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February 02, 2012 - Image 18

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2012-02-02

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18

February 2 - 2012

use

and her son,
k, 46, both of
Bloomfield Hills, are
classic examples of
a successful gen-
erational transition.
Penny, past president
of Federation and
current president
of Federation's
financial arm, the
Brian Meer
Jewish Fund, for-
merly sponsored a
leadership group
through Federation
that helped place
young people in
community agencies.
Last year, she helped
organize the Jewish
Fund for Justice to
train Jewish young
people for leadership
roles.
Rick, a real estate
broker, has been
active in Federation Jeff Fleischman
and now focuses his
community work
on Hillel Day School
in Farmington
Hills, where he is
volunteer manager
of ongoing construc-
tion and renovation.
"He and the other
young people aren't
giving' to the com-
munity because
they have to; they're
giving because their
parents shared
Josh Opperer
Jewish values with
them and they real-
ize this is an important part of Jewish
life Penny Blumenstein says.
"Those who left the city didn't just
run away and abandon their responsi-
bilities; they needed jobs.
"But I've heard of people moving
to other cities and getting lonely for
family and friends. Now, fortunately,
the reverse migration is under way. We
need more super heroes here, like Dan
Gilbert"

Brian Meer of West Bloomfield, for-
merly on the Federation board, now
focuses his philanthropies on the
"efficient and smooth-running JVS," as
he describes the support organization
for disadvantaged people where he's
board chairman.
His father, Edward, in his mid-80s,
of Bloomfield Hills, a dental sup-
ply mogul, spearheaded the Meer

Apartments for Jewish
Senior Life of Metropolitan
Detroit and has _donated
various buildings to Jewish
causes.
"The drop in Jewish
population in the Detroit
area has affected all of our
efforts:' Meer says, "but the
young people are making
up for it by stepping up to
the plate and carrying on
for their parents:'
Jewish Senior Life has
been the focus of Jeff
Fleischman, 53, of West
Bloomfield, a JSL vice pres-
ident and the third genera-
tion of Fleischman family
involvement. He says the
family mission has been
to help older adults in the
community.
"I was indoctrinated
by my father, Marvin,
and grandfather, Edward,
who always said he didn't
want to see old people
left to rot:' recalls Jeff, a
financial adviser. The JSL
Fleischman Residence
in West Bloomfield is a
glowing example of their
efforts.
One up-and-coming
young leader, attorney Josh
Opperer, 41, of Huntington
Woods, whose father,
Maurice, is a dentist and
mother, Pamela, a stock-
broker, sees a vast differ-
ence in the treatment of
young people here who are
eager to get involved com-
pared to those in New York
or Chicago.
"If you exhibit even a
little interest and meaningful respon-
sibility in helping this community,
doors will swing open, mentors
will surface and opportunities to
contribute will appear; you will be
embraced:' says Opperer, a Federation
officer.
"Our more experienced communal
leaders reach out to newcomers. That's
why the boards of local organizations
are well stocked with leaders in their
30s, 40s and 50s. That just doesn't
happen in the other big cities:"
Federation's Kaufman observes,
"Our community is home to many
extraordinary young men and women
eager to take their places as leaders of
Metro Detroit. They're smart, gener-
ous and full of ideas. It's clear that
they're ramping up and taking the
torch from those before them to help
sustain a strong and vibrant Jewish
community."



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