Torah Portion / Synagogues
Making Jewish Financial Sense
Shabbat Mattot Masei:
Jeremiah 2:4-28, 3:4,
e all know just how expen-
sive Judaism is. From Jewish
day school tuition to. the
high price of kosher food to synagogue
membership, Jewish life costs a lot.
But we also see this cost as a sound
investment: The premium we pay to
live meaningful Jewish lives connects
us to our Creator enhances and
enriches our lives, and transforms -us
into better Jews and better people.
Jewish life isn't just more expensive
for us as individuals. Sometimes, a
community must bear a financial bur-
den to maintain its Jewish character.
At the end of Masei, when describ-
ing how the people will settle their
future land, God commands the
nation to designate 42 cities for the
tribe of Levi. The Leviim, whom God
appoints as spiritual workers for the
Jewish people, never receive a specific
block of land, unlike the other tribes
Reuven Spolter is rabbi of Young
Israel of Oak Park. His e-mail address
ADAT SHALOM SYNAGOGUE
29901 Middlebelt, Farmington Hills, 48334, (248) 851-
5100. Rabbis: Daniel Nevins, Herbert Yoskowitz, Rachel
Lawson Shere. Rabbi emeritus: Efry Spectre. Cantor:
Yesvey Gutman. Cantor emeritus: Larry Vieder. Services:
Friday 6 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m., 9 p.m.; weekdays 7:30
a.m., 6 p.m.; Sunday 8:30 a.m.
AHAVAS ISRAEL (GRAND RAPIDS)
2727 Michigan St. SE, Grand Rapids, 49506-1297,
(616) 949-2840. Rabbi: David J.B. Krishef. Cantor:
Stuart R. Rapaport. Services: Tuesday, Wednesday,
Thursday, 7:30 a.m.; Friday, 7 p.m.; Saturday, 9:30
31840 W. Seven Mile, Livonia, (248) 477-8974. Cantor:
David Gutman. President: Larry Stein. Vice presidents:
Martin Diskin, Al Gittleman. Services: Friday 8 p.m.;
Saturday 9 a.m.
CONGREGATION BETH AHM
of Israel. God disperses them through-
Not surprisingly, our community
out the land of Israel in their own des-
comes to the same conclusion.
ignated cities. In this way, because of
Recently, the Jewish News quoted
their proximity to the rest of the peo-
Rabbi Lee Buckman of the Jewish
ple, the Leviim would be able to trans-
Academy of Metropolitan Detroit,
mit their religiosity, spirituality and
who, speaking at the JCC's annual
dedication to God to their neighbors,
meeting, said, "Economically, to spend
wherever they may live.
so much on one child or to
When commanding the
spend so much on a senior
people to set aside these spe-
adult may not make finan-
cial cities, the Torah utilizes
cial sense; but it makes
very interesting language.
Jewish sense. We do so on
God tells Moshe, "tzav (com-
the young because they are
mand) the Children of Israel
our future. We do so on the
to give part of their own
older population because
inheritance to the Leviim."
they are our link to our past
Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai
... The present belongs
wonders: Why not just tell
to all of us. That is a
the people about this mitz-
that our JCC con-
vah? Why does God tell
day as it serves
Moshe to command the
Special to the
nation when most other
mitzvot don't require the lan-
I couldn't agree more.
guage of an actual command-
Sometimes, spending money
might not make much financial sense,
He answers quite simply that this
but it makes. Jewish sense. And what's
undertaking involves significant finan-
logical for our youth and our elderly
cial loss. Forty-two cities cost a lot.
certainly makes sense regarding
One can very easily envision strong
communal resistance when Moshe asks
Recently, the Jewish Community
the people to give away such valuable
Center leadership opened back-chan-
real estate. So God tells Moshe not to
nel discussions about expanding the
ask. Rather, "Command them!" It's
Shabbos hours at the JCC health club.
not an option. This is so important
For over 40 years, the JCC health club
that God gives it special emphasis.
has remained closed during Shabbos
days 7:30 a.m:, 6 p.m.; Sunday and legal holidays 8
a.m., 6 p.m. Ivriah religious school (810) 732-6312.
BETH ISRAEL (ANN ARBOR)
2000 Washtenaw Ave., Ann Arbor, 48104, (734) 665-
9897. Rabbi: Robert Dobrusin. Services: Friday 6 p.m.;
Saturday 9:30 a.m.; weekdays 7:30 p.m.; Sunday 5
CONGREGATION BETH SHALOM
14601 W. Lincoln, Oak Park, 48237, (248) 547-7970.
Rabbi: David A. Nelson. Cantor: Samuel L. Greenbaum.
Ritual director: Rev. Samuel Semp. Services: Friday 6
p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m., 6:30 p.m.; Sunday 9 a.m., 5
p.m.; weekdays 7 a.m., 6:30 p.m. Baby naming of
Avery Rachel Bouskila, daughter of Samantha and
BETH TEPHILATH MOSES
146 South Ave., Mt. Clemens, 48043, (810) 465-0641.
Services: weekdays 7:15 a.m.; Saturday 10 a.m.;
Sunday 8 a.m.
CONGREGATION B'NAI MOSHE
5075 W. Maple, West Bloomfield, 48322, (248) 851-
6880. Ritual director: Joseph Mermelstein. Rabbi emer-
itus: A. Irving Schnipper. Cantor Emeritus: Shabtai
Ackerman. Guest rabbi: Aaron Bergman. Visiting schol-
ar: Dr. Howard Lupovitch. Services: Friday 6 p.m.;
Saturday 9:30 a.m., 8:45 p.m.; weekdays 7 a.m., 7
p.m.; Sundays and civic holidays: 8:15 a.m., 5 p.m.
6800 Drake, West Bloomfield, 48322, (248) 788-0600.
Rabbi: Elliot Pechter. Cantor: Earl Berris. Services:
Friday 6 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m., 8:45 p.m.; Monday-
Thursday 7 a.m., 6 p.m.; Friday 7 a.m.; Sunday and
legal holidays 9 a.m.; Sunday 6 p.m. Haftorah, Naomi
BETH ISRAEL (FLINT)
ISAAC AGREE DOWNTOWN
G-5240 Calkins Road, Flint, 48532, (810) 732-6310.
Cantor emeritus: Sholom Kalib. President: Leonard
Meizlish. Services: Saturday 9:30 a.M., 6 p.m.; week-
1457 Griswold, Detroit, 48226, (313) 961-9328.
Chazan: Cantor Usher Adler. Baal Kriah: Rabbi Craig
mornings. But, with the new multi-
million-dollar health facility in West
Bloomfield, many apparently feel that .
it can only attract new members to the
club if they open the club on Shabbos
mornings, a time when many like to
Everyone understands the financial
realities involved in running a large
community center. Perhaps opening
the health club might attract new
members and the financial revenue
they might bring. Perhaps not. But
expanding Shabbos hours in a Jewish
Community Center and allowing a fit- .
ness center to compete with prayer
services simply doesn't make Jewish •
And, we can never allow ourselves
to forget that Shabbos isn't the "fourth
request." It's the Fourth
Are you more apt to follow a
religious commandment than a
request or suggestion? Is the
worth of a financial investment
always determined in monetary
terms? How much is your Jewish
identity worth to you?
Allen. Cantorial soloist: Neil Barris. Ritual director: Dr.
Martin Herman. President: Dr. Ellen Kahn. Services:
Saturday 8:30 a.m.
(313) 882-6700. Rabbi: Nicholas Behrmann. Cantorial
soloist: Bryant Frank.
CONGREGATION SHAAREY ZEDEK
Rabbis: Joseph H. Krakoff, Jonathan E. Berkun, Eric S.
Yanoff. Rabbi emeritus: Irwin Groner. Cantor: Chaim
Najman. Ritual director: Leonard Gutman.
Southfield: 27375 Bell Road, Southfield, 48034, (248)
357-5544. Services: Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday 7:30
a.m.; Monday, Thursday 7:15 a.m.; daily 6 p.m.; Friday
6 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m., 9 p.m.; Sunday 8:30 a.m.
West Bloomfield, B'nai Israel Center: 4200 Walnut
Lake Road, West Bloomfield, 48323-2772, (248) 357-
5544. Services: Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday 7:15 a.m.;
Monday, Thursday 7 a.m.; daily 6 p.m.; Friday 6 p.m.;
Saturday 9 a.m., 9 p.m.; Sunday 9 a.m.
2300 Center Ave., Bay City, 48708; (989) 893-7811.
Cantor: Daniel Gale. President: Dr. Jonathan Abramson.
Services: Saturday 9:30 a.m. A liberal, egalitarian con-
gregation serving the tri-cities area. Religious and
Hebrew education programs for children and adults.
413 N. Division St., Traverse City, 49684, (231) 929-
4330. Rabbi: Chava (Stacie) Bahle. Weekly Shabbat cel-
ebrations, holidays, year round programming, children's
education. Summer programming for downstate visi-
GROSSE POINTE JEWISH COUNCIL
P.O. Box 130014, Ann Arbor, 48103, (734) 996-3524 or
995-1963. Rev. Lauren Zinn. Services: Friday 6:15, fol-
lowing dinner. Jewish Roots with Interfaith Wings holds
bi-monthly Shabbat dinner, services, kids' programs,
family school and Hebrew school for all ages.
AGUDAS YISROEL MOGEN
15751 W. Lincoln, Southfield, 48075, (248) 552-1971.
Rabbis: Dov Loketch, Asher Eisenberger. President:
ANN ARBOR CHABAD HOUSE
715 Hill St., Ann Arbor, 48104, (734) 995-3276. Rabbi:
Aharon Goldstein. Services: Friday at sundown;
Saturday 9:45 a.m., 20 min. before sundown; week-
days 7:30 a.m.; Sunday 9 a.m. Times for weekdays and
Sunday are for the academic year.
ANN ARBOR ORTHODOX MINYAN
1429 Hill St., Ann Arbor, 48014. Rabbi: Rod Glogower.
Services: Friday at sundown; Saturday 9:30 a.m. and
20 minutes before sundown; weekdays during the aca-
demic year 7:30 a.m.; Sunday 9 a.m.
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