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April 29, 1994 - Image 1

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1994-04-29

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18 IYAR 5754/APRIL 29, 1994

Federation Puts Brakes
On UHS's Bus System

Deficit-ridden transportation system will close in June.


Does anyone understand
this ancient holiday?

Story on page 66

Strong Memories Of Nixon

Support of Israel and Soviet Jews are what
local leaders recall of former president.



or many Jews, the name
of the late President
Richard M. Nixon brings
conflicting images.
He was the man who
became close with Golda
Meir and who, in many
ways, defined the positive course of
U.S.-Israeli relations.
Yet he also was an American
leader who compiled a list of "ene-
mies," more than one-third of whom
were Jewish, and who ordered a se-
cret investigation of a "Jewish ca-
bal" at the Bureau of Labor
For community leader Max M.
Fisher, Mr. Nixon always will be
the savior of Israel and the cata-
lyst for the mass exodus of Jews
from the former Soviet Union.
"In my opinion, Richard Nixon
was the greatest foreign affairs pres-
ident we ever had," Mr. Fisher said
this week. "The Jewish communi-
ty for years didn't like him, but that
was not justified by his presidency.
He was a great friend."
"I thought President Nixon was
one of the great presidents of the
world in the area of foreign affairs,"
added attorney Alan E. Schwartz
of Honigman, Miller, Schwartz &
Cohn, who was in the late presi-

dent's pres-
ence on nu-
m e r o u s
Mr. Nixon,
the 37th U.S.
president and
the only one
ever to resign,
died last week
of complica-
tions following Max M. Fisher
a stroke. He
was 81.
Mr. Fisher, a past president of
the Jewish Federation of
Metropolitan Detroit, was chairman
of the Council of Jewish Federations
and the Jewish Agency for Israel at
the time of Mr. Nixon's presidency.
As a leading Republican fund-rais-
er, Mr. Fisher had quick access to
the White House during Mr. Nixon's
terms in office.
"I met Richard Nixon in 1958
when he was vice president (to
Dwight Eisenhower)," Mr. Fisher
said. "He helped with the United
Jewish Appeal when we had prob-
lems with the Arabs."
(American-Arab groups were
asking the government to rescind

NIXON page 8

secular organizations like
Detroit Country Day School
and Community Mental
Federation is encouraging
agencies affected by the closure
to seek alternatives with for-
profit, private companies, which
"have the expertise to run a re-
liable, safe and cost-efficient ser-
vice," Mr. Davidoff said.
Federation officials said the
closing was prompted by fi-
nancial and demographic con-
siderations and not a recent

main reason for closing UHS
Transportation is the decreased
demand for its services. Once
the primary means of trans-
portation for 4,000 students and
other individuals per week, rid-
ership has spiraled downward
along with revenues.
Employment for UHS
Transportation's 70 workers
will be terminated by the end
of this school year.
After June, Federation will
make an exception and extend
UHS bus service only to the


Lag Wainer

he United Hebrew
Schools Transpor-
tation System will
shut down this June,
ending service for
some 500 children
and adults who ride
its buses and vans throughout
the school year.
"We believe that a commu-
nity-based system is no longer
the best way to provide for
transportation needs," said
Mark Davidoff, chief financial
officer for the Federation, which
runs the UHS Transportation
System. 'There is a move across
the state to privatize school-bus
During the annual budget-
ing process, UHS officials said
the service was running a
deficit of $20,000 to $30,000. Yet
the UHS Transportation
Transition Task Force has dis-
covered that the actual deficit
was in excess of "several hun-
dreds of thousands of dollars"
each year.
Mr. Davidoff and Federation
Planning Director Lawrence
Ziffer attribute the discrepan-
cy to "financial oversight." All
UHS bills have been paid, Mr.
Ziffer said. Federation officials
have established a Joint Fiscal
Oversight Council that will in-
vestigate UHS Transportation
Both Jewish and other agen-
cies will be affected by the trans-
portation system's closure.
Fifteen nonprofit organiza-
tions regularly contract with
UHS Transportation. They in-
clude Jewish agencies like Hillel
Day School, Jewish Vocational
Service and the Jewish
Community Center, as well as

UHS Transportation deficits were in excess of what had been reported.

state police investigation of the
transportation service. Since
February, the Michigan State
Police Department has sus-
pected that defective, "red-
tagged" buses operated contrary
to state law.
"The (timing) was actually
coincidental," Mr. Davidoff said.
Since last fall, Federation has
become aware of UHS
Transportation's difficulties.
Federation officials say the

Jewish Community Center's
Day Camp, its largest summer
contractor. The summer day
camp, which supplies its own
drivers, has previously used
UHS vehicles to transport 1,400
children to and from the West
Bloomfield and Oak Park JCCs.
But JCC Executive Director
Mort Plotnick expects another
alternative to arise before sum-
mer day camp begins in two
months. ❑





Plot Thickens

Play Ball!

Haim Desta has
traveled far.

Little bookstores
have tough competition.

The Indoor Baseball
Clinic is a hit.

Page 39

Page 58

Page 104

Contents on page 3

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