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May 22, 1987 - Image 24

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1987-05-22

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Easy Does



With his low-key, folksy style,
Marty Kraar has managed to
take control of the helm of the
Federation here seemingly
effortlessly. And that's a
testament to his hard work and
good sense


t the recent closing
meeting of the record-
breaking Allied Jewish
Campaign, co-chair-
man Paul D. Borman
paid tribute to Marty Kraar, who has
been executive vice president of the
Federation since September, by
noting that "he has fit in just like a
An accurate observation that says
a good deal about Kraar's deceptive-
ly low-key style. Deceptive in the
sense that despite his laid-back
Southern manner, he is probably two
steps ahead of you, whether it's plan-
ning a strategy or anticipating a
Speak with him, watch him in ac-
tion, talk to his colleagues, and it is
clear that Kraar, 45, who moved here
after living in Israel for two years
where he was founder and director
general of the Council of Jewish
Federation's Israeli office, is in con-
trol; he has had a remarkably smooth
transition in taking over the helm
from Wayne Feinstein of one of the
most active and productive Federa-
tions in the country.
He says he cannot take credit for
the successful Campaign this year
because "it was already in place when
I got here — but then again, in 20
years it still won't be 'my' campaign.
I'm just a partner here."
It was perfectly in character, then,
that in announcing the record Cam-


Friday, May 22, 1987


paign total that night at the closing,
Kraar first asked everyone in the au-
dience to stand, not only to heighten
the drama of the moment but to sym-
bolize the unified effort that produc-
ed such impressive results.
"The only goal I came here with
for the first year was to learn," says
the Atlanta native in his soft drawl.
"My job is to learn the issues and help
move them along to the next stage.
I've done a lot of listening. I've met
with several hundred people one-on-
one, met with many groups, all types,
and I've come to realize how truly
outstanding this community is."
Kraar says that he always had
tremendous respect for the Detroit
Jewish community and, in discussing
the position with local leadership, he
knew "from day one that this was the
right move for me." He felt his values
were the same as the community's,
that they each shared a similar con-
cern for the quality of Jewish life, and
he was impressed with the profes-
sionalism and high caliber of the staff
as well as the lay leadership.

Kraar sees different roles for
himself as the top professional of the
Federation, depending on the situa-
tion: they include managing affairs
day-to-day and implementing policy;
providing alternative ideas to lay
leadership and serving as a frame of
reference for them on specific issues;
acting as a consultant and offering

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