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May 10, 2012 - Image 31

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2012-05-10

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"When you plan an Israeli hike, you
never think about the security of the
borders; you assume your safety from
any outside threats:' she said. "Being in
Yehudia Nature Reserve, which is part
of the Golan Heights, itself not part
of Israel until 1967, you get a unique
perspective of just how important land
in tiny Israel is:'
Leadership on the ARZA World-
hosted mission included Rabbi
Yedwab, Rabbi Harold Loss and Cantor
Michael Smolash, and their wives,
Wendy, Stisan and Dr. Jen Green.
Green is a naturopathic doctor with
an infectious love for the land and the
"Spiritually," she told me as we
boarded the bus after hiking Yehudia,
"until we're connected to the land, we
can't fully realize ourselves as a people.
For example, planting a tree — as
well as carrying that mitz fvah over to
everyday living through tlin-gs like
recycling and limiting water usage
— underscores that we do things not
just for ourselves, but also for future
What a cogent thought. It under-
scores why Federation's Teen Mission
to Israel every other year and Israeli
Camper Program at Tamarack each
summer are pivotal to helping build
trans-Atlantic ties among ancestral
mispachah (family).
The night before the Yehudia trek
for the hardcore hikers and a gentler
hike along the Banias River for other
mission-goers, all 114 of us enjoyed
dinner hospitality at the homes of
residents in Michigan Jewry's partner-
ship region in the Central Galilee — in
the communities of Timrat, Kibbutz
HaSolelim and Shimshit. The Jewish
Federation of Metropolitan Detroit
arranged the time together.
What an evening it was, not only in
the friendships made (hopefully, we'll
each take the initiative to contact our
hosts to spark a continuing dialogue in
the spirit of the partnership), but also
in learning how to live off the land by
pulling from your garden vegetables,
mint and herbs.

Inspired Roots

The next day, we paid our respects
at Kinneret Cemetery by the Sea of
Galilee. It's home to the final rest-
ing place of Zionist pioneers such as
Rachel the Poet, songwriter Naomi
Shemer, Labor Zionist champions Ber
Borochov and Berl Katznelson and
community builders Sara and Shaul
Avigur. Here you become immersed in
the aura of the fighter heroes of Israel's
Irgun, Haganah and Stern Gang.
The Zionist dreamers we remem-
bered at this uplifting burial ground

gave everything they had to the land.
As we left Kinneret Cemetery and
headed to the Beit Shean National Park
and its array of Roman-Byzantine
excavations, I began to think the olive,
mango and banana trees we were
passing meant something extra. In the
golden fields of wheat and in the dis-
tant haze of uncertainty, I could sense
the tug of the land and the majesty of
its trailblazers.
Admittedly, I felt some shivers as
we momentarily crossed into the West
Bank, onto land Israel captured from
Jordan in 1967. The yellow and green
hues of the landscape were tinged with
the grayness of Palestinian indiffer-
ence toward lasting peace.
A few days later, on April 29, we
pulled into Kibbutz Lotan as we
drove south toward Eilat. The kibbutz,
dedicated to the values of the Reform
movement, lies in the Ahava Desert.
It's an eco-campus of sustainable
technologies and a living classroom
of experiential environmental educa-
"We're allowed to use the land — to
till and to tend it. But we must do so
wisely," our Australian-bred kibbutz
host, Mark Neveh, told us in a message
for the ages.


From the archives of the


Detroit Jewish News


Sufferers In Ghetto There Get Message Through
May 7, 1943

JERUSALEM (JTA) —A message from the Jews in the Warsaw ghetto, signed by
several well-known leaders of the Zionist labor movement in Poland, asking for arms
to continue resistance to the Nazis, was received here this week.
The message, addressed simultaneously to the World Zionist Executive in London
and to the labor movement in Palestine, says that the Jews who still remain in the
Warsaw ghetto are putting up a vigorous fight against the Nazis "for the sake of
Jewish honor and the little that has been left." It appeals for urgent aid to enable
the Jews to acquire arms for themselves and food for their children.
Another message reaching here from the Warsaw ghetto states that
unprecedented hunger prevails there. The message concludes with sharp criticism of
the Jews in the democratic countries, especially the Jews of America, charging them
with indifference.


Detroit Jewry Had An Important Part In The Upbuilding
Of This Great City And Continues To Contribute To Its Growth
January 6, 1950

From the traditional"minyan " in 1850, Detroit Jewry has grown to a community
of nearly 100,000 people. It now rates a place among the seven largest Jewish
centers on the continent, together with New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston,
Los Angeles and Cleveland.
Although there is a record of Jews who had lived in Detroit as early as the year
1763, the history of Jewry as an organized Community in Detroit did not begin
until 1850. Since Jewish tradition designates a "minyan," a group of 10 men who
are at least 13 years of age, is required for the holding of congregational services,
the "minyan" has become the symbol of community organization. It was not until
the beginning of 1850 that the number of Jews in Detroit grew to the traditional


Powerful Pipeline

Connecting to the land truly is the
pathway to understanding Israel to
the fullest. The land is a great teach-
ing crucible — a humbling tie to our
forbears. Those who came back to a
forsaken Palestine weren't just coming
home drawn by their Zionist yearning;
it also was a question of surviving in
an increasingly hostile world. Each
had a story ... a connecting rod to the
Said Rabbi Loss: "You want people
to connect to those stories and, in so
doing, to the land."
Make no mistake about it: God
speaks to you when you walk Zion,
whether the ruins of Masada, the
cobblestones of Safed, the streets of a
Druze village, the nooks of Jerusalem's
Old City, the grounds of Yad Vashem,
the camps of Bedouins or the trails of
Ein Gedi Nature Reserve and National
Israel becomes richer, more welcom-
ing and more meaningful when you
get close to the land — and touch it.
It's in those tactile moments that
diaspora Jews can grasp why Israel
matters — and why standing with the
Jewish state, if not always its political
decisions, is so important to assuring
its sovereignty, strength, security and
Am Yisrael Chai — The Nation of
Israel Lives! ❑


These Oakland County Honor Grads
Set High Standards For Themselves
May 29, 1987

These seniors are among this year's top graduates:

Adam Waldman, Michael Yaker, Daniel Yaker, Berkley; Randy Winograd, Seaholm;
Craig Freedman, Southfield; Anne Ray, Jodi Leichtman, Sondra Schwartz, Richard
Reznick, Oak Park; Daniel Ebenstein, Akiva Hebrew Day School. Also, Joey Crane,
Groves; Lisa Schwartzman, Andover; Michelle Gurvitz and Radmira Greenstein, West
Bloomfield; Noah Finkel, Lasher, and Jacob Lorch, Southfield-Lathrup.

The Detroit Jewish News Rkundation's goal is is to digitize every issue of
the Jewish News, dating to March 27, 1942, and make them available and
searchable to the public The Batton will also support and sponsor
forums, town hall meetings and other educational events to best utilize
and share this historical mw mource.

To assist the Foundation in Its work, simply go to
the vvebsite www.thejewishnews.com and
click on the word 'donate"
at the top right portion of the home page.,

The Detroit Jewish. News Foutufatim. kr-. is a 501 (c) a) non-profit organization.

May 10 • 2012


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