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March 28, 2013 - Image 10

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2013-03-28

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Rebuilding from page 8

Give Your Child
a Chance to Experience
Summer Camp.

this morning at a board meeting.
We were talking about the financial
difficulties in supporting the center.
We asked ourselves would the Jewish
community be interested in helping
us out.
"We called it Divine providence
Lockett said of the unexpected meet-
"We call it beshert," said Karen
Sherbin of Farmington Hills,
Rubenfire's daughter.

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March 28 • 2013

A medical social worker and Project
Healthy Community (PHC) pro-
gram coordinator, Sherbin wants the
mobile pantry to be more than just a
food warehouse.
"The whole idea is teaching
healthy eating and nutrition," she
said. "People get free food, but they
don't necessarily know how to cook
Along with nutrition education
and food delivery to homebound
seniors, the plan is to add interactive
cooking lessons, an urban garden
and grocery shopping lessons for
neighborhood students.
Added to the mobile pantry, the
Blessings in a Backpack program
and the pantry downstairs, PHC will
hold future health education lectures
and disease management programs,
senior programs, a financial support
program, a free summer camp for
50 K-5 students and afterschool pro-
gramming for K-8 students.
"When we were kids, when the bell
rang at school and you got out, that
was the most exciting time of the
day," Rubenfire said. "You ran home;
you knew you were going to have a
good dinner with the folks; you're
gonna play baseball that afternoon.
These kids get frightened. There's
not necessarily going to be anybody
home when they get home; they
might get hurt on the way home; and
there's no mentoring after school.
We're creating afterschool programs
and partnering with the Wayne State
University Honors College'
But that's all part of the future.

Looking Forward

"We have a limited number of
resources and a limited number
of volunteers, and we don't want
to make promises we can't get to!'
Rubenfire said. "The concept was to
take professionals that were work-
ing or retired and help them work
together to help set up this process
and keep it going.
"This is a concept that we think
can work anywhere where there's a
stable community with the resources
like this," he said.

The NWAC is the hub of social
activity in northwest Detroit, said
Lockett. "We have a theater, health
club, a computer clubhouse, which
is an internationally renowned after-
school program.
"We are the executive offices of the
City of Detroit Recreation and the
General Services Department. We
have a mini-police station," he said.
"We've always been a beacon of hope
to the people of northwest Detroit!"
And Lockett appreciates Temple
Israel's commitment.
"They said they are willing to
help. They didn't say they wanted
to control or that their way is the
right way," he said, addressing past
attempts from the Jewish community
to help out. "We've had open lines
of communication. We've asked for
ideas, approaches, and that's what's
been so important. Rabbi Josh has
been so open, and a lot of that is
because he's done a lot of projects in
the city of Detroit and he hasn't come
as an outsider. He has a whole differ-
ent mentality when it comes to that!'
And Temple Israel is working in
full partnership with the Hartford
Memorial Baptist Church in Detroit.
Dr. Charles G.
Adams, the church's
pastor, noted a
• 25-year relationship
with Temple Israel.
"We're both inter-
ested in the same
type of things —
development of the
Dr. Charles G.
tion in the com-
munity, good health
in the community, taking blight and
turning it into something beneficial,"
he said. "That's what we're about,
and we're very excited.
"We have a tree planted on the
campus of Temple Israel, and we
have a tree at our church that was
planted by Rabbi Robert Syme in
years past!' he continued. "This will
benefit children, raise property val-
ues, clean up blight and make living
here beautiful again, and we were
very grateful and pledge our full
support. We certainly want to be the
first volunteers when there's some-
thing cooking:'
Emails have been going out to
Temple Israel members asking for
seven volunteers a month to man the
mobile pantry until December.
But Rubenfire wants to make one
thing clear.
"This is not a suburban communi-
ty coming in to help the urban com-
munity!' he said. "It's a partnership
to make our community in southeast
Michigan strong:'

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