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January 05, 2006 - Image 32

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2006-01-05

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A Mission

Families connect with
Israel and Israelis in
Jerusalem and the
Central Galilee.

Don Cohen

Special to the Jewish News


elcome home! That is
what members of the
Jewish Federation of
Metropolitan Detroit's Family
Miracle Mission have heard
wherever they've gone. In Israel,
the greeting emphasized that
Israel is the Jewish homeland,
but it also was appropriate corn-
ing from family and friends
Sunday night, Jan. 1, when 580
Mission-goers returned to
Detroit. The final 150 return on
Thursday, Jan. 5.
At its height, 730 Mission-
goers celebrated together and
spread out across Jerusalem and
places north to see and experi-
ence all they could.
"It has been an incredible
bonding experience," said Ellen
Busch of West Bloomfield, who
told her Temple Israel bus mates


how great they had been as they
headed to the airport. Busch
traveled with her children Eric,
15, and Jennifer, 18.
"They connected with their
Jewish essence and now they
want to do something with it,"
Busch said.
Neither child had been active
in Jewish youth activities nor
had been excited to go to Israel.
"Now Jen wants to go on
Birthright [an Israel visitation-
program for college students]
and Eric wants to go on the
(Detroit Federation sponsored)
Teen Mission this summer," she
In Jerusalem, Mission-goers
encountered crowded hotels and
streets, evidence that tourists
have finally returned to Israel.
Large tour buses wound through
small streets heading to the Old
City, with visits to the Western
Wall and its tunnel, the

Randi Katzman an itache

Tisdale, both of West Bloomfield,

and Zoe Yedwab of Commerce

Township, all 10, visit Yad Vashem

olocaust Museum in Jerusale


Photo by Debbie Hill

Jerusalem Archeological
Park with its Davidson
Center (named for Detroit's
own Bill Davidson), the
Jewish Quarter and the City
of David.
Everyone visited Yad
Vashem, the Holocaust
Martyrs' and Heroes'
Remembrance Authority,
whose new museum cuts
through a mountaintop.
The three synagogues with
the largest delegations, Adat
Shalom Synagogue of
Farmington Hills,

Congregation Shaarey Zedek of
Oakland County and Temple
Israel of West Bloomfield, all
held special weekday b'nai mitz-
vah services for those who
recently, or will soon, celebrate
the religious milestone. The joy-
ous events were the centerpieces
of these congregational activi-
"I liked how when we were all
together the rabbi said the bless-
ings over us because it was one
big community and one big
family," said Danny Nemer, 12, of
West Bloomfield, who will soon

become bar mitzvah at Shaarey
"It was really cool how they
took out the whole Torah and
made it really different,"
Samantha "Sam" Simmons, 12,
of Milford said about the Temple
Israel service."My grandparents
[participants Allen and Margaret
Charnes of Commerce
Township] urged me to do it.
They told me it would be real
memorable. I'm glad I did."
Nancy and Jeff Adler attended
the Adat Shalom service with
their children, Mitchell, 15,

Left: Dustin Banooni, 10, of Bloomfield Hills, Seth Blazofsky, 10, of West Bloomfield and Mitchell

Fetter, 11, of West Bloomfield sit on the southern steps where pilgrims would bring temple sacrifices.


December 29 2005

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