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August 23, 2012 - Image 6

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Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2012-08-23

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DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

the.JEWISHNEWS.corn

frontlines

>> letters

DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

theJEWISHNEWS.corn

Letters from page 5

Arthur M. Horwitz

Publisher / Executive Editor

ahorwitz@renmedia.us

Jackie Headapohl
Managing Editor

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Keri Guten Cohen
Story Development Editor

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Arts Editor

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Deborah Schultz
Corporate Creative Director

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EDITORIAL

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Contributing Writers
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Shelli Liebman Dorfman
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Esther Allweiss Ingber
Harry Kirsbaum
Lynne Konstantin
Rabbi Jason Miller
Allan Nahajewski
Robin Schwartz
Steve Stein
sports@thejewishnews.com

RED TITIE

magazine

Managing Editor
Jackie Headapohl
jheadapohl@renmedia.us

Executive Editor
Gail Zimmerman
gzimmerman@renmedia.us

Peace? School Board Needs
Transparency, Accountability
The letter "We Need Peace In Our
Neighborhoods" (Aug. 9, page 5) distorts
the legitimate concerns of the citizens of
Farmington Hills and West Bloomfield. I
suggest that the writer is reacting to the fact
that the purchasers of Eagle Elementary are
an Islamic group.
She stated, "It is no secret that if the
buyer wanted this property for a Christian
or Jewish center, it is unlikely that it would
have created controversy:' This is how she
sets up a specious claim of discrimination.
In fact, there were serious buyers from
both the Christian and Jewish communities
for the purchase of the school. They were
told the property was not for sale. Had the
property been sold to one of those organi-
zations, in an identical manner, and then
been sprung on the community, after it
was, in effect, a done deal, the uproar would
have been just as intense.
The writer claims that what we need is
peace. And she is clearly emotional about
that. So emotional that she made some kind
of connection between the Eagle controver-
sy and the conflict in the Middle East. This
is not an emotional issue nor a question of
peace in the Middle East.
The truth is, the Farmington School
Board has a responsibility to the "multi-
cultural community" to get the best price
possible for an asset that belongs to the tax-
payers, through an open and publicized bid
process. This is not a difficult or obscure
process to understand. The writer needs to
consider better what her emotional accusa-
tions mean. Rather than focusing on what
is the best outcome for the citizens of the
Farmington school district, she is mak-
ing accusations of reprehensible behavior
against the citizens of our community.
Really? Had the school board postponed
making a decision on the bid they received,
then Eagle school could have been market-
ed properly, for the best price and thereby
have avoided the legal process. In that
event, any purchaser, including the Islamic
Cultural Association, would have had equal
opportunity to purchase the property.
If the situation, as the writer claims, is
toxic, how do her accusations increase or
decrease the toxicity? And how do her ram-
blings about Michele Bachman improve her
point of view? She asks what is the goal of
those protesting the Eagle sale? That's sim-
ple. Since the school board did not handle
the sale properly, the community has taken
on the responsibility to hold the school
board accountable. That's how we operate
in a democracy.

Dorene Weisberg

Contributing Editor
Keri Guten Cohen
kcohen@renmedia.us

70

6

August 23 2012

West Bloomfield

See a related story on page 18.

Chabad-Lubavitch Explains
Need To Appeal Lawsuit
Although we understood from the begin-
ning that this complex case could require a
process involving multiple steps through the
legal system, we are disappointed that the

case was dismissed by the circuit court on
a procedural matter and that its fundamental
issue has not yet been judged on its merits.
That is why we are asking the Michigan
Court of Appeals to consider this case.
It is important for the community to
remember that Chabad Lubavitch is an
organization with a special mission to the
Jewish community and has executed that
mission successfully in Michigan for more
than 50 years.
Our movement has a specific form
of governance based on Jewish law and
Lubavitch tradition. This is imperative to
the success of the movement, its future
and its ability to work together in a cohe-
sive manner. Any tampering with that sys-
tem would undermine the structure of the
movement. At its core, this case is about
following Jewish law, rules and rabbinical
court decisions.
Throughout this case, the ownership
and authority of Bais Chabad has been
determined by numerous rabbinical bod-
ies, based on Jewish law and Lubavitch
tradition. We sought action in the secular
courts with full permission of the rabbinic
courts and only because the rulings of the
rabbinic courts were not followed.
We still hope that Bais Chabad and
its rabbi will change their direction and
choose to abide by the rabbinical rulings.
That would save additional money, heart-
ache and division within the community.
It is not an option of Chabad-Lubavitch
of Michigan to walk away from this case
and somehow grant independence to Bais
Chabad, as that is a right not granted to
our organization.
Under Jewish law and Lubavitch tradi-
tion, the director of this organization
is entrusted by the Rebbe, of blessed
memory, and the Lubavitch movement as
a custodian to build, protect and secure
the success and future of the movement,
its property and the funds that rightfully
belong to the organization.
Because some have charged, via the
Jewish News, that we plan to somehow
take away Bais Chabad and displace its
members, we reiterate what we wrote in
our letter to the congregation on the day
that circuit court litigation was filed:
"While this suit is going on, we encour-
age the members of Bais Chabad to con-
tinue to pray, attend services and study at
Bais Chabad. We do not wish this case to
cause any disruptions in the operations of
the congregation.
"It is our hope that after this situation
is resolved with the authority of Chabad
Lubavitch of Michigan rightfully estab-
lished, that Bais Chabad will continue
to grow as a place of Torah and chasidus
in the community. Chabad Lubavitch of
Michigan will not, God forbid, interfere
and will indeed be willing to help in facili-
tating the growth of the congregation."

Chabad-Lubavitch of Michigan

Oak Park

See a related story on page 12.

Letters on page 24

F. Kevin Browett

Chief Operating Officer

kbrowett@renmedia.us

Keith Farber

Sales Director

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