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May 04, 2006 - Image 94

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2006-05-04

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Michael Watch and Joyce Keller

will share their b'nai mitzvah.

Special B'nai Mitzvah

Training helps bonding of Jewish values for couple.

b'nai mitzvah on Saturday after-
noon, May 20.
Both said the upcoming event
will represent a commitment to
their Judaism.
Actually, their professional
backgrounds immerse them in a
Jewish environment and values.
Joyce has been the JARC execu-
tive director for nearly 28 years
and Michael has been the pro-
gram director for Jewish Hospice
and Chaplaincy Network's
bereavement services for nearly
a year. Joyce is also on the Temple
Israel board.
Joyce, 54, was raised in a con-
servative Jewish tradition before
bat mitzvahs were common. She
was unaffiliated during most of
her adulthood, "attending a vari-
ety of services and never quite
finding the spiritual connection
I sought!'
She and Michael were mar-
ried in 1994 at Congregation Shir
Tikvah in Troy. She was 42 and

he was 39."I used -to joke that if
you aren't married by 40, God
gives you a special dispensation
if you marry someone who's not
Jewish," she said.
But she and Michael always
"had a great respect for each
other's religious beliefs and occa-
sionally attended each other's
services. I never requested nor
did we discuss Michael's convert-
He always felt she should have
some congregational affiliation
and, at his urging, they joined
Temple Israel in 2001. They
attended infrequently, even dur-
ing the High Holidays.
Joyce felt the membership was
a waste" and canceled it in July
2003 without him. Two days later,
Michael told Joyce that he had
met with Rabbi Harold Loss to
discuss conversion.
Michael made it clear that if
he converted, he would become
deeply committed to his Judaism

and that he
wouldn't "do
it alone and
would drag
me with him
if necessary,'
she said.
Soon the Waterford couple's
temple activities accelerated.
They began attending Friday
night Shabbat services regularly,
and Joyce found "the spiritual
connection and fulfillment I had
longed for." Michael also urged
that they observe the kosher
dietary laws.
Michael, a 25-year veteran of
the Southfield police department
before retiring six years ago as
deputy chief, sings with T'filah
Team, a cantor's chorus, serves
on temple committees and takes
synagogue classes.
Joyce said preparing for their
b'nai mitzvah "has been a won-
derful bonding experience for us,
cementing the shared experience

in loving memory of her mater-
nal grandmother Lynda Racklin
Davis and her maternal great-
grandmother Betty Racklin.

Sept. 25
Wendy and Howard Himelhoch of
Livonia are thrilled to announce
the birth of
their son,
Julian (Zev).
Proud grand-
parents are
Marcy and Paul
Himelhoch of
Beverly Hills. Wesley is named in
loving memory of his late great-
uncle William Nelson and his late
grandfather Julian Hammer.

Jacob Eliot Duchan (Jacov
Eliahu), son
of Ann and
Gary Duchan
of Huntington
Woods, will
be called to
the Torah as
a bar mitzvah
on Saturday,
May 6, at
Congregation Shir Tikvah.
Celebrating with Jacob will be his
brothers Ben, Noah and Caleb.
His proud grandparents are
Phyllis and Harold Duchan of
West Bloomfield. Jacob is also the
grandson of the late Ben Bennett.
Jacob attends Norup Middle
School in Oak Park and has
enjoyed entertaining residents at
Alexander Mercy Living, playing
his cello and sharing his pet rab-
bit as part of his mitzvah experi-

Leonard Poger
Copy Editor

oyce Keller was raised
in a Jewish environ-
ment but didn't find
spiritual satisfaction until a few
years ago. Her husband, Michael
Walch, with a strong Catholic
background, had a similar expe-
rience while re-examining his
own religious beliefs.
But what a difference a few
years make. Though they mar-
ried 12 years ago, Joyce was
ready to cancel her Temple
Israel membership in 2003
when her husband surprised her
with an announcement that he
was going to begin conversion
The couple not only found
the satisfaction they were look-
ing for at Temple Israel in West
Bloomfield, they are nearing the
conclusion of studies for their




April 10
Barbara (Bennett) and Jimmy
Sugarman of Huntington Woods
are delighted to announce the
birth of their son, Gabriel Hillel
(Gershon Hillel). Welcoming
Gabriel home are big sister Leah
and big brother Aaron. Also
sharing in their joy are grand-
parents Shelley and Ed Kohl
of West Bloomfield, Mary and
Arthur Sugarman of Farmington
Hills and great-grandparents
Belrose and Lou Landgarten of
Novi. Gabriel is named in loving
memory of his paternal great-
grandfather George Bennett and
maternal great-grandmother
Hilda Landgarten. Gabe is also
the grandson of the late Howard

Feb. 23
Kimberley (Davis) and Paul
Bernzweig of Huntington Woods
are proud to
the birth of
their diugh-
ter, Sophia
Lynda (Esther
Bracha). Proud
are Sam and Nola Davis, for-
merly of West Bloomfield, and
Albert and Sima Bernzweig of
San Francisco. Sophia is named


May 4 • 2006

Feb. 14
Angie (Pierce) and Adam
Kutinsky of Sylvan Lake joy-
fully announce the birth of their
son, Jonah Beck Kutinsky.
Jonah is lovingly welcomed
by his maternal grandpar-
ents Gary and Beverly Pierce
of Bloomfield Hills, paternal
grandparents Lesley and Jay
Kutinsky of Farmington Hills,
maternal great-grandparents
Barbara Bass of LauderHill, Fla.,
Libby Pierce of Southfield, Irene
and Alvin Goodman of Chicago.

Feb. 6
Paula Requeijo and Aaron
Rochlen of Austin, Texas, are
proud to announce the birth
of their son, Dylan Andrew
Rochlen. Grandparents
are Rita and Ken Rochlen of
Bloomfield Hills; Guadalupe
Carballal of Buenos Aires,
Argentina; Oscar Requeijo of
Buenos Aires. Great-grandmoth-
er is Emilia Carballal of Buenos
Aires. Dylan Andrew is named
after his maternal and paternal
great-grandfathers Amadeo
Carballal and Albert Schneider.



Matthew Jacob Cataldo,
son of Sheri and Chris Cataldo, .
became a bar mitzvah on Friday,
April 28, at
Temple Shir
Sharing in the
were his broth-
er Michael
and his proud
Lynda and
Walter Czeizler and Terri and Roy
Mathew attends Walnut Creek
Middle School in Walled Lake.
He found participating in Blight
Busters as one of his mitzvah
activities to be both enjoyable and

Rachael Sadie Goldberg will
celebrate her
bat mitzvah
Friday, May
5, at Temple
Israel. She is
the daughter
of Dr. Joanne
and Jonathan

of discovering and rediscovering
Echoing her comments,
Michael said that sharing
Judaism has "deepened the bond
between us and has opened so
many connections to the com-
munity. Becoming a bar mitzvah
is affirming my decision to live
as a Jewish man."
Attending Catholic schools for
the first 12 years of his education,
Michael said while learning a
new language in his introduction
to Judaism class, "I worked hard
at it" and found it "challenging"
as he completed the conversion
program in February of 2004.
Joyce's familiarity with
the language helped him, he
stressed.! I

Goldberg and the sister of
Danielle, Josh and Michelle.
Her proud grandparents are
Linda and Dr. Larry Sandler and
Florence and. Harvey Herrmann.
Attending Dunckel Middle
School in Farmington Hills,
Rachael found it very meaningful
to volunteer as one of her mitzvah
projects at Almost Home, an ani-
mal rescue shelter.

Steven Benjamin Goldenthal,
son of Claudia and Robert
Goldenthal, will read from the
Torah at
Temple Israel
on the occasion
of his bar mitz-
vah Saturday,
May 6. He is the
brother of David
and Haylev His
proud grand-
parents are
Sarah and Alex
Rhodes. He is also the grandchild
of the late Hannah and the late A.J.
Steven attends Bloomfield
Hills Middle School. He felt his
most meaningful mitzvah project
involved making tools that were
sold to raise funds for underprivi-
leged people.

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