Together In Mourning
Jews gather for Yom HaZikaron ceremony.
HARRY KIRS BAUM
somber mood filled the room as hundreds gathered
to mourn the deaths of Israeli soldiers during the
Yom HaZikaron Memorial Ceremony at the Jewish
Community Center of Metropolitan Detroit in West
Bloomfield on May 10.
"From generation to generation, we are linked by our
collective memories," said Peter Alter, president of the
Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit, who gave his
speech first in Hebrew. "Today, we are coming to the end
of one era. Disappearing is the generation that survived the
Shoah, and witnessed the establishment of the Jewish State.
"Though every country has its day of remembrance,
none is like Israel's," he said.
Israel's creation and survival as a state has been marked
by so many losses, he said. "This evening, we vow to cher-
ish the ideals to which the young martyrs gave their lives to
build a Jewish homeland that provide safety and freedom
for our fellow Jews, for all Jews throughout the world."
Israel Defense Forces Rear Admiral Eli Marum spoke of
TOGETHER IN MOURNING on page 24
IDF Rear Admiral
Hillel Day School
Standing With Israel
Local Catholic discovers family link to Israel's War of Independence.
couple of years ago, longtime
Israel supporter Andrea Gonik
attended an annual Michigan
Friends of the Israel Defense Forces
(IDF) dinner and found herself sitting
next to a woman she had never seen
During the main speech by an IDF
soldier, Gonik saw tears running down
the woman's face.
"I put my arm around her and said,
`I'm so sorry, did you lose somebody
in the war?'" said Gonik of West
Bloomfield. The response was
Laura Huggler, a practicing Catholic,
always had a Zionist streak in her, and it
wasn't until later in life that she knew
In 1948, her father, Donald Albrecht,
a non-practicing Catholic, flew to Israel
a few weeks after his wedding day to
help fight in the War of Independence.
"How he got to be a Zionist is still a
great mystery," Huggler said.
Her parents divorced when she was 6,
and Albrecht passed away three years
"When my father died, he had fallen
on hard times and put a lot of his per-
sonal things in storage," she said. "All of
this was lost. I have no diaries or person-
al mementos that I'm sure he had. The
divorce was acrimonious, so my mother
never talked about him, but I've been
piecing together things for a long time."
Huggler learned through military
records that her father served in the U.S.
Air Force in World War II, learned to fly
and tried to be a fighter pilot, but failed
the eye exam.
Discharged after the war, he settled in
She only remembered some sketchy
details about his adventure in Israel.
Practicing Catholic Laura Huggler, in
her West Bloomfield office, can link her
love of Israel to her father's involvement
in the War of Independence.
Book Fair pamphlet about two brothers
who wrote a book about people who
In 1999, a friend showed her a Jewish
STANDING WITH ISRAEL on page 24