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MSU Jewish Sorority Is A
'Home Away From Home'
We were thrilled to read the cover arti-
cle highlighting Jewish life at Michigan
State University ("A Good Place To Be
Jewish" Sept. 5) and even more delight-
ed that Jewish Greek life was included
in the article. However, the writer
neglected to mention the only Jewish
sorority at MSU.
Sigma Delta Tau (SDT) is a national
Jewish sorority founded at Cornell
University in New York in 1917. SDT
came to MSU during the 1960s Jewish
Greek boom and was home to mostly
East Coast women. In the 1970s, when
fewer out-of-state students were attend-
ing MSU, the sorority briefly closed. In
1984, under founding president, Sari
Shapiro Cicurel, Sigma Delta Tau came
back to Michigan State serving Jewish
women from Metro Detroit as well
as many out-of-state Jewish women.
Today, the sisterhood still remains
strong, with 25 percent of its member-
ship from out of state and many lega-
cies of Sig Delt alumnae from all over
Whether a member is from Metro
Detroit, Chicago or LA, SDT is the
"home away from home" for many
Jewish women. Sigma Delta Tau offers a
place where "you do not have to explain
your Jewish background, or why you
are going home for Rosh Hashanah,"
said one member. Another woman
shared, "you always have someone to go
to Hillel with for a Shabbat dinner."
Nationally, Sigma Delta Tau women
raise more than $100,000 annually for
Prevent Child Abuse America. At MSU,
the women also participate in many
philanthropy events of other sorori-
ties and fraternities. The school year is
filled with social and educational pro-
gramming. On Oct. 22, SDT is sponsor-
ing Jewish Women International's Life
Savings program at MSU. Open to the
entire MSU student body, this phenom-
enal program teaches college women
how to plan for their economic security,
so that they are financially independent
throughout their lives.
SDT at MSU is participating in for-
mal sorority recruitment beginning
Sept. 21 and informal recruitment
beginning Oct. 1. Sigma Delta Tau
remains the sorority for Jewish women
to make lifelong friendships, experi-
ence leadership opportunities, and
participate in social and philanthropic
Amanda Char*, West Bloomfield
MSU SDT president 2013
Rachel Grey Ellis, Oak Park
MSU SDT president 1995
SDT national treasurer 2012-2014
Mary Lou Zieve's Vital
Efforts Aid WSU Press
Louis Finkelman's article "Publishing
Judaica" (Sept. 12, page 12) provides
welcome recognition of the accomplish-
ments of the WSU Press in amassing an
impressive collection of Jewish studies;
and I am particularly gratified to see
credit given to Leonard Simons, whose
prodigious efforts to raise the funds and
elevate the reputation of the Press led, as
was noted, to the bestowing of his name
on the Press building.
However, I am at a complete loss to
understand a glaring omission with
regard to the subject of funding on which
the very existence and future of the Press
have long depended. For at least the past
10 years, the WSU Press Board of Visitors
succeeded in helping to raise literally
many thousands of dollars, working
together with the Press staff.
The person to be credited and praised
for creating the Board of Visitors is
Mary Lou Zieve, the daughter of the late
Leonard Simons. She recruited practi-
cally every member of the board and
inspired them to join her and the Press
staff in reaching out to the community
to build and sustain loyal patronage.
I was one of those recruited nearly 10
years ago, attended meetings and events
regularly, and saw firsthand the vital role
played by Mary Lou and those of us who
strove to emulate her passion and com-
mitment to the Press.
And so, I am especially bewildered
that no mention of Mary Lou Zieve was
made, although I don't know from what
sources the writer and Professor Jeffrey
Abt drew their information. But, at least,
the press director and her staff, not to
mention the former board members,
were well acquainted with Mary Lou
Zieve's innumerable contributions. I
hope they will not remain silent.
Emerson Peddles Hysteria
About 'Muslim Conspiracies'
You would think Jewish editorialist
Robert Sklar, in his "Brotherhood Jihad"
(Sept. 12, page 46), would be skeptical of
"world conspiracies," especially in view of
how similar claims have been used to feed
But Sklar uncritically buys Steve
Emerson's Muslim conspiracy to re-
establish the caliphate through the sub-
versive agency of the diabolical Muslim
Emerson and his various front groups
has been peddling this message for
almost 20 years, and his scare tactics
seem especially attractive to wealthy
Jewish donors who pony up generously
to support Emerson's rabble-rousing
efforts. Why is this so?
Is there any real fear a caliphate and
shariah will become the law here? But
such hysteria persists, fed by a host of
"terrorist experts" such as Emerson.
I fully expected to hear the revelation
Emerson had uncovered this plot laid out
in "The Protocols of the Elders of Islam,"
but before a Jewish group that would cut
too close to the bone and might even
awaken some in attendance as to how
gullible they were. Worse yet, Jews who
use Emerson-like "revelations" to ratio-
nalize and feed their anti-Muslim senti-
ments should be ashamed of themselves.
They should look back on the history of
anti-Semitism and ask themselves if they
are not being fed similar lies that in the sad
history of the West have led to some of the
worst outrages known to man.
Gilbert R. Davis
The West Is 'Naive'
About Jihad In U.S.
This letter is in response to Contributing
Editor Robert Sklar's important essay
"Brotherhood Jihad" (Sept. 12, page 46).
As an attendee at the Zionist
Organization of America-Michigan
Region and StandWithUs-Michigan's
June 26 showing of terrorism inves-
tigator Steve Emerson's documentary
Jihad in America: The Grand Deception
about the Muslim Brotherhood's stealth
war on, and infiltration of, the West,
I learned more terrifying aspects of
"details of a declassified FBI document
that explains the ultimate goal of the
Brotherhood in North America and its
front groups — to politically control all
non-Islamic governments in the world:"
Mr. Sklar quotes from the film, "The
West is tremendously naive about the
danger of these various Islamic organiza-
My serious concern, based on my study
and continuous education, is that too many
of us are too complacent and brush off
what they hear about the Jihad in America:
The Grand Deception and go about their
business assuming the threat is not here,
right now, and whatever threat there is will
be addressed by someone else. Folks, the
someone else is you.
To get involved in stopping this peril,
I suggest you examine www.investigative
project.org or www.zoa.org, and you will
learn about the threat and what you can
do to be part of the solution.
Steve Emerson will be speaking at the
ZOA-MI 79th annual Balfour Celebration
Sunday, Nov. 10, at Congregation Shaarey
Zedek in Southfield.
Okay - no kidding around. It's the
New Year and there is no better time
to think about what you need to do.
If you don't have an estate plan -
you need to do one. You need to
make sure your assets are protected.
Suppose you are elderly, with
$500,000 cash in your estate and
your house is $150,000 underwater.
If you die- the bank will assert its
claim against your $500,000 for the
$150,000. Plan now, and save the
$150,000 for your children. Other
issues - (1) If the possibility of
nursing home care exists for you
(or your parents) then you need to
do MEDICAID planning; (2) If you
(or your parents) are living on social
security and struggling to make
ends meet - then before you make
any more credit card payments, you
need to talk to us. You must preserve
your money for essentials. This year
- be smart about your life. Have a
Happy and Healthy New Year.
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September 26 • 2013