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November 29, 2002 - Image 16

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2002-11-29

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

Back To The Drawing Board

Parents object to planned closing of Shaarey Zedek's Southfield nursery school.

DIANA LIEBERMAN
Copy Editor/Education Writer

r

deficit of more than $750,000. for the
current fiscal year, which ends in
March.
"The ways and means committee
gave a report at the Nov. 5 board
meeting," he told the Jewish News. 'A
discussion ensued, with deliberations
focusing on ways to cut expenses. A
motion was made to close the
Southfield nursery school at the end
of the current school year; the
motion passed with no dissenting
votes, but with two abstentions.'

"The problem they leaked and did
not articulate to us has been going on
for two-and-a-half years," he said,
cUiming that the synagogue board
had "made no attempt to communi-
cate to the enrollees that they were
financially strapped," did not help
recruit new members or establish new
programs.
"Has there been publicity? Yes,"
said Safran, who took over as syna-
gogue president in April. "Could we
have done more? Yes.

back to the same structure as it had
been, with the same costs," he said.

or the second time in less
A Top-Notch School
than two years, parents
Safran has met individually with sev-
whose preschoolers attend
eral parents of Southfield preschool-
classes at Congregation
ers, and said he was impressed by
Shaarey Zedek Southfield are working
their concern and the work they have
to overturn a decision by the syna-
put in to maintain Beth Hayeled.
gogue board to close their branch of
"This is one very important part of
the nursery school and consolidate all
the
shul, but it's not the only part of
preschool activities in West
the
shul,"
Safran said. "There are
Bloomfield.
other
parts that could bene-
However, if the school,
fit
from
their motivation
known as the Southfield
and
drive,
and I am happy
Beth Hayeled (House of
to
see
some
of the younger
Children), remains open
parents
starting
to get
past the current school year,
involved
in
them."
it will have to be in a differ-
This year, 35 children
ent, less expensive form,
from 31 families — includ-
said James Safran of
ing 14 non-member fami-
Southfield, president of the
lies — are enrolled in class-
2,100-family synagogue.
es at the Southfield branch
Shaarey Zedek Southfield,
of the nursery school,
at 11 Mile and Bell roads,
taught
by three teachers
houses the congregation's
and four teaching assis-
largest sanctuary and will
tants. Heading the school is
soon include the main
Rena Cohen, whose title is
offices of all four of its rab-
assistant director of Shaarey
bis.
Zedek Beth Hayeled.
However, the synagogue
The West Bloomfield
also conducts services and
Beth
Hayeled, headed by
runs a Beth Hayeled at its
Weintraub,
has 138 stu-
B'nai Israel building at
dents,
with
an
estimated
Walnut Lake and Green
150
for
the
January
semes-
roads in West Bloomfield,
ter.
This
site
has
nine
while other family classes
teachers and 20 teaching
take place at the Eugene
assistants.
and Marcia Applebaum
Hebrew immersion teacher Nurit Sallen has the full attention of her class at Shaarey Zedek Beth Hayeled
No decisions have been
Center for Jewish Living,
in Southfield.
made
about moving the
located at the same site.
teachers
now working in
Classes for older children
Southfield
to
West
Bloomfield,
Said
Beth
Hayeled
director
Rena
Consolidating
the
school's
two
are held at Shaarey Zedek's Irving and
Weintraub
said.
Weintraub,
whose
office
is
in
West
branches
at
the
West
Bloomfield
loca-
Beverly Laker Education and Youth
"Rena [Cohen] and I both admire
Bloomfield: "The challenge was to
tion would save about $50,000 in
Complex, on Walnut Lake and
and
respect all our staff," she said.
get the parents involved."
salaries and direct expenses, Safran
Inkster roads in West Bloomfield, as
"They
are great-quality people, very
"Telling
their
friends
about
the
said.
well as in Southfield.
professional
and very caring."
school
resulted
in
new
people
at
both
Shaarey
Zedek
board
members
"Nobody wants to abandon the
Parent
Cheryl
Stern of Huntington
facilities,"
she
said.
"We
designed,
voted
to
consolidate
the
schools
in
Southfield building," Safran said.
Woods
said
the
school
has "top-notch
created
and
distributed
a
brochure.
February
2001,
but
rescinded
their
"But, as a whole, our revenues at the
teachers
at
the
Southfield
location,
As far as ads, we did a lot, including
decision when parents pledged to
shul dc; not meet our expenses."
who
have
stood
by
us
over
the past
on
the
[Shaarey
Zedek]
Web
site."
seek more students for the Southfield
”'
two
years.
This
time,
raising
enrollment
won't
Beth Hayeled.
Said Dr. Michaelson: "Rena Cohen
be enough, Safran said.
Dr. Jefferey Michaelson of
Ways And Means
runs
the finest preschool program in
"With
the
cooperation
of
the
par-
Huntington
Woods,
who
has
a
child
In a letter to selected Shaarey Zedek
the
city.
My wife and children have
ents,
the
door
is
open
to
keep
the
in
the
school,
called
the
new
decision
members dated Nov. 4, Safran wrote
felt
both
nurtured and loved by both
nursery school open, but not to go
to consolidate "short-sighted."
that the synagogue anticipates a

1 1

2002

10

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