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April 30, 2009 - Image 29

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2009-04-30

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Thoughts

A MONTHLY MIX OF IDEAS

George Cantor's Reality Check column will return next week

Bond With Israel Today

I

have to admit it. The only time I really
think about Israel Bonds is on Yom
Kippur. It's usually because of the per-
suasive 10-minute speech about the wonder
of Israel Bonds, followed by men at Adat
Shalom Synagogue in Farmington Hills
who walk down the aisles, holding their
white boxes, waiting for those who are com-
mitted to helping Israel, no matter what.
I sometimes feel like a child with spin-
ach on his plate. Yes, I know it's good for
me and great for Israel. But so often, I
think that I have too many debts and bills
to pay and, besides, I will get to it another
time. The problem is: I rarely think about
it again until next Yom Kippur.
When one of my Israel Bonds came due
last October, I determined I would cash it
in after the beginning of the year, to avoid
paying taxes in 2008. I procrastinated
and finally decided to cash it in at the
Israel Bond office in Southfield two weeks
before Israel Independence Day (Yom
HaAtzmaut, April 29).
When I sat in the office with Paula
Lebowitz, the Israel Bond representative, I
looked at the beautiful framed posters of
Israel and thought, "Why not now? Why
wait for Yom Kippur?" My wife, Judy, and
I should reinvest it for our family's future.
It's a lot safer than the stock market; I
won't have to pay taxes; and I'll get to help

Israel for its anniversary, in a
time of great peril and need.
I felt like Popeye eating a can
of spinach. I felt strong and
ready to defend Israel myself.
It's time to bond with Israel
today, not just on the High
Holidays. With Iran preparing to
join the nuclear age and openly
declaring the goal of wiping
out Israel, and Israel's other
enemies just waiting for the
right moments to attack Jews,
we simply can't wait any longer
Did you know that the Israeli govern-
ment has approved a $78 million budget
for implementing the reinforcement of
exposed civilian structures located within
close range of Hamas terrorist rockets
launched from Gaza? Israel Bonds help
pay for the critical protection of Israeli
citizens. Bonds also pay for water supply
services, drainage and sewage facilities,
power plants, educational institutions,
environmental protection and transporta-
tion systems.
Would you rather invest in the
American stock market that has declined
over 40 percent in the last year and some-
times seems as stable as Iranian President
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad? I know. I, like
so many other Americans, have felt worn

out by the worry and stress
about savings and retirement
accounts. I realize now that
if I had invested most of my
savings over the last few years
in Israel Bonds, I would have
slept wonderfully, gotten a very
reasonable return and helped
Israel survive, all at the same
time.
Israel has never defaulted on
payment of principal or inter-
est since the first bonds were
issued in 1951.1 can tell you I would feel a
lot safer with money in Israel Bonds than
in Citibank.
Unfortunately, too many investors in
Israel Bonds are Jewish Americans who
lived when Israel was born. Now, it is time
for the younger generation to act.
If you have traveled to Israel for
Birthright, buy a bond now. If you have
taken your family to Masada and the
Western Wall, call 1 (888) 352-6556 or e-
mail detroit@israelbonds.com . If you have
never been to Israel and hope to go some
day, take a few moments to help your fel-
low Jews in Israel be able to keep their
country strong.
You can give Mazel Tov Bonds for $100
as a bar or bat mitzvah gift, which can
help a young Jew pay for college. You

Honest Approach To Regionalism

0

n Tuesday, May 5, Detroiters
will go to the polls to choose
either Dave Bing or interim
Mayor Ken Cockrel Jr. as mayor.
Even though the campaigning has
been somewhat on the dull side, as
compared to what Detroit voters have
witnessed in elections past, this elec-
tion could very well determine the
next chapter of regional cooperation in
Detroit.
Coming on the heels of the failed
Cobo Hall deal between the executive
and legislative branches of local govern-
ment, it is hard to imagine what the next
priority issue will be.
For there to be regional coopera-
tion between Detroit and the suburbs
(Oakland County in particular), we must
have honest dialogue with regard to how
to confront the issues that affect us all.
Detroit cannot function indepen-
dently, with no input from municipali-
ties outside of its boundaries. The city

needs all the help it can get
to address complex problems
dating back decades. That
means Detroit needs — in
fact, must have — leaders
who understand that we can
no longer operate with a
mindset that sets Detroit up
as some sort of island with
the wherewithal to "do its own
thing."
Similarly, Oakland County
and its leaders cannot operate
in a manner that sends mixed
signals regarding their desire for and
commitment to regional development
(especially when Detroit takes center
stage in the discussions). While it is
important for Oakland County to articu-
late its priorities to this region, it must
bear in mind that like Detroit, it cannot
operate on its own.
The failure of the Cobo Hall deal
should teach our leaders an important

lesson — that political
maneuvering and posturing
is the wrong way to conduct
business, particularly when
there is so much at stake,
when one wrong step could
be a major setback.
Operating with a separat-
ist mindset is not an option.
Neither are fear, mistrust and
double-dealing.
Although there has been
and will continue to be a cer-
tain amount of discomfort, it
is nothing less than common sense that
we work together.
We move forward together or we
flounder.

can invest $1,000, $5,000 or more for a
three-year or five-year savings bond that
pays way more than bank money market
accounts. You can get paid interest twice a
year or at the end of the investment time
period, or decide to roll it over when the
time comes.
There are many options for anyone who
believes in the importance of saving for
one's financial future as well as the safe,
secure future of Israel.
I know I'm starting to sound like Jerry
Lewis and that many are facing financial
hardships, but I really believe everyone can
invest something in Israel. Now is the time
for every Jew — young, middle-aged and
elderly — to celebrate Israel Independence
Day with a gift of an Israel Bond.
Spinach isn't the right metaphor. Buying
Israel Bonds is more like eating kosher
matzah ball chicken soup. It's delicious
and nutritious; you know you are doing
something good for yourself and good for
your soul. You will be able to sleep soundly
at night, knowing your investments are
safe and that your mitzvah is a small step
toward preserving the Jewish people. L.

Arnie Goldman of Farmington Hills has no affili-

ation with Israel Bonds, whose local registered

representative is Paula Lebowitz, (248) 352-

6555.

Answering
Israel's Critics

The Charge

Palestinian leadership on the West
Bank is saying that there will be no
progress toward peace without a freeze
to Jewish settlement activity
there.

The Answer
Successive Israeli governments have
held to a pledge to not build new
settlements. The Palestinian Authority
needs to stop shouting about
settlements and "occupation" and
focus on fighting terrorism through
reliable security forces, building a
thriving economy, and establishing
the rule of law.

Bankole Thompson is the senior editor/exec-

utive editor of the Detroit-based Michigan

Chronicle newspaper. He and JN Publisher

Arthur Horwitz will periodically write for

each other's publication.

— Allan Gale, Jewish Community

Relations Council

of Metropolitan Detroit

© Jewish Renaissance Media, April 30, 2009

April 30 2009

A29

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