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May 17, 1991 - Image 41

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1991-05-17

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

mitzvah, hosting a bar mitz-
vah in 1943 and a bat mitz-
vah in 1956.
To meet the needs of the
growing congregation, Tem-
ple Israel began working
toward construction of its
own facility. In 1951, the
new Temple Israel at 17400
Manderson Road. was
dedicated.
Among those attending
the dedication near Palmer
Park were Rabbi Silver, who
would serve as president of
the Central Conference of
American Rabbis (CCAR)
and of the Zionist Organiza-
tion of America, and Rabbi
Solomon Freehof, professor
at Hebrew Union College-
Jewish Institute of Religion
and chairman of the CCAR's
Reform Committee on
Liturgy, which would pro-
duce the Union Prayer Book.
George Stutz picked up the
two men at the Statler Ho-
tel and took them to the
dedication, where Rabbi
Freehof was to speak. The
dedication ceremony was
terribly long, Mr. Stutz
recalls. It was deep into the
night when he was finally
able to drive the two rabbis
back to their hotel.
"Rabbi Freehof, we really
apologize for the late hour,"
Mr. Stutz said. "We appreci-
ate your coming all this way
and want you to know we're
grateful for the fact that you
kept your speech brief in
recognition of the late hour."
Rabbi Freehof turned to
Rabbi Silver. "Abba, do you
believe this?" he said in his
heavy British accent. "You
travel 300 miles, you leave
your wife, family and grand-
children to come to a dedica-
tion. And the thing they ap-
preciate most is that you
didn't say much."
Temple Israel would re-
main at its Manderson Road
home until 1980, when it
settled into its current facili-
ty in West Bloomfield.

Robert Syme was
a small boy with a
• tremendous voice.
The fifth and youngest child

of a Russian immigrant fami-
ly who settled in Winnipeg,
Canada, he once earned the
unbelievable sum of $1,000
for performing as a cantor for
the High Holy Days.
His parents were dedicated
Zionists, Rabbi Syme says.
"I remember looking at my
father when he said l'shanah
ha'ba b'Yerushalyim (next
year in Jerusalem) at the
end of the Seder. Tears were
coming down his cheeks."
Though raised in an Or-
thodox home, young Robert
was interested in other re-
ligions, too. He attended a
Protestant college to learn
more about Christianity. An
Anglican minister en-
couraged him to enter the
rabbinate and wrote a
leading rabbi, Stephen Wise,
about the young Jewish
scholar.
Robert Syme had no
knowledge of Reform
Judaism. When Rabbi Wise
asked him to come to New
York for an interview,
Robert thought he was going
to a typical Orthodox
yeshiva. He addressed Rabbi
Wise in Yiddish.
"Young man," Rabbi Wise
said at last. "Do you speak
English?"
After his ordination from
HUC-JIR, Rabbi Syme serv-
ed as spiritual leader of a
small Pennsylvania syn-
agogue with both Reform
and Orthodox members. He
held Reform services in Eng-
lish on Friday night and tra-
ditional services with a ser-
mon in Yiddish on Saturday
morning.
Rabbi Syme brought this
determination to meet the
various religious needs of
Jews when he came in 1953
to Temple Israel. Together
with Rabbi Fram, he placed
a sign forbidding smoking on
the Sabbath. He encouraged
Jewish organizations to
make their dinners kosher.
"We must have respect for
the sensitivity of non-Jews,"
he says. "How much more so
for other Jews."
Congregants also cite
Rabbi Syme's determination

Ground breaking at the
new temple, Oct. 23,
1977. Left to right: Frank
Simons, Cantor Arthur
Asher, Rabbi Syme,
Rabbi Loss, Cantor
Orbach.

Right: The 1942 Temple
Israel high school
graduation class.

The Temple Israel essengei

Ptiblished hy

Vol. Ix

Israel, affi liated with the Union

DETROIT,

of American

MICHIGAN, JULY -
AUGUST, 199

Hebrew Congregations

Mernbers of the
leveling the ground Building Committee and the
Building
the Bung Committee. Enjoying
R.
the ride
Fund Campaign
Committee
around the
build();
for the building
of Ternple Israel. Driving
the bulldozer
is Louis gather
H. Schostak,
Chairman
Colton, Chairman of the Building Fund Campaign, „het).
Rose, Co-Chairmen of the Building Committee.
is Rabbi Lean FrPm. Beaming at the start of building operations are S
Citrin, Co-Chairman;
and George

M. Stutz and

Temple Israel building
committee and building
fund campaign
committee. Standing on
car at right is Rabbi
Leon Fram.

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

41

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