THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS
Friday, April 13, 1984
Scenes from the history of
the Jewish Welfare
Federation adorn a wall of
the "Jewish Life in
Michigan" portion of the
Detroiter Aid Kushner
checks out the placement of
one of his many synagogue
models which are
incorporated in the exhibit.
Exhibit gets Detroiters' help
Donald Softley, curator, industrial history, explains to visitors the special accommodations
the Detroit Historical Museum made to house the "Jewish Life in America" and "Jewish Life
in Michigan" exhibits now on display at the museum.
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The "Jewish Life in America:
Fulfilling the American Dream" ex-
hibit currently at the Detroit Histor-
ical Museum was commissioned as
part of the 70th anniversary celebra-
tion of the Anti-Defamation League
of B'nai B'rith.
Its national tour is sponsored by
ADL and the construction of the ex-
hibit is co-sponsored by the American
Jewish Historical Society in honor of
its 90th anniversary.
According to Michigan Region
ADL Executive director Dick Lo-
benthal, the Detroit visit of the ex-
hibit was undertaken as a project of
the Detroit ADL board. Judy Nolish,
a member of the board, took a leading
role in the coordination of the com-
panion exhibit, "Jewish Life in
Michigan," Lobenthal said, and
added that volunteers under her
leadership contributed hundreds of
hours to help bring about the project.
Lobenthal said that the process
of bringing the exhibit to Detroit was
multifaceted. Among the considera-
tions were: negotiating with the
museum to house the exhibit; finding
funding; mobilizing the board and
volunteers; contacting public and
parochial schools for tours; training
docents (teachers or tour leaders who
underwent 10 hours each of train-
ing); writing a docent guide and con-
tacting the Jewish community for
items to lend to the exhibit.
"It's the biggest thing we've ever
done as an ADL board project," Lo-
benthal told The Jewish News.
At Wednesday night's opening
reception, at which nearly 400 per-
sons attended, a special presentation
was made to Bob Nathans, one of
many Detroiters who responsed to
the call for items to be exhibited in
the "Jewish Life in Michigan" por-
tion of the display.
Lobenthal said that Nathans
was a member of the "V" Committee,
a watchdog group that monitored
Nazi activities in the 1940s. It was a
forerunner of the Michigan ADL
office. He received a plaque.