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December 13, 1991 - Image 24

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1991-12-13

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graphic breakdown in the
schools leaves whites in the
According to Ken Siver,
spokesman for the
Southfield Public Schools,
minority enrollment for
1991-92 is 58 percent — up
from 56 percent the
previous . year. Black
enrollment is 56 percent,
up from 53 percent in 1990;
white students number 42
percent; the remainder are
Oriental, Hispanic and
American Indian.
According to a recent
population study of
metropolitan Detroit,
Southfield is home to more
Jewish people than any
other Detroit suburb —to-
day estimated at 26,600.
Yet the study also
predicted that more Jews
will leave Southfield than
will move in.
The study projected that
600 Jewish families will
move each year from their
homes in Southfield, and
most will leave the city.
Some are opting for the
southeast Oakland County
neighborhood of Hun-
tington Woods, a one-



square-mile community
viewed as an anomaly sur-
rounded by areas undergo-
ing changing demograph-
ics. Detroit's Orthodox
Jewish community is ex-
pected to remain strong in
Oak Park and southeast

Yet new popular choices
for the mainstream Jewish
community are West
Bloomfield, Farmington
Hills, Bloomfield Hills,
Bloomfield Township,
Birmingham, and as far
northwest as Commerce
Township, Novi and Keego

Many who left
Southfield, or who are put-
ting their homes on the
market, declined to be
interviewed for this article.
Their reasons varied. One
man, a former active mem-
ber of the Neighborhood
Project, said his reasons
are negative, and he didn't
want to worsen the situa-
He said the schools are
changing, and his chil-
dren's friends have left. He
wants to stay, but he no


longer has the choice. His
family comes first.
In August, the Steingolds
moved from Southfield's
Beacon Square subdivision
to a home in Farmington
Hills. Mrs. Steingold said
she loved Southfield and
all of the amenities it
But she wanted to be
closer to the Jewish com-
munity. With the Maple-
Drake Jewish Community
Center and many temples
and synagogues just
minutes away, she felt she
chose the right place. The
couple wanted to move just
once, and they will stay
there until retirement, she
"It's not a real Jewish-y
neighborhood, either,"
Mrs. Steingold said. "I
think there are fewer Jews
at my daughter's elemen-
tary school than there were
at Leonard (in Southfield).
I was a little surprised.
"I know that will change
when she gets to junior
high school," she said.
"Southfield is a wonderful
city that has many things
to offer that aren't out

here. But there are other
advantages here. Things
are close. We are on the
border of Novi, Walled
Lake, West Bloomfield.
"I'm not sorry. I love it
here," she said.
"The desire to migrate is
always there," said
Southfield's Mr. Stebbins,
who just moved from a
house at 12 mile in
Southfield to the 10 Mile
and Greenfield area to be
closer to the heart of the
Orthodox community of
nearby Oak Park.
To retain a Jewish
presence in some of the
older Jewish neighbor-
hoods, the Jewish Federa-
tion of Metropolitan
Detroit formed the Neigh-
borhood Project to provide
interest-free loans for down
payments and home im-
provements for Jewish
people buying in targeted
areas of Oak Park and
Since its inception five
years ago, 461 loans have
been granted.
"We wanted to do some-
thing to keep Jewish peo-
ple in these neighbor-

On Shabbat,
Orthodox Jewish
families are seen
walking along the
area of Greenfield
and 10 Mile Road.
In recent years,
the intersection
has become a
Jewish center for
the Orthodox
community. West
of the intersection
is Southfield: east
is Oak Park.

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