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February 13, 2014 - Image 31

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2014-02-13

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

Sun-Splashed from page 30

said Stacey Deweese,
who makes visits along
with colleague Dan
Greenberg. "It's about
making people feel
appreciated. It's about
not just what more can
you do, but also about
Dan Greenberg what you've done. We're
very grateful for their
support"
Last year, snowbird
Florine Mark, presi-
dent and CEO of the
Farmington Hills-based
WW Group, hosted the
event at her Boca Raton
Florine Mark
home with Bank of
America as lead sponsor.
During non-event years, like 2014, the
Federation development team flies down
to conduct individual meetings, much as it
does in Colorado and California.
Federation's 2010 population survey
showed a Jewish Detroit of 65,000 people,
down from a 1990s high of 96,000. In the
wake of some longtime mega-givers dying
and the younger generations of givers
and leaders still settling in, it's natural for
Federation, the community's major plan-
ning and philanthropic agency, to gravitate
to long-term and prospective givers in
south Florida.
Federation isn't concerned about Detroit
losing out to Florida-based federations.
"Even if our givers support Florida federa-
tions to a nominal degree, they very much
consider Detroit home Greenberg said.
"It's where they built their resources:'
Added Deweese, "We don't take them
for granted, which is why we stay in touch.
Fortunately, Detroit is one of those stellar
communities where everyone stays tight"
"There might be some money going
to Florida causes" said Mark, the JCC
president and a Federation governor, "but
I think most of us will continue sending
most of our support to Michigan. That is
where our collective heart is. We Jewish
people from Michigan stick together"
In 2011, the Southfield-based Max M.
& Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation and
the entire Fisher family were among
donors that gave toward the opening of
the Marjorie S. Fisher Boys & Girls Club
in West Palm Beach. The Max M. Fisher
Boys & Girls Club opened in Riviera
Beach in 2010. The two clubs reach thou-
sands of needy kids with a safe haven
after school and during breaks. But make
no mistake about it: The Fisher family
remains one of Jewish Detroit's largest
and longest-serving givers.
Legacy giving is high on the Federation
agenda — at whatever level and in what-
ever area that givers elect. Typical ques-
tions posed include: "How would you like
to be remembered?" "What difference do
you want to make?" "What would you like
to do with permanence?"

"And that message Deweese said, "is
really resonating. People want to give
thought and effort to do what they can to
make Detroit better than they left it:'

ollowinq The Lead
Jewish Senior Life headed South for the
first time last winter, inspired by the suc-
cess of the JCC there. JSL hosted a Sunday
afternoon spotlighting wellness and car-
ing support for 80 Detroit snowbirds at
Florine Mark's home.
"I remember when I was one of those
people who couldn't help others" Mark
said. "I went to Fresh Air camp on a schol-
arship. Now, it's so great to be able to give
back:'
Federation survey findings revealed that
Metro Detroit has the largest concentra-
tion of older Jewish adults outside of south
Florida. Keeping them comfortable in
their homes as long as possible is central
to JSL.
Honorary chairs Susan and Bart Lewis
of Bloomfield Hills and Delray Beach will
welcome guests to the 2014 JSL Florida
event Monday, Feb. 24, at Delaire Country
Club, Delray Beach. The "It's A Great Day
in the Neighborhood" program will fea-
ture journalist Lila Lazarus, a Detroit TV
personality, talking about healthy living.
Guests will be asked to share their bucket
lists.
JSL CEO Rochelle Upfal, JSL Foundation
director Carol Rosenberg and JSL associ-
ate director Barbara Giles will highlight
JSL services and opportunities. The
Fleischman Memorial Lecture Fund
will sponsor the guest
speaker. Call JSL for
more information: (248)
661-1836.
"People are living
longer and, of course,
wellness is important to
them" Rosenberg said.
Carol
"What they need are the
Rosenberg
ingredients of a healthy

life. We want to offer snowbirds a vision of
self so when they return to Michigan, they
know what JSL offers:'
JSL thrives in part because of the good
will of supporters with a full-time or part-
time Florida address.

Temple Israel of West Bloomfield held its
sixth Shabbat in the Sun for current and
past congregants and their friends on
Feb. 7 in Boca Raton. Rabbis Harold Loss
and Marla Hornsten and Cantor Michael
Smolash led the Kabbalat Shabbat service.
Detroiter Rob Bloom, now a Floridian,
catered the Oneg.
My cousins Ann and Michael Small of
Palm Beach were among the 700 worship-
pers. The former Detroiters have been
Floridians for 43 years. Observed Michael:
"I felt a little bit of home here tonight:'
Temple Israel execu-
tive director David
Tisdale said, "Some of
our Shabbat in the Sun
regulars have moved
to Florida permanently
and joined synagogues,
but there's still no place
David Tisdale
like Temple, they've told
us"
On Jan. 14, Congregation Shaarey Zedek
of Southfield drew 325 people to its fifth
snowbird event. This year's free concert in
Boca Raton featured Cantor David Propis
and congregant Olivia Brodsky. Rabbi
Joseph Krakoff offered an interactive dvar
Torah.

Ann Arbor Outreach

T

he University of Michigan
doesn't do Jewish-specific
outreach in Florida, but
rest assured: U-M targets the state
through connectivity with alumni
and donors. The ties sometimes are
organized around a school or college
affiliation, for example, the College of
Engineering or the Stephen M. Ross
School of Business.
Says Regent Mark Bernstein of the
Farmington Hills-based Sam Bernstein
Law Firm: "The University of Michigan
is fortunate to have supporters
around the country, and we work
hard to stay in touch with them year-
round. Of course, Florida is home to
many supporters - including alumni,

parents and future
students."
Bestselling author
Brad Meltzer, a
Brooklyn native who
lives in Florida, has
Mark
done donor-related
Bernstein
outreach on behalf of
U-M, his alma mater.
"In the money-raising business," he
said, "there's no business like home-
town business. That personal connec-
tion means the most. So if you want
to raise money from Detroit Jews,
you're going to be spending time in
Florida." ❑
- Robert Sklar

Karen and Cantor David Propis, Olivia
Brodsky of West Bloomfield, Dina
Brodsky of Franklin, and Susan and

Rabbi Joseph Krakoff

"It's a priority of CSZ to reach out to all
our members, especially those we wouldn't
normally see again until Pesach time"
Krakoff said. "Over and over again, we're
thanked for remembering our members
who winter in Florida and for taking the
time to visit with them"

A Way Of Life
It's natural to want to link back to Jewish
Detroit given how tight-knit it has been
for 150 years. Only in recent years has
there been a disturbing out-migration,
prompted primarily by Michigan's eco-
nomic downturn and Detroit's central
city decay. Those twin factors have forced
some young adults to seek careers and
urban nightlife elsewhere.
Not surprisingly, Detroit's rebound
from tough times will be driven in part
by returning Jewish young adults and the
continuing generosity of their parents and
grandparents, wherever they now live.
JSUs Rochelle Upfal
is right: Detroiters
want to stay connected.
Whatever the lure —
sharing memories,
rekindling friendships,
imagining a new Detroit
— a coming together
of
Detroiters is a labor
Rochelle Upfal
of love, not an act of
coercion.
Retirement doesn't change the dynamic
of how Detroiters view giving. Mort
Plotnick, a former JCC executive director
and now a JCC development consultant,
confided: "Those people who have been
donors for years continue to be. Those that
never were, do not become donors and
will not be supportive of anything more or
less than they were up North"
With all its troubles, Detroit as a region
remains dear to Detroiters. It's as if
Detroit, from the French word for "straits"
is magnetic. 1-75 serves as a sort of North-
to-South straits.
Upfal put it well: "Detroiters, probably
unlike any other Jewish community, are so
loyal to their roots, to where they grew up,
to where their families grew up, to where
family is still living, to which they invested
so much in. Once a Detroiter, always a
Detroiter"



February 13 • 2014

31

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