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December 29, 1989 - Image 56

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1989-12-29

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

I NEWS 1

'

THE

OPENING
OF SHERWOOD
WEST BLOOMFIELD



Atlanta Jews Coping
With Christmas Rues

ELLEN BERNSTEIN

Special to The Jewish News

T

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FRIDAY, DECEMBER 29, 1989

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354.6060

he corner of Merry and
Christmas Lane is
where the Orthodox
Jews meet in Atlanta.
Oddly , these
Christological cross streets
cut through an observant
Jewish neighborhood. Also
winding through this com-
munity, where half the
-residents are Jewish, is
Pinetree Circle, Reindeer
Drive and Holly Lane.
The yuletide spirit
originated long before the
Orthodox Beth Jacob
Synagogue moved here from
its old , downtown locale.
Rabbi Emanuel Feldman of
Beth Jacob said the
synagogue leaders "just ig-
nored" the street names
when they selected the site
on LaVista Road.
Called the Merry Hills
subdivision, the residential
streets were developed by a
man named J.W. Walker in
the early 1950s, according to
county deed records.
Rosa Landers, who first
lived on Merry Lane and
later moved to Christmas
Lane, said "Jimmy" Walker
named the streets. Deed
records also show that a Mis-
tletoe Circle once existed.
No one else contacted
could remember much about
Jimmy Walker. One thing is
for certain: the man was no
Scrooge.
Two legends have made
their way around the
neighborhood. One is that
the developer paved his
holiday greetings to his wife:
Merry Christmas, Jody —
Jody Lane runs parallel to
Christmas. But others insist
the tidings were tendered to

his girlfriend, Jody Bramble.
Bramble Road is next to
Jody Lane.
That's about as steamy as
the story gets. Except, of
course, for the missing Mis-
tletoe Circle.
At one time, the Christian
neighbors coordinated dig-
nified holiday displays along
the streets. Before street
lights were erected, each
resident lit ornate
Christmas candles on their
mailboxes.
The custom ceased when
the neighborhood changed,
said Landers. "Most of the
homes were bought by
Jewish people. I guess it's
not really effective
anymore."
Observant Jews looking to
buy property near_ Beth
Jacob are put off at first by
the year-round seasonal
greetings. Harriet Koonin, a
real estate broker who lives
in the neighborhood, says,
"Christmas Lane gives them
more problems than the
other streets. But if the
house is right, they buy it."
"I had a difficult time
making a decision to move
on to a street named
Christmas," said Bijan
Afrah, owner of Judaica
Corner and Elegantly
Kosher Catering. But he
changed his mind when he
noticed the Jewish
neighbors had nicknames for
the streets. Holly is
"Challey" Lane and
Christmas is Chanukah
Lane. Someone jokingly
suggested that Merry be
changed to Murray Lane.
Joan Rosenfeld, who lives
on Christmas Lane, says one
of her friends addressed a
letter to Chanukah Lane.
To her surprise, the
postman delivered it. ❑

Pittsburgh, SF Rabbis
Tell Of Emigre Success

New York (JTA) — They
employ different methods,
but two Reform synagogues
in San Francisco and Pitt-
sburgh have achieved the
same results: the successful
integration of recently
arrived Soviet Jewish
emigre families into the
religious, cultural and social
life of their communities.

Both programs were prais-
ed at the recent convention
of the Union of American
Hebrew Congregations, the
congregational arm of

Reform Judaism in the
United States.
Rabbi Martin Weiner of
Congregation Sherith Israel
credits the joint efforts of the
Jewish Community Federa-
tion of San Francisco, the
Jewish Family and
Children's Service and the
Bay Area's Jewish com-
munities for establishing a
model program for welcom-
ing new Jewish emigres.
One of the special pro-
grams developed is the
chavurah or fellowship
group, which meets regular-

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