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January 29, 1988 - Image 12

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1988-01-29

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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Lerner Announces Retirement
After 25-Year JFS Leadership

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12

FRIDAY, JANUARY 29, 1988

amuel Lerner, execu-
tive director of the
Jewish Family Service
for the past 25 years, has an-
nounced his retirement, effec-
tive Dec. 31.
A native of New Jersey,
Lerner came to the post in
1963, after having served as
director of casework services
for the Wayne County
Juvenile Court. Previously,
he was the director of the Bat-
tle Creek Child Guidance
Clinic, a casework supervisor
at the Jewish Family Service
in St. Paul, Minn., and a
psychiatric social worker at
the Jewish Child Guidance
Clinic in Newark, N.J.
Lerner said he had no "
game plan" as yet for how he
will spend his retirement.
However, he hoped to travel,
write articles for professional
journals and do consulting
work for JFS, non-Jewish
agencies and foundations.
Susan Citrin, JFS presi-
dent, lauded Lerner and the
projects he instituted during
his tenure. "He's very in-
novative. We're going to miss
that ingenuity that he has."
Citrin said Lerner brought
world-wide acclaim to the
agency, which netted it high
accreditation ratings. At its
last evaluation, she said, the
agency received a 99.7 rating
(out of a possible 100).

Dr. Conrad Giles, president
of the Jewish Welfare Federa-
tion, of which the JFS is a
member agency, also praised
the work of Lerner. "Sam's
dedicated leadership to the
JFS has resulted in the
building of a world-class in-
stitution, which has received
international recognition for
delivery of service. He will be
missed and it will be difficult
to replace him." Lerner will
remain in his position until a
replacement is found.

Giles said the Federation
will work with the JFS to
search for a new executive
director.
Looking back on his agen-
cy's accomplishments", Lerner
said there were four areas in
which he was particularly
proud: the Housing Re-
Location Project, which mov-
ed inner-city Jews to the nor-
thwest suburbs after the 1967
riots; the Poverty Project,
which benefited the Jewish
poor; group apartments for
the elderly and in-home
respite care which gives relief

Sam Lerner: Retiring from the Jewish Family Service helm.

to care givers of the elderly
and infirm.
Lerner attributes his suc-
cess to a philosophy: that in
addition to providing concrete
services, the agency must re-
tain its core service as a
casework and therapy agency.
"I've tried to keep a balance
between the two; I'm not
totally psychoanalytically
oriented and not oriented just
to concrete services. The core
of the agency is to have a good
professional staff and provide
services."

Lerner said he chose social
service work as a career
because he "always had a
compassionate feeling for the
underdog and people who
have trouble adjusting to this
world." He said he wanted_ to
get at the root of why they
have such problems, and do
more than just provide public
assistance.
Giles said that Lerner will
remain as a consultant to the
community. "We know we can
count on his continued
counsel."

LOCAL NEWS

Jewish Professional
Award Is Established

A Jewish communal profes-
sional employed by the
Jewish Welfare Federation or
a Federation beneficiary will
receive the first Berman
Award for Outstanding Pro-
fessional Service, created by
Mandell and Madeleine
Berman.
The award, to be presented
this spring, is intended to pro-
mote and reward extraor-
dinary professional service.
The Bermans established the
award through the Federated
Endowment Fund of United
Jewish Charities. The award
carries with it an opportuni-
ty for the recipient to enhance
their knowledge or skills of
Jewish communal leadership.

Each year, a new awardee's
name will be inscribed on a
permanent plaque in the
Federation's Butzel Building.
Each recipient will also
receive their own plaque of
recognition.

Mr. Berman is president of
the Council of Jewish Federa-
tions and a past president of
Federation,
Nominees for the Berman
Award must have worked in
the Detroit Jewish communi-
ty a minimum of five years.
Address nominations to
Michael Berke-Confidential,
Jewish Welfare Federation,
163 Madison Avenue, Detroit
48226.

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