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June 04, 2004 - Image 17

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2004-06-04

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churches, attended the June 24 service
"Our response, emotional as it
at First Baptist Church. Cantor Gale
might be, had to be measured and had called it an "in-your-face event.
to be very behind-the-scenes," said the
"It was very much .a public defense of
cantor. "Both the ADL and SPLC
the values that we in this community
were concerned that any reaction with
cherish and wish to preserve," he said.
a Jewish face on it or a perceived
Another event last summer brought
Jewish face might provoke violence."
the community together again. More
With the help of the ADL and the
than 300 people attended a unity picnic
FBI, Temple Israel organized a public
organized by Bay City civic leaders and
forum and informational meeting
sponsored by the Young Women's
about hate groups last June 16 for
Christian Association. Another unity
church and civic organizations, said
picnic is scheduled this summer.
Cantor Gale.
Although Cantor Gale wasn't sur-
Some 250 people attended the
prised by the overwhelmingly positive
meeting, including Pastor Kim Lewis
and supportive reaction of the non-
- of the First Baptist Church of Bay
Jewish community, Pastor Lewis was.
City. Pastor Lewis was aware of
"Unity in Bay City always amazes
Temple Israel and had heard of the
me," said the pastor. The event "showed
local Christian Identity group.
me that there's just a little more caring
"I had wind of it before then, but I
and compassion than what I might have
thought it might have been an urban.
anticipated. And it was pretty neat — in
legend," said Pastor Lewis.
fact, it was downright moving."
A group of Christian clergy froth
Mark Jaffe, a lifetime Temple Israel
different denominations got together
member, had nothing but praise for the
after the meeting to determine a_
community response.
response. "There are things we don't
"There wasn't a single element within
agree about, but there's one thing we
the community that didn't come forth
agree about: This is not the message of to condemn this man and his message,"
the Bible," he said.
Jaffe said.
The Christian leaders planned an
interfaith service, and Pastor Lewis
Still A Threat
offered to host the event at his church,
located within the two miles between
To some degree, the Bay City Jewish
the temple and the furniture store. "We
community feels they dodged a bullet,
contacted Cantor Gale and told him,
emerging unscathed and unharmed
`We would love for you to be involved.' CLOSE TO HOME on page 18
Almost 500 people, representing 12


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