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July 07, 1989 - Image 71

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1989-07-07

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Daniel M. Rosen

Don Hes and Sandy Hubar of Ann Arbor set sail with the Outing Club.

Summer Breeze

Ann Arbor Singles trim their sails a bit when
the simmering season sets in.


Special to The Jewish News

ingles don't have to
live in Ann Arbor
long before they rea-
lize that the city
marches to a very dif-
ferent drummer in the
Tree , Town becomes very
quiet and laid back — until
Art Fair weekend, when the
frenetic energy level rises to
off-the-chart levels. Some
Jewish singles like the dif-
. ferent pace; others find it too
much of a good thing.
The biggest single reason
for Ann Arbor's summer
slumber is the students — or
lack thereof. According to
the University of Michigan
registrar's office, 9,973
undergraduate and graduate
students took classes at U-M
last summer. That compares
to approximately 36,000
students who attended the
autumn semester. This year,


the numbers are about the
In addition, an estimated
30 percent of the faculty
members leave Ann Arbor
during the warm weather
Students — Jewish or not —
find their usual social gather-
ing places around town
strangely empty. It's possible,
even, to get into Gratzi
without a wait!
On campus, things get
almost somnolent. Hillel,
which is the focus for much
student socializing —
especially with its active
graduate student program,
which attracts a lot of singles
during the school year — isn't
quite the same this time of
year. "During the summer, we
act as a referral agency," says
Joseph Kohane, Hillel assis-
tant director.
That usually means Hillel
directs calls to the only real-
ly active young Jewish
singles group in Ann Arbor —

the Outing Club, which, in
the warm months, has a cor-
nucopia of activities
Reflective of the town-and-
gown situation in Ann Arbor,
the Washtenaw County
Jewish Community Center's
Outing Club welcomes stu-
dent members, but it's really
oriented to the larger non-
university community. "We're
not really interested in tak-
ing up the slack (at the
university)," says Erica Gor-
don, Outing Club co-
ordinator. "But we'll help."
Upcoming club events in-
clude a picnic walk-or-bike-
ride at Gallup Park on July
11; swimming at In-
dependence Lake the 16th;
and a trip to Fisherman's
Island near Charlevoix July
In August, the Outing Club
plans a video night the 3rd; a
restaurant dinner on the 5th;
a harness racing evening the
12th; Gallup Park picnic the

13th and a Bob-Lo boat cruise
the 18th.
The Singles Club will have
a Top Of The Park picnic din-
ner July 10; a Gallup Park
picnic the 23rd; Tigers
baseball Aug. 20 and a
Meadow Brook trip the 26th.
According to Gordon, club
events are posted in the
Washtenaw Jewish News and
the Ann Arbor Observer. Also,
flyers are mailed each month.
The Outing Club is, un-
doubtedly, doing something
right. "We're just cooking
right along," says Gordon.
Though the club isn't even a
year old, it's growing by leaps
and bounds. "The member-
ship is increasing rapidly,"
says Gordon, who puts the
figure at 180.
If the Outing Club is cook-
ing, the other Jewish singles
club in town — the 204-
member JCC Singles — is
kind of simmering. Though
it's the older, more establish-
ed, larger group, it's less ac-
tive, whatever the time of
"It seems that there's a
need for our group, but it's
hard to get people to come,"
says singles member Cecille

Smith, who helps plan
singles events. "Everybody
does their own thing," Smith
says. "People don't like to
make plans."
The JCC Singles, for exam-
ple, had three events in June.
According to Smith, their
most successful recent event
was a potluck supper with a
discussion, "Sex and the
Single Person." About 30 peo-
ple showed up.
It's possible that the JCC
Singles displays less en-
thusiasm because it's a more
heterogeneous group than its
younger counterpart. And
many of its members have
other social connections and
obligations within Ann
Arbor. "Besides being an
older club, it's made up of
divorced and widowed peo-
ple," says Gordon, who works
with them also. "JCC Singles
have been here awhile,
Smith recalls her surprise
on attending her first singles
meeting. "Not only were
there divorcees and widows
and widowers," she says. "But
there was a pregnant woman
at the meeting. I thought I
was in the wrong place." El


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