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December 27, 1991 - Image 41

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1991-12-27

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

SOUTHFIELD:

cohesive. Now it is more
diffused."
Now the community is
predominantly American
born with different needs
than their immigrant
ancestors.
"Historically, people live
in a core city because they
need them badly," said
demographer Patricia
Becker, who worked with
sociologists Dr. Steven
Cohen and Dr. Jacob Ukeles
to conduct the Jewish Fed-
eration's population study
that identified 96,000 Jews
in metropolitan Detroit,
with the most — 26,600 — in
Southfield. "In 1991, a core
city is not needed as much.
Detroit's Jewish community
has moved in a glob. Now it
is bigger and less densely
Jewish."
Mr. Applebaum, former
president of the Jewish
Historical Society of Mich-
igan, traces Jewish Detroit
to the 1830s and 1840s,
when the community was
centered within a few square
miles at Hastings and
Gratiot.
As Jewish immigrants at-
tained more wealth, they left
the Hastings area for newer
and better housing stock
around Oakland Avenue.
The 1920s brought Twelfth
Street, Linwood and Dexter
to center stage for the Jew-
ish community. Later, Jews
started moving to northwest
Detroit, in the large area
bounded by Six and Eight
Mile roads, and Woodward
and Evergreen.
It wasn't until the late
1940s, after World War II,
that the Jewish community
started buying homes in Oak
Park, the community's first
suburb of choice outside of
Detroit.
Once the John Lodge
Freeway was completed in
the 1950s, Oak Park at-
tracted more and more Jew-
ish families. By the end of
the 1950s, many opted for
Southfield. Ever since, the
community has become more
diverse, and has continued
trekking to new turf to the
northwest.
"There is still a lot of
undeveloped land
available," Mr. Applebaum

said. "Race is an issue, but it
is not the only reason people
move. You can't legislate it;
you can't establish social
policies to stop it.
"When people want to
move, they will," he said.
"And if they have the abil-
ity, they will bring their in-
stitutions with them.
Movement may not be as
fast as people think, but
there is no way that we have
seen the end of this."
Jewish families are star-
ting to become more visible
in areas at the tail end of
Oakland County, including
Novi and Commerce
Township. Novi is this year's
site of choice for the Builders
Association of Southeast
Michigan's Homearama, an
annual house show
highlighting the latest
styles of homes.
In the last year, Marilyn
and Joel Nelson moved from
their West Bloomfield home
to a house on Walled Lake.
They waited until their chil-
dren finished high school to
move.
Mrs. Nelson, 45, grew up
in Oak Park. She later mov-
ed to Southfield and then
raised her children in West
Bloomfield. She never
dreamed of living in a Novi
neighborhood.
"Who would have even
thought the Jewish com-
munity would move to West
Bloomfield?" she asked.
"We wanted to live on a
lake, and we wanted to be
close to the Jewish commun-
ity," Mrs. Nelson said. "We
couldn't afford the other
lakes. We thought we'd be
first, not the last."
Mrs. Nelson thinks the
Jewish community will head
all the way out to Milford in
the next decade. Novi is nice,
too, she said. The area feeds
into the Walled Lake school
system, as do some areas of
West Bloomfield and Farm-
ington Hills.
Jewish movement can be
attributed to many reasons.
Among them:
• When blacks and other
minorities move into their
neighborhoods.
• When their institutions
and synagogues leave the
neighborhood.

AT RISK?

• When choosing schools for
their children or their
children are unhappy in the
schools.
• When they can afford
better housing stock.
• When they feel their
neighborhoods are no longer
safe.

Pioneer Kaplan
Will Stay In Southfield
To many, Steve Kaplan is
a Southfield pioneer. He
can't stand to listen to peo-
ple say the neighborhood no
longer is safe, and the
schools no longer are accep-
table.
He is president of the
Southfield Public Schools,
and serves as president of
the Jewish Federation's
Neighborhood Project ad-
visory council.
Mr. Kaplan, an attorney,
and his wife, Lisa, have one
pre-school-aged child. The
Kaplans plan to stay in
Southfield, and they said
they will send their child to
public school — no matter
what.
Hugh Greenberg, presi-
dent of the Neighborhood
Project, said the current
recession might give a boost
to cities like Southfield.
Federation President Mark
Schlussel agreed.
Not everybody can afford
bigger, more expensive
homes. Perhaps those who
can afford them will move.
And those who can't, won't.

"Everybody thinks we are
done and that West Bloom-
field is the promised land,"
Dr. Bolkosky said. "The
children of the people in
West Bloomfield probably
won't move there. The peo-
ple who want to can't afford
to move there. So it is not
exactly the promised land."
Or as Mr. Applebaum said,
"Before World War II, nor-
thwest Detroit was con-
sidered the final stop. Then,
after WWII, development
started in Oakland County.
In the 1960s, people thought
Livonia would be the new
popular spot for Jews. That
didn't happen. So who knows
where the final boundaries
will be." LI

BARRY FOGEL, 25
WEST BLOOMFIELD
MANAGER, PLAZA DELI

TED WAGNER, 22 .
SOUTHFIELD
ACTUARY

"I think the Jewish com-
munity is already where we
will be. West Bloomfield pro-
bably is the last stop. We've
gone from Detroit, Oak Park,
Southfield and now West
Bloomfield, and there is no
place left to go!"

"Movement is slowing down
but will keep moving nor-
thwest for another 20 years.
We will stay in West Bloom-
field. Soon there won't be any
Jews left in Southfield. I love
Southfield, but I don't have
any kids. You move to where
you want to put your kids in
school!"

HARVEY KLEIMAN, 62
WEST BLOOMFIELD
CERTIFIED PUBLIC
ACCOUNTANT

GARY CHAPNICK, 24
SOUTHFIELD
CERTIFIED PUBLIC
ACCOUNTANT

"We will continue running
away from Southfield, but
movement won't be as quick
as it was in the past.
Southfield still has a lot to of-
fer to the residential and
business communities."

"You can't build in
Southfield. The Jewish com-
munity will be in the West
Bloomfield and Farmington
Hills area near the Jewish
Community Center (Maple/
Drake)."

CEIL SINGER, 64
WEST BLOOMFIELD
ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE

GHINDA MARRICH, 55
FARMINGTON HILLS
OWNER, THE
BEAD WORKS

"The community is in West
Bloomfield. The Jewish corn-
munity will remain in West
Bloomfield. They have a good
start there now. It will be the
center of the Jewish com-
munity."

"I don't know where the
Jewish community is going.
I'd like to stay where we are.
We should stop running and
live together with everybody!"

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

41

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