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July 19, 2012 - Image 3

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2012-07-19

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

Barry Fidelman and Dr. Steve

Tolen pose in front of their shul's
new stained glass window.

Becky Burkert
Editor and General Manager
South Haven Tribune

South Haven

S

ix years ago, Dr. Steve Tolen
came back to South Haven
after spending his career years
as a chiropractor in North Carolina. He
didn't like what he saw. First Hebrew
Congregation, the synagogue where he
had spent memorable times as a youth,
had fallen into disrepair.
"I was pretty upset:' said Tolen,
whose parents were owners of a local
department store. "It had been let go."
So Tolen quietly set about making
some of the repairs himself. Six years
later, one man's efforts have led to an esti-

mated $90,000 worth of improvements at
the 84-year-old synagogue — culminat-
ing in the installation of a new stained
glass window depicting the Star of David.
"He inspired us — he was the
catalyst," said Barry Fidelman, a past
president of the board that oversees the
synagogue.
"My business had closed, and I tried
to get people involved in helping to
improve things:' said Fidelman, whose
family owned a resort during South
Haven's 20th-century heyday as the
Lake Michigan "Catskills" vacation spot
— 175 miles west of Detroit and 125
miles east of Chicago.
"There had been so little done in this
synagogue by our generation, the Baby
Boomers. We had no legacy to leave here."
That began to change, however.

ittl CONTENTS

The Orthodox shul's kitchen was
completely renovated and the electrical
system upgraded. Then, Tolen began
working on restoring the synagogue's
hardwood floors. Next came an exten-
sive landscaping project. Local crafts-
men contributed their efforts at cost.
"They did the entire renovation of
our front lawn, and we set up an endow-
ment to maintain Fidelman said. "It
changed the appearance of the synagogue
and inspired us to repair and replace our
Mogen David (Star of David) window."
The new window was dedicated on
July 8. But, work won't stop on maintain-
ing and upgrading the synagogue. "A lot
needs to be done on the outside of the
building',' Tolen said. "We have a lot of
sandstone that needs to be restored."
The shul holds Shabbat services dur-
ing the tourist season. One senior from
West Bloomfield attended one very hot
Saturday morning. On the way back to
where he was staying, he and his adult
son took off their shoes and socks,
rolled up their pant legs, stepped into
the lake and leisurely strolled home a
mile along the coastline.
An hour later, after pausing on a
bench to take in a brisk Lake Michigan
breeze, the father and son enjoyed a
Shabbat lunch with their family.
Those interested in attending the
synagogue or contributing to its renova-
tion and upkeep can call Barry Fidelman
at (616) 820-5623 or send a donation
to the First Hebrew Congregation, 249
Broadway, South Haven, MI 49090. D

JN Senior Copy Editor David Sachs
contributed to this report.

heJEWISHNEWS,c

ff1

July 19-25, 2012 I 29 Tammuz- 6 Av 5772 I Vol. CXLI, No. 24

Ann Arbor
14
Business
22
Designation Detroit . center
Arts/Entertainment
33
Calendar
20
Family
31
Food
36
Israel
6, 26
Life Cycles
39
Marketplace
42
Metro
8

Next Generation
Obituaries
Points Of View
Sports
Staff Box/Phone List
Synagogue List
Torah Portion

22
53
24
32
6
30
29

Shabbat / Holiday

Shabbat: Friday, July 20, 8:46 p.m.
Shabbat Ends: Saturday, July 21, 9:53 p.m

Shabbat: Friday, July 27, 8:39 p.m.
Shabbat Ends: Saturday, July 28, 9:45 p.m.

Tisha El'Av: Sunday, July 29
Fast Ends: 9:44 p.m.

Columnists

Danny Raskin
Robert Sklar

38
26

Times are according to the Yeshiva Beth
Yehudah calendar.

On The Cover:

Our JN Mission

The Jewish News aspires to communicate news and opinion that's useful, engaging, enjoyable and unique. It strives to
reflect the full range of diverse viewpoints while also advocating positions that strengthen Jewish unity and continu-
ity. We desire to create and maintain a challenging, caring, enjoyable work environment that encourages creativity
and innovation. We acknowledge our role as a responsible, responsive member of the community. Being competi-
tive, we must always strive to be the most respected, outstanding Jewish community publication in the nation. Our
rewards are informed, educated readers, very satisfied advertisers, contented employees and profitable growth.

Page design, Michelle Sheridan

The Detroit Jewish News (USPS 275-520) is
published every Thtu-sday at 29200 Northwestern
Highway, #110, Southfield, Michigan. Periodical
postage paid at Southfield, Michigan, and
additional mailing offices. Postmaster: send changes
to: Detroit Jewish News, 29200 Northwestern
Highway, #110, Southfield, MI 48034.

In his law practice, Ben Reifman
often sees people at difficult times
in their lives. In his role as a Hebrew
Free Loan Board member, the situations
may sometimes be similar, but the
process differs. "HFL is a venue where
I'm presented with the opportunity
to directly help others with their life
events, instead of depending on a
third party to act," Ben said.
"The interaction between us and
the borrowers is also not only about
the money people are asking for,"
Ben said, "it's about their dignity,
their humanity. You are listening, you
are caring and you are affirming
their worth. When they walk away,
no matter the result, they know they
matter."
Ben was raised to be involved.
When he was younger, his dad was
an organizer. Someone, Ben said,
who took on projects and causes. "I
do enjoy being involved, where it
counts," Ben said. "In my opinion,
HFL counts. I don't know if others
truly understand what an important
function HFL serves. What I see is
how the agency helps our Jewish
community thrive. Anyone who had
the chance to meet our borrowers
would want to help. I consider it a
privilege, something I get to do."

Click. Call. Give Now.
www.hfldetroit.org
248.723.8184

Health. A fresh start.
A good education.
The next great business idea.

Hebrew Free Loan gives interest-
free loans to members of our
community for a variety of
personal and small business
needs. HFL loans are funded
entirely through community
donations which continually
recycle to others, generating
many times the original value
to help maintain the lives of
local Jews.

HEBREW

FREE LOAN

hfidetroit.org

We Provide Loans. We Promise Dignity.

6735 Telegraph Road, Suite 300 • Bloomfield Hills, MI 48301

fac
"d eaok

F

liebre,v Free Loon Detroit

cr% Jewish Fetter atio9

gtma.

July 19 2012

3

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