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December 24, 2004 - Image 10

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2004-12-24

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Spurning Synagogue Protest

A Light To The World

Ann Arbor
A group of worshippers at Beth Israel
Congregation are more determined than
ever to counter 16 months of Shabbat
picketing by Jewish Witnesses for Peace,
which is protesting Israel's military
occupation of the Palestinian-controlled
West Bank and Gaza Strip.
"Many who attend Shabbat morning
services regularly find this more than a
minor convenience," said Ann Arbor's
Dr. Barry Gross, a founder of SPURN
(Synagogue Protest Unacceptable!
Respond Now). "The picketing is an
obnoxious assault on our right to free
religious expression, interfering with our
spirit of prayer as we enter the sanctu-
SPURN was organized in July. It has
drawn support from the Ann Arbor
City Council. "No one should be sub-
jected to this type of behavior at their
place of worship," said Ann Arbor
Mayor John Hieftje.
It is comforting when so many cid-
zens of conscience acknowledge the
unjust character of this harassment," Dr.
Gross said.
A Dec. 15 letter in the Ann Arbor
News was signed by 33 Jewish, Catholic
and Protestant clergy as well as other
clergy — but no imams. The letter indi-
cated that the picketers thus far have
acted within the law, but their tactic of

The Chanukah menorah is, ultimately,
a beacon of hope: The theme of light
overcoming darkness is key to not
only Chanukah but to Rosh Chodesh
(the new month) as well.
It is the Jewish destiny to bring light
to the world, said Rabbi Chaim Zev
Levitan of Monsey, N.Y. "That's the
inspiration of Rosh Chodesh, and
that's the inspiration of Chanukah."
Rabbi Levitan spoke to about 100
people at an Ohr Somayach latke and
learn on Chanukah's last day, Dec. 15,
at the Max M. Fisher Federation
Building in Bloomfield Township.
In celebrating Rosh Chodesh, the
rabbi said, Jews see the potential for
light in the darkness of each new
moon — and, thus, see hope for the
improvement of themselves and the
That is why in the days of the
Maccabees, the proponents of Greek

picketing on Shabbat "nonetheless vio-
lates any reasonable norms of civil and
mutually respectful behavior."
"People go to houses of worship to
contemplate difficult issues in their lives
and in the world, to celebrate happy
occasions and to seek solace in times of
struggle," the letter
stated. It is inap-
propriate to subject
worshipers to a
political protest."
Letter signers
included Rabbis
Robert Dobrusin of
Beth Israel, Robert
Levy of Temple Beth
Emeth and Aaron
Rabbi Dobrusin
Goldstein of the
Ann Arbor Chabad House.
"If this form of political protest is
allowed to continue unchallenged out-
side Beth Israel Congregation," the let-
ter concluded, "it will be just a matter
of time before it spreads, causing wor-
shippers of other faiths also to be
unfairly subjected to this form of intim-
idation and harassment in connection
with any number of other issues."
For more about SPURN, log on to


— Robert A. Sklar, editor

Israeli Firms Honored

Two Israeli firms are among winners of
the 2004 Technology Innovation
Awards presented by the Wall Street
The Silver award went to Given
Imaging Ltd. of Yokneam for PillCam,
a tiny camera that patients swallow
enabling doctors to see their digestive

Don't Kno


The Bronze award went to InSightec
Image Guided Treatment Ltd. of Tirat,
of Carmel for ExAblate 2000, a non-
surgical method of destroying tumors
by focusing ultrasound waves on them.

— Robert A. Sklar, editor

To shed light on the thousands of
human stories behind those needing
assistance from community emergency
food programs, Helen Kozlowski-
Hicks, executive director of the Food
Bank of Oakland County (FBOC),
sparked the writing of One Hungry
Child, a collection of 10 stories por-
traying the lives of hungry children in
this country.
Author Dr. Carol Dunitz of Ann
Arbor contacted food banks and anti-
hunger agencies to come up with the
10 true stories written to capture the
hearts of readers and remind them
that hunger is a major problem in this
country. Illustrations are by Helen
Of the 10, five focus on hungry


Israelis celebrate their independence not with fire-
crackers — but with what?

— Goldfein

I urgently counseled my brother,
"Your girlfriend's no good. Find another.
It's not meant to be.
A katshke* like she
Is not one you bring home to mother!"

— Martha Jo Fleischmann





•anfluziveH woA uo
2wA1tis plot tpnoA !pm' :Jannstry

• duck (literal)

— David Sachs, senior copy editor

Highlighting Hunger

Yiddish Limericks


culture demanded
that Jews stop
observing Rosh
Chodesh. But the
Maccabees defeated
them and wit-
nessed the Temple
oil burn miracu-
lously for eight
Rabbi Levitan
Rabbi Levitan, a
yeshivah high
school educator for 30 years (includ-
ing three in Detroit), said Chanukah
symbolizes the miracle of Jewish exis-
tence: "We don't give up, ever," he
said. "We will survive.
And with God's help, we'll contin-
ue to be here. That's the inspiration of
the menorah; that's the inspiration of

children in the metro Detroit area.
"Powdered Doughnuts" is the true
story that came out of Yad Ezra, the
local kosher food pantry, in 1998. The
tale of love and heartache tells of
Rosalyn Fine, an elementary school
teacher with a master's degree, and her
son Isaac, a mentally disabled adult,
who looked forward to their monthly
visits to Yad Ezra. Isaac enjoyed cruis-
ing the pantry shelves for foods he
likes, especially powered doughnuts.
One Hungry Child is published by
the FBOC and retails for $19.95. For
more information, visit

— Keri Guten Cohen,
stogy development editor

Do You Remember?

December 1964

Jonathan I. Rose, a junior in journalism at
University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, won the
news writing competition of the William
Randolph Hearst Foundation's journalism awards
He is the son of Mrs. Saul Rose of Balmoral
Drive, Detroit. He received a $500 scholarship
for first place. His subject: civil rights law in

— Sy Manello, editorial assistant

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