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October 15, 2009 - Image 5

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2009-10-15

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The Insider

NEWS & VI WS

Easing Local Hunger

U

are the missing ingredient in Yad Ezra's war
against hunger in the Jewish community. That was
the theme last week at the independent agency's
strolling supper at Adat Shalom Synagogue in Farmington
Hills. The 20-year-old kosher food bank in Berkley is now
serving 3,700 clients a month, the equivalent of 5 percent
or more of Detroit's estimated 72,000 Jews.
Dinner honoree Ron Charfoos told 425
Yad Ezra supporters: "If Yad Ezra doesn't
do it right, we have hungry people. And
I can't think of anything worse than par-
ents having to tell their hungry children
that they have no food for tomorrow."
Neal Zalenko, who served as dinner
co-chair with his wife Esther and Bluma
Ron Charfoos
and Robert Schechter, agreed.
"Seven percent of U.S. Jews live below
the poverty level," Zalenko said. "We are seeing 35 percent
more people than last year, but I'm afraid we are not seeing
them all. Yad Ezra helps everyone who asks, but we are not
yet helping everyone in need."
The 248-page dinner ad book contained a wealth of
information about what the agency does and the growing
needs. On a monthly basis, the organization:
• Provides individuals and families with a package of
perishable and nonperishable food — enough for two
weeks — plus toiletries and household goods.
• Delivers the package to clients who don't have trans-
portation and to rabbis acting as intermediaries for new
clients seeking anonymity.
• Provides special foods for Jewish and American holidays.
• Assists with 465 day school lunches.
• Offers nutrition counseling and a salad bar option for
230 students via its Healthy Minds and Bodies program.
• Using trained Yad Ezra volunteers, registers Oakland
County seniors for the U.S. Food Assistance Program (food
stamps).

• Provides weekend
meal assistance for
low-income residents
"1.1. ARE THE
NGP.E1iE7s:T
at Jewish Senior Life
apartments.
• Provides additional food in cases of emergency.
In all, Yad Ezra expects to distribute 40 tons of free
groceries this year. Some of the goods are contributed, but
most of the items are purchased by the agency. Ninety-
nine percent of its $1.2 million budget comes from indi-
vidual, business and family foundation contributions. Last
week's dinner raised a record $530,000 toward the total.
Development Director Lea Luger said some regular
attendees were unable to come to the event because of the
economy. "But people who could stepped up," she said.
Yad Ezra President Ken Bernard told the
Oct. 5 audience that everyone must learn
how to say "yes. Tikkun olam — you can't
fix the world without saying yes."
He lauded the agency and its volunteers
for providing day, evening and Sunday
hours; and English- and Russian-speaking
volunteers who assist clients with registra-
Ken Bernard
tion, food selection, weighing and loading.
Diane and Emery Klein presented their
volunteer of the year award to Diane Rimar, who has vol-
unteered at the agency three days a week for nine years.
The Kleins said Rimar answers the telephones, handles
client intake forms, supervises data input and has recruit-
ed her daughter as a volunteer.
Rimar responded that the award "was not for me alone,
but for all the volunteers." Yad Ezra has five paid employ-
ees and some 125 regular volunteers.

H NGER

- Alan Hitsky, associate editor

To contribute to Yad Ezra, contact yadezra.org or (248) 548-3207.

IT FINDS YOU,

VERWHELMS YOU

HEAD OVER H

N LOVE

So `NEAR YOUR HEART

O(JR SLEEVE. OR IN TH

LERTY LITTLE

YOUR FAVORITE FAIR OF

OUR-INCH HEELS

AD

cur

TFE SUNSHINE AND

HARE IT WITH THE WORLD

An Unfair Transaction

y releasing some Palestinian prisoners on Sept. 30,
Israel is playing into Hamas' hands because of faint
hope that it might coax the release of Israeli hostage
Gilad Shalit. The reality is that the Gaza Strip's ruling party
considers the Palestinians' release justification of a kidnap-
ping-for-hostage policy.
When Hamas repeats its threat to capture more Israeli
soldiers, the Jewish world must take heed. The U.S.
Department of State-declared terrorist organization isn't
kidding. Hamas released a video of Shalit after Israel
released 20 Palestinian female terrorists jailed for attempt-
ed murder. Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal also affirmed
the organization's intent to kidnap more soldiers until all
Palestinians are free from Israeli jails.
Don't dismiss that as banter. Hamas is capable of pulling
it off. It already is setting the stage for public support. In its
Sept. 30 bulletin, the Israeli watchdog service Palestinian
Media Watch (PMW) documented two Hamas TV video
animations showing Shalit, imprisoned for more than three
years, as Hamas' prime leverage for getting prisoners

B

MORROW IS NO

00K GOOD

released. Both videos applaud the Palestinian kidnapping-
for-hostage policy and advocate more kidnappings of Israeli
soldiers, reports Jerusalem-based PMW.
Israel isn't directly negotiating with Hamas, but it is
through intermediaries. In recent years, Israel has changed
its longstanding policy against negotiating with terrorists.
It has released thousands of terrorists, including murderers,
in exchange for the release of a few Israeli soldiers, bodies
of soldiers and one civilian. In exchange for Shalit, Hamas
wants Israel to release 1,400 imprisoned terrorists, including
hundreds who have murdered Israeli civilians.
At least the Fatah-led West Bank is more prone to bargain
for peace, believers say. Alas, PMW discovered that both
Fatah and Hamas have stated that the kidnapping-for-hos-
tage policy is the Palestinians' best tool — perhaps its only
tool — to force the release of terrorist prisoners.
Jews who think returning Palestinian terrorists to their
handlers won't trigger more violence are either blind opti-
mists or woeful realists. I 1

- Robert Sklar, editor

HE DAY

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October 15 • 2009

5

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