THE NEW JEWISH CHARITIES
CHANGE IN DIRECTION
Grass-roots groups like The New Israel Fund, Mazon, The American Jewish World Service
and The Jewish Fund for Justice concentrate on programs for Jews and non-Jews
that federations cannot or will not do.
JAMES D. BESSER and ELIZABETH APPLEBAUM
lvin Saperstein is just the kind of contributor the
Allied Jewish Campaign would like.
A professor of physics at Wayne State Univer-
sity, Saperstein believes strongly in the concept
of tzedakah, and he regularly gives a good chunk
of his salary to worthy causes.
But the Allied Jewish Campaign, which helps fund na-
tional, international and 23 local Jewish agencies,
doesn't get a penny from Saperstein and his wife, Harriet,
who live in Detroit.
The Sapersteins used to give to the Campaign, but
stopped because they disagree with the policies of Israel's
Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir, which they feel are
funded with U.S. dollars given to Israel through the
Instead, the Sapersteins support a number of smaller
charities such as the New Israel Fund, which backs pro-
grams supporting religious pluralism and democratic
values in Israel, and the Jewish Fund for Justice, which
gives grants to fight poverty in America.
The Sapersteins feel strongly about philanthropic
organizations outside the Jewish Welfare Federation be-
cause they "seek out small, deserving groups that might
not necessarily receive funding from other charitable
sources," Saperstein said.
They appreciate the fact that, with these smaller
charities, they know exactly where their dollars are go-
ing. The Federation's work is important, Alvin Sapers-
tein said, but it's not the only game in town.
The Sapersteins are not alone.
While the federations and the United Jewish Appeal — the
fund-raising giants — continue to reap the lion's share of con-
tributions, a group of small, highly focused philanthropic
organizations are flourishing.
Some of these new groups are applying Jewish largess to
intractable social and economic problems in parts of the world
THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS