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March 07, 2013 - Image 20

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2013-03-07

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

EXCLUSIVE EXHIBIT PREVIEW

Become a member
and join us for
our members-only
exhibit preview.

The E-Rate Controversy

Ex-JN staffer breaks story on federal
tech grants in NYC haredi schools.

Your membership
will entitle you to a
year of free admission
and programs.

T

Memberships start at
$18/students,
$36/singles and
$50/families and
are tax-deductible.

Meet artist Fay Grajower and preview Where the Past Meets the Future,
a mixed media exhibit that revisits the vibrant Jewish life in Poland
before the Holocaust and reflects hope and interest in contemporary
Polish Jewish life and culture. Enjoy a violin performance by acclaimed
musician Gabriel Bolkosky. Kosher refreshments will be served.

To RSVP, please call 248.553.2400 x29

..$1' bAEMN

holocaustcenter.org

HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL CENTER
ZEKELMAN FAMILY CAMPUS

%),„„,,,,, 28123 Orchard Lake Road • Farmington Hills, MI 48334

-1

Claims Conference nwnnn n -t)vi

v A The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany

Holocaust-Era Assets in Former East Germany

The Claims Conference has established a Late Applicants Fund ("LAF") of €50 million in order to
accept applications from the following heirs of a former Jewish owner ("persecutee") of property/
assets in the former East Germany for which the Claims Conference received proceeds as
Successor Organization under the German Property Law of 1990:

(a) The immediate testamentary heir of the persecutee; (b) Children, grandchildren, or great grandchildren
of the persecutee; (c) Siblings of the persecutee; (d) Children of siblings listed under (c); (e) Spouses of
persons listed under (b), (c) and (d).

Applications can be filed directly with the Claims Conference for no fee. There is no need for
applicants to pay a fee to any party. The LAF will accept applications through December 31, 2014.

After the application deadline, the Claims Conference shall determine the payment that each eligible
heir will receive. This determination will be based on a number of factors detailed on the Claims
Conference website.

The Claims Conference has published on its website, www.claimscon.org , a list of the properties/
assets received by the Claims Conference as of the date of publication, and such assets for
which claims by the Claims Conference are still pending under the German Property Restitution
Law, including the name of the former owners and/or businesses, as well as the addresses of the
properties/assets.

The detailed rules of the LAF, applications, and other information are also on the Claims Conference
website, www.claimscon.org .

All communications regarding the Late Applicants Fund should be submitted to:
Claims Conference Successor Organization,
Sophienstrasse 26, D-60487 Frankfurt am Main, Germany.
Fax: 011-49-69-97-07-08-11. Email: claims-conference-laf@claimscon.org

To aid applicants who do not have complete information, the Claims Conference has a Department
for Property Identification. If you believe that you or your relatives may have owned Jewish property
in the former East Germany, please include as much information as possible in your application and
the Department will endeavor to identify such property. Please write to the above address. There is
no charge for this service as well.

The Claims Conference has appointed an Ombudsman. To contact the Office of the Ombudsman, please email
Ombudsman@claimscon.org or write to The Ombudsman, PO Box 585, Old Chelsea Station, New York, NY 10113

20

March 7 • 2013

metro >> Jews in the digital age

JN

he importance of increasing
access to technology in our
schools became a top prior-
ity during the Clinton administration.
In that vein, President
Bill Clinton and Vice
President Al Gore sought
to incorporate technol-
ogy into the classroom
and ensure equal oppor-
tunity for students to
benefit from technology
by creating E-rate. In the
years since its creation,
these federal grants have
helped public and private
schools across the country
connect to the Internet,
increase the number of
computers in classrooms
and provide technology training for
teachers.
Julie Wiener, a for-
mer Detroit Jewish
News reporter who is
now associate editor
of the Jewish Week
in New York City,
recently uncovered
potential fraud relat-
ing to the E-rate
Julie Wiener
program in ultra-
Orthodox schools in New York. In a
three-part expose, Wiener, together
with special correspondent Hella
Winston, explained how several ultra-
Orthodox day schools and yeshivahs
in New York have been receiving mil-
lions of dollars of technology through
the E-rate program, but never actually
putting that technology to use in their
schools because of their community's
disdain for the Internet.
Wiener's four-month investigation
revealed that of the almost 300 Jewish
schools benefiting from E-rate, 10
schools (all but one Chasidic) col-
lectively were approved for nearly $9
million in E-rate-funded services in
2011, which amounted to almost one-
third of the Jewish total. One yeshi-
vah submitted requests in 2012 for
65 direct connections to the Internet
including 40 computers, but no com-
puter or Internet connection were
ever installed.
Wiener's investigation also found a
disparity in the amount of technology
funding the New York area's ultra-
Orthodox schools were receiving.
She writes, "While Jewish schools
enrolled approximately 4 percent of

the state's K-12 students, they were
awarded 22 percent of the state's total
E-rate allocations to schools and
libraries:'
After reading the three-
part series, I had a chance
to talk with Wiener about
her investigative reporting
and what she hopes will hap-
pen now that these schools'
alleged misuse of a federal
technology fund has become
publicized.
"I'd like to see more inves-
tigation and oversight on
the part of the FCC and the
USAC [Universal Service
Administrative Company,
which oversees E-Rate],
including more audits and
actual visits to make sure the equip-
ment that's actually paid for is being
used. I also want more people to
know about E-rate. There are more
schools that could benefit that haven't
even heard of the program:'
Wiener, who has been writing
about Jewish education and technol-
ogy over the past few years, says she
first honed her investigative skills at
the Detroit Jewish News in the mid-
1990s. She answered some questions
about the E-Rate story:

How did you find out about E-rate?
JW: My colleague Hella Winston,

who has done a lot of coverage of the
ultra-Orthodox community, got a tip
from someone several months ago
and then found the E-rate Central
site, where all the data is contained.
The idea immediately appealed to us,
because the Asifa — the May 2012
[haredi] rally against the Internet —
was still fresh in our memories, and
also, I had been covering the whole
issue of technology in Jewish educa-
tion and yet had never before heard of
E-rate. Initially, it felt overwhelming
to go through the enormous amount
of data, but fortunately I was taking a
class at CUNY Journalism School this
fall, which both inspired me to do data-
driven articles and empowered me.

What was the process?

JW: We decided early on to nar-
row our focus to New York state.
That's because this was already an
enormous project and because we
are based in New York. We also knew
Controversy on page 22

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