AN OPEN LETTER TO THE LEADERS
OF THE JEWISH WELFARE FEDERATION
AND THE JEWISH COMMUNITY CENTER
The Board has by this action not only gravely hurt the
sensibilities of religious Jews, but has gone far beyond its
authority as one of the agencies of the community to estab-
lish what must be regarded as a matter of policy of the
entire Jewish community. The Rabbinate of the city and
many concerned laymen condemn the presumption of a few
men, elected by a small segment of the community, in taking
steps which involve the convictions of the entire community.
Ali agency which has in its name the word "Jewish" and
"ComMunity" and which receives its support from public
and Jewish, is not a parochial body
name of autonomy trespass upon the
of the larger community, as well as
upon he Towed institutions of Jewish :traditions.
The final vote on the part of the Center Board to open
the Jewish Center for Sabbath activities, including the health
club and gymnasium, was unfortunately taken with little
awareness or concern for the sanctity of the Sabbath in the
Jewish Communal leadership, lay as well as Spiritual,
bears an overwhelming responsibility—not only in areas of
Thilanthropy--.--but in leading a community to recognize the
spiritual foundations of our people. It is tragic enough that
individual awareness of the Sabbath is so lacking without
extending it to the institutions of the Jewish Community.
That other cities and communities have failed in this respect
is no reason or excuse for Detroit to foll. suit. US
HIGHLY COMMEND THE FORESIG D ESS
VALIANT MINORITY ON THE BOARD ESS-
FULLY OPPOSED THIS DECISION.
THE CENTER IS NOT A PRIVATE INSTITUTION.
NOR IS IT JUST THE PROPERTY OF ITS MEMBERS, I.E.
THOSE WHO USE ITS FACILITIES. IT BELONGS TO THE
ENTIRE JEWISH COMMUNITY, TO ALL who contribue
towards it through their contributions in the Allied Jewish
's Board cannot but
The majority action of the Ce
help lead to further disintegration, both of the Sabbath and
the relative harmony that has prevailed in our community.
In our democracy, there is no other reason for segre-
gating ourselves in a separate "Jewish" Center unless it be
for religious purposes, for reasons that will allow the foster-
ing of "religious" values. For such an institution to act on
what is essentially a "religious" question in opposition to
and in total disregard of the expressed sentiments of the
religious leaders representing every shade of religious
opinion — contains the seeds of far-reaching dangers to
We cannot be responsible for the disruption of our
community and the creation of tensions and consequences
which will long continue to harm Detroit Jewish life as a
result of this unfortunate and offensive decision on the
part of the Board of the Jewish Community Center.
We therefoi- e appeal to your sense of Jewish dignity
and responsibility for an immediate and decisive reversal
of the Sabbath opening decision.
DOVID BEN NUCHIM
BETH TEFILO EMANU'EL TIKVAH
CHESED SHEL EMES
HILLEL FOUNDATION, WAYNE U.
MOGEN ABRAHAM—BETH JACOB
YOUNG ISRAEL OF DETROIT
YOUNG ISRAEL OF NORTHWEST DETROIT
YOUNG ISRAEL OF GREENFIELD
YOUNG ISRAEL OF OAK WOODS
Jacob E. Segal
Benjamin H. Gorrelick
Israel I. Halpern
Mordecai S. Halpern
S. P. Wohlgelernter
Leo Y. Goldman
Morris Adler, Irwin Groner
Leon Fram, M. Robert Syme
J. Maurice Kare
Samuel. H. Prero
Yaakov I. Homnick
N. P. Rossen
Hillel L. Abrams