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September 26, 2003 - Image 19

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2003-09-26

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

Mickey and his younger siblings,
formal dinners at Franklin Hills,"
met future law partner Hauser.
Richard and Roz, were raised modest- Donna said. "It's wonderful that he
In 1971, Maddin was elected
ly.
c..a,n live in both woKlds."
Junior Division president and Hauser
Federatzon Involvement
"As a child, I never got a whole lot
became vice president. A friendship
out of my parents' involvement in the Mickey Maddin "is not bombastic,
formed and they merged their two
community. We belonged to Shaarey
he's not attention-getting," said
small law firms in 1982.
Zedek, and I knew that my grandfa-
Robert Aronson, Federation CEO.
"He's quiet, but he has natural lead-
ther was active there, but I never
"He's unselfish, dedicated, hard-work- ership," Hauser said. "He treats every
found that to be of any interest. I
ing — the kind of people who make
project in the community the same
hated Sunday school," said Maddin,
the city great."
way he treats our business clients,
whose family today are Shaarey Zedek
Aronson said Maddin played a key
with the same seriousness and devo-
members.
role behind the scenes in transform-
tion."
Attending Detroit Central High
ing the United Jewish Foundation,
As Foundation president from
School, then Mackenzie, Maddin
and specifically its endowment fund.
1994-1997 and chairman of the
tooled around in a 1934 Plymouth he - "He forged the modern relationship Federated Endowment Fund from
paid for himself with $495.
between Federation and Foundation
1991-1995, Maddin was a strong
He traded up to another 1934
as far as governance, decision-making
proponent of building endowment
Plymouth with a rumble seat before
and funding," said Aronson, who will
funds, creating a natural "tug of war."
buying an old Buick convertible for
introduce Maddin at Federation's
"Any time you're doing endowment
$695 to use at the University of
annual meeting. "He helped create
you're taking away from [the Annual]
Michigan in Ann Arbor, where he
one organization rather thin two —
Campaign," he said. "My whole phi-
graduated in 1962.
oftentimes, divided organizations. His losophy as chairman was: 'Yes, make
It was at Wayne State University
father Milton is someone who is still
your gift to the Campaign first, but
Law School in Detroit that Mickey
remembered with great fondness and
there are tons of people that you
met Donna.
respect by many of our older genera-
could talk to from now until Tisha
She was getting a cup of coffee with tion."
b'Av, and they wouldn't give a darn
a girlfriend early in the morning
Maddin countered the praise: "Any
about the Campaign, who would give
when she latched onto his blue eyes.
time Aronson says anything good
something for something that's their
They fell in love and married in
about you, you'd better be ready to
pet: a museum, a tennis complex. If
1966, after dating 1'/.2 years.
jump."
you can't convince them to do any-
When he graduated lw school in
Maddin's Federation involvement
thing else, then why not take it? Take
1965, he hung his shingle with his
solidified during the Six-Day War in
the money and make them happy.'
father. His brother joined them two
1967, and he called it "the most sin-
"There's so many pulls on people
years later.
gular event of my life that awoke me
— you've got every university and
Practicing real estate, corporate and
to my Jewishness."
college, you've got volunteers for
business law, Mickey's Federation
A member of the Michigan Air
American Red Cross. Everybody in
involvement started in 1966, when he National Guard at the time, "I identi- the world is out there trying to do
was asked to call people for
fied with the military aspects of it,"
the same thing," he said.
Campaign pledges.
he said.
"We're assimilated to a greater
His life was busy, but he always left
He could see the need for helping
degree, we're under economic pres-
room for his family. "We have a say-
Israel, and became active in
sure, and yet Jewish people are still
ing, 'The family that eats together
Federation's Junior Division, where he wealthy as a group and there is
stays together,'" said Donna, who
considers her husband her best friend.
"Ninety-nine percent of the time, we
would have dinner together. It might
have been a short dinner but, as a
family, we sat down. We had Friday
night Shabbat every week."
Everything — from work to recre-
ation to Federation — was centered
on family.
As a member of the United Jewish
Appeal's young leadership cabinet in
1973, Maddin helped create a wildly
popular Family Camp program at
Butzel Conference Center at Camp
Maas in Ortonville.
Maddin became a member at
Franklin Hills through his father, and
eventually became its president. He
always stressed family involvement in
club events.
On weekends, the Maddin family
camped in their pop-up trailer.
Maddin in his 1963 Corvair
"We swung from camping in the
pop-up camper to having to go to

money there if you can get to
although I hate the notion that
money is what we're all about."

Feeling Grateful

Helping people is what Maddin is
about, and the lesson came from a
16-year-old kid.
At age 36, Maddin was starting to
become successful, starting a family.
Everything was going well. Then he
suddenly needed corneal replacement
surgery.
"It's real easy to get down on that,"
he said. "I'm wearing somebody else's
corneas and I have to wear contacts
in order to see over the astigmatism
created by the transplants, and it
bothers my eyes all the time. Am I
complaining? No."
He was lying in the hospital and
they wheeled in a teen-ager who that
day had lost his eyesight in an acci-
dent. Permanently.
"I really got on myself good,"
Maddin said. "Everybody's got a
problem. There's nothing to be upset
about. If you can live your life that
way, it truly makes a difference in
how you function and how people
perceive you."
Two heart valve replacement surger-
ies three years ago changed him from
a runner to a walker, but he still does-
n't complain. He gets up every morn-
ing for a 50-minute walk in the West
Bloomfield subdivision where the
family has lived for 30 years.
"We'have no particular interest in
being in a different house," he said.
"I'm happy with what I have and
pretty happy with what I am."
He is the proud owner of a fully
restored 1963 Corvair convertible,
and he collects old deeds and con-
tracts from the 1700s and 1800s that
he displays on his office wall.
Maddin sits at the oak conference
table, a gift given to his father in the
1930s from a client, and wonders
what advice he would give the person
whose nameplate will occupy the last
spot -- in the year 2056 — on the
next Butzel Award plaque.
"While I absolutely believe that
there's some jeopardy in our survival,
I firmly believe that those who want
to take the time to remain Jewish will
benefit from the process and will be
active and will participate," he said.
"As long as I admit that I'm Jewish,
and as long as I feel that I can make a
difference, then I should try and do
that.
"We should make a difference every
day in what we do."

9/26
2003

19

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