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July 05, 1991 - Image 1

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1991-07-05

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

T E JEWISH NE S

SEVENTY-FIVE CENTS

SERVING DETROIT'S JEWISH COMMUNITY

CLOSE-UP

No lager
On the fringe

They have advanced academic degrees,
high paying jobs, Hebrew school and a
"good Jewish background."
Now they have Jesus.

Page 24

JULY 5, 1991 / 23 TAMMUZ 5751

Beth Achim, B'nai Moshe
Boards Approve Merger

ALAN HITSKY

Associate Editor

he boards of Con-
gregation Beth Achim
and.. Congregation
B'nai Moshe voted over-
whelmingly June 27 to
merge the two synagogues
and proceed with construc-
tion of a new building on the
B'nai Moshe site in West
Bloomfield.
A memorandum of under-
standing approved by the
two boards calls for Beth
Achim to mortgage its 12
Mile Road building in
Southfield to help pay for the
Drake Road facility. When
the new building is com-
pleted, the Beth Achim
facility will be sold.
President Michael Grand

of B'nai Moshe said the
merger was critical to the
construction of both phases
of the West Bloomfield
facility. Plans now call for
construction of a 550-seat
sanctuary, social hall, school
wing, mikveh (ritual bath),
offices and library on the
Drake Road site, one-quarter
mile south of the Jewish
Community Center. Under
B'nai Moshe's go-it-alone
plan, only the sanctuary, so-
cial hall and offices would
have been constructed in-
itially.
"The school is critical to
our young members," Mr.
Grand said. Eric Gordon,
president of Beth Achim,
said a school might be
started as early as this fall
in a West Bloomfield loca-
tion.

The memberships of the
two synagogues will vote on
the merger in July or
August. The Beth Achim
board approved the agree-
ment 20-7. The B'nai Moshe
board voted 26-1 in favor. A
name for the merged con-
gregation has not been
selected.
Ritual practice for women
was a major issue in the
merger. The agreement
allows women to sit on the
bimah and address the con-
gregation, to stand next to a
man at the bimah during an
aliyah, to open and close the
ark and carry the Torah dur-
ing a procession, and to
chant the weekly Haftorah
portion and blessings. B'nai
Moshe allows these prac-
tices; Beth Achim does not.
Continued on Page 20

Yavneh Academy Closes,
Temple Studies School

ALAN HITSKY

Associate Editor

avneh Academy, the
three-year experi-
ment to create a
Reform Jewish day school in
Detroit, permanently closed
its doors last week. But
Temple Israel will try to con-
tinue the experiment in
September, inviting Yavneh
students and others to form
first- and second-grade
classes at the temple.
James Fuller, vice presi-
dent of the school who would
have been president this
coming year, said Yavneh
had not attracted "as many
kindergartners and first-
graders as we had hoped, to
achieve the necessary
critical mass." The Yavneh
board voted June 26 to close
the school and sell some of
its equipment to Temple
Israel.
Yavneh had seven
kindergartners, five first-
graders and two second-
graders this year. It had five
first-graders and one second-
grader tentatively enrolled
for the fall.
The second-grader's
father, David Henning, is a

y

ALSO INSIDE

MACCABI TEAMS

head in two directions.

Page 46

C_

Yavneh founder and board
member. He said he was
hoping Temple Israel would
begin first- and second-grade
classes to take over for
Yavneh. "I have been very
happy with the school and
want it to continue," Mr.
Henning said.
Temple Israel President
Charles Tobias said the

Yavneh had six
students
tentatively enrolled
for next year.

temple will consider hiring
the Yavneh teachers, but the
school will be run by the
temple school administra-
tion.
Rabbi Harold Loss and
Temple Israel school ad-
ministrator Bryna Leib said
Yavneh families and
teachers would be contacted
this week to assess their in-
terest. "Nobody announces a
school in July for the follow-
ing September," Rabbi Loss
said, "but if we have a
reasonable number of kids
we will try to increase the
population this summer."
Ms. Leib said the temple

had 10 kindergartners
enrolled for next year.
"We are grasping the op-
portunity," Rabbi Loss said.
"We are trying to keep the
dream alive. If we can't do it
this year, it is our intention
to open a day school in the
future."
Yavneh Headmaster
Margaret Eichner expressed
disappointment that the
school was forced to close,
but was optimistic that it
would flourish at Temple
Israel. "The temple is
tremendously dynamic, and
they'll put in so much
energy," she said.
"Around the country, the
successful schools are owned
by a congregation. The
community schools struggle
because everybody owns
them, but no individual
group takes responsibility.
Everyone wanted Yavneh to
succeed, but we weren't No.
1 on anyone's priority list."
Mr. Fuller said Yavneh
had several financial com-
mitments that it would
fulfill this summer. He ex-
pressed disappointment that
Yavneh was "ending in this
manner. It took a tremen-
dous effort to get this off the
ground." ❑

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