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November 08, 2002 - Image 35

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2002-11-08

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MOVER AND SHAKER from page 34

Check out the advan

Wolfson and Harlene Appelman,
Alliance director.
"Whatever good thing you said
about me, it's people like these who
have made such a difference in every-
thing I've done," Berman said.
In 1990, Berman added the knotty
issue of counting America's Jews to his
portfolio, funding the first national
Jewish Population survey through
UJC, the umbrella organization for
156 Jewish federations and 400 inde-
pendent Jewish communities across
North America.
Now, the second Berman-sponsored
UJC population survey has been corn-
pleted, at a cost of $4 million.
Its results show that the Jewish pop-
ulation in the United. States has
declined by approximately 5 percent
over the past decade, from 5.5 million
to 5.2 million.
The survey based its results on inter-
views with approximately 4,500 Jewish
respondents, chosen on the basis of
Jewish religion, parentage, upbringing
and self-identification. More than 600
other Americans with varying levels of
Jewish background also were surveyed.
The results of the Berman-spon-
sored UJC survey are in conflict with
a similar survey, sponsored by Gary
Tobin of the San Francisco-based
• Institute for Jewish & Community
Research. Tobin's study identified 6.7
million Americans as Jewish, and
another 4.1 million as having a Jewish
grandparent or other ancestor.
However, if the UJC study had used
the same criteria as the Tobin study,
including as Jews those practicing
another.religion, its total number of
Americans with Jewish backgrounds
would have risen to 6.9 million people.
On Wednesday, Nov. 20, the UJC's
2002 general assembly, to be held in
Philadelphia, will feature an address by
Ariel Sharon, prime minister of the
state of.Israel.
The following day, delegates from
throughout the United States will hear
from the prime mover of Detroit's
Jewish community, Bill Berman, as he
chairs a panel discussion on his Jewish
population survey.
In the biblical book of BaMidbar,
known in English as Numbers, God
told Moses to count the Jews. The
result was 63,550, recalled Wolfson at
the Nov. 4 tribute.
"The Midrash says these are the same
number of letters in the Toiah," Wolfson
said. "And, if one letter in the Torah is
missing, it's unclean, it can't be used.
"What Bill has taught us is: we must
count our people. If one .person is
missing, we are all diminished." 17

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