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December 10, 2004 - Image 24

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2004-12-10

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

Not American Girl
It's a Jewish Girl
Rebecca,
Sarah a Sadie

WHAT'S BREWING

from page 23

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Northern Michigan University on a
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Schultz spoke about how he sees the
business world and society in general
and how his Jewish values impact his
worldview and his business activities.
"There has been a fracturing of
humanity," he said, and for Starbucks
"it's about building a more humane
company. We need a balance between
profitability and a social conscience for
everything we do.
"I saw firsthand the fracturing of the
American dream as a boy at the age of
7," Schultz said, telling how his family
was in trouble when his father lost a
delivery job after being injured, and
there was no health care, disability or

because business was not being done in
an ethical fashion." He believes this is
changing the way business is conducted
because, in addition to quality and cost,
customers "are interested in your ethics
and values: How do you take care of
your people and are you helping others
and being benevolent?
"We can do things in a way that val-
ues the human spirit," said Schultz,
telling about how a revered rabbi in
Jerusalem told him that during the
Holocaust, blankets were given to one
Jew in every six as they were herded
into boxcars on the way to the ghettos
or to work or German death camps.
"It was during this moment that the
Jewish way of life came through" the
rabbi told him, as the bitterly cold
Jews shared their blankets with those
around them.

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Phil Margolis of Ann Arbor speaks with Howard Schultz of Starbucks.

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24

job security.
It was this experience that com-
pelled him from the very beginning of
Starbucks, against the advice of others,
to provide comprehensive health
insurance for full- and part-time
employees as well as stock options and
other ways to invest in the company.
"People in a company are not a line
item," Schultz said, explaining that such
a view is good for society and for busi-
ness. "If you want to exceed the expec-
tations of your customers, you need to
),
exceed the expectations of your people.
Today Starbucks has 90,000 "part-
ners" working for it, 40 million cus-
tomers a week, 9,000 stores with four
new stores added each week, and a
worth of $22 billion.
Schultz explained how growing up in
a Jewish household helped him to value
and respect diversity and the individual.
He understands how people are "disil-
lusioned" with the corporate world
because "we are living at a time when
public companies have let us down

"Take your blanket and share it with
five others," Schultz said to supportive
applause.
Asked why Starbucks closed its
stores in Israel, Schultz noted how
rumors are spread on the Internet,
where some even called him an anti-
Semite. "Israel is the only country that
Starbucks has not succeeded in," said
Schultz, calling it "both ironic and
perverse."
"We opened at the worst possible
moment," he said, explaining there
was a sharp rise in terrorism and a
sharp decline in tourism. "At the
appropriate time, we will be back in
Israel in a strong way."
Jeffrey Levin, Federation director,
thanked Schultz for coming to
Michigan, noting that he did not
charge for his talk or his expenses,
provided the coffee and even paid for
his employees to attend. Thanks were
also given to the Ford Motor
Company Fund, which has supported
the Main Event for four years.

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