An Unforgettable Year
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Federation-Foundation annual meeting tinged with sadness.
Butzel Award winlier Robert Arafi-aly
shams of laugh with invsenter David
Page; the 1999 Butzel honoree.
fter a year of terrorism on
American and Israeli shores,
the normally feel-good event
on Sept. 10 known as the
Jewish Federation and Jewish
Community Foundation of
Metropolitan Detroit's combined annu-
al meeting was mostly somber, and the
speakers heavily referenced the terror.
Mark Hauser, Foundation president,
set the tone at Adat Shalom
Synagogue in Farmington Hills, giving
the first report.
"Events of the past year have clear-
ly demonstrated that the principal
foes of Israel and world Jewry are the
common enemies of Western democ-
racy," he said.
Calling it a year of crisis and chal-
lenge, he said much good still came
out of the year 5762, thanks to "the
strengths, resources and the resolu-
tion of our community."
As positive strides, Hauser cited a $20
million gift from an anonymous donor
to the Jewish Academy of Metropolitan
Detroit, the addition of 200 apartments
at the new Norma Jean and Edward
Meer Jewish Apartments, major
improvements to the Eugene and
Marcia Applebaum Jewish Community
Campus, a $1 million gift from the Ford
Motor Company Fund to fund an inter-
active Jewish children's museum within
the Weinberg Judaic Enrichment Centel'
at the Jewish Community Center in
West Bloomfield and a $1 million gift
from the Dorothy Brown family to ren-
ovate the Edward I. and Freda
Fleischman Residence to serve those
with Alzheimer's disease and dementia
disorders. The Millennium Campaign
for Detroit's Jewish Future grew by $4
million to almost $60 million.
Hauser said, "In a year when some
might say, 'Everything has changed,'
I'm happy to report that the dedication,
vision and generosity of our communi-
ty has not changed. On the contrary,
our community and our contribution
to world Jewry is stronger today than
it's ever been."
Recounting the 2,500 community
members who showed up to hear for-
mer Israel Prime Minister Binyamin
Netanyahu, the 500 who traveled to
Washington for an Israel solidarity
march and the 3,000 who gathered for
the Yom HaZikaron memorial service,
Federation President Lawrence Jackier
said much of whatDetroit Jewry did
this year reflected a renewed under-
standing of the meaning of the Jewish
"Unfortunately, over the past several
years, it appears to me that our under-
standing of the implications of our rela-
tionship to the State of Israel had got-
ten out of focus," he said. "As a result
of these [terrorist] events, catastrophic
though they were, one of the great ben-
efits that we as a Jewish community
Pete Browner o West BkomfieLd
blows the shofar to begin the meeting
'‘‘ as Foundation President Makk
Hauser stands in the background
and as a Jewish people will derive is a
much more vibrant, thoughtful and
connected sense of kid Yisrael [the
Jackier announced a fourth Miracle
Mission to Israel in April 2004.
In his remarks, Federation Chief
Executive Officer Robert Aronson said
the Detroit Jewish community has rea-
son "to take pride in our communal
action of last year.
"But this year, as our needs and
responsibilities grow, I hear some voices
in our community suggest that we may
not be up to the challenge," he said.
"My message is simple: this is the time
for action, for risk taking. Through our
deeds we surpass ourselves and our
The lightest part of the evening was
saved for last, when immediate past
Federation President Robert Naftaly
received Federation's Fred M. Butzel
Memorial Award — the Jewish com-
munity's highest honor for distin-