda Mack of West Bloomfield. "But I
don't know how they do it."
As Bus 13 continued to wind down the streets of
new Tel Aviv, it passed cafes and shops and empty
In one pait of the city, Kessler pointed out low,
square stone apartment buildings in the German
Bauhaus architectural tradition that have become a
treasure. Many similar buildings were destroyed in
Germany during World War II and, ironically, re-
created by the Jews who escaped Hitler's forces and
came to Israel.
The feeling of being in Israel intensified as Bus 13
headed toward the Judean Hills in the distance and
Jerusalem, where the group will be staying for six
days of the 10-day trip.
The historic valley beside the road is rich in farm-
ing as well as ancient and modern history. Here, on
these roads, the Jordanians shelled Israeli farmers
before the land was secured after the Six-Day War in
June 1967, the guide said. It is also where the
Maccabees triumphed over the Greeks. Not only

Jews were drawn to the area. Romans, Crusaders
and Muslims all fought to control this area, in the
"gate of the valley" in Latrun.
Overlooking this valley is a more recent site, a
fortress built by the British before Israel became a
state. This is now the site of the museum for the
Armored Brigade, Israel's biggest military corps, and
also a memorial wall that honors Israelis who gave
their lives to defend the country from 1948 to the
It is most noted for the array of vintage and mod-
em tanks and the long wall etched with 4,904
names of the fallen soldiers. The British handed the
station to the Arabs, and the Israelis tried five times
to take control of it and failed during the War of
Independence. A young soldier wounded in one of
the attacks is now Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. The
area was finally recovered in the 1967 War.
Detroiters noticed the large number of memorials
to soldiers. Kessler simply said, "We commemorate
those who make it possible for us to be here."
Kepes was moved. "We have no idea what it's like
to live here," she said. "It seems trivial the things we
worry about at times, almost trite, seeing this."

Entering Jerusalem, Bus 13 made an important
stop at Sir Moses. Montefiore's windmill and the
panoramic view of the Old City wall it provides.
Many stop at this site before entering Jerusalem to
say the Shehechiyanu blessing of gratitude and to eat
bread dipped in salt.
As one bus drove up the hills toward Jerusalem, its
passengers were treated to a cantorial rendition of
prayers by Arthur Sugarman, who is in the
Congregation Shaarey Zedek choir and a member of
Adat Shalom Synagogue.
Though many had had little sleep, the day was
not over. A mega-event on Mt. Scopus at Hebrew
University featured special guest, former Israeli
Prime Minister and current Finance Minister
Binyamin Netanyahu, who embraced mission Co-
Chairs Peter Alter and Richard Krugel, calling them
and the Jews of Michigan "great friends." The event
was broadcast live on Israeli TV, including footage
and interviews taken when the Detroiters first
arrived. ❑

For more photographs and daily 'Mission Moments,"
please see -vvww.detroitjevvishnews.com




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