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February 08, 2007 - Image 6

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2007-02-08

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Retire HMC Debt
But does the HMC have to change its
Alan Zekelman, along with his brothers
name to the Zekelman Family Holocaust
Barry and Clayton, is to be commended
Memorial Center?
for the enormously generous gift of $10
I understand how it feels to have one's
million to the Holocaust Memorial Center
loved ones who have perished memorial-
in Farmington Hills ("$10 Million Gift,"
ized. When I see my brother's name in the
Jan. 25, page 15). The facility has appropri- Kenny Goldman Basketball League at the
ately been renamed the Zekelman Family
Jewish Community Center of Metropolitan
Holocaust Memorial Center.
Detroit, I feel that he's still there with us
The gift comes at an especially perilous
— and hopefully a little part of each child
time. Iranian President
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
and others have been
aggressively fanning the
flames of anti-Semitism
with their hate-filled
rhetoric denying the
Holocaust. Globally, anti-
Semitism is on the rise.
The Zekelmans' gift
clearly demonstrates the
commitment of the Jewish
people to preserving the
memory of 6 million
Jewish men, women and
children who perished
Zekelman Family Holocaust Memorial Center
during the Holocaust and
to ensure that the lessons
of history will never be forgotten.
who plays basketball.
The Zekelmans have set a magnificent
But putting any name in front of the
example for others to follow. Many in our
"Holocaust Memorial Center" feels wrong.
community are financially capable of
The Holocaust is a horrifying word that
making a similar impact. The Holocaust
stands alone for the destruction of at least
Memorial Center has a remaining debt of
6 million Jews. And the words "Holocaust
$2.8 million. If the Zekelmans can donate
Memorial" are meaningful because of
$10 million as a family, it is entirely rea-
the memories they stir of the loss — the
sonable that our collective community can unbelievable loss — of so many wondrous
retire the debt.
The late Simon Wiesenthal once said,
Everyone who lost their loved ones are
"Survival is a privilege which entails obliga- part of that same loss.
tions. I am forever asking myself what I can
I simply hope that the simple name,
do for those who have not survived." The
"Holocaust Memorial Center," will still
Zekelman brothers have acted. Can you?
remain the same.

others so that they know there are treat-
ments available, there is hope and that
there are always better options to explore
for those struggling with similar problems.
Our brother suffered from untreated
anxiety and depression. Many people do
not recognize that these mental illnesses
are potentially life-threatening medical
conditions. In fact, most people who com-
mit suicide suffer from diagnosable and
treatable mood disorders and many may
have co-existent substance-abuse disorders
that may be an attempt at self-treatment.
In hindsight, there were many clues lead-
ing up to Mark's suicide that family, friends
and loved ones missed. We wish that we
would have known better what to do.
Shocked and saddened by this loss, but
seeking solace in knowing that we could
help prevent another suicide, we and
friends have formed the Mark A. Heller
Foundation: ww-w.markahellerfoundation.
org. This is a local not-for-profit charitable
organization committed to educating the
general public regarding mental illness,
substance abuse and diseases that can
result in suicide, with a focus on the recog-
nition of warning signs and education of
what friends, family and loved ones should
do once warning signs become apparent.
If you wish to contribute please make
donations payable to:
Mark A. Heller Foundation, P.O. Box
201090, Ferndale, MI 48220.
There are many good resources available
both in print and online. If you or someone
that you know is feeling suicidal or show-
ing signs that they may be, please take it
seriously and take action. Trained counsel-
ors are available 24 hours a day to answer
any questions on the issue at (800) 273-
TALK and information is available online
at www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org .

Raymond Dubin

Arnie Goldman

Daniel Heller, Chicago

Farmington Hills

Farmington Hills

Rachel Heller, Ferndale

Keep Same Name
It was nice to read that the Holocaust
Memorial Center received a $10 million
gift from the Zekelman family. I'm sure
that Rabbi Charles Rosenzveig was both
overjoyed and relieved for the reduction
of debt for his inspiring institution ("$10
Million Gift," Jan. 25, page 15).

Battling Suicide
We would like to thank you for your
touching, candid obituary about our
beloved brother Mark Heller ("He Cared
About Others," Jan. 18, page 73).
We are pleased that you chose to con-
front the difficult issue of suicide in your
paper and would like to help to educate

Cary Heller, Farmington Hills

Reality At WSU
As full-time faculty members at Wayne
State University for more than 20 years
and as proud members of Detroit's Jewish
community, the letter by Harriet Drissman
("Anti-Israel Bias At WSU," page 6) and the
article by Don Cohen ("Decision At WSU,"

t4 nurnEr 'cha Don't Know


•liewuag pue epebin8 ipueluu :Jamsuy


February 8


Allen C. Goodman, professor of economics

Janet R. Hankin, professor of sociology

Wayne State University


Nevins' Local Legacy
During my 15 months in Metro Detroit,
I have been most impressed by the pro-
found commitment of Rabbi Daniel
Nevins of Adat Shalom Synagogue in
Farmington Hills to building bridges
between faith communities ("Nevins
Named JTS Dean: Feb. 1, page 17).
He is leaving behind a legacy of accom-
plishment in interfaith work that will con-
tinue to challenge and inspire me.

Robert Cohen

executive director

Jewish Community Council

of Metropolitan Detroit

Bloomfield Township

How to Send Letters
We prefer letters relating to IN articles. We reserve the right to edit or

Can you name the only three countries to refuse the Nazis' request to
deport their Jewish citizens during World War II?

:','Copyright 2007, Jewish Renaissance Media

page 20) in the Feb. 1 issue describe a uni-
versity that is foreign to us.
Ms. Drissman refers to "unacceptable
anti-Semitic and anti-Israel hatreds" that
presumably exist on campus. Mr. Cohen
implies that outside political pressures
were decisive in a law-school hiring deci-
sion. He paraphrases a third-year law
student who had been "concerned that the
campus environment that has been hostile
to Jewish and pro-Israel students" would
be exacerbated by the hiring of a single
As Jewish faculty members who teach
students of all colors and religions, we
have never encountered the types of
hostility implied in the letter and in the
article. The letter writers and the Jewish
News continue to refer to the complaints
of a single group, StandWithUs, to imply a
toxic atmosphere at the university. This is
simply not the case.
Universities are.places for vigorous
debates of all kinds of issues; they are also
places that cherish academic freedom and
free speech, even if the results are intellec-
tually uncomfortable to participants.
Detroit and the Jewish community are
fortunate to have a high-quality university
to educate local students and to provide
path-breaking research to the world. Let
us have heartfelt and vigorous discussions,
but let's also turn down the heat.

reject letters. Letters of 225 words or less are considered first. Longer
ones will be subject to trimming. Letter writers are limited in frequency
of publication. Letters must be original and contain the name, address
and title of the writer and a day phone number. Non-electronic cop-
ks must be hand signed. Send letters to the JN: 29200 Northwestern
Highway, Suite 110, Southfield, MI 48034; fax (248) 304-8885;
e-mail, letters@the jewishnews.com . We prefer e-mail.

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