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March 02, 1990 - Image 36

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1990-03-02

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

- 4 0111110111110111111w

4oVill*WINIMOSIONIMNINWS.

I BEHIND THE HEADLINES

I

Let Us Entertain You

SID CAESAR*

Cabaret Evening with Dancing

SATURDAY,
MARCH 10, 1990
9:00 p.m.

admission: $20.00

*Exclusive lecture by Sid Caesar

Reserved Seating

For further information call: 661-1000, ext. 293
Jewish Community Center of Metropolitan Detroit
6600 w. Maple, W. Bloomfield, MI 48322

Tickets also available at:

Aml■

7%&_7
( C aP
— 44, 14S7

co-sponsored by: Kedem Wines

•• •

FUNDED IN PART BY MICHIGAN COUNCIL FOR THE ARTS AND
mw "THE MANNY AND NATALIE CHARACH ENDOWMENT FUND AT THE JCC

,



HUDSON'S, HARMONY HOUSE
& SOUND WAREHOUSE
CALL-FOR•TIX (313) 645-6666

A new choice for the frail elderly

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A new caring alternative for
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• Town Center Plaza with a
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independent living and skilled
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• Fine dining in on elegant
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housekeeping service, meals,
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• Exciting and varied activities,
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Honor us with o visit. Weekdays 9 o.m-8 p.m.
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An Affiliate of William Beaumont Hospital

• Pastoral and weekly Sabbath
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Ceate/'

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36

FRIDAY, MARCH 2, 1990

AJCommittee Tightens
Belt, Folds Magazine

ARTHUR J. MAGIDA

Special to The Jewish News

Pie -s'efiCrense

,

T

he American Jewish
Committee, once con-
sidered the wealthiest
of the national Jewish
defense organizations, is
cutting back programs and
staff to help make up for its
$1 million yearly deficit.
One of the results of a four-
day board of governors
meeting last week was the
announcement that Present
Tense, the Committee's
bimonthly liberal magazine,
would cease publication with
its next issue.
While Committee officials
said the decision was a fi-
nancial one, others noted
that Commentary, the
Committee's conservative
monthly, was spared, despite
the fact that it, too, operates,
at a deficit.
Some felt that the fact that
Present Tense has published
articles critical of Israel and
of the Jewish establishment
was a factor in the decision.
Other major changes in-
clude eliminating up to 32
staff positions at the Com-
mittee's headquarters in
New York and trimming the
number of areas the organ-
ization works in from 30 to
three.
The Committee's overall
restructuring "was
motivated by the timing to
balance" its $1 million year-
ly deficit, said Sholom Com-
ay, Committee president, in
a telephone interview from
Pittsburgh, where he heads
a firm called Action In-
dustries. But "the underly-
ing motivation was to focus
our work more clearly and to
improve its impact."
"In its 84 years," said
Comay, "the Committee has
grown in lots of different
directions, like a tree. It
needed some pruning." The
organization had incurred a
large debt, he said, because
"programming had grown
faster than resources."
The Committee's new
structure, said Comay, will
focus its efforts on
intergroup relations, Israel,
Jewish communal affairs,
public policy, international
relations and eradicating
bigotry. The organization's
three major goals, as now
defined, are:
• Ensuring the security
of Jews in the United States
and throughout the world;
• Safeguarding and nur-
turing pluralism;
• Enriching the quality

Present Tense: Liberals lose a voice.

of Jewish life. Trimming the
Committee's mandate "may
be a two-edged sword," said
David Gordis, who was ex-
ecutive vice-president of the
Committee from 1984 to
1987 and is now vice-
president of the University
of Judaism in Los Angeles.
Gordis disagreed "with the
notion that an organization
like this should be focused
on a few things. I don't
believe that an organization
of this size and scope should
not be in a lot of areas."
Responsibilities for the
organization's international
relations will be transferred
to its Washington office,
whose staff will be increas-
ed.
Perhaps the most con-
troversial decision in the
blueprint for the Committee
was to pull the plug on Pre-
sent Tense magazine, the
organization's counterpoint
to its more successful con-
servative magazine, Com-
mentary. The fact that two
magazines with diametrical-
ly opposed agendas have
been published by the same
organization purportedly
reflected the breadth of po-
litical opinions with the
modern Jewish community,
as well as the Committee's
ability to encompass and
echo it.
According to Comay, each
magazine had a deficit of
$200,000 to $250,000. But a
Present Tense staffer said
that magazine's deficit was
as low as $85,000.
The offer to both maga-
zines was the same: They
could remain at Committee
headquarters, but the organ-
ization would no longer pro-
vide funding for them, and
they would have to defray
their own deficits.
"Our streamlined budget
had no room for magazines,"
said Comay.
Recently, Commentary

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