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'One Book' Faces Sharp Budget Cut
Among the local entities learning to deal with cuts in the upcoming fiscal year is the "One Book, One Jewish Community" program, which saw its funds from the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia drop by 80 percent, from $100,000 to $20,000. Other adult-education programs saw their Federation funding completely eliminated.
The upcoming year will be the program's fourth, but Rabbi Philip Warmflash, executive director of the Auerbach Central Agency for Jewish Education/Jewish Outreach Partnership, which oversees the citywide reading initiative, noted that the cutbacks were not a judgment on the venture itself.
The Federation monies comprise about 60 percent to 70 percent of the "One Book" annual budget. The yearlong undertaking is built around a particular book, with synagogues and other Jewish groups programming around that text. Last week, ACAJE/JOP sent out an e-mail explaining the situation, and asking for assistance through donations and partnerships.
Warmflash said that he hopes donors will be able to step up at a multiyear level, possibly including underwriting or endowing entire portions of the enterprise.
This year's book selection is Mitchell James Kaplan's By Fire, By Water, and organizers expect plans to go forward without too many bumps. A launch event with the author is scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 10, at Old York Road Temple-Beth Am in Abington.
"Our greatest desire would be that nobody would see a blip on the screen," said program director Debbie Leon.
Added Leon: "We're going to have to look at the reality of what we can afford with what we're being allocated and what we can allocate internally."