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August 07, 2008 - Image 13

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2008-08-07

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of Oak Park
the 1949

Israel cel-
ebration at

the Michigan

State Fair.

Gabriella Burman
Special to the Jewish News


n 1949, Drora Kleinplotz of Oak
Park was a 23-year-old active Jewish
Detroiter who rode a wave of enthu-
siasm to the Michigan State Fairgrounds,
where nearly 12,000 members of the city's
Jewish community celebrated the first
anniversary of the State of Israel.
It was, she recalls, "an incredible gather-
ing." People waved Israeli flags, danced the
hora, sang "Hatikvah," and joyfully wished
one another mazel tov as the night wore
Morton Plotnick of West Bloomfield,
then 13, also was at the fair. "It was the
place to be:' he remembers. "It [Israel's
first anniversary] was a time of amazing

excitement and, because of what had hap-
pened during the Shoah, there was a great
sense of empowerment and invincibility. It
was moving!'
In the 60 years hence, both Kleinplotz
and Plotnick have maintained their Jewish
involvement — she as a Hebrew teacher
and he as a former executive direc-
tor of the Jewish Community Center of
Metropolitan Detroit — but neither has
ever forgotten the contagious emotion of
that day in 1949.
Now, the Jewish Federation of
Metropolitan Detroit is hoping to rekindle
that feeling for a new generation at "A
Fair to Remember;' honoring Israel's
60th anniversary on Thursday, Aug. 21,
at the Michigan State Fairgrounds in
Detroit. The event is the culmination of

Federation's yearlong salute to the Jewish
state. A children's concert and a perfor-
mance by Israeli pop star Noa with the
Detroit Symphony Orchestra happened
earlier in the year.
The one-day event precedes the open-
ing of the 2008 Michigan State Fair. More
than 10,000 people are expected to attend,
including close to 3,000 JCC Maccabi
athletes who will be in town. Tickets
are being sold online at jewishdetroit.
org/israelsixty, along with parking passes,
which will speed access to the fairgrounds
parking lots.
Billed as a party for the entire Jewish
community, the event includes all the
usual rides, attractions and entertain-
ment that are part of the Michigan State
Fair as well as Israel-themed activities

— from tree planting to an archaeologi-
cal dig, kosher food, "gefilte" fishing and
a twilight musical tribute to Israel featur-
ing Grammy-nominated musician Peter
Himmelman, the Moshav Band and per-
formances by the Bloomfield Birmingham
Symphony Orchestra, gospel choirs and
Detroit's Drummer Boyz. Local cantors
will represent local Jewish musicians.

Israeli -Themed Fair

When guests arrive, they will enter
through a newly constructed facade
resembling Israel's Ben-Gurion
International Airport. Children will receive
an Israeli passport to be stamped upon
the completion of each activity in which

'A Fair To Remember' on page A15

August 7 • 2008


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