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May 25, 1984 - Image 16

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1984-05-25

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

16

Friday, May 25, 1984

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

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Continued from preceding page

people working for you. I have ten
people just working in project de-
velopment. There's a lot of work to be
done in script reading, contracts, etc.
Plus somebody has to deal with
equity (the actor's union) and some-
one else has to deal with the actors,
directors and other personnel. For
every show you need to have a stage
manager, an office manager and a
production stage manager. There are
just all kinds of things like that.
"I always have scripts with me
and can read an entire play on the
flight between New York and De-
troit," says Bloch. With the amount
of commuting on Bloch's schedule be-
tween those two points, he must get a
lot of reading done. While in New
York, a typical day finds Bloch at his
desk by 10 a.m. More often than not,
he will be working on matters relat-
ing to his real estate business. Unip-
rop, the real estate equity invest-
ment corporation of which Bloch is
chairman, owns and operates proper-
ties, mainly mobile home parks, in 12
states.
Later in the afternoon, when the
theater business starts to gear up,
Bloch shifts his focus and starts
attending "a lot of meetings." By
dinner time, "there's lots of things
going on." Then its curtain up, and as
a Tony juror, Bloch has to see every
theatrical production on the list.
"Press and PR meetings are usually
held after the shows," adds Bloch, "so
11 p.m. is when I finally sit down for
dinner." He gets home around 1 a.m.
and is up again by 7:30 that morning.
Bloch's Detroit life is only
slightly more sedate. In the eve-
nings I'm home," he says, "but the
phone is always ringing." (Nor does it
stop ringing during the day. Our
interview was interrupted at this
point — almost on cue — by a call
from Senator Ted Kennedy. Bloch
was once co-chairman of Kennedy's
Presidential campaign, and has co-
chaired the Senatorial campaigns of
Carl Levin and Donald Riegle.)
Sherry Kaye, former Channel
Nine talk show host and now Bloch's
Southfield-based publicist, recites a
list of Bloch's telephone calls earlier
this morning: Two rabbis, a pro-
ducer from California, a guy from
New York and the plumber." Bloch
chimes in with, You have to be pre-
pared to work on everything that
comes up, and then you just have to
give it all you've got."
A good example of Bloch's phil-
osophy is his attitude toward his
Jewish communal affiliations. "I
don't just get my name listed on
committees," he explains. "I believe
in going to meetings." A list of those
meetings might well include those
held by Israel Bonds (Bloch is a
member of the prestigious Presidents
Club), Cong. Shaarey Zedek (he is a
board trustee member and chairman
of the special fundraising commit-
tee), or AKIM, the organization for
the retarded children of Israel (Bloch
is Detroit chairman). He is also an

active participant in the affairs of
Boys Town of Jerusalem, the Jewish
National Fund, and is a member .of
the board of the Jewish Home for the
Aged. Bloch was the recipient of the
1983 State of Israel Peace Medal and
was recently responsible for the local
showing of Genocide to benefit the
Los Angeles-based Simon Wieserd --
hal Center. Bloch is also a truste
the Michigan Cancer Foundation.

"I get scripts from all over
the world, and I read
everything — every single
play that is sent to me,
although sometimes it's
really hard."

And I'm involved in Jewish
communal affairs almost as much in
New York as I- am here," adds Bloch,
citing his work on behalf of Yeshiva
University and the Jewish Theologi-
cal Seminary. "I could eat dinner out
every night that I'm in New York,"
he says, "andl don't mean in a restau-
rant."
Make no mistake about it, his
work on behalf of Jewish organiza-
tions is very important to Bloch.
"Somebody who is busy still has to
give time to the important things,"
he explains, lamenting the sad fact
that some of the individuals he may
telephone on behalf of such
endeavors reply they are "too busy"
to become involved.
"I'm not talking show business
or movies or theater now," says
Bloch. "I'm talking about promoting
Judaism and our religion and our
survival. If I've learned anything at
all, it is that you have to give some-
thing (of what you earn) back (to
Judaism), because it is no fun with-
out doing that. Believe me, none of
this" (with a wave of his hand, he
indicates a wall covered with framed
show business posters and awards)
"would mean anything if I wasn't in-
volved in the other things" (he points
to a wall covered with honors re-
ceived from Jewish communal organ-
izations, and then pauses). "It really
wouldn't. That's the way I feel about
i t.
"I was involved (with Jewish
organizations) before I ever became
known as a businessman or a pro-
ducer. While I was building my buc
ness I was very involved, althoL
not at the level I am now because I
didn't have the time and the re-
sources. But I always looked forward
to this time.
"Often in New York, when I'm
really feeling hassled, I go down to
the (Lubavitcher) Mitzvah Mobile —
A's usually in front of Penn Central
or on 47th street — and I pray. And I
feel like I'm in something that's
really important." (Again, Bloch
waves his hand at the wall of show

Continued on Page 18

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