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December 13, 2012 - Image 5

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2012-12-13

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

frontlines >> letters

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Jewish Links To Motown
Was A Fascinating History
Tonight, I was part of a very happy,
enthusiastic audience at the Berman
Center for the Performing Arts. We all
gathered to listen to Jan Durecki, the
director of the Rabbi Leo M. Franklin
Archives of Temple Beth El, talk about
Motown's Jewish connections ...
Motown's Mensches, as she call these
folks.
I don't know when, but sometime
during the evening I noticed, like most,
I was sitting on the edge of my seat
listening to the music and watching
Jan do her magic. As a Detroiter, I have
always been proud of the legacy of
Berry Gordy's Motown, but as a Jew, I
never made the connection to how fel-
low Jewish Detroiters helped shape and
form the legendary music company.
Jan educated us about the common
link between Soupy Sales, David Silver,
Robin Seymour, the Noveck broth-
ers (Sidney and Harold), Al Abrams,
Bob Green, Paul Winters, David and
Paul Handleman, Mort Persky, Brian
Wells, Abraham Silver, Ron Miller,
Mickey Shorr, Art Glasser, Stuart Avig,
Bernard Yeszin, Jerry Light and Martin
Coleman. These Jewish men, and oth-
ers too numerous to name, helped
Berry Gordy's Motown achieve artistic
and financial success.
Allen Rawls, director of the Motown
Museum and a member of the Motown
Board of Trustees, came to hear Jan. He
stood up at the end of the evening to
applaud the presentation and admitted
he'd gained a whole new perspective
of our Jewish community involve-
ment with Berry Gordy that insured
Motown's success.
I also couldn't help but think how
lucky we are to have the Berman
Center for the Performing Arts as a
venue and to have organizations such
as the Jewish Historical Society of
Michigan, the JCC Library and the
Temple Beth El Archives to put in place
community educational programs that
tell community stories that make a dif-
ference.
I encourage my fellow Jewish
News readers to take time to visit the
Motown Museum. The songs and art-
ists will still be the highlight but the
impact of our community may now be
included in the story.

Arnie Collens
Immediate Past President
Jewish Historical Society of Michigan
Waterford

Chabad Does Not Have
Permission For Lawsuit
In its most recent letter to the Jewish
News (Dec. 6 page 5), Chabad-
Lubavitch of Michigan (CLM) and its
public relations machine try to jus-
tify CLM's decision to sue the Torah
Center and its individual board mem-
bers in secular court.
Keep in mind that CLM is suing us
to get us to transfer the Torah Center
to CLM, even though the land, the
shul and the entire congregation was
built from the ground up by the Torah
Center, its rabbi and its congregants,
and not by CLM. The trial court threw
out CLM's case, so CLM has now
appealed it to the Michigan Court of
Appeals.
CLM never explains in any of its
public relations statements that the
Vaad Rabbonai Lubavitch, which
CLM contends is the highest judicial
authority in Chabad, has stated on
two separate occasions (in 2008 and
2012), that CLM does not have per-
mission to sue the Torah Center or
its board in secular court. The reason
being that neither the Torah Center
nor its board have ever been a party
to any Din Torah in any Bais Din
(Jewish rabbinical arbitration) con-
cerning the Torah Center's property.
CLM did not like that clear instruc-
tion from the Vaad. So CLM went
outside of Chabad to try to get per-
mission from some other authority to
justify suing the Torah Center and the
individual board members in secular
court. CLM approached a non-Chabad
rabbinic group, which had no involve-
ment whatsoever in the underlying
dispute.
That is strange indeed consider-
ing that CLM has been arguing to the
secular courts that Chabad is a hierar-
chy, and it must follow the decrees of
only higher Chabad authorities. CLM
ignores the Vaad Rabbonai Lubavitch
when it suits CLM's purposes.
CLM is engaging in double talk. It
alone is responsible for the tremen-
dous Chilul HaShem [desecration of
God's Name] created by its lawsuit
against the Torah Center and its
individual board members in secular
court.
After CLM lost, one would have
hoped that it would have stopped the
harm it has caused to this community
by dragging another Jewish institution
and its individual board members
through the secular courts. Instead,

CLM doubled down and continues to
pursue its lost case in the Michigan
Court of Appeals. How much more
time, money and waste will CLM
cause this community, diverting our
scarce resources from being used to
benefit the soul of our Jewish com-
munity?
CLM's public relations statements
will not change the fundamental fact
that CLM is the aggressor in all of
this. CLM can put the entire matter
to rest by simply dropping its appeal
today. What a wonderful Chanukah
gift that would be for our entire com-
munity. If you are an individual board
member involved in any way with
Chabad, you should pay close atten-
tion to what CLM is doing here.

Bais Chabad Torah Center
West Bloomfield

Why Isn't Israel Allowed
To Defend Its Citizens?
After years of ever-increasing rocket
attacks, mainstream media like the
New York Times finally decided to
allow that Israel has a right to self-
defense as long as she doesn't exercise
it. She must, according to these high-
minded "opinionators," show restraint
and work with Egypt to broker a truce.
And so it came to pass. Of course,
it wasn't Israel's "restraint" that made
this latest truce possible. It was her
military prowess and a little arm-
twisting by our doughty secretary of
state. Given the tendency of Egypt's
president to make a peace sign with
one hand and give Hamas the high
sign with the other, the climate doesn't
bode well for Israel remaining rocket-
free for any length of time.
In any event, once again, Israel has
been "rescued" from the brink of suc-
cess. Once again she has been told to
turn the other cheek, a nifty pirouette
no Christian (or Muslim) nation would
ever be asked to perform. But if the
pundits affirm Israel's right to protect
her citizens, they can't very well deny
that it's also her duty. If this means
Israel has to do whatever it takes to
subdue her enemies, so be it.
While no one wants to see her fol-
low a scorched earth policy, she is not,
and should not be, obligated to have
more concern for her enemy's children
than for her own. The higher standard
should not be the double standard.

Mitzi Alvin
Franklin

Nicole Rubin and Lorraine
Applebaum partying at
Congregation Beth Shalom

Jac

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December 13 • 2012

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