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August 15, 2013 - Image 16

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2013-08-15

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

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Working Together

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Jewish women lead party caucuses
on the Oakland County Commission.

Shari S. Cohen

Special to the Jewish News

0

Engage with other adults in
learning the "whys" of Judaism in the
Florence Melton School
of Adult Jewish Learning

Sample a Melton class at

A TASTE OF MELTON

Tuesday, August 27 • 7 - 8:30 p.m.

Max M. Fisher Federation Building • Bloomfield Hills

Wednesday, August 28 • 10 - 11:30 a.m.

Jewish Community Center • West Bloomfield

Dynamic faculty of rabbis and educators

Designed for busy adults

Learning for pleasure not pressure
— no homework or tests

There is no charge for "A Taste of Melton"
Open to anyone in the community

NEW MELTON CLASSES
BEGINNING IN OCTOBER 2013

TRADITIONAL MELTON
Tuesday evenings • Bloomfield Hills or
Wednesday mornings • West Bloomfield

Tuition per year: $630
Young Adult Tuition: $495 (under 40)
Couples Discount: $50 per couple

MELTON PE P(Parent Education Program)

(Melton geared for parents of children ages 0-6th grade)

Monday mornings in Bloomfield Hills

Tuition per year: $295

Receive a $50 per person discount when
$100 deposit is received by September 3, 2013
Scholarships available

(248) 205-2557 • jewishdetroit.org/melton

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16

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PROJECT OF THE HEBREW UNIVERSITY OF JERUSALEM

August 15 • 2013

THE CENTER

Jewish Federation

OF METROPOLITAN DETROIT

Alliance
for Jewish
Education

akland County is home to
the majority of Michigan's
Jewish population so it's
not surprising that the community
is well-represented on the Oakland
County Board of Commissioners.
The current board has three Jewish
members — including two women
who chair their respective party cau-
cuses — Marcia Gershenson (D-13th
District) and Shelley Goodman Taub
(R-12th District). Helaine Zack, also
a Democrat, rep-
resents the 18th
District.
All three are
experienced
commissioners:
Gershenson is in her
fourth term; Taub,
Marcia
who also served as a
Gershenson
state representative,
is in her fifth; and
Zack is serving her
sixth term. Former
Commissioner Gilda
Jacobs was the first
Jewish woman to
chair a board caucus.
Each Commission
Shelley Taub
district encompasses
approximately
57,000 Oakland
County citizens.
Commissioners
approve an annual
$760 million budget,
including a large
allocation for law
Helaine Zack
enforcement and
court administra-
tion as well as other
functions such as economic develop-
ment and health services that are
part of their administrative responsi-
bility. Commissioners are elected and
serve two-year terms without manda-
tory term limits; their annual salary
is $32,093.
The current Board of
Commissioners has eight women
members among 21 commissioners.
Gershenson, Taub and Zack agree
that Oakland County government
is somewhat of an "old boys club"
that can be challenging for women
officials.
"Men are in the leadership:'
said Gershenson of Bloomfield
Hills. "While we (Democratic and

Republican women commissioners)
may not agree, it is very important to
have our voices heard. Women make
up more than 50 percent of the voters
and the workforce:'
Taub of Bloomfield Hills, the only
Repubican Jewish woman on the
Commission, said, "It can be tough
dealing with the leadership — the
way some men respond to women
can be condescending."
Zack of Huntington Woods added,
"Women provide different outlooks
and a different process at the table!'
As Republican Caucus chair, Taub
works to bring together a group of
"very individualistic" Republicans who
represent diverse opinions, especially
on social issues, which she says can be
the object of a lot of political pressure.
Gershenson views her role as
Democratic Caucus chair as "com-
municating with my caucus members
and making sure that all of their
voices are heard. Everyone is encour-
aged to vote their conscience:'
While the Board of Commissioners
does not pass laws, it does adopt resolu-
tions, some of which concern statewide
issues that may affect Oakland County.
One example is a recently introduced
bipartisan resolution urging state legis-
lators to support Gov. Snyder's proposed
expansion of Medicaid.
Resolution sponsors Gershenson
and Commissioner William Dwyer
(R-14th District) view Medicaid as
a way to extend health coverage to
more Michigan residents, includ-
ing potentially 40,000 individuals in
Oakland County, and to save money
for the state's budget. The Board of
Commissioners is expected to vote
on the resolution this month.
Even if the state legislature does not
authorize expansion of Medicaid, state
health exchanges authorized under
the federal Affordable Care Act will
begin providing information about
newly available health insurance plans
in October.
Taub said public libraries through-
out the county will be ready with
information and computer access for
Oakland County residents seeking to
understand the new health insurance
system and the process to compare
and choose health plans.

Gun Control And More

This year, commissioners considered
another controversial issue — gun
control — through a series of forums

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