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June 05, 1987 - Image 46

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1987-06-05

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Friday, June 5, 1987



Continued from preceding page

bi Irwin Groner of Cong.
Shaarey Zedek.
And while Adat Shalom
Synagogue "gave our members
a few years off" between retir-
ing the synagogue's mortgage
and commencing its endow-
ment-campaign, other institu-
tions are not waiting that long.
Hillel Day School received seed
money for its endowment just
as it paid off its building.
Some think their institution
waited too long. "If the founders
of Akiva had set up an endow-
ment fund in 1964, we would
have a substantial fund of
money to work with today," says
Philip Applebaum, executive
director of Akiva Hebrew Day
School. Applebaum says he set-
up the school's endowment fund
in February 1986.
Inflation and growing need
have put additional pressures
upon synagogues. "Ten years
ago we were more self-
sustaining from dues," says
Richard Bleznak of Shaarey
Zedek's endowment committee.
While some explain the
mushrooming of endowments
as just good business or the
logical next phase of institu-
tional development, others see
growing assimilation and
estrangement from the Jewish
community among the younger
generation and want to set up
endowments as a kind of life-
line to the future.
'The new generation is not
following in the footsteps of
earlier generations, at least
quantitatively:' observes Rabbi
Yitzchak Kagan, associate
director of Chabad-Lubavitch,
whose local organization set up
an endowment fund two years
ago with a goal of $18 million.
Rabbi Groner sees it a bit dif-
ferently. "It's an insurance
policy," he agrees, "but if the
future generation defects, the
money isn't going to help us!'


an Jewish institutions
afford to continually ex-
pand their program-
ming and budgets? And will en-
dowments compete with yearly
funding drives such as the
Allied Jewish- Campaign to one
or the other's detriment?
"There are only so many
dollars to go around;' remarks
Robert Roth, president of Cong.
B'nai Moshe.
"It's an incorrect assumption
that the Jewish community is
giving 100 percent," says Jef-
frey Mossoff, president of Tem-
ple Emanu-El, which conducts
"regular fund raising" and has
completed the first year of its
endowment drive which, the
congregation hopes, will even-
tually amount to "hundreds of
thousands of dollars in en-
"There is unequivocably
enough .money to go around,"
David Hermelin insists. "The
total amount of money avail-
able is there. We have to reach
a broader cross section (of
"I don't think the dollars that

a person wants to give their
shul is in competition with
other donations;' says Anna
Chapin, assistant director of
the Federation endowment
If a donor is satisfied, he will
give maximum support,
Federation's Joseph Imberman
adds. "One kind of agency may
be able to provide that (satisfac-
tion) that another may not!'
Fedration is encouraging its
agencies to establish en-
dowments. The Jewish Home
for the Aged approved the
establishment of a fund in
March. The goals of the endow-
ment have not been determin-
ed, according to director Alan
The Home has been plagued
by a budget deficit of $600,000.
Will the endowment be used to
balance the budget? "Indirect-
ly that is the intent;' Funk ad-
mits. "Many donors don't like
feeling that they're bridging
operational deficits:' he adds,
saying that closing the deficit
is not mentioned as a goal in
endowment promotions.
The effects of how giving will
change under the new tax law
have not been analyzed.
Federation reports a surge in
donations during December
1986, just before the law went
into effect — $10,500,000 com-
pared to $3,320,000 donated in
December 1985. "We're not
sure we can sustain anything
like it next year;' Chapin says.
"It's not a question of the tax
rate:' David Hermelin argues.
"It's a question of education.
People will be committed to
some kinds of causes if they are
brought close to those causes!"
Imberman agrees: "This is
one reason Jewish hospitals
and homes for aged have been
successful in fund raising. You
were there. You got good care.
People want to thank the com-
munity for making the service
At least one local institution
is bucking the endowment
wave. Temple Kol Ami has so
far dismissed the option as a
violation of its egalitarian prin-
ciples that prestige should not
come because of the money one
"Probably financially it has
been bad for us;' says president
Ibny Lee. "What is more impor-
tant is a democratic treatment
across the board!'
Most, however, see en-
dowments as the wave of the
future; a key to institutional
stability as donations to annual
campaigns vary from year to
Rabbi Kagan looks at the
situation a little more
philosophically: "All of us in
the rabbinic profession have a
dream: (to get out of fund-
raising and) use our expertise
the way it was meant to be us-
And, he adds, wryly, "there
were no courses in tax planning
at the yeshivah!' 0

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