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August 02, 2012 - Image 1

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2012-08-02

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» How We Vote A quick look at whether we vote for Jewish
candidates because they are Jewish. See page 14.

» Olympic Stories Local U-M student is in London to gather
video stories for the Web. See page 12.




» Embracing Change Check out Matisyahu's new look,
address, CD — and his upcoming film debut. See page 51.

)) cover story


After 11 years, Federation's
Israeli camper program reaps
benefits for all.

Vivian Henoch I Special to the Jewish News

Unlikely friendship helps "diamond in the rough"
find his place in Judaism.
Bill Carroll I Contributing Writer


his is the story of Mendel and Alan, a
couple of Jews.
Mendel is a rabbi and a leader in the
local Chabad-Lubavitch movement. He grew up in
Oak Park and went through the entire Yeshiva school
system, including college in New York, where he was
ordained a rabbi.
Alan grew up in Detroit, dropped out of Mumford
High School in the 10th grade because he couldn't

read well, and later became a successful business-
man, now worth about $150 million.
Mendel, 43, has devoted his life so far to spreading
the Chabad mission throughout the world, trying to
help people reconnect with Judaism. "Chabad;' an
acronym for the Hebrew words for "wisdom, under-
standing and knowledge,' is an Orthodox Judaism
movement founded in the late 18th century.


1942 - 2012

Covering and
Jewish Detroit
Eve y Week

Judaic programming director Eli Rockowitz, right,

explains the never-ending spirit of the Torah to Israeli
and American campers.


is a steamy Shabbat morning at Camp Maas in
Ortonville. The heat has kept the community of 700
campers, counselors and professional staff members
busy moving from their usual activities to respite in air-
conditioned quarters.
In spite of the unseasonal heat, spirits are high as
some 200 campers, ages 12-15, gather for a joy-filled
mash-up of song and prayer during a Shabbat ser-
vice led by Rabbi Dana Bensen and Eli Rockowitz of
Jerusalem, Judaic programming director.
Rockowitz has been a part of the Tamarack family for
many seasons. On this particular morning, he brings
Torah study to life — literally — calling upon the coun-
selors to come forth to assist in unfurling a model Torah
scroll to its full length. As the miniature Torah is passed
from hand to hand, unrolling from first word to last, the
campers sit in rapt attention. No one misses his point.


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