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Serving Southeast Michigan
The Detroit Jewish News was among Yad Ezra's earliest
supporters and promoters in helping raise awareness about
the needs of vulnerable families in our community.
We appreciate your continued coverage of the good work
accomplished by many dedicated individuals, businesses,
schools and organizations.
You are a real mentsh and a credit to your family,
The Detroit Jewish News, the entire Jewish community and so
many charitable organizations. Best wishes for continued good
health on your 70th Anniversary as a Jewish News columnist!
Howard J. Gourwitz
Home-automation products and
controllers can be programmed
to activate a "Sabbath mode."
Feedina Hundry Jewis.n Font es
Yad Ezra Board of Directors, Volunteers and Staff
the leadership of
The Detroit Jewish News
on 70 years
of educating, enlightening, engrossing and entertaining
Special to the Jewish News
Mazel Tov on this wonderful milestone!
!though our family belonged
to a Conservative synagogue
growing up, our Jewish
household was a bit more Reform.
I have fond memories of going to
Shabbat services with my grandfather;
we didn't walk, though; we drove.
It wasn't until I was about 12 that I
had my first experience with a fam-
ily preparing for the Sabbath. I stayed
overnight at a friend's house and
watched as his father unscrewed the
refrigerator light bulb and set up dial-
style lamp timers around the house.
The Sabbath ritual was on, and
despite my friend's father's admoni-
tion about not turning on light switch-
es, I still managed to accidentally flick
on the bathroom fan in the middle of
the night. It sounded like a 747 coming
in for a landing! Some early-childhood
memories are hard to erase, as much
as I would like to.
Jump to the present day. It is ironic
that I find myself fielding an occasion-
al call for home automation to help
religious families create a "Sabbath
mode" through technology.
Manufacturers like Control 4 (www.
control4.com ) make a whole smor-
gasbord of reasonably priced home-
automation products and controllers
that can be programmed to activate a
"Sabbath mode" through the home con-
troller's internal calendar and clock.
In addition to very stylish light
and dimmer switches, Control 4 also
makes automated thermostats for
heating, ventilation and air condi-
tioning systems as well as automated
deadbolts and door locks.
When properly installed and pro-
grammed, the Control 4 system can
activate (or deactivate) and modify
the lights, fireplace, alarm system,
garage doors and any number of con-
trollable devices, all automatically and
without throwing a single switch.
If you can dream up your ideal
"Sabbath mode Control 4 can deliver
The term "Sabbath mode" was
actually coined by the Whirlpool
Corporation in 1998 under a patent
that modified their ovens to allow a
bypass of the internal light and auto-
matic shutoff feature that most ovens
had and still have today.
Many of the major appliance manu-
facturers today have "smart applianc-
es" that expanded the "Sabbath mode"
concept even further. Companies like
Sub-Zero and Wolf make appliances
that can even be integrated with the
Control 4 system, giving consumers
even more overall control through
Embracing technology can do so
many wonderful things in new and
existing homes, religious or not. In
assisting my clients' needs, I have real-
ly learned a lot about the Sabbath and
the technology my clients are looking
for. Believe me, it goes much further
than keeping some crazy kid from hit-
ting the bathroom fan at 2 a.m.
Neal Check is the owner of SoundCheck
LLC in Southfield, which specializes in
custom home theater, audio, lighting and
automation. www.soundcheckllc.com .