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December 06, 2012 - Image 99

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2012-12-06

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{ from the publishers



Building Community Initiative
Keeps Expanding

Chaldean News IN

Gold Sponsors






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. #



Joe Kassab, Martin Manna, Ismat Karmo and Johnson Syawish of the Kurdistan
Ministry of Transportation, in Iraq

As momentum continues to build toward a
first-of-its-kind visit to Israel and the Holy
Land in April of 2013 through the Chaldean-
Jewish Building Community Initiative,
engagement and collaboration among our
communities continues to expand.
A gathering hosted recently for U.S. Sen.
Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., by Donald and
Susan Lifton at their Bloomfield Hills home
attracted a mix of guests from the Chaldean
and Jewish communities. As one can imag-
ine, the food was outstanding and conversa-
tion lively!
As a sidebar to the gathering, Sen.
Stabenow met with us privately to learn
more about the 3-year-old Building
Community Initiative and to receive a
detailed account of Martin's recent visit with
a small Chaldean delegation to Turkey, Iraq
and its Kurdish region. They were there to
gauge the needs of distressed Christian com-
munities and better understand the political
and security landscape as eyewitnesses.
While US. Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich.,
through his leadership role on the Armed
Services Committee, continues to be sympa-
thetic to the plight of Iraq's Chaldean com-
munities, Sen. Stabenow's primary focus has
been on other important areas, including
agricultural policy.
Sen. Stabenow learned that once-major-
ity Christian areas in Iraq, including the
Nineveh region that is the ancestral home
to many of the Detroit areas Chaldeans, are
being systematically diluted by an infusion
of Shi'ites, who are purchasing property at
inflated prices with funds from Iran. She
also heard that while the central government
in Iraq is supposed to be providing security
for Christians and other minorities, these
communities must instead rely on outside


artin Mann

Donald and Susan Lifton host an event at their home with
Sen. Debbie Stabenow.

Arthur Horwi
Detroit Jewish

funding sources to hire their own militias
for protection.
Sen. Stabenow also heard that Chaldeans
and other Christians are seeking to secure
a province within areas of Iraq where they
are still a majority, as provided for under its
Constitution. This would allow the existing
population to stay in place and provide an
area where Chaldean and other Christian
refugees could return.
Not all of the conversation related to
world affairs. Closer to home, Sen. Stabenow
was impressed by the Chaldean-Jewish
Building Community Initiative's collabora-
tive model and expressed interest in sharing
it with her Senate colleagues. She believes
they could find elements of the model that
would work to promote education, under-
standing and common purpose in their own
The meeting with Sen. Stabenow fol-
lowed on the heels of a groundbreaking
Chaldean-Jewish event hosted by Sheldon
Yellen at Tam-O-Shanter Country Club in
West Bloomfield to support the candidacy of
Republican Klint Kesto to the state House of
Representatives from the 39th District. The
gathering, which attracted more than 200
guests, was keynoted by Gov. Rick Snyder.

Cover Story
Holy Land Sojourn


Cultural Mix
Satisfied Customers


What distinguished the Kesto gathering was
the large number of young political activ-
ists from both communities who not only
talk about developing a common political
agenda, but take steps to enact it.
So, we now swing back to the Chaldean-
Jewish visit to Israel and the Holy Land.
Martin jokes that wherever the Chaldeans
see a church, they are going to want to stop
the bus to visit it. Arthur counters that wher-
ever the Jews see a bathroom, they are going
to want to stop the bus, too. So, while the
itinerary is exciting and truly unique, Arthur
will be looking for churches connected to
bathrooms and Martin, bathrooms connect-
ed to churches. Either way, guests from both
communities will come away satisfied!
And please mark Sunday, May 6, 2013,
on your calendars. That's when the annual
Walk for Israel celebration will take place
in West Bloomfield. Graciously hosted by
Temple Shir Shalom, this year's event will
include some new activities and mark
the conclusion of the Detroit Jewish News'
70th anniversary. The committee has been
expanded this year and will include, for the
first time, representation from the Chaldean


Bank of America.

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Workgroup Chairs

Arthur Horwitz
Publisher/Executive Editor

Nancy Welber Barr,

Vinos Kassab, Gail Katz,

Detroit Jewish News

Barbara Kratchman,

Jumhoria Kaskorkis,

Martin Manna

Richard Nodel,

Mary Romaya, Anmar Sarafa

Chaldean News

Keri Guten Cohen, Detroit Jewish News
Michelle Sheridan, Farago & Associates
Jerry Zolynsky
Michelle Sheridan, Farago & Associates
Jackie Headapohl, Robert Sklar,
Renaissance Media Solutions;
Joyce Wiswell, Chaldean News.
On The Cover: Robert Cohen, Sue Loussia Hickey and
Alan Baum


Honorary Chairs

Best wishes for a festive and meaningful
holiday season.

Section Editor:
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Published jointly by the Chaldean News, 29850
Northwestern Hwy., Ste. 250, and the Detroit Jewish
News, 29200 Northwestern Hwy., Ste. 110 — Southfield,
MI 48034. Created by Renaissance Media Solutions,
29200 Northwestern Hwy., Ste. 110, Southfield, MI 48034.
F Kevin Browett, COO, (248) 354-6060.

© December 2012, Renaissance Media Solutions.


December 6 • 2012


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