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WE COULDN'T DO IT
To Yeshiva Beth Yehudah
WINNER OF THE
On behalf of all the people whose lives have been improved
in metro Detroit and around the world
We thank the volunteers of the agencies and congregations
who made calls on behalf of the Jewish Federation.
of Metropolitan Detroit
June 7 * 2007
Hyla and Laura Williams at the
Marc Zupmore, Walk2gether team captain
for DTE Energy, greeting a team members
Corporate philanthropic achievement
reflects Jewish community efforts.
he gathering of 2,500 people
at Walk2gether Michigan
was important to the future
of Southeast Michigan as well as an
important lesson for young people,
said two Jewish corporate leaders
who helped recruit walkers and raise
funds for the annual May fundraiser
supporting the youth diversity pro-
grams of the Michigan Roundtable for
Diversity and Inclusion.
"The goal of the Michigan
Roundtable is to try to bring an end
to prejudices, biases and bigotry:' said
Marc Zupmore, Walk2gether team
captain for DTE Energy.
Zupmore, incoming brother-
hood president of Temple Beth El in
Bloomfield Township, has been aware
of how diversity can be an asset to
Zupmore, who recruited 300 walk-
ers and $18,000 this year, says he
was influenced after seeing the play
Children of Abraham, produced by
Brenda Rosenberg, also a member of
Temple Beth El. The play, co-spon-
sored by the Interfaith Partners of
the Michigan Roundtable, promotes
the idea that Jews, Christians and
Muslims share the same biblical father,
Abraham, and can improve their inter-
personal and interfaith relations by
establishing a dialogue built on that
"That sold me more on the cause
of the Michigan Roundtable and how
you could have a positive impact just
through understanding one another,
not saying necessarily that you're right,
you're wrong, but understanding. I
think that's the key:' Zupmore said.
Proceeds from Walk2gether
Michigan benefit the youth diversity
programs of the Michigan Roundtable.
That includes Leadership in the New
Century, a high school-based initiative,
said Steve Spreitzer of the Roundtable.
Zupmore has a friendly rivalry with
another corporate team captain, Hyla
Williams of Comerica Bank. The two
corporations have been major sup-
porters of Walk2gether Michigan in
recent years, largely due to the work of
both people. Williams, a former Beth
El member, recruited more than 500
employees at Comerica for the walk,
raising an estimated $26,000.
Williams knows the value of youth
diversity programs from experi-
ence. Her daughter, Laura, attended
a diversity camp funded in part by
the Michigan Roundtable in which
students from Jewish, Christian,
and Muslim communities, includ-
ing African Americans and Arab
Americans, attended cultural muse-
ums together to learn about each
other's heritage. Her involvement was
linked to her participation in Shalom
Street at the Jewish Community Center
in West Bloomfield.
Laura, who has helped with regis-
tration at Walk2gether Michigan, said,
"I think it's great how all different
kinds of people are coming together
and learning about diversity"
It's important for children to experi-
ence events like these, Hyla Williams
said, "to become engaged in the com-
munity, eliminate their fears and gain
understanding so that when they enter
the workforce they won't have the
same fears we had." 7
For more information on the Detroit-based
Michigan Roundtable, a non-profit human
relations agency: www.miroundtable.org.