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August 16, 1991 - Image 1

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1991-08-16

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AUGUST 16, 1991 / 6 ELUL 5751

Jewish Groups Rebut
Article On Expenditures


Staff Writer

Local children
talk about one
of their most
complicated heroes:



A picnic for immigrants
and their friends.

Page 14


Maccabi Preview

The Games' the thing
in Ohio and New Jersey.

Page 52

Three Detroit Jewish
charities named this week in
a Free Press investigation
rebutted charges they spent
less than half their annual
revenues on programming and
funnel disproportionate
amounts of cash into manage-
ment and fund-raising coffers.
Children of Holocaust Sur-
vivors Association of
Michigan (CHAIM), Forgotten
Harvest, Inc. and the
Holocaust Memorial Center,
appeared among 37 Michigan
charities that allocated less
than 50 percent of their in-
come to their programs last
fiscal year.
The Free Press cover story,
titled "The Cost of Charity,"
also named the Jewish Na-
tional Fund and the Simon
Wiesenthal Center among
about 40 national organiza-
tions that failed Better
Business Bureau require-
The Holocaust Memorial
Center, which was listed
among charities, is not a
charity, said Rabbi Charles
Rosenzveig, director of HMC.
"We're an intellectual in-
stitution, a museum," Rabbi
Rosenzveig said. "We don't
raise money for charities!'
The Free Press listed HMC's
annual income at about $1.2
million; its administrative
costs at about $200,000 and
its programming costs at
about $550,000.
"The report left unac-
counted about $300,000,
which is in our endowment
fund," Rabbi Rosenzveig said.
"That's to ensure the future of
the Holocaust museum long
after I'm gone!"
The Holocaust Center which
employs 10 full and part-time
staff, keeps its administrative
costs at 18 percent, a lot lower
than other museums of its
nature, Rabbi Rosenzveig said.
"We're proud of that, it's
something the museum's been
commended for," he said.
Bernard Kent, past presi-
dent and teasurer of CHAIM,
said the Free Press numbers
"make no sense." He said
CHAIM has no paid staff, nor
does it employ any fund-
raisers. He said none of the 12
board members is reimbursed
or receives any payment of
any kind.
"We have no expenses and

we don't pay rent," Mr. Kent
said. "When we hold
meetings, we use the board
room at the Holocaust Center
free of charge!'
Mr. Kent, who is an accoun-
tant, said CHAIM sells Enter-
tainment discount books
year-round to raise money.
"We buy them for $28 and
volunteers sell them for $35,"
Mr. Kent said.
Mr. Kent said between an-
nual dues, a minimum of $18,
and the sale of Entertainment
books, which gross about
$3,000-$4,000, CHAIM nets
about $11,000-$12,000 per
CHAIM has approximately
200 paying members and was
formed 11 years ago.
"We only make $7 per
book," Mr. Kent said. "Not $35
per book as assumed from the
paper. They must have
counted buying the books as
part of our annual income!'
As far as programming, Mr.
Kent said CHAIM recently
bought the Holocaust cur-

riculum, Life Unworthy of Life,
for about $5,000.
CHMM's copies will be us-
ed free of charge by area
school districts who cannot af-
ford to buy it.
In addition, CHAIM has a
scholarship endowment fund
for deserving students at the
College of Cevanal, a school in
Lechambon, France.
The residents of Lechambon
did more than any other
French town to save Jews dur-
ing World War II, said Mr.
CHAIM also contributes an-
nually to the Holocaust con-
ference in Ann Arbor and to
Lansing's state-sponsored Yom
Hazikaron, the Holocaust
Memorial Day observance.
"I'm disappointed that
CHAIM was so misrepre-
sented!' Mr. Kent said. "They
looked at the numbers
without really looking at what
was behind them!'
Nancy Fishman and Gary
Dembs, board members of

Continued on Page 22

Orthodox Throw
Hats In The Ring


Staff Writer


efore 1979, the Or-
thodox community of
Oak Park was quiet
and somewhat apolitical.
It was tight-knit and sur-
rounded by Jewish ambiance
— synagogues, the Jewish
Community Center, kosher
butchers, the mikvah, Jew-
ish bookstores and senior
Yet when construction of
Interstate-696 appeared to
threaten the community, a
group of Orthodox leaders,
Rabbi E.B. Freedman, Rabbi
Feivel Wagner (formerly of
Young Israel of Greenfield)
and Max Zentman lobbied in
Fearful that construction
would disrupt Shabbat, rip
the community in half and
force synagogues and
temples to move, the Or-
thodox coalition took on the
state. The result: decks over
the highway, federal hous-
ing funds for the Teitel Fed-
eration Apartments and a

stronger community, they
Ever since, Orthodox Jews
have become more visible in
the Oak Park political
arena. It started in 1986,
when Simon Kresch was
elected to the Oak Park
School Board. The following
year, Ezra Roberg (current
school board president) and
Michael Seligson joined Mr.
Kresch, who has since mov-
ed to Southfield, on the
school board.
"The Orthodox have
suddenly become politically
sophisticated," said one po-
litical insider. "There has
been an awakening in the
Jews have always been
represented in the city's po-
litical system. At one time,
the entire City Council was
Both 45B District Court
judges, Benjamin Friedman
and Benjamin Frankel, are
Jewish. Also Jewish is
outgoing Mayor Charlotte
Rothstein, incoming Mayor

Continued on Page 24

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