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June 27, 2003 - Image 33

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2003-06-27

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2003 LACROSSE CAMPS

first director.
"Nancy was the significant frosting
on an already great cake," Smith said.
"Once she became involved, she was a
leader with vision, charm and energy.
She was a good programmer and a
good developer of people and
resources. Her efforts helped us to
mature as a community."

A Central Address

The Newmans also had learned about
Jewish federations, and Washtenaw
County's was formed in 1986. The
search for a director didn't achieve suc-
cess until the JCC's Margolis was
asked to "temporarily" take the reins
in 1989. She headed both institutions
until 2000.
The growth of both the Center and
Federation led the community to cre-
ate two separate positions. This time
the searches were successful.
Jeff Levin, who was serving as assis-
tant campaign director for the Jewish
Federation of Metropolitan Detroit,
became the Washtenaw County
Federation's new executive director in
March 2000. Leslie Bash, who had
risen to associate executive director
during seven years with Detroit's JCC,
became the Center's new executive
director in November 2001. This
cross-pollination goes both ways.
Harlene Appelman and Aviva Panush
of the Detroit Federation's Alliance for
Jewish Education both live in Ann
Arbor.
Levin believes it was a wise decision
to divide the Federation and Center
responsibilities.
"It has allowed each organization to
develop independent identities and
devote more resources to community
building," he said. "I sometimes sit at
my desk and marvel at how Nancy
Margolis built both agencies into
major institutions."
Joan Lowenstein, former chairperson
of the Federation's Community
Relations Committee and an Ann
Arbor City Council member, currently
serves as Federation president.
Under Levin, the Federation raised
its public profile, bringing in New
York Times columnists William Safire
and Thomas Friedman for commu-
nity lectures. And last May's bi-
annual Humanitarian Award Dinner
honoring community leaders Carol
and Herb Amster was the largest
ever, attracting 600 persons, half of
whom were not Jewish.
Meanwhile, at the JCC, Bash con-

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6/27

2003

33

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