MORE FAI R MEMORIES
Just Like Flying
IS YOUR PENSION AN IOU TO THE IRS"
Rabbi Joey Krakoff captured the prevailing sentiment of "A Fair to Remember:'
the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit's celebration of
Israel's 60th anniversary as the modern Jewish state, when he
said: "It's like taking a huge El Al airplane nonstop from Detroit
to Tel Aviv where you know everybody. You can't even take
three steps without bumping into somebody that you know."
The Aug. 21 event drew 16,000 Metro Detroiters to the
Michigan State Fairgrounds in Detroit.
"It's no wonder that Israel is the great unifying force for
Jews," said Krakoff, rabbi at Congregation Shaarey Zedek in
Oakland County. "It has been for thousands of years, for Jews
of every background and from every place.
"The fair is a microcosm of that."
Rabbi Yechiel Morris of Young Israel of Southfield thought
the expanse of the Detroit Jewish community at the fair was
"I think it's important for different segments of the commu-
nity to be here together to see and talk with one another',' he
said. "We're able to interact and learn about one another in a
more relaxed, open atmosphere."
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September 4 • 2008
Hannan Lis of Farmington Hills was born in Israel and goes back often to visit.
He's also Midwest Zone president of the Jewish National Fund USA. He was elat-
ed by the "A Fair To Remember" and the solidarity with Israel
that it inspired.
Comparing the Federation event with the first Israel event
held at the Michigan State Fairgrounds in 1949 to celebrate the
modern state's first anniversary, Lis said: "Fifty-nine years ago,
it was the feeling that we finally have a state. Today, it's a feeling
of pride, that we have something really special. It's reality; no
longer a dream.
"The celebration here further reinforces our community's
importance to the State of Israel."
Rabbi Levi Shemtov of Friendship Circle in West Bloomfield sent an e-mail mes-
sage to Scott Kaufman, Federation's IsraelSixty director, shortly
after "A Fair To Remember." Kaufman felt the quote offered an
interesting spin on the event that was so successful.
"I am sure that you, like all of us, have many conversations
where people make it sound like there or 20 people left in
this city and 10 of them are old and 8 of the others are out of
work," Shemtov wrote. "Even though this event was planned to
celebrate Israel, it came at the exact right time to give the com-
munity the confidence of seeing that there is still so much that
is right and so much potential in Detroit."
— Keri Guten Cohen, story development editor
Proud To Be Jewish
At Federation's "A Fair to Remember," Danielle Forman, 2, and her grand-
mother Elaine Serling of West Bloomfield paid a visit to the JN's Teen2Teen
booth to share a quote with teen reporters for jnt2t.com .
"We've been walking around and seeing everything, saying hi to all the
people we know, and being proud of being Jewish and celebrating Israel's 60th
together," said Serling.
Elaine's husband Michael's favorite part was "watching our entire community
in the amphitheater come witness the special presentation for Israel," he said.
"It was a wonderful tribute to Israel and the Detroit Jewish community.
His grandkids had fun with arts and crafts and getting the passports stamped.
"It was a great celebration for our family as well," Michael said.
— Gabriella Ring, Teen2Teen intern