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May 12, 2005 - Image 6

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2005-05-12

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As the director of the Workmen's
Cirde/Arbeter Ring-The Circle of
Jewish Culture in Michigan, which is
dedicated to Jewish community,
Yiddish culture and social justice, I
was pleased to read the Editor's
Notebook, "Why Inclusion Matters"
(May 5, page 5). He is quite right
that there are many Jews who identify
(primarily or solely) culturally with
Jewish life, and who view Jewish peo-
plehood as the centerpiece of Jewish
Fortunately for Metro Detroiters
who seek a secular, cultural or
Humanistic Jewish connection, there
are a number and variety of wonder-
ful choices, including the Workmen's
Circle/Arbeter Ring, Birmingham
Temple, Jewish Parents Institute,
Sholem Aleichem Institute and Jewish
Cultural Society in Ann Arbor.
We in the Workmen's
Circle/Arbeter Ring believe that it is
critical that the Jewish community
recognizes, respects and supports dif-
ferent approaches to living meaning-
ful, rich and committed Jewish lives.
Each Jewish organization, religious
and secular alike, has something valu-
able to offer. With the proper match
between organization and participant,
the Jewish community is better able
to meet individual and family needs,
thus increasing Jewish affiliation, bet-
ter uniting the community and
enhancing the likelihood of Jewish
In the case of the Circle, many peo-
ple affiliate only with the Circle. And
there are people who participate in
our activities as members or non-
members who also affiliate with other
Jewish congregations or organizations.
In so doing, they create a rich, cus-
tomized Jewish life. We offer a rich
array of programming for the whole

Ellen Bates-Brackett
Oak Park

Follow God's Rules

Week after week, I read articles in the
JNaddressing the issue of Jewish con-
tinuity and what we can do to change
the trend, for example the Editor's
Notebook "Why Inclusion Matters"
(May 5, page 5).
We have an intermarriage rate

above 50 percent and assimilation is
running rampant. Although I am sure
the people presenting different plans
to help reverse the problem are well
intentioned, they are looking in the
wrong directions. The solution is so
simple it is unbelievable; it is guaran-
teed to work.
The first step is to forget all the
labels: Reform, Conservative,
Orthodox, etc. God has given us a
Torah that tells us how Jews should
live their lives. God gave us 613 corn-
mandments and told us to follow
them. This is a time-tested proven
formula that has worked for thou-
sands of years going all the way back
to Moses and still works today.
When Jews began to follow their
ow,n rules and not God's, assimilation
began to run wild. We were given a
guide that tells us how to live our
lives. It is the only way to guarantee
Jewish survival.

Rick Spatter

West Bloomfield

Communal Kudos

Thanks to the Jewish community for
supporting the Lenore Marwil Jewish
Film Festival held each year at the
Jewish Community Center of
Metropolitan Detroit ("Reel Jews,"
March 31, page 31). It was another
successful year.

Joel Marwil

Our Holocaust Center

While I read the article "Speaking the
Unspeakable" (May 5, page 44) with

great interest, I was appalled that at

the end of the article "Where To
Turn," you excluded our own
Holocaust Memorial Center. The e-
mail address for the Holocaust
Memorial Center in Farmington Hills
is holocaustcenter.org.
In addition, you might want to
speak to Ida Nathan. For many years,
Ida taught Holocaust to second-
graders in the Temple Israel's religious
school. Ida did this in a manner that
was not frightening to the children
but that gave them an age-appropriate
lesson about how people should be
There are several early childhood

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