The University Record, June 10, 1998

Jewish Federation funds Drachler Chair in School of Social Work

By Deborah Perry
School of Social Work

The Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit has established the Sol Drachler Chair in Jewish Communal Service at the School of Social Work with a pledge of $1.2 million.

The holder of the Drachler Chair will provide leadership for Project STaR (Service, Training and Research), a two-year master's degree program that prepares students for careers in Jewish communal development. The program also includes training in administration, management, fund-raising and interpersonal practice.

"The support of the Jewish community for Project STaR has made it possible for our students to enjoy an educational experience available at few other schools in the country," says Dean Paula Allen-Meares. "This gift from the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit ensures long-term support for the future strength of this valuable program."

Project STaR was founded in 1990 by Armand Lauffer, a member of the School's faculty for 30 years. Largely supported by annual gifts from the Detroit Jewish community, the program attracts students from all over the United States and Canada. To date it has produced 32 graduates, nearly all of whom are now working in the field of Jewish communal service.

"In my meetings with students, I've been thrilled and delighted at the quality of the students in the Project STaR program and their dedication to their careers," says Bob Aronson, executive vice president of the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit. "We're very happy to be able to make this gift and honor Sol Drachler, who has spent most of his career with the Jewish Federation, and who is the model of a great Jewish professional."

Drachler is a past executive vice president of the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit. He began a 26-year career of fund-raising and community organization in 1956 when he joined the Federation as director of the Allied Jewish Campaign's Mercantile, Real Estate and Building Trades Divisions. He later was promoted to assistant campaign director, campaign director and associate director prior to being named executive vice president, a position he held 1976-82.

Nationally, Drachler served as a chairman of the United Jewish Appeal Campaign Directors Institute and was a member of the Council of Jewish Federation's Campaign Services Committee. He also is a member of the Labor Zionist Alliance and the Association of Jewish Community Organization Personnel, and is a director of the Irwin and Bethea Green Foundation.