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January 06, 1989 - Image 12

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1989-01-06

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NEWS l'"•°m•mm"'"'"'"

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Haber

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12

FRIDAY, JANUARY 6, 1989

University of Michigan, serv-
ing as dean of the university's
college of literature, science
and the arts; professor of
economics and chairman of
the department. He also was
an adviser for many years to
the university's executive of-
ficers. At the time of his
retirement in 1971, Professor
Haber was the emeritus dean
and professor of economics.
While he was dean, Pro-
fessor Haber established the
Residential College, a small
liberal. arts college within
U-M.
Philip Slomovitz, editor
emeritus of The Jewish News
and a lifelong Haber friend,
paid tribute to Haber for his
accomplishments in the field
of education and elsewhere.
"Bill Haber is indelible in
history, and the
historiography heenriched in-
cludes academia, teaching
youth ORT-wise to be produc-
tive, thereby making educa-
tion workable, sharing in
rescue obligations in the post-
Hitler era, and as humanist
rejecting all aspects of racism.
He remains in memory as an
inerasable 'page in history! "
An economist of national
stature, Professor Haber was
recognized as an authority on
employment as well as in-
dustrial problems. He drafted
Michigan's first unemploy-
ment insurance legislation
for then-Gov. Frank Murphy
in 1936. He also was chair-
man of the Federal Advisory
Council on Employment
Security, which drafted the
first Social Security Act. He
was an adviser to several U.S.
Secretaries of Labor and a
member of the National
Academy of Labor
Arbitrators.
As a result of his involve-
ment with the American ORT
Federation and the World
ORT Union, Professor
Haber's reputation as a
leader in Jewish causes
spread internationally. He
was president of the
American ORT Federation
from 1950 to 1975 and presi-
dent of the central board of
the World ORT Union from
1955 to 1980. In 1984, the
American ORT Federation
created the annual William
Haber Award to honor ORT
leaders who have made
outstanding contributions to
ORT.
Businessman
Irving
Nusbaum, past president of
Detroit Men's ORT and a vice
president of the American
ORT Federation, called his
mentor "unforgettable."
"He was a true inspiration
to all of us in the ORT move-
ment by his amazing zest and
wit and great compassion for
all things, for humanity and

the Jewish people!'
Professor Haber's other ac-
tivities on behalf of world
Jewry were widely known.
His involvements included
the American Jewish Com-
mittee, Brandeis University,
the National Hillel Commis-
sion of B'nai B'rith and the
Hebrew University of
Jerusalem. He held honorary
degrees from MSU, Hebrew
University and Brandeis
University. Hebrew Universi-
ty established a chair in his
name in 1986 and a William
Haber Professorship in
modern Hebrew history goes
into effect this month.
In 1948, Professor Haber
was adviser on Jewish affairs
to Gen. Lucius D. Clay,
commander-in-chief of the
American Zone in Germany.
With the American Jewish
Joint Distribution Commit-
tee, Haber helped resettle
Jewish Holocaust survivors
from DP camps to Israel. For
his efforts, he received the
United Jewish Appeal
Humanitarian Award.
"It is difficult to conceive of
any other single person in
Jewish communal life in our
community having a greater
impact in so many different
areas than Bill Haber," said
Dr. Conrad Giles, president of
Detroit's Jewish Welfare
Federation and a vice presi-
dent of the American ORT
Federation. "He was a model
for Jewish communal leader-
ship with unstinting energy
giving his efforts to so many
organizations, notably the
World ORT Union and the
B'nai B'rith Hillel.
"He was a teacher to
generations of University of
Michigan students and an in-
spiration to all who had the
remotest contact with him."
Hermelin recalled Haber as
a "great teacher" who was
dedicated to the field of
education. "He was commit-
ted to a vision of a better
world through all forms. of
education, " Hermelin said.
"He had the unique ability to
communicate at all levels of
education. Up until his recent
illness, he was a dynamic per-
sonality who influenced
generations of thinking."
Hermelin, a former Haber
student, fondly recalled the
professor's class, entitled
"Haber on Labor." Professor
Haber was a respected labor
arbitrator.
He was the author of more
than a dozen professional
books and a frequent con-
tributor to professional
journals.
Dr. Haber is survived by his
wife, Fannie; two sons, Prof.
Ralph of Highland Park, Ill.,
and Robert Alan of Oakland,
Calif.; and two grandchildren.

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