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June 28, 1996 - Image 15

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1996-06-28

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

ening the Jewish community at
home." -
"I'm feeling nervous energy,"
said 16-year-old Bloomfield Hills
resident Joel Snyder. "When I
think of what to expect in Israel,
I think of two large cities and
- desert. I don't know what I'm
looking for, but I'm excited about
what I'll find there."
Shana Shevitz saw the trip as
an opportunity to find herself
Jewishly.
"It's a chance to get in touch
with my own personality and my
place in the Jewish community.
ow I'll see where it all started
for me and for my people."
Jocelyn Frank and Annie
Lefkowitz were seated near an
airport window when the El Al
jet landed. They had just met.
"I've never been away from
home for more than a week at a
time," said Jocelyn. "I don't know
_a lot of people here. I want to be
more outgoing, and I think this
is going to give me the chance to

learn more about other people
and about myself."
"I'm on a bus where I don't
know anybody," said Annie. "Yes,
this is a chance to make new
friends."
Like Ms. Sherman, Howard
Gelberd, the executive director
of the Agency for Jewish Educa-
tion, stood at the side of the
crowd. For Mr. Gelberd, it's been
literally years of paperwork,
phone calls and meetings to plan
the mission. Time and time
again, a Federation official, a rab-
bi or a teacher came by to offer a
handshake and a "mazel tov."
"This started on a piece of pa-
per," said Mr. Gelberd. "Now it's
real. These kids will bring a
whole new energy back with
them to Detroit. Look around
you. You see rabbis in jeans min-
gling with these kids.
"You know, in 1965, it was a
trip like this as a teen that got
me started. This is where it hap-
pens." 0

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July 1: David's Day

JCC Executive Director David Sorkin
begins work on Monday.

cos

k 0 4
412

DIVID ETR 0 I T

JENNIFER FINER STAFF WRITER

I

he magical date of July 1
— a day that has been

looked forward to for
months with eager antici-
pation — is now only a weekend
away.
That's the day David Sorkin
steps into his new role as the ex-
ecutive director of the Jewish
Community Center of Metropol-
itan Detroit. JCC officials hope
Mr. Sorkin, who comes here
from Wilmington, Del., will help
[reathe new life into the agency.
He replaces Leah Ann Kleinfeldt,
who for personal reasons, decid-
ed to step down from the top
leadership position to become as-
sociate director.
Aside from running the agency
on a daily basis, Center leader-
\ ship has put some planning and
/'-frnprovements on hold until the
new director's arrival.
Mr. Sorkin called the JCC's ac-
tion a natural pattern. And, as
for the length of time it's taken
for the Center to move forward
(a deficit and cutbacks were first
announced almost 18 months
ago), he said: "It takes longer to
igure out your mission when it
involves so many people. It's hard
to create a vision with so much
input. But, in the end, you have
an organization that's meaning-
ful to its constituents."
Mr. Sorkin said his first order
of business will be listening to
Center members and people in
he community.
"I'm a firm believer in the idea
that answers exist in profes-

David Sorkin:
Here to help the JCC.

sionals, lay leaders and Center
members," Mr. Sorkin said. "I
feel I need to listen and sense the
community's concerns about the
agency. That will be my focus for
the first couple of weeks.
"It will take months before we
can include all that input. I hope
the community realizes that this
is the beginning point of change."
Mr. Sorkin and his wife, a clini-
cal social worker, arrived in De-
troit on Thursday, three days
after his last day as the execu-
tive director of the Wilmington
JCC. The couple moved to West
Bloomfield, about a mile from the
Maple-Drake building.

DAVID'S DAY page 17

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