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June 13, 1986 - Image 88

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1986-06-13

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Friday, June 13, 1986


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we should not do again."
Charity should be an act of
partnership, which involves
the donor beyond the writing
of a check, in Jaffe's opinion.
"It really begins after the
funds are raised. That's
where the excitement, the
beauty, the partnership, all
the enthusiasm should come
to fruition.'
"For many American Jews,
giving has become mech-
anical and often related to
status in the American corn-
munity. It has not repre-
sented an in-depth educa-
tional process, nor has it led
to any real partnership be-
tween Diaspora Jews and
On the other hand, Jaffe
praised the Jewish Agency's
Project Renewal program for
rehabilitating depressed
"One of the nicest things
that came out of Renewal
was that it provided one of
the best classrooms that
anybody could ever set up for
the donor leadership abroad.
They saw our Israeli politics
and our Israeli problems, our
grass roots citizenry, our
neighborhoods and our
mayors, and the problems of
"They watched their Re-
newal money closely, almost
as if through a magnify-
ing glass. Then you could
talk with them about why
shouldn't the same account-
ability and the same wat-
chdogging be equally 'ap-
propriate for all the other
monies that come to the
Jewish Agency."
Another important ingre-
dient of Project Renewal has
been its inclusion of local peo-
ple in the programming, plan-
ning and execution of its pro-
jects. "It took the residents
into the mayor's office
through the front door, not
through the back window,"
said Professor Jaffe. "And if
the residents are really well
organized now, it's because of
Project Renewal."
An essential part of Project
Renewal planning, in which
Jaffe participated, was that
outside funding was not
open-ended, but provided
bases on which neighbor-
hoods could build.
"There has to be closure;
these are not charity pro-
grams," said Jaffe. "Now the
question is, what will remain
when they pull out?" It may
take years before ultimate
success or failure of the pro-
gram can be assessed.
Another way for overseas
contributors to get more in-
volved in the spending of
their philanthropic dollars is
through support of lesser-
known Israeli charities. To
make these smaller charities
known overseas, Jaffe com-
piled a 656-page English-
language directory of vol-
unteer social services in


Israel, entitled "Giving
Large organizations, whose
multi-faceted activities could
hardly be compressed into
the one or two pages allotted
each entry, do not appear in
the book. Not surprisingly,
its publication has served to
reinforce Jaffe's anti-estab-
lishment reputation. Further-
more, its subtitle, "The Israel
Guide to Non-Profit and
Volunteer Social Services,"
did nothing to allay fears of
establishment fundraisers
that the book might deflect
money that would otherwise
be donated to their causes.
Jaffe denied that he is
necessarily anti-estab-
lishment. He said his purpose
was to advise people who
want to know where their
money is going, who want to
give on a personal level in ad-
dition to UJA and other such
contributions, or who want to
support small causes with
whose goals they could iden-
"Giving Wisely" does not
purport to evaluate the
charities it describes, al-
though Jaffe had originally.
planned to rate them. He felt,
however; that he could not
_apply his subjective criteria
to causes that might have dif-
ferent priorities for his
Instead, he listed the
names and addresses or
phone numbers of principals
of every charity, suggesting
potential donors make con-
tact. He pointed out that the
red-bordered white triangle
on the book's cover is the
universal driving symbol for
"proceed with caution."
Professor Jaffe has his own
"pet charities." Father of
four children, he helped
organize Zahavi, a group

dedicated to improving condi-
tions for Israel's large fami-
lies. The name, which literal-
ly means "my gold," is also
an acronym for the Hebrew
of "the rights of families
blessed with children."
He was a founder and
chairman of the Israeli board
of The New Israel Fund,
which has a parallel Amer-
ican board and raises seed-
money for small innovative
projects. These projects often
"fall between the cracks of
traditional Jewish philan-
thropy because they are too
small, too risky or too con-
troversial.," he explained. The
fund sets two-year and
$10,000 limits on its grants
to individual, community
based programs. These are
described in "Giving Wisely"
as in the areas of "com-
munity organization, civil
liberties, women's rights, the
environment and Arab-
Jewish relations."
Jaffe's fundraising on
behalf of small charities are in
memory of his older brother,
Arthur Yitzchak Jaffe, whose
murder during a robbery in
Cleveland in 1978, led Eliezer
Jaffe into a dark period of
soulsearching and question-
ing. Documentation of that
period and his tribute to his
brother are to be found in his
book, "Letters to Yitz." Pro-
fessor Jaffe, who is religious-
ly observant, described him-
self as now having a "bitter-
sweet relationship toward
Professor Jaffe's parents
were immigrants to Clev-
eland, where they set him a
strong example of commun-
ity involvement and ad-
herence to Jewish ideals. It is
these ideals — and not con-
troversy — that he is at-
tempting to perpetuate with
his campaigns, he says.


French Refusal To Help
Follows Historic Pattern


Even though the United States
is a superpower with "alliances"
throughout the world, our coun-
try occasionally feels lonely. All
of America's European allies, not
just Britain, should have sup-
ported the air strike against
Libya. And yet, neither morality,
friendship nor logic could per-
suade our friends to do so, par-
ticularly France, who wouldn't
even allow our flights in their air
For the past ten years, a de-
pendence on Arab sources (such
as Libya) for oil has been cited as
the explanation for the pro-Arab
positions of these countries and
for their refusals to sell arms to
While giving in to the threat of
Arab oil blackmail might be re-

garded as immoral, at least eco-
nomic self-interest legitimized
the act. This was the rationale
France used when it released
known PLO terrorist Abu Daoud
in 1977, despite West German
and Israeli requests for his ex-
But today, with a world oil glut
and a relatively insignificant
trade between France and Libya,
France can hardly use economic
self-interest as a reason for refus-
ing the U.S. request.
Neither can one discern a
streak of pacifism in French
foreign policy. Granted, France
has suffered a series of military
defeats dating back to Napolean.
Nevertheless, she has shown
great willingness to intervene
militarily when overseas inter-


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