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September 02, 1994 - Image 54

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1994-09-02

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

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kook"wow

Federation pulled itself from
the business of
transportation as It closed
the United Hebrew Schools
Bus Service; Detroit lost two
of Its leaders as Larry Ziffer,
Federation's chief planner,
moved to work with the
Associated Jewish Charities
In Baltimore along with his
wife Flo, an accomplished
teacher at Akiva. Rabbi Arnie
Sleutelberg of Shir Tikvah
brought his congregation
together with an inner-city
church in the spirit of black-
Jewish cooperation.

(Opposite page)
Ira Boykansky said that he
relishes observing the
Shabbat at Borman Hall. The
Home will be moving its
residents to Mt. Vernon
Nursing Center in Oak Park
later this year.

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54

It was an unforgettable scene, one that showed off
Detroit's Jewish community at its best. At a time
when Jewish activity is at a lull prior to turning what
we know as Rosh Hashanah into "Rush" Hashanah,
the building of the Weinberg Playground helped end
5754 on a high.
Prior to this event, there were other highs, but the
lows of the year, the differences in philosophy in areas
such as Jewish education and funding ofJewish ser-
vices, dominated the news. There was so much dif-
ference, so much to fix and reshape that the
community's financial problems seemed the only real
"continuity" reported this year.
The Jewish Federation was challenged this year
as it has never been before. Coming off of its highly
successful Miracle Mission in April of 1993, Feder-
ation faced urgent issues that resulted in the deci-
sion to close its beleaguered Home for Aged, Borman
Hall. A loser of millions of dollars, it had difficulty
passing state inspections in areas as specific as
infection control. The plans are to move Borman's
residents to Mt. Vernon Nursing Center in South-
field later this year.
Federation also removed itself from the trans-
portation business after several of its United Hebrew

Schools busses were "red tagged" by state
inspectors for serious mechanical problems.
Detroit's Federation, which gives the
largest chunk of its Allied Jewish Campaign
to the United Jewish Appeal — at 60 per-
cent, higher than any other major city —
will change its formula, reducing the num-
ber to go overseas to 57 percent, and keep-
ing more money at home for domestic
services.
One multi-faceted service that continued
to ask for money and for changes in approach
and philosophy were the day schools and the
Agency for Jewish Education. Day schools
such as Hillel faced dramatic increases in
tuition to meet rising costs of teacher
salaries. Hillel is planning major expansion
over the upcoming year, and Yeshiva Beth
Yehudah, showing real signs of righting itself
from fiscal decline, renovated its boys school
over the summer. Darchei Torah was once again de-
nied Federation funding. The Agency for Jewish Ed-
ucation, mandated by Federation to make changes
in curriculum and teacher training, didn't receive the
funding it wanted, causing differences of opinion as
to the course ofJewish ed-
ucation. If continuity was
the buzz word at last No-
vember's Council ofJewish
Federation's General As-
sembly, it was widely
agreed among educators in
a sort of "put up or shut up"
message that the way to
continuity would cost more
money.
As Federation struggled
with allocating another
"flat" Campaign of approx-
imately $26 million, its
chief allocation planner,
Larry Ziffer, left for a fed-
eration position in Balti-
more.

Earlier in the year, Federation helped host the very
first debate of the Detroit mayoral election between
Dennis Archer and Sharon McPhail. While eventual
winner Mr. Archer greeted the predominately Jewish
crowd with "Shalom," Ms. McPhail stole the show
with a hearty "Mash HaKoach" (sic). Whatever they
said from the podium, both candidates made it clear
that they wanted a strong relationship between
Detroit and its suburbs, a message that was non-
existent during former Mayor Coleman Young's 20
years of office.
A detailed Jewish News, Jewish Community Coun-
cil and Wayne State University study showed that
local Jews have little purposeful interaction with their
black and Arab neighbors. The study also showed
that Jews felt that their black and Arab neighbors
wanted less to do with Jews as well. Also, the survey
indicated that Jews were more concerned with issues
of anti-Semitism than they were about Israel.
Great strides were made during the year between
Jews and Catholics. In April, Temple Israel Rabbi M.
Robert Syme received the first annual Dove Award
along with Father Malcolm Carron. The two were

Detroit Jews reacted with elation
and guarded optimism as they
watched on a warm Indian summer
morning the signing of the
principles of peace between Israel
and the PLO.

honored for their work in the areas of interfaith
relations. In August, Congregation Shaarey Zedek
hosted a ceremony honoring the Vatican's official
recognition of Israel.
Detroit Jews reacted with elation and guarded
optimism as they watched on a warm indian sum-
mer morning the signing of the principles of peace
between Israel and the PLO. Just a few months later,
on a snowy February morning, we awoke to hear the
alarming news of a massacre of Muslim worshippers
in the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron. Just two

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