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Brown Center Praised
For Dementia Assistance
I am ecstatic that the Brown Program
was recognized for its exemplary, inno-
vative programming and respite care
for people with dementia (Nov. 22, page
I was the sole caregiver for my hus-
band when he was diagnosed with
Alzheimer's disease. Without the Brown
Center in Southfield, I am positive I
would have dropped off the edge of the
Earth. The staff at the Brown Center
treated him with respect and kindness.
I was able to have some free time for
myself. I also benefitted from counsel-
ing and get-togethers with other care-
Now I have the pleasure of bringing
my Tap-A-Way program to both facili-
ties. I love seeing the people "dance"
with me and swing the hats and canes
with gusto. I love having the amazing
staff work right along with me. We have
far too much fun!
Congratulations, Brown Program!
I hope you continue to be a beacon of
hope to all of us who have lived, and are
still living, with the ravages of dementia/
Money Wasted On Lawsuit
Could've Helped Needy Jews
The last 30 days have seen two events
of immense significance for the Jewish
people. Hurricane Sandy destroyed the
homes, the schools and the livelihoods
of tens of thousands of Jews on the
Atlantic seaboard. The forces of Israel
struck back at Gaza, with Israel under
attack. Both of these events are bound
to require enormous amount of finan-
cial and emotional support from us.
At about the same time, the Lubavitch
Foundation of Michigan filed an appeal
to its lawsuit against Bais Chabad of
West Bloomfield (that suit was dis-
missed on Aug. 15 by the Oakland
County Circuit Court). If it continues,
the appeal will cost each side vast
amounts of money.
This sad matter is a stain on our com-
munity. Rather than wasting it on end-
less litigation, the money would be bet-
ter spent by giving donations to those
who really need it. For this reason, the
appeal should be dropped.
John R. Klein
Oak Park, MI
See related story on page15.
Thank you for the excellent cover
story about the legal obstacles that gay
couples still face ("Jewish And Gay:'
Nov.15). It wasn't too long ago that the
JN would not list life-cycle events for
gay people because of a fear of backlash.
How nice to see a more inclusive publi-
Julia Pais, Beth Greenapple and
Nadav Pais-Greenapple are no less a
family than a woman and man with a
child. They deserve the same benefits
as a couple who can marry legally in
Michigan. Hearts and minds are chang-
ing, but until the LGBT community has
the same civil rights as heterosexual
folks, it is incumbent on allies to step
up and demonstrate our support of our
LGBT family and friends.
If we work together, we can be agents
of change for marriage equality.
Gay Rights Can't Wait
For Next Generation
I want to thank the MI for Karen Schultz
Tarnopol's article "Jewish And Gay"
(Nov.15, page 1). She learned the issues
and told our stories skillfully.
Since the story appeared, several
well-intended, sympathetic people told
me, "Be patient; change takes time; in
another 25 years, we'll look back and
wonder why it was an issue
Did they read the same article I read?
Did they hear that they have more than
1,100 rights and protections that we
do not enjoy? What if something inca-
pacitating or fatal happens to one of us
before that time is up? What will hap-
pen to the one who is left supporting
our family? Isn't it time now?
The LGBT community is too small to
effect significant change alone. We need
all sympathetic citizens to speak on our
behalf. Yes, I know it's challenging. Yes,
our government is an unholy mess that
is largely unresponsive to our needs as
citizens in general.
Here is my answer: If you are willing
and able to get involved in the Marriage
Equality movement with your energy
and time, we need you. Or you can get
involved in a less-engaged way by join-
ing Facebook or Moveon.org and lend
us your voice by signing petitions and
sharing media with your online network
to spread awareness and support.
And if you are able to support the
Marriage Equality movement finan-
cially, make a donation to Equality
Michigan or the ACLU LGBT Project
in Michigan, and to the Human Rights
Campaign, which is pursuing our cause
at the national level. Please. The time is
now. We would prefer not to wait. None
of us is getting any younger.
Law Inadequate When
Same-Sex Parents Split
As both an Orthodox Jew and a
domestic relations attorney, I read the
article concerning the rights — or lack
thereof — of LGBT Jews with great
interest. I was particularly thinking
about the unintended consequences of
failing to recognize parental rights in
the same-gender non-biological partner.
Under the Michigan Child Custody
Act, when parents separate, custody is
awarded in the child's "best interests:'
a statutory term of art. However, the
child's best interests clearly are over-
looked when the only inquiry in separa-
tion of a same-gender couple is which
parent is biological/legal?
This is an example of how displacing
civil rights with religious values can
result in suffering, even for our inno-
cent children who do not choose their
While we hope our laws are guided
by high moral principles, I question
the foundation of a democracy that
gives way to religious beliefs and fervor.
History has repeatedly taught us the les-
son that when we practice discrimina-
tion, we make ourselves vulnerable to
the turning of the tables.
I was also surprised that the author
of the article failed to point out that
Michigan voters enacted a constitu-
tional amendment defining marriage
in our state as between one man and
one woman, an important point to
remember in the struggle for sexual
orientation-based civil liberties.
(L to R) Mia Weiss and
Lauren Richmond at
Mitzvah and Munchies
J A RC's Mort
Eskin Mitzvah and
to come together
monthly to discuss
ways of bringing
into their Lives and
the Lives of others.
the group focuses on
ways to demonstrate
goodness in the
world. Together they
at people can
change the world!
Ex-Detroiter In Israel
Aids Beersheva Poor
I am a former resident of the
Detroit area. I am a student at the
Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya.
During the war, I volunteered in
Beersheva. With the number of rockets
falling, it was astonishing to witness
the amount of people who did not have
access to a bomb shelter, etc. I experi-
enced firsthand, what I felt to be, the
a ke your gift at
Letters on page 6
November 29 • 2012