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April 17, 2014 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2014-04-17

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metro >> on the cover

ancia Pressuro

Detroit's JCC among others facing chronic debt across the country.

Julie Edgar I Special to the Jewish News


"2008 and 2009 were very difficult
years for nonprofits. We had the Madoff
issue that hit Jewish nonprofits. Funding
was decreased:' he says. "We had extensive
expansion 10 years prior, so when rev-
enues constricted, communities couldn't
finish building. Today, those that didn't
have capital projects are in terrific shape:'
Detroit's JCC is apparently an anomaly.
It has not embarked on a major capital
project in the last 10 years, but it is facing
$8 million in short- and long-term debt. In
January, leaders said they were blindsided
by the scope of the problem, which led to
the departure of former executive direc-
tor Mark Lit and the JCC's controller and
the hiring of interim director James Issner
to work to turn around the center's for-
tunes. Earlier this year,
the Jewish Federation
of Metropolitan
Detroit/United Jewish
Foundation provided
a stopgap $950,000
to the JCC so it could
cover payroll and other
Florine Mark
Board President
Florine Mark is optimistic.
"We now have James Issner, who will
help us out of the difficulties we've unfor-
tunately gotten into. It'll be over in a min-
ute; it's been blown out of proportion:' she

A Brief
History Of

Detroit's JCC in West Bloomfield
has been expanded and reno-
vated over the years.

says of revelations of a so-called "legacy
debt" that has been growing for years. "I
would not have taken this presidency if I
didn't have passion for this Center."
Still, an audit of JCC finances for the
past three years, expected to be completed
by the end of this month, should reveal
exactly where the JCC stands financially.
JCCA President and CEO Allan
Finkelstein would not comment directly
about the Detroit JCC's financial woes,

saying only that "any business can have
financial challenges. I don't think they're
relevant to all JCCs."

JCCA's Role

While the JCCA offers on-site consulting
services to its constituent members, it is
there not to save struggling JCCs but to lay
out an overall strategy for success.
In this century, that has meant getting
JCCs to think more about innovative,

The 10 Mile

Branch of the

of new JCC
building is laid as

JCC opens in
Oak Park. The

location is now
known as the
Jimmy Prentis
Morris Building.

Researched and compiled from the IN
archives by Mike Smith and Dallas Pillen
of the Detroit Jewish News Foundation.

final construc-
tion is under

The JCC building on Woodward at Holbrook

JCC opens
a branch

Community Center
is enlarged and
dedicated as the
Aaron DeRoy
Memorial Building

at the 12th
Street Council
Center, at
Dexter and


8 April 17 • 2014

moves from
Woodward and
Holbrook to
Meyers and


at Woodward and





engaging programming
and less about dues.
In fact, programming
brings in more revenue
than membership, annu-
al reports show.
"Membership is a
funny word; we don't use
it anymore," Finkelstein
says. "We talk about
Jewish engagement.

May 29 - Board
of Governors of
the Jewish Welfare
Federation votes to
approve new JCC site
at Maple and Drake in
West Bloomfield.

Sept. 23 -
Groundbreaking of new
JCC site at Maple and
Drake takes place.

Jan. 1 -
JCC location
at Maple and
Drake in West


Boy Scout Carnival in 1955

(Holocaust Memorial
Center opens on JCC cam-
pus; moves to Farmington

Hills in 2004.





1975 1976


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