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June 30, 1989 - Image 25

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1989-06-30

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

the lengthy budgeting and planning
process.
Every local agency goes through
the process of being reviewed by its
own board and then the Federation
divisions. Israel's needs are not
reviewed in the same way.
Periodically, UJA representatives
make a presentation to Federation's
executive committee or board of
governors. "But Israelphiles on the
board will often make a case at the
allocations meetings. And it can be
pretty detailed, depending on the
local people involved," says Larry
Jackier, head of the Federation's con-
ference of division chairmen.
Joel Tauber, a national UJA vice
president, and David Hermelin, inter-
national president of Israel Bonds and
chairman of Operation Independence
for Israel's economic growth, are often
asked to comment. Jane Sherman, a
Jewish Agency board member and co-
chair of Detroit's Allied Jewish Cam-
paign the last two years, serves as
another Israel spokesman.
"Depending on the people involv-
ed," Jackier says, "it can be a detail-
ed presentation on the JDC or Jewish
Agency budgets. It is not just a speech
on the centrality of Israel."
But the centrality of Israel is the
driving force behind the local Cam-
paign. More money is raised because
of donors' perceptions of Israel's needs
than because of perceptions of local
needs.
"People respond to both," Jackier
says. "But people read the newspapers
and see stories about Israel every day.
The local Jewish leadership sees
material on the agencies all the time.
It is an interesting byplay" that is
subconsciously a part of the alloca-
tions process.
"When you stir all that up,"
Jackier says, "you come out with the
initial split."
Tauber sees today's fund-raising
allegiance to Israel as still strong, but
lessening. Speaking about Israel to
Jewish contributors means talking
about the survival of the Jewish peo-
ple. Talking about local needs, Tauber
says, means addressing the quality of
life for those who need help.
"For people of my generation and
older, the Holocaust also is a factor.
But that may not be true in future
generations.
"We know if we don't keep Israel
strong, there are 100 million Arabs
facing her. The quality of life in Israel
is a factor, too, but there is a much
stronger emotional feeling attached
to her survival."
Tauber believes the Allied Jewish
Campaign would resemble Detroit's
United Foundation (now United Way)
if the emotional factor of Israel was
removed and the focus was on local
needs.
The OF collected $60 million last
year in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb
counties. That represents a gift of

$16.59 for each person in the region. Jewish education as a major issue.
The Allied Jewish Campaign's total Tauber chairs a Federation task force
of $25 million in 1988 represented a that is studying Jewish education in
per capita_gift of $367, second only to Detroit. Its findings could lead to ma-
Cleveland's $375 in Jewish corn- jor changes in educational programs
and funding.
munities in North America.
"This is an example of how we res-
Israel, Tauber says, is the glue
that holds the Jewish community pond to local needs," Tauber says. "We
don't say that we can't make any
together.
"You see more people with big changes because we don't have the
money today who don't have the emo- money."
Jim August, Federation treasurer
tional commitment like we used to.
They give money to the universities, and Larry Jackier's predecessor as
the art museums, the symphonies." head of the conference of division
In additional to his annual $1 chairmen, has a reminder for critics
million gift to the Allied Jewish Cam- of Detroit's formula and advocates of
paign and contributions to other more money at home. More than $2
charities, shopping center magnate million in Jewish communal funds
and financier A. Alfred Taubman are disbursed locally each year out-
donated millions to the University of side the Campaign allocations
Michigan in 1984 for the new univer- process.
That $2 million-plus, distributed
sity hospital in Ann Arbor.
through
the United Jewish Charities
Countering these outside in-
and
the
Max
M. Fisher Jewish Com-
terests, Tauber says, is the Detroit
Jewish community's "great tradition munity Foundation, brings the local
of giving to Jewish institutions and total much closer to naritv with
overseas needs. It is offset only par-
the social structure. In other cities,
tially by the average of $800,000 col-
the Jewish federation is not the top
lected separately each year for Project
priority. But here we've established
Renewal in Israel.
the primacy of Federation."
United Jewish Charities, manag-
Tauber, former president of the
ing the income from endowments that
Jewish Community Center, sees
have mushroomed in the last five
primacy as positive. "I always felt that
years to more than $80 million, gives
we were getting the short end at the
special grants for major projects and
Center," Tauber says. "But when you
emergencies.
see the overall view your perspective
The Fisher Jewish Community
changes."
Foundation funds new projects for up
From both perspectives — local
to three years. The Fresh Air Socie-
and overseas — Tauber has complete
ty's J.E.F.F. program (Jewish Ex-
faith in the process. "If there were periences For Families) was aided
glaring needs at home, there would be
with a Fisher grant before it receiv-
much more pressure. Home is a con-
ed a permanent endowment from
cern, but we are taking proper ac-
Mandell Berman this year.
tion."
Three years ago, Operation Moses
Both Tauber and Max Fisher cite
for Ethiopian Jewry raised $1.5
million in a special campaign to
which Untied Jewish Charities add-
ed $500,000. On the local side, UJC
for the last three years has given
emergency allocations of $300,000 to
the Jewish Home for Aged to help off--
set deficits at Borman Hall and Pren-
tis Manor. This is in addition to the
yearly Campaign allocations of
$800,000 to $900,000 for the Home for
Aged and an extra allocation of
$300,000 two years ago.
August says the Allied Jewish
Campaign allocations process, coupl-
ed with the UJC and Fisher Founda-
tion funding, "strike a balance reflec-
tive of priorities. After all, the whole
community doesn't vote in a room.
One hundred fifty to 200 people, ser-
ving on four budgeting and planning
divisions, spend hundreds of hours
per year reviewing activities, needs,
changes in government funding and
the ability of agencies to gain
revenues through fees.
"The process starts in September
and ends with a flurry of activity in
June."
Salient factors for August are:
• Detroit will never meet all the

etroit is
bucking a national
trend by
consistently
keeping only 40-45
percent of its
annual Campaign
for home use.

T

he glue that
holds the Jewish
community and the
Campaign together
is Israel.

needs because "no community is that
wealthy or that wise."

• Consensus is the key because
"we raise it, we give it, we allocate it,
we use the services and we reap the
benefits. Much of it is moral and
psychic gratification in helping the
quality of Jewish life."
• Priorities change, but new ideas
are continually evolving from the lay
and professional leadership to meet
the needs. August points to the Task
Force on Identity and Affiliation and
the upcoming demographic study as
examples.
Those involved in the allocations
process "are not a group of individuals
with limited perspective," August
says. "There is a lot of experience
here, both narrow and global .. .
" 'Formula' is absolutely the
wrong word to use" to describe the
results of the allocations process, he
says. "If you sat in on the meetings
and saw the yelling, the shrying, the
side arguments that go on for
months, you would not call it a for-
mula."
Jackier concurs. When the work
of the separate budgeting and plann-
ing divisions is turned over to the con-
ference of division chairmen, "that's
as close to the backroom as we get.
And that is 20 people with a great
divergence of opinion.
"It is agonizing. You will hear
great advocacy, occasionally cynicism
and lots of emotion."
The dilemma for many is the com-
munity priorities versus being ad-
vocates for the agencies that have ap-
peared before their own committee.
"It's natural," Jackier says. "It
becomes a creative kind of clash.
"We throw it all into the pot and
try to come out with something that
is rational, fair and reflects the corn-
munity's priorities."
With final approval of the Federa-

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

25

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