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September 21, 1984 - Image 50

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1984-09-21

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

50

Friday, September 21, 1984 THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

JUST ASKING...

QUALITY DRYCLEANING
for your
BETTER GARMENTS

We own and
operate our own
plant

Synagogue affiliation

• Silks
• Angora Sweaters

13 Mile and Orchard Lake
(Westbrooke Shopping Center)
553-4850

FOR PICK UP & DELIVERY
SERVICE ask for "JACK"

•• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

BIG DISCOUNTS

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G E NERATORS
OSCAR
BRAUN'S
FOR •

LINCOLN TOWERS SUITE 111
• 15075 W. Lincoln (10 1/2 Mile)
OVERSEAS

968-5858

One Block
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Mon. Oyu Sat. 10-4 p.m.
•• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

East of

•••••••

ATTENTION DADS & THEIR

5 or 6 YEAR OLDS!!!

Joining "Me and My Dad" is your chance to do something
special together. Meet with other Dads at each other's
homes and:

• Play games
• Make projects
• Enhance Jewish
awareness
• Attend an overnight
• Laugh a lot

"Strengthen together
Me and My Dad
Family unity makes me glad."

Over fifty people participated in "Me and My Dad" last
year. New groups will form in October. If you would like to
be a part of this very special program, call the Jewish
Community Center at 661-1000 and ask for Bruce
Tabashneck or Carolyn Dangoor.

SPECIAL ORIENTATION AT MAPLE/DRAKE J.C.C.

Thursday, Oct. 4, 1984 at 7:30 P.M. Please R.S.V.P.

many choices

BY ELLYCE FIELD
Special to The Jewish News

Celebrating our
25th year

Specializing In:

.

For several years my husband
and I have discussed joining a
synagogue. How should we choose
a congregation?
The High Holidays are fast ap-
proaching. Many unaffiliated
have made their decisions, hold
holiday tickets and are now
synagogue members.
Yet according to Tom
Wexelberg-Klousner, of the
Jewish Welfare Federation, the
unaffiliated families of the De-
troit area remain approximately
50 percent.
This is certainly not due to a
lack of choice. The Detroit Jewish
community boasts 34 congrega-
tions, richly diverse in philos-
ophy, location, size, congregant
makeup and programs.
Over half of these congrega-
tions are Orthodox. Rabbi
Elimelech Goldberg of Young Is-
rael of Southfield explains this
high degree of affiliation. "Or-
thodox by itself carries a tone of
total commitment," he says.
While the majority of Orthodox
synagogues are located in Oak
Park, four are in Southfield, one
in West Bloomfield and one in
Farmington Hills.
Rabbi Goldberg sees the Detroit
Orthodox community as unique in
its variety of philosophical
movements, congregations, and
dynamic "Baalei Tshuva" study
groups. There is the Lubavitch
movement with three locations,
and the three-synagogue associa-
tion of the Young Israel move-
ment. At least seven small
synagogues are located within a
square-mile radius around 10
Mile and Greenfield. There are
also groups centered around the
educational institutions: Kollel
(Institute of Advanced Talmudic
Study), Akiva Hebrew Day
School, Yeshiva Beth Yehudah
and Yeshiva Gedolah of Greater
Detroit.
Congregation sizes vary from
over 500 families within the three
Young Israel synagogues to under
100 or even several dozen in many
of the smaller synagogues.
Rabbi Goldberg also describes
the dynamic "Baalei Tshuva"
movement which has attracted
hundreds of individuals. "Men
and women are rediscovering
their roots and spending much
time studying and living tradi-
tional Judaism." He suggests
those interested in the "Baalei
Tshuva" movement call Rabbi
Jacobovitz, 968-4835. For more
information on an individual Or-
thodox synagogue, phone the
Vaad Harabonim — the Council
of Orthodox Rabbis of Greater De-
troit — 559-5005. Ask for Rabbi
Chaskel Grubner, the director, or
Rabbi Goldberg.
Within the Conservative
movement there is also a spec-
trum of congregational size, loca-
tion and degree of programming.
Eleven congregations fan out
across the Detroit metropolitan
area. There is a congregation in
Detroit, Trenton, Livonia and
Farmington Hills. There are two
congregations in West Bloom-
field, two in Oak Park and three
in Southfield.
While Shaarey Zedek, with ap-
proximately 1800 families and

Adat Shalom, with approximately
1000 families, have the largest
number of congregants, there are
at least five other synagogues
whose memberships range from
500-600 families. Those mid-size
congregations are: Beth Abraham
Hillel Moses, B'nai David, Beth
Achim, Beth Shalom and B'nai
Moshe.
Beth Issac of Trenton and the
Livonia Jewish Congregation are
both small congregations with
under 100 families. B'nai Israel of
West Bloomfield counts approx-
imately 160 families.
The Downtown Synagogue has
a membership of over 500 indi-
viduals who live or work in the
downtown area.
Five of the congregations oper-
ate their own Sunday School pro-
grams. Among them: Beth Ab-
raham Hillel Moses, Beth
Shalom, Livonia Jewish Congre-
gation, Shaarey Zedek and Tren-
ton's Beth Issac. Four congrega-
tions — Adat Shalom, Beth
Achim, B'nai Israel and B'nai

Three congregations also operate
their own nursery schools and
offer tuition reductions for mem-
bers. They are Temple Beth El,
Temple Israel and Temple
Emanu-El.
Programming within the Re-
form congregations is dependent
on congregational size and
makeup. While several congrega-
tions are known for their musical
programs and choirs, others offer
well-attended senior citizen pro-
grams, promote social action or
have active youth groups.
Those interested in the Reform
movement may phone Fish, 851-
2555.
Jews with a strong sense of
Jewish identity who do not feel
comfortable within the three
branches of traditional Judaism
might be interested in calling the
Birmingham Temple, a Humanis-
tic congregation, 477-1410. Helen
Forman, a temple member, ex-
plains that Humanistic Judaism
celebrates life cycle events and
holidays but with a different ap-
proach. "Jewish identity is estab-
lished through a person's own
Ellyce Field is a freelance
feeling or choice. We do not rely on
writer living in the Detroit
a supernatural authority." The
area. She welcomes your
Birmingham Temple also has its
questions about services or
own Sunday school.
- activities sponsored by
Typically, there is a big rush•to
Jewish communal
join a synagogue right before the
High Holidays, before a special
organizations. Send them
event such as a Bar Mitzvah or
to "Just Asking," The
wedding or when children become
Jewish News, 17515 W.
Sunday school age.
Nine Mile Rd., Suite 865,
Rabbi Stanley Rosenbaum,
Southfield, MI 48075.
president of the Synagogue Coun-
cil of the Jewish Community
Council and rabbi of B'nai Moshe,
Moshe — have a United Hebrew
School branch operating in their explains that this "betokens a cer-
tain misunderstanding of
school wing.
Three
Conservative Judaism." He adds, "We tend to
synagogues run their own nur- think of Judaism in terms of ritu-
als, formal requirements, or life-
sery school programs and give tui-
cycle events. The synagogue, in
tion credit to families who are
actuality, represents a way of life,
congregation members. They are
a way to sum up Jewish experi-
Adat Shalom, Beth Abraham
ence and allow us to live out life's
Hillel Moses and Shaarey Zedek.
important values."
For information regarding in-
Traditionally, a synagogue has
dividual congregations, Leonard
Baron, president of the United three separate functions. It is a
Synagogue Council of Greater De- "Bet Midrash," a House of Study;
troit, suggests turning to the a "Bet Knesset," a House of As-
northwest phone directory's yel- sembly; and a 'Bet T'fillah," a
low pages under "synagogues." House of Prayer. Rabbi Rosen-
He urges those aligned with the baum sees the synagogue as the
center of Jewish life, the "center of
Conservative movement to "call
each synagogue individually, Jewish identity." Each
synagogue, with its varied com-
meet with the synagogue's execu-
mittees and specialized interest
tive director, attend several pro-
grams and, of course, attend sev- groups, is a community in itself
and offers an individual the
eral Shabbat servicees."
Stephen Fish, president of the opportunity to invest his life with
Metropolitan Detroit Federation meaning.
Present and future needs
of Reform Synagogues, feels that
each of the area's six Reform con- should be determined and
explored with representatives of a
gregations "offer an excellent ap-
proach to Reform Judaism in its prospective synagogue before
joining. Be sure to include the fol-
own way."
The six Reform congregations lowing:
vary greatly in size. The two
• Am I comfortable with the
largest, with between 1600-1900
Shabbat services? Are they
member families, are Temple
casual, or formal? Are there chil-
Beth El and Temple Israel. Tem- dren's services? Is there a super-
ple Emanu-El is mid-sized at 650
vised room for small children?
families, Temple Kol Ami has ap-
• Am I comfortable with the
proximately 300 families, and clergy?
Temple Beth Jacob of Pontiac has
• Is the weekly worship
several hundred. The newest Re-
schedule convenient?
form congregation, the Troy
• What types of programs are
Jewish Congregation, has approx-
available for children, teenagers,
imately 70 families.
singles, young couples, retired in
Each temple operates and
dividuals.?
ho,- =es its own Sunday school.
• Is there an on-site Hebrew

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