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January 14, 1983 - Image 16

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1983-01-14

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



THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

16 Friday, January 14, 1983

Winnipeg Jewry Faces Financial Crunch

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PET OW

WINNIPEG - Key in-
stitutions of the Jewish
community in this Cana-
dian city are facing a $2.5
million deficit. One of the
suggested solutions for the
problem has been to ask Is-
raeli institutions or the
United Israel Appeal for fi-
nancial help.
The Jewish Post of Win-
nipeg reported the decreas-
ing contributions to Win-
nipeg's Combined Jewish
Appeal (CJA) in recent
years has caused the finan-
cial problem. The CJA has
failed to meet its campaign
goals for the last three
years.
According to Marjorie
Blankstein, president of the
Winnipeg Jewish Commu-
nity Council, the CJA cam-
paign had $1.5 million after
expenses in 1980 for local
institutions, and $1.6 mil-
lion after expenses in 1981.
Blankstein said that the
1982 campaign was ex-
pected to raise $200,000 less
than last year, while com-
munity institutions have a
1982-1983 budget of $1.5
million. The 1982 total goal,
including funds to be sent
overseas, was $4.2 million.
The city's - YMHA
Jewish Community
Centre and several day
schools have taken out
bank loans in recent
years to cover deficits.
The $1.9 million in loans
outstanding at the end of
1983 are expected to
reach $2.5 million next
September.
The Jewish Post reported
that poor showings in the
latest CJA campaigns re-
flect a general downturn in
the Canadian economy,
deaths or departures of
major CJA contributors
from Winnipeg, and other
developments.
Blankstein said, "Many
members of the community
are not making a fair share
contribution. Perhaps the
campaign has failed to at-
tract enough people."
In addition, the city's
Jewish population has
shrunk from a high of
20,000 in 1961 to 17,000,
she added. Of that total,
about 37 percent are over

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60, more than twice the per-
centage of elderly in the
Canadian population as a
whole, leaving less working
individuals to contribute to
the CJA.
Asked why the com-
munity council didn't
move earlier to reverse
the community's finan-
cial crisis, Blankstein
said the current financial
problems are a recent
development. The Y and
some Jewish day schools
had deficits "for a period
of years, but it wasn't
until a year-and-a-half
ago that it was ac-
cumulating faster than
we were able to handle
it."
The community debt at
the end of 1981 was: Joseph
Wolinsky Collegiate and
Talmud Torah, $425,000;
Ramah Hebrew School,
$20,000; Peretz School,
$127,000; Board of Jewish
Education, $85,000; YMHA
Jewish Community Centre,
$1.2 million; Jewish Child
and 'Family Service,
$37,000.
Community
council
planners are discussing
several options for reducing
the community debt and in-
creasing revenues from
fund raising, Blankstein
said.
Options include, among
other things, closing the Y
building and transferring
its programs somewhere
else, closing Joseph
Wolinsky Collegiate and
eliminating or reducing
other community programs.
* * *

Newspaper Blames
Lack of Democracy

Meanwhile, the Jewish
Post followed the public
meeting on the financial
situation with an editorial
Dec. 9 entitled "Our Crisis
Underscores Need for
Democracy." It stated in
part: "As one critic said at
the public meeting on the
community's financial
crisis, many younger Jews
feel alienated because the
community council and
other key institutions are
run as a 'closed shop.' As a
result, he added, the council
has 'failed at getting the
support of the vast majority
of the community.'
"Whether that is an accu-
rate charge or not, we do
need greater democracy in
the institutions which are
making the key spending
decisions in our community:
the BJE (Board of Jewish
- Education) and the commu-
nity council.
"Rules governing elec-
tions for both bodies
need to be reformed, so
that nominations of their
directors come from the
community At large,
rather than from a small,
undemocratically-chosen
committee. There should
be a choice of candidates
in elections for the BJE
and the council, and can-
didates should make
their positions on com-
munity issues known.
"Such reforms won't
change the community's fi-
nancial situation overnight,
but they'll go a long way

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toward dispelling the feel-
ing many have that the
community now is being
run by a small,
undemocratically-chosen
group.
"It might encourage
many who are now standing
on the sidelines to get in-
volved in Jewish commu-
nity activities and contrib-
ute to the CJA -. Above all, it
will show every Winnipeg
Jew that he has more than a
token say in how money do-
nated to community institu-
tions is being spent. He who
pays the piper (or the CJA)
should have the right to call
the tune."

Eastern subjects.
Department chairman
Mose Nahir said that clos-
ing the department would
end Jewish studies at the
university.
"I don't think the attrac-
tion would be there to take a
major or minor (in Judaic
studies). They probably
would just take individual
courses. In effect, it would
mean the end of a program
because of lack of interest,"
he said.

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***

EAST 8 MILE ARMORY

Judaic Studies
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Another blow to the
community may be the clos-
ing of the Department of -
Near Eastern and Judaic
Studies at the University of
Manitoba. The university is
considering closing several
small departments this
spring as an economy
measure.
The department is ap-
proximately 20 years old
and has 100 students. It of-
fers courses in Yiddish, He-
brew, Arabic, Jewish his-'
tory, religion and literature
and other Jewish and Near

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