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January 24, 1992 - Image 1

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1992-01-24

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JANUARY 24, 1992 / 19 SHEVAT 5752

Detroit, died of kidney
failure Jan. 19 at Sinai
He was 96 years old.
For years, Rabbi Levin,
regarded by the Orthodox
community as rosh ha'ir, the
city's most eminent religious
leader, resisted numerous


Staff Writer


abbi Leizer Levin,
who insisted on rab-
binic unity during
almost four decades as pres-
ident of the Council of Or-
thodox Rabbis of Greater


77 - •

• -

: -






Unraveling The Torah's

Local scholars solve more of the Torah's
most perplexing questions.

Page 22

invitations to live with his
children in Chicago and in
Monsey, N.Y.
"He just didn't want to
leave Detroit," said his son-
in-law, Rabbi Beryl Wein,
rosh yeshiva of Shaarey
Torah in Monsey. "He said
he wouldn't leave Detroit as
long as he felt he could be a
vital part of Detroit's Jewish
Despite failing health,
Rabbi Levin continued to
conduct Council meetings at
his home in Southfield. He
continually asked after and
prayed for the health of peo-
ple in the Detroit commun-
ity. And until his recent
hospitalization, Rabbi Levin
held daily lessons on Talmud
with a small but steady core
of study partners.
"Rabbi Levin's mind was
perfectly clear," said Rabbi
Milton Arm, rabbi emeritus
of Congregation Beth Achim
and a former study partner
of Rabbi Levin. "One didn't
have to be an Orthodox rabbi
to know and appreciate
Rabbi Levin. I learned with
him for eight years. He was
a most remarkable man."
Rabbi Elimelech
Silberberg of Bais Chabad of
West Bloomfield said Rabbi
Levin talked excitedly about
a new agenda at the last
Council meeting a couple of
weeks ago. "He was a ball of
fire," Rabbi Silberberg said.
"He kept up with everything
going on in the community.
It was of vital importance
to Rabbi Levin that unity be
kept among the different
shades of Orthodoxy, Rabbi
Silberberg said. "It was his
pride and joy that Detroit,
unlike so many other large
Jewish communities, main-
tained one Vaad (rabbinic
Rabbi Levin, born in
Vaskay, Lithuania, came to
Detroit in 1938 after a short
rabbinical stint in Erie, Pa.
He was one of the last direct
disciples of the Cho fetz
Avraham Zimberg, who
attended Rabbi Levin's fu-
neral, recalled how his
great-grandfather, Meyer
Zimberg, and Meyer's brother,
Louis Cohen, helped bring
Rabbi Levin to Detroit.
"Services were first held in

Continued on Page 18

Photo by Glenn Triest

Detroit Mourns The Death
Of Rabbi Leizer Levin, 96

Members of Hillel's fifth grade take part in Monday's
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Peace Walk Celebration.

Diversity Theme
Of Dr. King Rally


Managing Editor


hen Rabbi William
Gershon of Con-
gregation Shaarey
Zedek moved his family to
Southfield from Teaneck,
N.J., five years ago, he was
looking for a neighborhood
of ethnic and racial diver-
On Monday, along with
1,200 others, Rabbi Gershon
came to the Southfield
Pavilion to take part in the
Martin Luther King Jr.
holiday program, a program
that commemorated one of
Dr. King's celebrated
dreams, ethnic diversity.
The mid-morning and after-
noon program included a
peace walk from the North
Congregational Church to
the Pavilion. The events
were sponsored in part by
the City of Southfield, the
Civic Citizens of Southfield-
Lathrup, the Jewish Com-
munity Council, the North
Congregational Church and
the Southfield Public
"I thought the program
was wonderful because it
brought together diverse
elements of the community,"
said Rabbi Gershon. "There
are very few opportunities
where smaller communities
within the greater commun-
ity come together for a
greater cause.
"As a rabbi and a Jew, it is
important to support these
kinds of programs, par-
ticularly the ideals which

Dr. King stood for," he con-
tinued. "As Jews we have a
particular sensitivity to
those who are not free, to
those who are oppressed, and
we have an obligation to do
what we can to ensure that
people are free."
The program included nar-
ratives, speeches and
musical selections by area
civil rights leaders, politi-
cians, clergy and musical
groups. Judge Stephen Co-
oper, who offered opening
remarks, co-chaired the
event with the Rev. David
Roberson. Hillel Day School
sent its fifth-graders to mar-
ch and take part in the pro-
gram. Rabbi David Nelson of
Congregation Beth Shalom
gave the benediction and
Cantor Harold Orbach of
Temple Israel sang a
"Salute to America" solo.
Southfield resident Karyn
Faber was there to honor Dr.
King, and to hear her
daughter, Michelle, a
Leonhard Elementary
School third-grader, take
part in the Southfield
Elementary Schools Mass
"My daughter volunteered
to sing," Ms. Faber said.
"She wanted to be here. I
thought this was very nice,
but I also feel bad that Dr.
King isn't alive. I think
blacks' feelings toward Jews
would be different if he were
still alive. I just felt sad, be-
cause I'd like to see how the
world would be if he would
be here."

Continued on Page 18

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