Federation of Jewish charities raises a record $22.5 million

June 30, 1993|By Frank P. L. Somerville | Frank P. L. Somerville,Staff Writer

Champagne corks popped under clusters of balloons as Baltimore's federation of Jewish charities, usually referred to as The Associated, announced last night it had raised $22.5 million for the first time since that annual fund-raising goal was set five years ago.

"Even in this recession year, you did it!" exclaimed campaign chairwoman Barbara L. Himmelrich during the federation's meeting at Baltimore Hebrew Congregation.

"Campaign '93 is going into the record books as the most successful annual campaign in the history of The Associated," she said.

Last June's total for fiscal 1992 was about $21.1 million. Each of the preceding three years, the sum raised exceeded the previous year's total but fell short of the goal.

Mrs. Himmelrich recalled that she first became involved in the annual fund-raising effort in Baltimore in 1955, when the budget was $1,103,000. "Well, the dollar went a little further then," she said.

She expressed thanks to the nearly 400 donors and campaign workers present on behalf of a cross-section of beneficiaries: "From the child getting his Jewish education at a day school. From the grandfather living in a subsidized apartment. From the Jews you rescued from war-torn Sarajevo and the immigrant receiving job training in Israel. From the families and children at risk whose lives you have touched."

Fifty-eight percent of the total raised goes to 17 local educational, religious, humanitarian, health, cultural and social service agencies of The Associated Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore. Forty-two percent goes to the United Jewish Appeal for distribution in about 30 countries overseas.

Also last night, Democratic U.S. Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski of Maryland became the first recipient of what will be the biennial Lester Levy Humanitarian Award, singling out "that person who best exemplifies the highest Jewish ideals of pursuing justice and improving the human condition."

The award was a commissioned bronze sculpture of Moses by Dmitry German, a former Soviet artist now working in Baltimore.

"Wow! That is a very stunning award," the senator told the audience that included the sculptor. She said her Fells Point neighborhood "is just not used to this kind of tony artwork," adding, "It will have a special place in my home and in my heart."

Presenting the statue, LeRoy E. Hoffberger praised Ms. Mikulski's human rights record and strong support of Israel. And he described the late Mr. Levy, Baltimore civic and cultural leader, musicologist, collector, author and longtime officer of The Associated as "a legendary figure in the history of the Jewish community."

The Levy award was endowed by seven grandchildren of the late Jacob Epstein, another local philanthropist, in gratitude for a biography of him written by Mr. Levy.

Elected and installed as the new board chairman of The Associated was Richard Lansburgh, succeeding Alfred I. Coplan. Lansburgh is a grandson of Jacob Epstein.

Other new officers include Benjamin Kuntz, Arnold I. Richman, Rosalee C. Davison and Ms. Himmelrich as vice chairs, Louis Thalheimer as treasurer, Nancy Hackerman as assistant treasurer, Joseph A. Cooper as secretary and George B. Hess Jr. as assistant secretary.

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