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April 15, 1988 - Image 26

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1988-04-15

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Continued from preceding page

talking to the agency ex-
ecutives at one session.
"The executives of those
agencies spend 50-75 percent
of their time raising money,"
Berman says. He wants to im-
plement a system that would
allow the executives to use
their time more effectively.
Its changing role_ has led
CJF to open a Washington of-
fice to develop closer ties to
state and national organiza-
tions. At the overseas level, it
continues to be the funnel for
the federations' monetary
support and ideas to the
United Jewish Appeal,
United Israel Appeal, the
American Jewish Joint
Distribution Committee and
the Jewish Agency. CJF
names members to their
boards and Berman, as CJF
president, serves on the ex-
ecutive committee of all four.




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FRIDAY, APRIL 15, 1988

Monitoring The Process

ith such a large agen-
da, with every facet of
Jewish life coming
under federation scrutiny,
what does Berman hope to
"We need to improve CJF's
ability to do its job. We need
a new structure and new peo-
ple, and we need to re-
examine everything we do
and how we do it," he says.
Each of the CJF's 45 commis-
sions needs a mission state-
ment, a plan of work, and
needs to answer the question,
"Are we disseminating the in-
formation we gather? Do we
have too many commisions?
Too few?"
Berman also is calling for a
restructuring of the national
Jewish agencies, a controver-
sial topic for decades. Many
Jews have questioned
whether the Jewish com-
munity needs an Anti-
Defamation League, an
American Jewish Congress,
an American Jewish Commit-
tee and local Jewish com-
munity councils competing
for communal funding and as
communal defenders.
Although Berman did not
refer to this example, he gives
high priority to re-
examination of agency roles
and the saving of dollars.
"Everything is under
scrutiny," he says.
"The bottom line of my
agenda in this changing
world is to make the federa-
tions responsive and the CJF



ENIMIlIK ;2S,C1 13111•1111111111


efore his death last
weekend, Marty Citrin
told The Jewish News
what Bill Berman is dealing
with. "It's always different as
president than when you hold
another office," said Citrin,
who served two terms as CJF
president from 1981 to 1983.

Citrin, like Berman and
Detroit patriarch Max Fisher,
preceded his CJF tenure with
the presidency of the Jewish
Welfare Federation.
"The time demands are
greater. There's only one chief
officer and that's the presi-
dent," Citrin said. "He has to
relate to the other officers and
the public in a different way,
and he has a greater impact."
The public role, however, is
not a fair measure of a CJF
president's effectiveness.
Citrin said that Berman
should not be compared to his
predecessor, Shoshana Cardin
of Baltimore, a strong public
speaker at the annual,
3,000-delegate CJF General
Assemblies. "Each president
brings his or her own per-
sonality to the job. Each has
a different impact, but all are
positive. The methodology is,
basically, that all act by con-
sensus. No one comes in with
his or her own program."
Citrin also offered an ad-
vance assessment of Berman's
presidency: "Bill Berman is a
gentleman who has had long
years of experience and
responsibility in the Jewish
community. One of the
valuable experiences is being
Federation president here —
you use the same kinds of
judgements and processes
that you use on the national
"From all I know from my
many years of association
with Bill, I know he'll be a
good president. He's a very
astute and process-oriented
fella." ❑



Foundation Gets
Frank Medal

Amsterdam (JTA) — The
Anne Frank Foundation
awarded its 1988 Anne Frank
Medal to an organization
established in West Germany
to commemorate one of the
last and worst atrocities com-
mitted by the Nazis in World
War II. The recipient will be
the Kinder Der Bullenhuser
Damm Foundation (Children
of Bullenhuser Damm).
In an empty school building
on that street in Hamburg, in
April 1945, shortly before the
German surrender, 20 Jewish
children were murdered to
conceal the effects of medical
experiments performed on
them by Nazi doctors.
Two of the victims were
boys from the Dutch town of
Eindhoiven. The atrocity was
disclosed only recently and
the foundation was formed in
Hamburg to "perpetuate the
memory of these children and
to serve as a warning."


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