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January 14, 1983 - Image 20

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

20 Friday, January 14, 1983

More Students Seek Aid of Jewish Scholarship Service

Mack Pitt

and his

David grew up in a com-
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expenses to reach nearly
$15,000 per year.
David isn't a real person
but there are thousands like
him in the files of the
Jewish Scholarship Service.
After 36 years of providing
interest-free loans to
Jewish college students, the
Scholarship Service is fac-
ing a record number of ap-
plications from those who
have fallen victim to
skyrocketing tuition costs
and a depressed economy
that has created severe fi-
nancial and emotional pres-
sures on many families.
An organization of
some 50 communal
scholarship funds,
Jewish Scholarship Serv-
ice works in conjunction
with Jewish Vocational
Service and Hebrew Free
Loan Association, both
member agencies of the
Jewish Welfare Federa-
tion and beneficiaries of
Allied Jewish Campaign
funds. Nora Barron is
president of JVS, and
Graham Landau is HFLA
president. The Schol-
arship Service is headed
by chairman Bruce E.
Thal.
Among the scholarship
funds are those of such
communal groups as Na-
tional Council of Jewish
Women, Greater Detroit
Section; Maimonides Medi-
cal Society Women's Auxil-
iary; Ruth Franklin Eins-
tein Education Fund of
Temple Beth El; and Probus
Club. Included are schol-
arship endowments held by
Federation's United Jewish
Charities, as well as schol-
arship funds of Hebrew Free
Loan.
Nearly 300 students
applied for aid during the
past year, an increase of
more than 50 percent over
previous years. Scholarship
coordinator Kalman Tillem,
who is a senior counselor
with the Jewish Vocational

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Consulting with a
patient is dentist Dr.
Maurice Opperer, who
completed his education
with the aid of the Jewish
Scholarship Service.

Service, documents each
case. He said he is seeing an
unprecedented number of
students from families with
serious financial problems.
"These are young people
from middle class families
who have never had to ask
for help before," said Tillem,
"and they are over-
whelmed." He said that he
is also seeing more appli-
cants whose families are
breaking up or having
major health problems,
which could be related to
the economy.
At the same time, there
is less governmental
support available to the
students, according to
Thal. He stated that a sec-
tor "that has historically
been helpful in supple-
menting other sources is
cutting back when the
needs are greater than
ever."
The Scholarship Service
attempts to help each appli-
cant with at least a portion
of expenses; funds are not
always sufficient to provide
the requested amount.
Some 80 percent of the
applicants are pursuing
full-time graduate studies,
especially in the health pro-
fessions. Each is required to
contact the school, the gov-
ernment and other sources
for loans, grants and work-
study programs where feas-
ible.
Tillem verifies the stu-
dent's standing with the
school and obtains perti-
nent financial and personal
information. Representa-
tives from the various funds
review the case evaluation
without knowing the indi-
vidual's name, and make
the final recommendation
on the loan.
According to Thal, the
program is a unique exam-
ple of how diverse organiza-
tions have worked together
to help many young people.
"This total community ef-
fort is a success," he re-
ported, "because of a tre-
mendous spirit of coopera-
tion."
Through the Schol-
arship Service, the com-
munity has nurtured a
large number of .physi-
cians, dentists, attorneys,
musicians, teachers and
others. Many have be-
come active communal
leaders as well as con-

tributing members of the
general community.
Dr. Maurice S. Opperer,
for example, is a local de-
ntist and an active leader of
the Professional Health Di-
vision of the Allied Jewish
Campaign, as well as a
member of Federation's
Culture and Education
budgeting and planning di-
vision. A former recipient
of a JSS loan, he recalled
that he "had nowhere else to
turn" after his father passed
away and he found he
couldn't complete his first-
year tuition payment at
dental school.
"I had exhausted all
possible sources of aid," he
said, "and found that I
wouldn't be allowed to reg-
ister for classes until that
payment was made."
Dr. Opperer was im-
pressed with the way his
application was handled.
When he received the loan,
he was told that the sooner
he began repaying it after
graduation, the sooner
someone else could be
helped. Because he felt that
was an important condition
of the loan, he began mak-
ing small weekly payments
immediately after gradua-
tion.
The importance of loan
repayment for the pro-
gram's continued success
was underscored by
Thal, who said that effec-
tive collection of out-
standing loans is cur-
rently a top priority of the
Scholarship Service.
"Those who have been
helped and are now estab-
lished members of the com-
munity have a responsibil-
ity to help others by paying
back their loan," Thal said.
"Only by recycling money in
this way can we help pro-
vide education for the next
generation."
Some graduates who
attended school with the
help of JSS loans have set
up their own funds. A schol-
arship fund can be estab-
lished, for example, in
United Jewish Charities'
endowment program with a
minimum commitment of
$2,000. Additional contri-
butions to the fund can be
made by relatives or friends
to celebrate or commemo-
rate special occasions.
Anyone who establishes a
fund is eligible to partici-
pate in the financial review
process.
Since many students
receive a loan through
the pooling of several
funds, the names of these
funds, which are often es-
tablished in memory of a
loved one, are per-
petuated. "It's a wonder-
ful way for donors at all
levels to contribute to the
education of our young
people," according to
Thal.
For information on the
Jewish Scholarship Service,
call Alan Kandel at Federa-
tion, 965-3939.

Bar Kochba means "Son
of a Star." Bar Kochba's re-
bellion against the Romans
was supported by Rabbi
Akiba.

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