GETTING TEAT TES'
ents and others of the immigrant generation suc-
ceed despite overwhelming odds.
"My grandfather emigrated from Baden-Baden,
Germany, at the turn of the century," he says.
"He came to America, like so many immigrants,
with little more than a dream. He purchased a
used set of encyclopedias, taught himself English
and history, opened a floor covering store in
Chicago and was a fiercely patriotic American."
After his grandfather died, his grandmother
undergraduate alma mater and served on the capi-
took over the store. "She was the only female who
tal campaign committee for MSU's new Hillel
owned a floor covering store in Chicago for about
building. He also finds time for the boards of the
a decade," Sandler said.
American Israel Public Affairs Committee, Jewish
ryce Sandler likes to say he began his
While in law school, Sandler was a founding
Community Council of Metropolitan Detroit and
fund-raising career in kindergarten.
member of the campus Federalist Society, a group
the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit's
When his class attended an assembly
of political conservatives and libertarians that
that included information on a
advocates hands-off government, the separation of
multiple sclerosis read-a-thon, the 5-year-old
governmental powers, and "that it is emphatically
tried to sign up. But he learned, to his disap-
the provinCe and duty of the judiciary to say what
pointment, that one had to be in third grade
the law is, not what it should be."
"The Republican Party also stands for a strong
At the advice of his parents, the young
national defense, especially needed as we are
Sandler called the Multiple Sclerosis
engaged in an ongoing war on terrorism that
Foundation's local offices and got special per-
threatens the very foundation of democracy both
mission to take part in the fund-raiser. He
at home and in Israel," he says. "The party's his-
wound up raising more money for MS that
toric support of Israel and democracy is unprece-
dented. We see that today with President Bush
year than anyone else in his Cleveland school,
a record he held for the next six years.
and the Republican Congress, with levels of pro-
Today, the 32-year-old Sandler is finance
Israel support never before seen."
Quoting Pirkei Avot (Ethics of Our Fathers, a
director for Congressman Joe Knollenberg,
B r yce SanXer,
tractate of the Mishnah), Sandler says Judaism
R-Bloomfield Hills. He's worked out of Rep.
right, with Rep.
teaches us, "If I am not for myself,
who will be for me. But if I am only
for myself, what am I?"
f you do dating, you can do fund-raising. In both, you do a lot of asking and you get a lot of
The Republican Party takes this
and makes it tangible by
noes. But the yeses are what makes it worthwhile." —Bryce Sandler
way of public policy, he says.
With Sandler's help, Knollenberg .
won a sixth term last November in
Young Adult Division (YAD).
the most expensive congressional race in Michigan
Knollenberg's Michigan campaign office since
Former YAD director Lisa Cutler, now associate
history. This year, Sandler was named fund-raising
director of Federation's Annual Campaign, says
consultant to the Oakland County Republican
An only child, Sandler graduated from
Sandler is "a very bright, enthusiastic guy with a
Rochester High School and James Madison
great sense of humor.
"From the beginning, he took the bull by the
College of Michigan State University and earned a
"He goes out of his way at events to interact not
horns," Knollenberg says. "There aren't that many
law degree from the University of Detroit-Mercy
only with people he knows but also with people
people who can raise money. He does it quite well
in 1996. His father died while he was in law
who are new to YAD, finding out what their inter- — people don't avoid him."
school and his mother, Diane Sandler, is a Realtor
ests are, introducing them to people, helping them
Sandler says he also helps the veteran congress-
in Rochester Hills.
get involved," she says. "Plus, he's very Campaign-
man better understand "the concerns of the
Editor of his high school newspaper, he contin-
oriented. He really understands the financial needs Jewish people."
ued his interest in journalism at MSU, where he
of the community."
Knollenberg adds, "And he knows everybody.
won Michigan College Press Association awards
Sandler, who lives in Royal Oak, does not
He's constantly giving me insights that help me a
for articles about a grand wizard of the Ku Klux
belong to a synagogue, although he does see syna-
great deal getting to know where people are corn-
Klan and about convicted murderers in a Pontiac
gogue membership in his future.
"Religion to me, at this point in my life, is
Has Sandler ever considered running for office
But Sandler's career has taken him far from jour-
largely defined by involvement with causes and
himself? "I love politics and the political process,"
organizations that carry out the mandates of
he says. "But I enjoy running campaigns, earning
Through Sandler and Associates, a fund-raising,
Judaism, such as social action and improving the
money for candidates. Being a candidate and
event management and public relations firm he
world around you," he says. "I try and practice my holding elective office yourself is a challenging
founded in 2001, he has been the fund-raising
faith in my everyday actions and consciously rec-
lifestyle if you want to be married with children."
consultant for two successful Seeds of Peace bene-
ognize those values in my decision-making."
He realizes many people hesitate to pick up the
fits and for last year's inaugural gala of the Heinz
phone and ask for money.
C. Prechter Fund for Manic Depression. Named
"But what ,I say is, if you do dating, you can do
after the late industrialist who suffered from bipo-
Politics And Personalities
fund-raising," says Sandler, quickly adding that he
lar illness, the event raised $1.2 million, making it
To Sandler, the Republican Party represents the
already has a girlfriend. "In both, you do a lot of
the largest single fund-raising event for the cause
values of "hard work, thrift and utter self-confi-
asking and you get a lot of noes. But the yeses are
in U.S. history.
what makes it worthwhile."
Sandler is on the alumni association board of his dence in one's abilities" that helped his grandpar-
Bryce Sandler masters the art of fund-raising and
connecting with people for the community's benfit.