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March 06, 1992 - Image 1

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1992-03-06

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Education Unit Meets,
Teachers Ponder Future


Staff Writer


t has been a long and
winding road. And there
are still a few more twists
and turns.
The Jewish Federation's
Jewish Education Planning
Committee, chaired by Dr.
Conrad Giles, took two years
to come up with suggestions
for making the community's
main education agency more
But even with the full sup-
port of the Federation's
board of governors, the plan,
issued last month, did not
address a host of problems,
problems created largely by
the report in the first place.
The report said the Agency
for Jewish Education should
stop running religious
schools and, instead, form a

"support system" to help ex-
isting synagogue schools.
Some teachers and admin-
istrators fear that Jewish
families who do not belong to
a congregation might not
enroll in a synagogue-run re-
ligious school. This runs
counter to Federation's
promise that no student will
fall through the cracks of a

"The community
has spoken. We
have to put some
meat on the

Allan Nachman

new religious school system.
Critics feel the report,
while well-meaning, is too
vague about how religious
schools — which are noto-
riously under-funded — will

improve without substantial
contributions from Federa-
"If it's a priority, what are
you talking about?" said
Ofra Fisher, who in May will
leave her post as executive'
director of AJE. Mrs. Fisher
said at least $2.5 million
would be needed to make
AJE a successful educa-
tional institution, both in its
teaching and supporting
"If they (Federation) don't
give it, they're not serious
about what they wrote," she
Mrs. Fisher added that
AJE students did not attend
synagogue schools for a
reason; now that AJE is be-
ing phased out, she wonders
whether those students will
go to a religious school at all.

Continued on Page 32

Sinai Profits $1.6 Million
In Second Quarter Report


Managing Editor


inai Hospital again
showed signs of econ-
omic recovery in its
announcement this week of
second quarter-ending
profits of $1.6 million.
"We're really pleased that
the hospital is now able to
say it is in the black," said
newly appointed president
and chief executive officer
Phillip Schaengold.
The hospital reported first-
quarter profits of $66,000. A
layoff of some 200
employees, a more consis-
tent patient census number-
ing around 380 daily, a
tighter control of the day-to-
day operating budget, and
active steps taken by Sinai
physicians were reasons
given for the turn-around.
It wasn't but a few short
months ago that Sinai was
mentioned as the weaker
partner in merger talks with
area hospitals, including the
Detroit Medical Center.
Now, according to Mr.
Schaengold, those merger
talks might one day happen
again. If Sinai is able to

maintain a steady course in
the financial black, it will
not only be more attractive
as a merger partner, but it
will be more respected as
well, added Mr. Schaengold.
Mr. Schaengold was quick
to indicate that the hospital
still has a long way to go
before it is out of the finan-
cial woods. "But even
$66,000 of profit is better
than being in the red." Mr.
Schaengold also said Sinai is
looking at its success in the
long term, so it's not im-
possible that a quarter of red
ink could happen again
along the way.
For the first quarter of this
year, Sinai had budgeted for
a $1.4 million loss, and the
hospital reported a $2.8 mill-
ion loss during the same
period last year. Sinai lost
$9.6 million from July 1990
to July 1991. The hospital
posted a cumulative loss
during the three years prior
to fiscal 1991.
Sinai's financial picture
markedly improved since
the arrival last year of the
Hunter Group, a team of
consultants from St.
Petersburg, Fla., who were
charged with getting the
hospital out of financial

difficulty. Part of the reason
for the Hunter Group's
success was the trimming of
some 200 of the hospital's
2,600 employees last year.
Also, the hospital's physi-
cians overwhelmingly came
to the aid of Sinai, encourag-
ing and admitting more pa-
The Hunter Group's stay
at the hospital ended in
February, about the time
that Mr. Schaengold came
Merle Harris, chairman of
the Sinai Hospital Govern-
ing Board and an active
worker in the hospital's
turn-around, said there was
still a great deal of work left
to be done.
"We were able to be suc-
cessful because of a lot of co-
operation between doctors
and administrators and pro-
grams that the Hunter
Group helped put together
which the board of direc-
tors acted on," said Mr.
Harris. "A year ago, things
looked very grim, and it's
hard to believe that we've
been able to do this. This is
still a fragile situation, and
a precarious business. Our
hope is that we can keep go-
ing like this." ❑

MARCH 6, 1992 / 1 ADAR 2 5752

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