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Farmington Hills continues to have a Jewish mayor with councilman
Jerry Ellis replacing Vicki Barnett for the next two years.
In a Dec.16 letter appearing in the Farmington Observer, Barnett
wrote to the community: "I am most proud of maintaining a culture
of civility and respect at City Hall. As we are all painfully aware, many
governmental bodies have degenerated into partisan and personal
bickering instead of solving the problems of their respective commu-
nities. Not in Farmington Hills. I worked hard to build consensus and
always allowed residents the full opportunity to speak."
Barnett was first elected to the city council in 1995. She was mayor
four years. She has announced her candidacy for the state House seat
being vacated by Aldo Vagnozzi, D-Farmington Hills.
Ellis, an attorney, has been a councilman for eight years. He previ-
ously served on the city's parks and recreation commission.
Participants in Ann Arbor didn't break the dreidel-spinning record,
- Robert A. Sklar, editor
but had fun.
Spinning For A Record
The University of Michigan saw the largest crowd ever gather in an
attempt to break the world record for most dreidels spun at one time.
More than 490 students and community members participated in the
unique event on the third night of Chanukah, Dec. 6, outside at U-M's
Ingalls Mall. in Ann Arbor
Every participant received a dreidel, a marathon number and a free
Chanukah kit that included candles, menorah and gelt. The kosher
Dunkin' Donuts in Oak Park donated more than 1,000 kosher donuts
for the crowd.
The event was planned by junior Melissa Morof, U-M Hillel's major
events and campus activities chair.
Overall, the event fell short of breaking the world record of 602
dreidels set by the University of Maryland. Hillel plans a second
attempt to break the record next Chanukah.
Youth Mental Illness
Gail Katz had nowhere to turn for help two decades ago when her
young daughter exhibited signs of mental illness. Since then, Katz,
now president of Kadima's board of directors, has pushed for a Youth
Kadima is a Southfield-based nonprofit mental health agency that
assists young adults and adults struggling with mental illness.
One year ago, Katz and the Kadima Youth Initiative Committee met
with West Bloomfield-based Jewish Family Service in hopes of starting
a program for families with children exhibiting signs of mental illness.
The two agencies received a grant from the Detroit Jewish communi-
ty's Jewish Fund to begin Kadima's Family Advocacy Support Group. It
enables Kadima to work with families of elementary, middle and high
school youth who live with mental illness. In the past year, many fami-
lies have benefited.
Because of the Kadima Youth Initiative, the focus of Kadima's educa-
tional conference held on Nov. 16 at Oakland University outlined servic-
es for affected youth in Michigan. The conference, "When Mental Illness
First Appears: Advocating for our Youth at Risk',' drew 400 professionals
and parents involved with young people with psychiatric disabilities.
Keynote speaker Ross Szabo, youth spokesperson for the National
Mental Health Awareness Campaign in Los Angeles, described his per-
sonal struggle with mental illness.
"The enormous response to this conference emphasizes the need for
information and support for our youth who exhibit signs of mental ill-
ness," said Leah Foltyn, Kadima's community-relations coordinator.
- Robert A. Sklar, editor
For more information on the Kadima Youth Initiative, contact staffer
Lisa Kaufman at (248) 559-8235, ext. 104.
December 27 2007
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Latest From Israel
Meeting with State Sen. John Pappageorge, R-13th District, are
NCJW members Paula Wolfe of West Bloomfield, Judy Rosenberg
of Birmingham and Beverly Frank of Bloomfield Township.
Advocating For Women
On a recent visit to Lansing, more than two-dozen members of the
National Council of Jewish Women Greater Detroit Section visited
their state representatives and senators to lobby for two bills currently
awaiting legislative approval.
These bills concern embryonic stem cell research and contraceptive
coverage for women.
If passed, the bill on embryonic stem cell research would allow
scientists to study stem cells from embryos that would otherwise be
discarded as medical waste.
According to many scientists, embryonic stem cells hold the poten-
tial for major medical advances in treating and preventing Parkinson's
disease, Alzheimer's disease, spinal cord injuries, strokes, burns, heart
disease, diabetes, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, among
other diseases and disabilities.
NCJW members also advocated for bills that would require HMO
and other health insurance policies to include the same coverage for
prescription contraceptives as they do for other covered prescription
The Michigan Civil Rights Commission has determined that refusal
to provide contraceptive coverage — medication that is primarily pre-
scribed for and purchased by women — is sex discrimination under
the Elliot Larsen Civil Rights Act.
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