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January 11, 1991 - Image 1

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1991-01-11

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

THE JEWISH NEWS

SEVENTY-FIVE CENTS

F _.

SERVING DETROIT'S JEWISH COMMUNITY

Venture Will Create
Third Funeral Service

KIMBERLY LIFTON

Staff Writer

A

lan Dorfman, who
served as funeral di-
rector for Hebrew
Memorial Chapel for 22
years, is launching a third
Jewish funeral enterprise
specializing in graveside
services.
The Alan H. Dorfman Fu-
neral Direction, slated to
open in Berkley on Jan. 18,
is the first known funeral
venture started since the
late Ira Kaufman left Heb-
rew Memorial to start his
own chapel 50 years ago.
Hebrew Memorial Chapel,
part of the Hebrew
Benevolent Society, is one of
a few remaining non-profit
Jewish funeral chapels in
the country. Dating back to
the turn of the century, the
society was formed to pro-
vide proper burial for all
members of the Jewish
community.
"Graveside is an old tradi-
tion in a modern world,"

said Mr. Dorfman, 52, a
licensed mortician who has
worked in the field for close
to 30 years. "I've always had
a dream of opening my own
business, and I wanted to
serve the Jewish commun-
ity."
Mr. Dorfman's recent
departure from Hebrew
Memorial followed a deci-
sion last summer by the
society's board of directors,
who opted not to renew his
contract. Mr. Dorfman has
retained attorney Larry
Jackier, who is studying op-
tions.
Mr. Dorfman declined to
discuss the terms of his
dismissal. But Rabbi Boruch
Levin, Hebrew Memorial's
executive director, said his
departure was in the best in-
terest of both parties.
"I want his reputation to
remain intact. He did a very
fine job. It was time for a ca-
reer change for him," Rabbi
Levin said. "I wish Alan
well."
Direction is offering a long
needed alternative, in which

JANUARY 11, 1991 / 25 TEVET 5751

CLOSE•UP

cost will be lower and service
will be personal. The
graveside service, Mr. Dorf-
man said, eliminates stress
of going to the chapel and
then again to the cemetery.
He said Direction will offer
all services provided by
other homes without the ex-
pense of the chapel and that
alternative services may be
held at the cemetery chapel,
temple or synagogue.
Many Conservative and
Orthodox rabbis said syn-
agogues should not be used
for funerals. Yet some
Reform rabbis said they
would work with Mr. Dorf-
man if family members re-
quested temple services.
"It also eliminates the
dangerous procession that
follows the limousines to the
cemetery," Mr. Dorfman
said. "There is a certain
closeness shared at the
cemetery. It is less time con-
suming."

Directions will be located
in a small office building

Continued on Page 20

Lost Detroiter Holds
Key To Inheritance

ELIZABETH APPLEBAUM

Assistant Editor

J

ohn Eisen was a
dashing young New
Yorker who liked ping
pong and cars and was as
smooth on the dance floor as
Fred Astaire.
David Newberger was a
bespectacled teen-ager, the
new kid on the Bronx block
who just couldn't get enough
golf
A chance meeting brought
the two men together, inex-
tricably linking them to a
$310,000 inheritance and a
mysterious woman believed
to have died 17 years ago in
Harper Woods.
The woman's name was
Ada Greenberg, John
Eisen's sister. Little is
known of her except that she
was a native New Yorker
who came to Detroit with
her husband, a physician.
When Mr. Eisen died two
years ago, he left half his

$310,000 estate to charity
and half to his sister. In case
of Mrs. Greenberg's death,
her portion of the in-
heritance was to go to organ-
izations in Israel.
Mr. Eisen's old friend,
David Newberger, was nam-
ed executor of the will. He
wants to direct the money to
its rightful owner or to
charitable institutions. But
despite a lengthy search, he
has been unable to discover
the fate of Ada Greenberg.
It all began in 1924, when
the Newberger family left
their home in the Lower
East Side and moved to the
Bronx. John's brother, Sam,
had tuberculosis, and the
family believed the Bronx
air would be healthier.
"That's when the Bronx
didn't have the smog like it
does today," said Mr.
Newberger, who now lives in
Phoenix.
The family settled in a
small house on Cambridge

Street. "It was pretty rural,"
Mr. Newberger said. "We
had an outhouse."
One afternoon young
David Newberger noticed a
dark-haired man playing
golf. A golf aficionado, David
couldn't believe his good for-
tune at stumbling across
this sympathetic soul. He
walked right over and in-
troduced himself.
The man held out his
hand. His name was John
Eisen.
John Eisen's family were
Bronx natives who lived
several doors down from the
Newbergers. John's mother
was named Molly Sirota; his
father was Benjamin
Eisenman. Together, the
couple had three children:
Bertha, Simon, Abraham
(John) and Ada, a pretty and
lively young woman who
made friends easily.
John and David became
the best of friends. After

Continued on Page 21

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