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May 14, 2004 - Image 72

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2004-05-14

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Comma ity

8 OVER 80 from page 71

frightened Filipino social worker in
her 20s, the youngest of 15 local
women who agreed to help about
200 prisoners, many of them
Americans, dying of malaria and
dysentery. They also assisted women
and orphans suffering from the rav-
ages of Japan's invasion of the
The social worker later came to
America and became Nena Dillick
after marrying Dr. Sidney Dillick
while getting her master's degree in
social work at the University of
Pittsburgh. She also converted to
Judaism. She returned to her native
country three ago to receive a medal
and other honors for her wartime
During her first post-college job in
Rhode Island in the 1950s, Dillick
earned praise for helping integrate
African Americans into the local
community, organizing "Dillick
Teas" in her home to foster racial
harmony and understanding.
The move to Detroit brought 30
years of active membership in the
National Council of Jewish Women,
serving as a vice president and
belonging to many committees. On
May 19, at Congregation B'nai
Moshe in West Bloomfield, the 84-
year-old will become an honorary
lifetime NCJW member. She is affili-
ated with Temple Emanu-El and is
past president of the Visiting Nurses
Association and Oakland County
Family Service.
"I enjoy prodding Jewish women
to get active in these organizations,"
she said.
For 25 years, her husband was
dean of Wayne State University's
School of Social Work. Married for
53 years, they have two children and
one grandchild.
"The war was terrible and we did
all we could to help those who suf-
fered," she recalled. "The Japanese
let the social workers walk along
with the prisoners in the Bataan
Death March and help them as they
dropped from exhaustion, disease
and malnutrition." About 10,000
prisoners died in the nearly 100-mile
march to a prison camp in 1942.
Dillick experienced a personal
tragedy in 1981, when her daughter,
Patti, 27, public relations manager at
Detroit's Sinai Hospital, was killed in
an auto accident. Patti was instru-
mental in planting 1,000 trees in




Israel in memory of family members.

Congregation Beth Shalom.



They are the first people to be hon-
ored as a couple in the Eight Over
Eighty program because, together,
they founded Camp Mak-A-Dream,
a free camp for children and young
adults with cancer. The camp bright-
ens the campers' lives and teaches
them how to cope with the -disease.
While operating several
McDonald's Restaurant franchises 10
years ago, Harry Grenader sponsored
Ronald McDonald Houses, which
provide housing for families to be
near their children being treated for
"I saw how sick the kids were, and
I was determined to help them," he
He donated 87 acres near his ranch
in Gold Creek, Mont., plus seed
money, and opened the camp,
accepting about 200 youngsters and
women with breast cancer to experi-
ence camp life each year. They go
horseback riding and fishing, play all
sports and use facilities in a new
health center to give them
chemotherapy and blood transfu-
"The kids tell us they love the
camp because they're treated like
normal people, not patients," Sylvia
observed. "We never use the 'C'
word; we just show them a good
time. They say the worst part is
when they have to leave. It's very
emotional for us, especially when we
find out later that certain children
have died."
Volunteer doctors, like Dr. Stuart
Kaplan, come from as far away as St.
Jude's -Hospital in Memphis, Tenn.
The camp has a board of directors, a
full-time executive director, Lauren
Altman of West Bloomfield, and
raises about $250,000 a year in
Harry, 88, and Sylvia, 84, have
been married 60 years and have five
sons and eight grandchildren. Harry,
an ex-Wayne University football
player, formerly owned Great Lakes
Lumber & Supply Co. in Southfield,
and one of the couple's sons now
operates eight McDonald's franchises
Downriver. Sylvia, one of the few
women Air Force pilots in World
War II, is an expert weaver who
teaches the camp children how to
weave. Harry also is past president of

When an oil crisis gripped the nation
in the 1970s, causing high gas prices
and long lines at the pump, the
automakers swung into action to
produce more fuel-efficient cars and
trucks with lightweight materials and
electronic engine controls.
At the forefront of the around-the-
clock effort was Harwood, who spent
two decades at Ford, eventually over-
seeing about 100 research scientists
and engineers as director of Ford's
Materials Science Laboratory in
Dearborn. It was one of the high-
lights of Harwood's 45-year profes-
sional career in government, educa-
tion and industry as a researcher,
entrepreneur and consultant.
At the special request of Henry
Ford II, he visited Israel to survey
the country's manufacturing capabili-
ties for the potential of becoming
part of Ford's worldwide supply sys-
tem. He also received the Henry
Ford Award for Community Service.
Harwood was no stranger to Israel,
having made 13 trips there from
1967-81, starting with a Jewish
Federation mission, to serve as a con-
sultant in science and technology to
industry, educational and govern-
mental agencies.
Until recently, Harwood, 85, flew
to Washington, D.C., regularly as a
technology consultant to the Internal
Revenue Service. A New York native,
he had spent 20 years with the U.S.
Navy's research area, worked for a
U.S. Defense Dept. think-tank and
was elected to the National Academy
of Engineers.
He got involved in Detroit com-
munal activities after being recruited
by Ford in 1962.
"I was impressed by the cohesive
nature of the Jewish community
here," he noted, "with the-emphasis
on service and volunteerism. I've
continued with a strong commit-
ment to Jewish education, communi-
ty lifestyles and Israel's security."
As president of Congregation Beth
Shalom, he helped unify and stabi-
lize the synagogue after the untimely
death of Rabbi Mordecei Halpern
just before the High Holidays in
1972. He is past president of the
United Hebrew Schools and the
American Technion Society's Detroit
Chapter, was on the board of the

Jewish Community Council and
belongs to the Institute of Retired
Professionals. Now a member of the
Birmingham Temple, he's a board
member of the International
Institute of Secular Humanistic
Judaism. Harwood and his wife,
Naomi, married for 20 years, have
three children and eight grandchil-


Shoppers at Meijer's and Hiller's
markets will find Kershenbaum, 83,
in those stores early each morning
buying cereal, eggs, produce, bagels,
coffee and other breakfast staples to
provide a hearty meal for those
attending the morning minyan serv-
ices at Congregation Shaarey Zedek's
B'nai Israel Center in West
Bloomfield. For 20 years, he's been
getting up at 5 a.m. weekdays and
Sundays, leaving his Bloomfield Hills
home to hit the markets, then
preparing breakfast. He and his wife,
Gert, married for 53 years, have two
children, and have been B'nai Israel
members for a half century.
"I try to cater to the tastes of the
minyan regulars," Kershenbaum
explained. "One likes a certain kind
of cereal, another likes peanut butter
on everything, another wants his
eggs cooked a specific way. And I
treat them all with chocolate bobka
on Fridays. I try to please.and relax
everyone." He collects money from
the 15-20 minyan regulars to finance
the breakfasts, but the daily contri-
butions from others are donated to
Yad Ezra.
The name Kershenbaum might not
sound familiar, but when it's short-
ened to "Kay Baum," you get the
name of a chain of 12 women's
apparel stores popular in the Detroit
area for 32 years, operated by
Kershenbaum and his five brothers.
He was the buyer for the stores,
retiring in 1980 after the stores
closed permanently. Born in Pontiac,
Kershenbaum was a staff sergeant in
the U.S. Army, landing in France 17
days after D-Day and seeing combat
action with the infantry.


Newman, 80, has demonstrated a
strong commitment and leadership
role in the Detroit area Jewish com-
munity for 55 years, joining her hus-
band, Albert, to whom she's been

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