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October 10, 1986 - Image 17

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1986-10-10

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I to help out. Also, if someone
d owns" a job, everyone else is
afraid to do it or thinks only
t hat person has the expertise
to do it," she said.
Shirley Halprin, a member

of the Northwest Child Re-
scue Women steering corn-
mittee, said that her group
\---i'und the steering committee
concept to be a creative solu-
('tion for sharing responsibility
and keeping leadership fresh.

"Six women take the job for
two months each, and we de-
cide among ourselves which
months. This way nobody


•"If they find value
•in doing
they'll do it.
People get
Anvolved just
because it's fun."

feels the pressure of a
presidency. We have been
working this way for three
years now and it has worked
out very well."
Halprin's group also has
changed their meeting time
from lunch to early morning
to better accommodate chang-
ing lifestyles. The steering
committee meets monthly,
and each member is respon-
sible for planning only one
meeting. One person is re-
sponsible for membership for
the year, and all fund raisers,
of which there are many,
have their own chairmen.
Chana Michlin of Naamat
USA proposed the idea- of
regionalization to her organ-
ization. "We found we had too
many jobs and too few work-
ers," she said. "I thought that
we could combine the five
( chapters and reorganize to
C give each person a job accord-
ing to their ability to do it."
Many members of Naamat
are older and cannot drive
) themselves to meetings, so
other members volunteer
time and vans in order
to get them there. Ida Katz,
/ `, at 95 the oldest member, still
goes out each year for the
canister drive, and many
members who have been
active for nearly as many
years still work on the fund-
.f.aising activities. Each of the
five clubs will keep their own
identity, but programming
-.nd some other activities will
be centralized under the Met-
ropolitan Group.
"I believe this is a coming
trend," said Ann Kaplan,
Naamat president. "This is a
prototype for other organiza-
• tions to follow. We found a
• way to continue, and to learn
• from each other and enjoy
doing it."
While the older women in
the Jewish community are
still active and seeking ways
to carry on their activities,


the same commitment doesn't
seem to be evidenced by
many younger, more energe-
tic women.
"We have no collective
memory," said Sklar. "Today
we live in a protected, iso-
lated society. We don't see
the hunger. need, and we cer-
tainly don't experience it.
"These older women had
hands-on . experience. They
personally experienced immi-
gration, pogroms, the lack of
having that they are trying
to combat for others," she
said. "Many younger women
have no real identity with
the needs of others. We are
very 'me' oriented, and the
agencies we are working for
seem very abstract."
Those who have been to Is-
rael or visited the projects
they have been working to
fund are much more
enthusiastic about their work
and often redouble their ef-
forts as a result. Shirley Hal-
prin said that an ongoing re-
lationship between members
of Northwest Child Rescue
Women and the people they
help has ensured the level of
involvement and commit-
"We support the develop-
mentally disabled Jews in
this community at the Jewish
Community Center. It is not
abstract. We are doing some-
thing we can see," she said.
"They invite us to participate
in their holiday projects, we
can see the summer camp we
are funding. You can really
see where the money is go-
An additional problem
pointed out by Saulson is
that organizations must im-
prove their interpersonal
skills. "People get turned off
not because they think an
organization is no good, but
because of poor human rela-
tionships," she said.
"Organizations must re-
member how to say thank
you. People will not work if
they believe their efforts are
unappreciated. Volunteer
work is where you get aggra-
vated for free, so it needs
tremendous commitment.
There will never be sufficient
pay, except for a degree of
"A person must see it as a
value in and of itself. There-
fore, education is a necessity.
It is unfair to undersell a job.
An organization must give
people the tools to do a job
right. It has a responsibility
to deal with others in a car-
ing way.
"But what most bothers me
is that despite the emphasis
on Jewish philanthropy,
there is still plenty of indi-
vidual stinginess," she said.
"Many wealthy people don't
consider themselves obligated
to share any - decent amount
of it with the community. Too
many people want to be their
own heirs and are not suffi-
ciently attuned to helping

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