14 Friday, January 24, 1986
THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS
The distinguished long-time leader of the
American ORT Federation, Dean William
Haber reflects on his golden anniversary at
BY ALAN ABRAMS
Special to The Jewish News
As Dr. William Haber marks his
50th anniversary as professor of
economics at the University of
Michigan, it is hard to believe he
was once almost refused a job be-
cause he is Jewish.
At 86, Dr. Haber still teaches a
weekly course at U-M and continues
to play an active role in the
worldwide functions of ORT. He's
served as president of the central
board of the World ORT Union since
Since 1930, he's written a shelf
of books on economic theory and
practice, and he's served on a
number of government bodies, both
federal and state, including the first
Michigan Unemployment Compensa-
tion Commission — based upon a
law he helped draft.
Dr. Haber — or Dean Haber to
be exact: he served as U-M's dean of
the College of Literature, Science
and Arts — shows no signs of slow-
ing down. He agreed to be inter-
viewed by The Jewish News on a
rainy Saturday morning on the
stipulation that it didn't interfere
with his plans to attend the U-M-
Wisconsin football game that after-
noon. But don't jump to any conclu-
sions about his motive: Wisconsin is
Dr. Haber's alma mater.
Seated behind the desk in his
massive book-lined study in his
spacious, secluded home in the Bar-
ton Hills suburb of Ann Arbor, Dr.
Haber pointed to the framed gallery
of photographs lining one wall of the
room. Every photograph triggered a
flood of memories.
"Over there, on the right, that's
Gen. Lucius D. Clay," said Dr.
Haber. "He's the reaon I got in-
volved in ORT.
"I worked with Gen. Clay. I was
his adviser on Jewish affairs," con-
tinues Dr. Haber.
Haber became involved with
ORT upon his return to the United
States in 1949. His work with Gen.
Clay was the catalyst. He recalls at-
tending one of the ORT organiza-
tional meetings and telling the
group that after all, he was an
economist, his field was manpower,
he was a specialist in labor and
training, he had been in Germany
and Austria and knew all the facets
of the problem, when suddenly he
was` interrupted by one of the men of
\"Pr4essor, we don't need any
advisers. If you want to help, come
The ( speaker was David
Dubinsky,', ,the legendary leader of