Celebrating 50 years of growth with the Detroit Jewish Community
1 9 9 2
E JEWISH NEWS
5 7 5 2 /JUNE 19, 1992
Planned For July 12
The $2 million expansion will include a pool, health clubs
and new programs.
DAVID KOTZEN-REICH, STAFF WRITER
he mood was enthusiastic
last week as residents gath-
ered in the Huntington
Woods home of Marcy and
Michael Feldman to discuss
a project many have worked on for more
than a decade.
The topic was the $2 million expan-
sion and renovation to the Jimmy
Prentis Morris Jewish Community
Center in Oak Park.
Mrs. Feldman and another early sup-
porter, Janet Levine, had been the first
to organize a meeting in support of the
renovations. They began their cam-
paign when Mrs. Levine's children
could not find swimming classes at a
nearby Jewish community center.
Thirteen years later, the renovations
they hoped for are about to begin. The
groundbreaking for the new JPM ex-
pansion is planned for July 12. Reno-
vations will include an indoor pool and
is a dead heat as the
Israeli national election
enters its final days.
But does anyone care?
Campaign rallies have
been poorly attended. Both the
Likud and Labor have can-
celled parlor meetings
throughout the country.
Israelis are watching MN and
a Mexican soap opera instead
of Shamir and Rabin.
No wonder the public is less
than interested. The campaign
has had no excitement, no hu-
mor, virtually no major differ-
ences between the opposing
parties. Both support holding
on to the Golan Heights.
Neither has much to say about
Labor is slightly ahead in
the polls, but the election is
likely to end, as have the last
two, in stalemate.
The groundbreaking would coincide
with a neighborhood Family Day/Con-
cert in the Park at Charlotte M.
Rothstein Park, directly behind the
JPM building. The event is being spon-
sored by JPM, the Neighborhood
Project, the city of Oak Park and The
"We are $300,000 away from being
able to put a shovel in the ground," said
Robert Aronson, executive vice presi-
Cuts May Impact Soviets
As budget cutting runs rampant in Washington, Jewish leaders
worry about the future of refugee programs.
AMY J. MEHLER, STAFF WRITER
or the first time in U.S. his-
tory, economics — not for-
eign policy — could
determine the number of
refugees allowed into this
The Bush administration has pro-
posed cutting overall funding for do-
mestic resettlement to $227 million, a
44 percent decrease, or $183.6 million,
from the fiscal year 1992 level of $410.6
If approved by Congress, the pro-
posed cuts could be implemented as
soon as October. Many of those affect-
ed would be Soviet Jews, who enter the
United States as refugees.
"There's no way to run resettlement
programs in this country on that
amount of money," said Mark
Talisman, director of the Washington
Action Office for the Council of Jewish
Federations. "If approved by Congress
for fiscal year 1993, the whole program
will be dysfunctional."
Local and national Jewish leaders
fear these cuts would force many states
to close resettlement offices. In addi-
tion, the cuts may cause a decrease in
the number of refugees admitted to
the United States.
Michigan accepts the ninth largest
number of Soviet Jews. From June 1
through May 31 of 1992, Detroit re-
settled 800 Soviet Jews.
Refugees, as opposed to immigrants,
are persons unable to return to or re-
main in their country because of fear
of persecution. The president, in con-
sultation with Congress, determines
the number of refugees to be admitted
into the United States each fiscal year.
Refugee Assistance Program coor-
dinators in Michigan are not certain if
the cuts would force the state to close
its Refugee Assistance Program office.
But service and staff cuts are antici-
dent of the Jewish Federation of
So far, the Federation, JPM and
neighborhood activists have raised $2.7
million toward a $3.5 million goal. Mr.
Aronson said he is confident the
Federation Capital Needs Committee
will kick in the remaining $500,000
once project fund-raisers reach the mag-
ic $3 million.
Two million is needed to complete
renovations and expansion, while an-
other $1.5 million will be used toward
A flurry of neighborhood parlor meet-
ings scheduled for almost every night
this month in Huntington Woods, Oak
Park and Southfield, as well as in the
northwestern suburbs, is generating
both financial contributions and a re-
newed surge of interest in the project.
Supporters hope these meetings will
put them over the top.
The JPM renovations call for a two-
level addition to the existing building,
with a 25-yard, indoor L-shaped pool
as the showpiece. Health clubs for both
men and women will include fitness
room, saunas and whirlpools.
The expansion will add 21,864 square
feet to the existing building, or about
70 percent more floor space. Major ren-
ovations to the 36-year-old building also
are planned to reorganize the layout of
the present offices and activity rooms.
emocrats draft strongest
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