Oren Lerner sorts papers at a J-Serve program at University of Michigan
Dearborn Community Action Day.
More than a motto: A Jewish Boy
Oren S. Lerner
hen I began second grade
at Hillel Day School, my
parents signed me up for
Cub Scouts. The pack, sponsored by
Adat Shalom Synagogue in Farmington
Hills, was named appropriately, Troop
613. From the very beginning, it was
very clear to me that the citizenship
values promoted by Scouts were hand-
in-hand with Torah values.
Tiger, Wolf, Bear, two years in
Webelo, graduating to Boy Scout,
reaching Life Rank, I have earned
many badges along the way, includ-
ing the Boy Scouts' highest Jewish
emblem, the Ner Tamid Award. I
currently serve as the Senior Patrol
Leader for the troop and was recently
elected into the Order of the Arrow,
the Scouts' Honor Society. This year,
I have begun the work to become an
Throughout the years, I have vol-
unteered for numerous community
service projects, like helping to stock
shelves and bag donated cans at Yad
Ezra in Berkley, our community's
kosher food pantry, building sukkot
at local JARC homes, participating in
J-Serve programs and annual Fall Fix
Up Days organized by Jewish Family
Service, helping to put together Purim
packages for the elderly, collecting
supplies for Jewish soldiers serving
our country overseas, volunteering for
Detroit Jewish Federation's Mitzvah
Day, attending 9-11 programs and
walking in the annual Yom Ha'atzmaut
Israel Walk with the Jewish War
Veterans Honor Guard.
I've also spent hours picking weeds
and invasive species, and collecting
garbage from Department of Natural
Resources land on the west side of
our state as well as in the Highland
Recreation area, the Chief Pontiac Trail
and Kensington Metropark grounds.
My dad, a Scout master for the
troop, and I have enjoyed many
evenings, camping at D Bar A Scout
Camp, Cole Canoe Base Scout
Camp, Chief Pontiac Trail, Highland
Recreation Area and Kensington
Metropark. Shabbat, Torah study and
(fillah (prayer) were always an integral
part of each and every outing.
I have helped lead services on camp-
ing trips and during Scout Shabbat at
Adat Shalom Synagogue. Last sum-
mer, I completed a four-day horseback
ride on the Yucca Trail and, as usual,
kosher food was part of my pack.
Being a member of a Jewish Boy
Scout troop has allowed me to partici-
pate in traditional Scout activities like
camping, hiking, canoeing, orienteer-
ing, archery and community service
while preserving a Jewish way of life.
I feel like I have enjoyed the best of
both worlds. I can be an observant Jew
while benefiting from all that Scouting
has to offer.
For me, being a Scout has helped
me to enter my teenage and young
adult years better prepared as a citizen
and as a Jew. I am very thankful that I
have had the opportunity to belong to
a Scout troop sponsored by the Jewish
community. For more information on
Jewish Scouting, please visit J Scouts
Detroit on Facebook.
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"I have a learning difference andAM
Thanks to Eton Academy it doesn't have me."
Eton Academy (lass of 1998
Visit an Eton
to learn about
the Eton Approach,
talk to parents,
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Every Tuesday in
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Yudi Hochheiser and family
VP of Business Development at Vcorp Services
CEO of Starlake Partners
Graduate of Rabbinical College in Israel
Oren Lerner, 14, of West Bloomfield is
an eighth grader at Hillel Day School in
Eton Academy is a proud sponsor of the Federation's Alliance
for Jewish Education's Opening the Doors Partnership Program.
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January 31 • 2013