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November 15, 1991 - Image 1

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1991-11-15

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

, N,AZIWIer

THE JEWISH NEWS

SEVENTY-FIVE CENTS

SERVING DETROIT'S JEWISH COMMUNITY

CLOSE-UP

Diddle

Cl

They've got a
mortgage, a
car payment,
kids in
college and a
declining
standard of
living.

Page 26

ALSO INSIDE

GTE'
GUIDE

• • • •





• •








NOVEMBER 15, 1991 / 8 KISLEV 5752

Rabbis Form Committee
To Help Save The Yeshiva

AMY J. MEHLER
and PHIL JACOBS

y

eshiva Beth Yehudah
in the past few weeks
has weathered a
board of directors change, a
near-strike by teachers, the
bouncing of teacher payroll
checks, the postponement of
the school's annual banquet
and the near-resignation of
executive director Rabbi E.
B. Bunny Freedman.

There have been times
when community members
question who is in charge at
the school. With several
members of the most recent-
ly appointed board resigning
recently because of dis-
agreements with board
leadership, those questions
continue.
A rabbinic committee
formed to aid the financially
beleaguered Yeshiva Beth
Yehudah has recommended
that the school's board be

Yeshiva Beth Yehudah

replaced by a new nine-
member panel.
The committee, consisting
of Rabbis Leib Bakst,
Chaskel Grubner, Leizer
Levine, Yoel Sperka, Leo
Goldman, Shmuel Irons and
Elimelich Goldberg, formed
three weeks ago after it
became clear the Yeshiva
was out of financial control

and near ruin. Rabbi Gold-
berg, the rabbinic com-
mittee's spokesman, said the
national economic recession
as well as the school's polit-
ical infighting shared an
equal part in the school's
difficulties.
The school is now staying
afloat through loan ar-
Continued on Page 30

Beth Achim, B'nai Moshe
Members Defeat Merger

KIMBERLY LIFTON

Staff Writer

B

eth Achim will re-
main in. Southfield
and B'nai Moshe will
build its new West Bloom-
field facility alone after both
congregations quashed plans
to merge Tuesday night.
In separate meetings, each
congregation overwhelming-
ly defeated proposals to
unite their synagogues, each
showing a strong consensus
to remain independent.
"I feel very good," said
Beth Achim President Dr.
Eric Gordon, who supported
the merger. "I don't feel
good about the vote but
about the fact that we had
an unbelievably large pro-
portion of our members
voting — more than ever
before (80 percent.)"
Michael Grand, president
of B'nai Moshe, said he was
happy about his congrega-
tion's willingness to remain
independent. The merger

was proposed last summer
before the company hired to
construct the building,
Turner Construction, agreed
to provide interim financing
until a permanent mortgage
is obtained.
"Everybody likes to con-
trol their own destiny and be
independent," Mr. Grand
said.
"I'm disappointed. A
merger would have been a
good thing," said Tobi Fox, a
Beth Achim merger com-
mittee member who favored
an affiliation. "We all put in
a lot of time and energy, and
if anything good has come
out of this, it has raised the
consciousness of our mem-
bers. I will work as hard at
trying to remain indepen-
dent."
The future of both con-
gregations remains in tran-
sition. Beth Achim faces fi-
nancial woes as membership
has declined steadily in the
last decade and a large
number of the congregants
are empty nesters.

The United Hebrew School
branch is now split between
Beth Achim and the UHS
building, and Beth Achim's
youth group membership
has also declined. More than
30 percent of Beth Achim
members pay senior citizen
dues, which are two-thirds
the cost of regular dues.
Membership now is at 470
units, a figure substantially
down from its peak of 750.
"Beth Achim members
don't believe we are in a fi-
nancial bind, and they think
there are more things we can
do to boost young member-
ship," said a Beth Achim
member who favored the
merger and asked not to be
identified.
Dr. Gordon said he has
scheduled an information
committee meeting, to be
chaired by board member
Mary Gamer, for Sunday to
discuss the future of the con-
gregation. He also said the
congregation's past presi-

Continued on Page 32

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