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September 19, 1986 - Image 63

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1986-09-19

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From the President

Alone, the individual Jew would have been lost many
times and long ago, but a Jew is never alone . . . for
he is forever surrounded by his community .. .
Elie Wiesel

W hat a remarkable statement that is: A Jew

is never alone . . . for he is forever surrounded
by his community. As we reflect upon the

many challenges we have faced together as a
Jewish community over the past 60 years, I am
struck by the nature of our extraordinary

Detroit is special. The president of the Council
of Jewish Federations called this, among 200
communities across North America, "the flag-
ship Federation of the country". We're talking
about creativity and innovation. We're talking
about generosity. And we're talking about
spirit—an intangible quality that makes this
community unique.

All of us can take pride in the achievements of
the past year. One of the most visible has been
the growing number and variety of services
provided to the aged living in their own homes.
Based on the blueprint of the Task Force on
Community-Based Services to the Non-Institu-
tionalized Elderly, we have extended our serv-
ices to five times more older adults over the
past four years.

Five committees are working actively both to
chart a course for the future and to come up
with specific ideas. Federation will initiate
programs, but also will work in partnership
with synagogues and organizations.

So, in several vital areas this year, Federation
has taken the lead in community planning and
building. We have drawn upon the expertise of
hundreds of individuals—volunteers and corn-
munal professionals —to confront issues of
concern to all of us and to coordinate our ef-
forts for effectiveness and economy.

These efforts include a Jewish Information Ser-
vice, respite care for the families of chronically
ill persons, inter-generational concerts and
congregate living with homemaker services, as
well as counseling for the adult children of
aging parents. In these programs, Federation
has had the cooperation of its agencies, public
funding bodies and our own Max M. Fisher
Jewish Community Foundation. To the United
Foundation, of course, goes our heartfelt grati-
tude for its support of so many agency programs.

Effectiveness and economy, by the way, are a
key to Federation's success. We have been
given a mandate by the members of our Jewish
community to provide the best possible ser-
vice for the least possible cost. To do so re-
quires careful cash management, but it also re-
quires new sources of income. The Federated
Endowment Fund has taken tremendous strides
this year, and I hope you will read about the
exciting endowment developments elsewhere
in this report.

This summer, Federation and its United Jewish
Charities committed resources to a project
that can have far-reaching benefits for neigh-
borhoods in Oak Park and Southfield. Work-
ing together with organizations, civic groups
and residents, the Neighborhood Project will
provide the catalyst for enhancing the special
quality of life that exists there. Leaders of
those cities have expressed great enthusiasm
for this program.

The Allied Jewish Campaign is, after all, our
primary financial resource. Because of De-
troiters' remarkable commitment, year in and
year out, we have enabled more than 60 bene-
ficiaries to increase services to our fellow Jews
everywhere. This year's success has helped us
budget $23.8 million!

At last year's annual meeting, Federation an-
nounced the inauguration of a Commission on
Jewish Identity and Affiliation. This summer
marked the midway point in its task:to address
the changes affecting Jewish life and to devise
ways for individuals to enrich their sense of
identity with their heritage.

How do we do it? How has Detroit's Campaign
achieved the premier position in the nation?
Volunteers make it happen. You make it hap-
pen. The challenge for Federation is to match
opportunities for community involvement with
your interests and needs.

Recognizing that such involvement must be
nurtured among our young men and women,
we have introduced a number of them to

Jewish communal life through our successful
Breakfast Club. In addition, seven college stu-
dents are currently in Israel, representing De-
troitin a full-year program called Otzma, the
Jewish Service Corps. As we celebrate the
centennial of David Ben-Gurion's birth, I like to
think he would find this peace corps in Israel's
best pioneering tradition. Similarly, he would
applaud Detroit's continuing partnership with
Ramla in Project Renewal. With all of Israel's
economic hardships and often troubling poli-
tics, there is between us a continuing friend-
ship and understanding. And nowhere has this
been more apparent than in Ramla.

While there was much to celebrate, this year
marked a further deterioration in the situation
of Soviet Jewry. The only bright spot: Natan
Shcharansky's release from prison and his
joyous arrival in Israel. We must continue to
work on behalf of those who seek freedom.
And, should the doors suddenly open, as they
did for the Ethiopian Jews through Operation
Moses, we know our community and Israel will
be ready to absorb the newcomers.

In observing this 60th anniversary, we are re-
miniscent of our past, but also mindful of our
future. It's appropriate, then, that we inaugur-
ate a new look to our "logo", our Federation
signature. Although it's contemporary in ap-
pearance, it keeps alive the menorah theme
that has brightened these many years of ser-
vice. I hope you like it!

At the close of this Federation year and of my
three-year presidency, I note the departure of
Wayne Feinstein, a good friend and respected
colleague, and the arrival of his successor as
executive vice-president. In Martin Kraar, we
have a fine leader to carry us into the next era.

I thank all of you for the privilege of serving
and look forward to working with you in other
challenging tasks on behalf of this great
Jewish community of Detroit.

17 1,1,4)1,

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