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July 14, 2005 - Image 14

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2005-07-14

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Something Extra

Doer Profile


Cities: West Bloomfield; Del Mar, Calif.; Aspen, Colo.
Kudos: Finding Life's Joy

Andy Israel has been all over the world, but one
of his most memorable experiences occurred on a
mountaintop in Aspen in the company of a 13-
year-ol d girl named Angie, a novice skier and
cancer survivor. Angie was there courtesy of the
Silver Lining Foundation, which provides posi-
tive life experiences for children who have cancer. Israel
Israeli a part-time ski instructor; was asked to
volunteer his services.
He was so touched by the experience that he included it
in his online travel journah "Tales from the Road" Not
only did he tell of Angies joy at skiing, but he asked the
more than MO people on his e-mail list to support Silver
Lining In only two weeks, he received close to $50, 000 in
Israel refers to himself as "semi-retired" from the finan-
cial services industry, although he still does some consulting
and asset management. He was an accounting major at
Michigan State University and received an MBA in
finance from the Wharton School of the University of
A former West Bloomfield resident with many ties here,
Israel embraces what he calls a "surf and turf" lifestyle,
spending his summers on the ocean in Del Mar and his
winters on the slopes in Aspen. He also enjoys internation-

Andy Israel
with two young
ski students on
the slopes in

al travel.
Israel grew up in Southfield with his par-
ents, the late Si and Muriel Israeli and his
brothers, Stuart and Howard who live in the area.
He celebrated his bar mitzvah at Temple Israel in
West Bloomfield and has served on the boards of
several local Jewish organizations including ORT,'
the JCC and the Michigan Jewish Sports Hall of

What was so powerful about teaching Angie?
"This tough young lady wasn't complaining about
her boots hurting, or the cold, or anything else. She
was happy just to be there, sharing the beautiful
scenery with her family.
"After a run through a 10-foot section of trees and
powder snow, she shouted, 'Awesome!' and her eyes lit
up like 1,000-watt bulbs. I teased her about being a
`powder hound', and we banged our poles together in a
skiers' version of a high five. At lunchtime, she bragged
to her morn, who was so proud she was speechless. It's
a good thing I had my dark glasses on, because I
couldn't stop the tears that were welling up."

What impressed you most about this experience?
"Angie's enthusiasm. Her boundless joy at simply
being alive was contagious. When I realized that this
little girl considers every minute of her life as a won-
derful bonus, it gave me a totally new perspective.
"Also, I was overwhelmed by the generosity of the
people from Detroit, most of whom had no personal
connection to the organization or the cause. I'm sure
that my excitement about Angie came across in my
online newsletter, and my family and friends, and even
a few strangers, responded in kind."

Do you plan to continue your involvement with
Silver Lining?
"I've been asked to come back next winter to give
skiing lessons, which I'm looking forward to doing.
This experience taught me that true giving is more
than just writing a check."

— Ronelle Grier, special writer

To donate or learn more about the Silver Lining
Foundation, visit www.silverliningfoundation.org , or con-
tact Andy Israel at amil@mindspring.com .


a Doer — someone of any age doing interesting, meaningful things in their life outside of their job? Share suggestions with Ken Guten Cohen, story devel-
opment editor, at (248) 351-5144 or e-mail: kcohen@theiewishnews-com

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