WISDOM Newsletter – December 2011

Written by WISDOM on . Posted in Newsletters


December 2011


Sunday, December 4

“Rembrandt and the Face of Jesus” – an interfaith panel program, sponsored by the Interfaith Leadership Council, will be held in conjunction with the Rembrandt exhibit from 3:00 pm – 6:30 PM at the Detroit Institute of Art. There will be a charge for this event. Go to www.detroitinterfaithcouncil.com to register. More information below!!

Thursday, December 8

Make interfaith beaded jewelry bracelets with Nomi Joyrich, owner of the Franklin Bead Works. Program will run from 4:00 – 7:00 PM at Unity of Farmington Hills 32500 West 13 Mile Road, Farmington Hills, 48334. Cost for attendance is $35.00 which will include beads, charms, staff time and a light supper!! See more information below.

Sunday, December 11

Kids Against Hunger Project – Community Service project to package dry meals for the hungry in Metro Detroit and abroad – at the Rush Trucking Warehouse 38500 Van Born Road, Wayne, MI 48184. 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM. Contact Gail Katz at gailkatz@comcast.net or Paula Drewek at drewekpau@aol.com. See more information below.

Wednesday, January 11

WISDOM film discussion group meets to view the film “Pray the Devil Back to Hell.” Discussion will be facilitated by the Rev. Dan Buttry, American International Baptist Ministries. 6:30 PM – 9:00 PM at the Birmingham Community House in conjunction with the Race Relations and Diversity Task Force, 380 S. Bates St., Birmingham, 48009, cookies and coffee served!! Contact Sheri Schiff to register, sheritschiff@gmail.com







Make Interfaith Bracelets with WISDOM



4:30 pm – 7:00 pm


Come and join WISDOM and Nomi Joyrich, owner of the Franklin Bead Works, as we put together beads and charms of different faith traditions to make beautiful interfaith bracelets for the holiday season. Light supper will be served. Cost is $35.00 for the beads, charms and dinner.


Email Gail Katz, gailkatz@comcast.net, or Paula Drewek, drewekpau@aol.com, or Fran Hildebrandt, fhildebr@aol.com with your name, address, telephone number(s) and email address. Send your check for $35, made out to WISDOM, to WISDOM, P.O. Box 7091, Bloomfield Hills, Mi 48302. Registrations must be received by November 18th so that Nomi Joyrich has time to order the interfaith charms!!


If you are planning on coming to our interfaith Jewelry making event, we would like to request that you also bring some items to assist women and children in Detroit who have lost their cash assistance as of October 1, 2011. Over 6500 families in Detroit will be impacted by the loss of this cash assistance. WISDOM is asking you to bring some winter items such as socks, underwear, hats, gloves, scarves, coats, in addition to jeans, sweater, pajamas and any personal hygiene items that you can spare. We will be taking a collection at our winter WISDOM events, and then donating these items to a clothing pantry on the east side of Detroit. Thank you!!





kids against hunger


JOIN WISDOM and the National council of Jewish Women/Greater Detroit Section AT OUR KIDS AGAINST HUNGER PROJECT

2:00 PM – 5:00 PM



38500 Van Born Rd.

Wayne, MI 48184


Event is co-sponsored by The Bharatiya Temple in Troy, The
Muslim Unity Center in Bloomfield Hills, and St. Hugo of the Hills Catholic Church in Bloomfield Hills.


We welcome your individual donations to this Community Service Project with Kids Against Hunger. You are welcome to bring family members, but registration is required. To register email Gail Katz, gailkatz@comcast.net, Paula Drewek, drewekpau@aol.com Fran Hildebrandt, fhildebr@aol.com with the names of people in your group, where you are from, phone number(s), email contact information, and which shift you prefer. There will be two shifts – the first shift starting at 2:00 PM and the second shift starting at 3:15 PM if we have enough volunteers!! Otherwise you will be notified that we will have only one shift starting at 2:00 PM!!

All children must be supervised by parent/guardian!!


If you are planning on coming to our food packing community service project, we would like to request that you also bring some items to assist women and children in Detroit who have lost their cash assistance as of October 1, 2011. Over 6500 families in Detroit will be impacted by the loss of this cash assistance. WISDOM is asking you to bring some winter items such as socks, underwear, hats, gloves, scarves, coats, in addition to jeans, sweater, pajamas and any personal hygiene items that you can spare. We will be taking a collection at our winter WISDOM events, and then donating these items to a clothing pantry on the east side of Detroit. Thank you!!




The Interfaith Leadership Council of Metropolitan Detroit

and The Jewish News/ Chaldean News Building Community Initiative

are sponsoring:


“Religion, Community and the Arts

Breaking Barriers, Building Bridges”


3:00 – 6:30 p.m.

Lecture/Symposium · Exhibit Tour · Reception


in conjunction with the exhibit Rembrandt and the Face of Jesus

at the Detroit Institute of Arts!!


The symposium’s panelists from the Jewish, Christian, and Muslim religions will look at the person of Jesus, examine the context of his time, and discuss how their individual faiths view the figures of Jesus.


Patron Ticket – $100 (includes preferred seating in lecture, exhibit tour with curator and reception)


Regular Ticket – $48 (includes lecture, exhibit and reception)


Include your name, address, email, and phone number

and mail check to:


The Interfaith Leadership Council

10821 Capital Street, Oak Park, MI 48237-3147


To read more about the panelists and the program and to register online go to:


http://www.twsclients.com/clients/symposium.html AND



Join us at the WISDOM and InterFaith Leadership Council’s Film Discussion Group with the Race Relations and Diversity Task Force on January 11th to hear the Rev. Dan Buttry discuss the film “Pray the Devil Back to Hell,” which features Nobel Peace Prize winner Leymah Gbowee!!





OF SUNDAY, JANUARY 29th FROM 4:00 – 5:30 PM





586 OWEN











Please bring canned food

donations with you to this event!!

Secure parking available!!










gailkatz@comcast.net 248-978-6664


Interfaith Articles and Links of Interest


1) Islamic Art as Cultural Diplomacy




2) http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/26/us/a-jewish-edition-of-the-new-testament-beliefs.html



Growing up Jewish in North Dartmouth, Mass., Amy-Jill Levine loved Christianity. Her neighborhood “was almost entirely Portuguese and Roman Catholic,” Dr. Levine said last Sunday at her book party here during the annual American Academy of Religion conference. “My introduction to Christianity was ethnic Roman Catholicism, and I loved it. I used to practice giving communion to Barbie. Church was like the synagogue: guys in robes speaking languages I didn’t understand. My favorite movie was ‘The Miracle of Our Lady of Fatima.’ “

Christianity might have stayed just a fascination, but for an unfortunate episode in second grade: “When I was 7 years old, one girl said to me on the school bus, ‘You killed our Lord.’ I couldn’t fathom how this religion that was so beautiful was saying such a dreadful thing.”
Read the rest of this interesting article at the New York Times website listed above.

Face to Faith

By Rachel Gorosh, Andover High School Student


Looking around his ceramics table, he found himself surrounded by two strangers.
“It was my first time ever being at a table with no other Jews, and at first it was really uncomfortable,” expresses Josh Morof who after sharing a table with a Muslim and a Christian student for a semester created Face to Faith, an organization which brings high school students of different religions together. “The clear differences, [such as] accents, skin colors, etc, kept us from talking. But as the class continued on, we started to [talk about our different religions] and breaking down our boundaries.
“I started to realize how separated the hallways [of our school] are. The Jews gather by the stairway, the Chaldeans sit on the benches and the Muslims in the library. But then it became clear to me that this is really a big issue. We’re separating ourselves for no reason.”
On November 17, Morof will host the third Face to Faith program at the Muslim Unity Center in West Bloomfield.
“I came up with the idea [the Face to Faith program] because last year I was asked to serve on an interfaith panel for a building community dialogue at Model for Jewish and Chaldean students. That was my first interfaith experience,” shares Morof.
Morof says that after his experience in his ceramics class and on the interfaith panel, he decided to break down these religious barriers by taking his idea to Face to Faith interfaith program coordinator Gail Katz.
“Working with teens and with youth is my passion,” explains Katz who was contacted by Morof last January. “I am very involved in many ways in involving youth and coming together to understand other faith traditions. I am always out there connecting with interfaith initiative sand impacting our youth. So Face to Faith was right up my alley.”
“I [think that Face to Faith] is a great way to get different communities together,” shares Morof’s mother, Sherri Morof. “And of course, [I am] very proud of him. He took a nice leadership role and he felt comfortable talking in front of so many people, just the way he put this whole thing together. I hope that it goes on and we get a better turnout [in the future.]”
According to Senior TKS who was in Josh’s ceramics class, Face to Faith has been successful in breaking down religious barriers so far.
“At this stage we are seeing a lot of people come [to the event] who are really motivated. People who aren’t as accepting [of other religions] can really learn from programs like Face to Faith,” shares TKS. “It is very motivating to see Face to Faith in this beginning stage because we can already see that it is going to go a long way.”
“I never thought that my experiment would really have this huge impact,” explains Morof. “It’s cool to see my creation turn into this big thing and when people said ‘we have to do this again,’ and were at [Face to Faith] talking to people of different faiths and getting their phone numbers and Facebooks, I realized that the program really has an impact.”
“Something like [Face to Faith] where you structure a dialogue and it’s a safe space and you stay away from politics and actually get to know each other, you find out that [people of different religions] actually have some of the same interests,” says Katz. “I think it really helps to break down those, what I like to call, the myths of stereotypes.”
“I think most people don’t ever have an opportunity in their lives, or at least in their high school experience, to really sit down and learn about other people that are different from themselves,” concludes Morof. “They never realize that people [of different religions] are so similar to [each other] and I think that Face to Faith is a really unique opportunity to bring everyone together.”

We are all God’s creations ..


An article by Daniel Cherrin that appeared in

the November 10th issue of the Jewish News

Let’s get to know each other better! A teacher at Hillel Day School of Metropolitan Detroit taught my child and me, “We are all God’s creations.” She said “not only are we all created by God, but also it is God that made us all different. Some of God’s children have dark hair while some have light hair. Some have blue eyes and others have brown eyes.” And some have darker skin than others.


We are all different from each other — in how we look and act, in how we learn and in what we do. And yet for some of us, it is our differences that keep us apart.


Bankole Thompson, senior editor of the Michigan Chronicle, an African American, and Arthur Horwitz, publisher of the Detroit Jewish News, a Jewish American, see differences, yet respect and celebrate those differences because they have taken the time to better understand each other and each other’s culture. Both are co-founders of a young organization of editors and publishers of Detroit’s ethnic media called the New Michigan Media. Both got together to host an event to raise awareness and create a better understanding between our communities on Oct. 25 at Temple Beth El in Bloomfield Township.
Despite being the children of God, Jewish Americans and African Americans are rooted in different and distinct cultures. There will, however, always be a need to understand each other better. Since the 1967 Detroit riots, our communities have been trying to build a bridge. Perhaps for the past 40 years, we have been going at it all wrong.


I grew up in an age when cultural diversity, awareness and sensitivity were each just becoming in vogue. My children are from a generation where the differences become irrelevant or lie just in the background. The first president of the United States that they will remember is black. I hosted a fundraiser for the mayor of Detroit in our home; I happened to work for him, and he just happened to be black. Although my children attend Hillel Day School, a Jewish day school, they have friends, classmates and teachers who also happen to be black. At Congregation Beth Shalom in Oak Park, we pray alongside people who just happen to be black.
Let’s work to create a better understanding about everyone who is different from us, including those in our own community. Let us respect each other for who we are, while at the same time, seek a better understanding of each other. Let us invite the African American community into our synagogues, just as we want to be welcomed into their churches. Let’s invite African Americans to the Holocaust Memorial Center in Farmington Hills to see how we were treated and almost exterminated by a person who did not respect us for our differences. Let us open our seder tables to those that want to learn how we were once enslaved. And let us ask the African American community if we can walk with them to trace their ancestors’ footsteps along the Underground Railroad, while visiting the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History to see how they once were enslaved.

Together, let’s package and deliver kosher food through Yad Ezra in Berkley — and the next week, let’s serve food at a church’s shelter. Then we can celebrate our differences and respect our cultures, while eating matzah ball soup with cornbread and brisket with some sweet potato pie.

Once we have a better understanding of each other, perhaps we can find ways to partner in a new business venture, mentor others and otherwise be vested with each other, not as two separate groups of people, but as a region.

We may look a little different, but in the end, we all want the same thing — the opportunity to live side-by-side as one community.

Food Stamped – a Documentary about hunger!!


As part of Fighting Poverty with Faith, a national, interfaith movement working to overcome poverty in the United States, the Jewish Community Relations Council and Yad Ezra, the kosher food bank, are screening the documentary film Food Stamped. This informative and humorous film follows a couple as they attempt to eat a healthy, well-balanced diet on a food stamp budget. Following the film, there will be a facilitated discussion about food insecurity, and we will encourage audience members to take the Food Stamp Challenge, which asks people to try to live on $31.50 (the average amount one person receives weekly in food stamps) for one week.


The screening of Food Stamped is on Wednesday, December 7th, at 7pm, at Wayne State University Oakland Center, 33737 West 12 Mile Road – Room 130, in Farmington Hills.

What: Screening of documentary film Food Stamped

When: Wednesday, December 7, 7pm

Where: Wayne State University Oakland Center

33737 West 12 Mile Road – Room 130

Farmington Hills

Who: Anyone interested in hunger, food insecurity, and healthy eating

Register: foodstamped.eventbrite.com

Questions? Call 248-642-5393 or email scrane@jfmd.org.

Hosted by the Jewish Community Relations Council and Gleaners Community

Food Bank

Once you have seen the film, we encourage you to sign up for the Food

Stamp Challenge to get a small taste of what it’s like to depend on

food stamps. The Food Stamp Challenge encourages individuals to try to

live on $31.50 (the average amount one person receives weekly in food

stamps) for one week during the Fighting Poverty with Faith


The Rev. Dan Buttry, who will be facilitating our WISDOM film discussion group of “Pray the Devil Back to Hell” on January 11, 2012 at the Birmingham Community House is also appearing at the Ecumenical Theological Seminary on December 8th in the evening.

Dan Buttry Flyer




Five Women Five Journeys: How Different Are We?
WISDOM Women together

This unique WISDOM program features personal stories of women of different faith traditions – how their childhood impacted their beliefs today, what the challenges are for women in their faith tradition, what parts of their religion are misunderstood, how reaching out to someone from a different faith has enriched their lives.
To inquire about a Five Women Five Journeys Program for your organization, contact Elaine Schonberger at bookfairmama@comcast.net or Paula Drewek at Drewekpau@aol.com .

Check out the latest story about a friendship that crosses religion, race, or ethnic boundaries at www.friendshipandfaith.com.
Email Gail Katz at gailkatz@comcast.net if you have a personal story for the friendshipandfaith.com website!!


1) Go to http://www.readthespirit.com/religious-holidays-festivals/ for fascinating information about upcoming Religious holidays that your neighbors of different faith traditions may be celebrating!!

2) Go to http://www.readthespirit.com/were-making-news/ for a listing of all the articles written about the WISDOM Book Friendship and Faith: the WISDOM of Women Creating Alliances for Peace.

Go to our WISDOM websites at www.interfaithwisdom.org

Read our interfaith story of the week from our book Friendship and Faith,

and find the link to buy the book at

Amazon at

Contact Information


Gail Katz gailkatz@comcast.net
phone: 248-978-6664


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BECOME A FRIEND OF WISDOM! Click on this link to go to the WISDOM website (right side of home page) to print out form to support WISDOM.

WISDOM Mission Statement

To Provide concrete modeling of women from different faith traditions working together in harmony for the common good.
To Empower women to take a more active role in furthering social justice and world peace.
To Dispel myths, stereotypes, prejudices and fear about faith traditions different from our own.
To Nurture the growth of empathy and spiritual energy that result from our projects and interfaith dialogue.


WISDOM is a Non-Profit Organization. Get involved with WISDOM!

WISDOM’s challenge is to bring together people from different faith traditions, ethnicities, races, and cultures in an atmosphere of safety and respect to engage in educational and community service projects. Let’s change our world through the positive power of building relationships!