Orthodox community gathers to support Federation and Jewish Detroit.
On a warm, wet spring evening, more than 500 Orthodox men and women gathered at Gary and Malke Torgow’s home to take part in a historic gesture of appreciation and support for the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit and the entire Jewish community at large. Every inch of the Torgow’s home — as well as a backyard tent— was filled to capacity to celebrate the closeness and unity of Jewish Detroit.
“The event was not only a testament to the strength and commitment of the Orthodox community,” said attendee Leslie Ungar, “it was also a wonderful reminder of the ways in which all Jews are connected and must rely on one another for support.”
Co-chairing the event were Alan Zekelman and day school presidents Dan Mendelson of Yeshivat Akiva, Dr. Chanan Kroll of Yeshivas Darchei Torah, Gary Torgow of Yeshiva Beth Yehudah and Dr. Saul Weingarden of Yeshiva Gedolah.
The program included brief remarks from Ethan Davidson, son of famed Detroit entrepreneur and philanthropist Bill Davidson, who applauded the unique and wonderful relationship between the Orthodox community and the Federation. He emphasized how individual needs and aspirations are realized when Jews join together as a community.
Dr. Howard Korman, past president of Akiva, introduced Scott Kaufman, Federation CEO, with warm words of thanks for Scott’s leadership and vision.
“Without question, the Orthodox members are vital to the success of our broader Jewish community,” Kaufman said. “Beyond that, we are so fortunate for programs such as Partners in Torah, which provide Jewish content and Torah classes to the full community. In many ways, our community is a model for connection and collaboration between all streams of Jewish life.”
Alan Zekelman introduced the guest speaker for the evening, Rabbi Berel Wein, a world-renowned lecturer and author who spoke eloquently about the important example Detroit sets for the rest of the country. He marveled at the achdus (unity) of the assembled group and described how expressions of gratitude are vital for the health and success of a community.
The event was also attended by members of Federation’s leadership, including incoming Federation president Larry Wolfe; past president Nancy Grosfeld; Foundation president Todd Sachse; officers Rabbi Harold Loss and Josh Opperer; and 2014 Annual Campaign co-chairs Sandy Muskovitz Danto and Dr. Jeffrey D. Forman.
“The communal warmth and meaning of the evening was matched by its success as a fundraiser to support Jewish needs,” noted Sandy Muskovitz Danto. Close to 600 gifts were made to the 2014 Annual Campaign during the evening. ■