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February 07, 2003 - Image 21

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2003-02-07

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

TaMBROFF (►) 1401WEIA.

CIVIC "BEST BUY" ALERT

2003 CIVIC LX
SEDAN -

2003 CIVIC EX
OUPE

The fourth area is the interaction of
formal and informal education.
Appelman hopes to tap the resources of
both the Women's American ORT-
Michigan Region interactive learning
museum being built at the Jewish
Community Center in West Bloomfield
and the board of the Fresh Air Society,
which runs Tamarack Camps.
Mark Davidoff, Federation executive
director and chief operating officer,
said the Alliance's task will be "to
understand what each user wants and
to coordinate providing these services."
Added Appelman, "When a family
moves into this community, regardless
of what stage they are in, we will pro-
vide them with a way to access the
best Jewish education possible."

An Upward Direction

Jewish education in metropolitan
Detroit has been on a steady course of
improvement for more than a decade,
said Dr. Conrad Giles
of Bloomfield Hills.
Dr. Giles was
Federation president in
1990 when he commis-
sioned and was an
active participant in a
report on the state of
education in the
Detroit Jewish commu-
nity. The Giles Report
recommended the dis-
solution of United
Hebrew Schools and
the creation of the AJE.
"Since then, the
movement has been a forward
momentum," said Dr. Giles, also past
president of the Council of Jewish
Federations, one of three predecessor
organizations of the UJC.
"It would be wonderful if this progress
were made as if it were on a Rand
McNally map, where you draw a straight
line between points with no evolution
involved. But there was no way in 1990
to put out the kind of structure that
would be required to provide the kind of
education we do today."
The realignment approved Jan. 23
was endorsed by a more recent
Federation report, chaired by
Federation board member Robert J.
Gordon of Huntington Woods.
"In my years as Federation budget
chairman, I welcomed this type of
thoroughness," Dr. Giles said. "That
report assessed every activity — every
strength, every weakness.
"The community would be well-
served if we had that type of thorough
analysis of every department and

agency. We have a responsibility to our
donor community to make sure our
money is well-spent."
Dr. Giles called himself "an interest-
ed observer" of the realignment
process, thanks to the active involve-
ment of his wife, Dr. Lynda Giles, who
has served as co-chair of Federation's
Alliance and president of the AJE.
'Alliance was for vision; Agency was
to bring that vision to life," said Dr.
Lynda Giles. "This is the completion
of the work we started with the found-
ing of Federation's Alliance in 1998,
putting the missing pieces together."
Through Federation, Detroit's
Jewish schools — day, afternoon and
supplemental — have improved their
financial base as they have honed their
educational offerings, Davidoff said.
"I don't want anyone to discount the
last 8-10 years of moving campaign
allocation funds to day schools, after-
noon schools, the Alliance and AJE.
We're in a much better position

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today," Davidoff said.
What differences will the person on
street, or the child in the classroom,
actually see as a result of the realign-
ment?
"I hope what we've been doing all
along has been excellent, so the person
in the classroom won't see any
change," Dr. Lynda Giles said.
Jonathan Woocher, president of the
New York-based Jewish Education
Service of North America (JESNA),
said the realignment "speaks well for
Detroit."
"There are no clear trends in terms
of Federation structure. Many com-
munities are changing their Jewish
education models, but there's no clear
direction one way or another,"
Woocher said.
"What is a trend is growing
Federation support for Jewish educa-
tion. And Detroit has clearly emerged
as a leader in identity building and
renaissance of Jewish education across
the board." ❑

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