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January 01, 1993 - Image 88

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1993-01-01

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

_

..

ivorced Jews
find the dat-
ing rules have
changed but
the game is
still the same.
Dating was
never easy. But
for Jerry Oram,
dating again in
the late 1980s
brought on a
slew of new sit-
uations.
Rather than
worrying about
which tie to
wear, Mr. Oram
faced issues of
AIDS, changing
STORY BY gender roles and
LESLEY PEARL single-parent
families.
Married for
PHOTOS BY
24
years, Royal
GLENN TRIEST
Oak resident
Mr. Oram and his wife
parted ways six years
ago following a lengthy
separation. The kids
were grown. And Mr.

Divorced Jews find the
dating rules have changed
but the game is still
the same.

Oram soon discovered he
had virtually no friends
as Jerry — only as Mr.
and Mrs. Oram.
He contacted Space for
changing families — a
program for divorced,
separated and widowed
individuals run through
National Council of
Jewish Women. He was
greeted by an answering
machine. Mr. Oram hung
up the phone — not
attempting to make con-
tact again for more than
a year.
He was more success-
ful the second time
around. A Space secre-
tary answered his call
and registered him for a
support group. He
attended the first two
meetings, but did not
speak.
At the third session he
opened up.
"I realized after that
meeting that it was the
first time in two years of

Lea Traiger wants
someone to share
synagogue with.

being separated that I
talked about this. It
brought out feelings I
wasn't even aware of,"
Mr. Oram said.
When the four-week
support session ended
last February, Mr. Oram
signed up for another
group. In April, he
attended a day-long
workshop conducted by
Space. The topic was sex-
uality.
"Some of the issues
they talked about I found
embarrassing. I suppose
I'm a bit old-fashioned,"
Mr. Oram said. "It
wasn't until later that I
realized the other partic-
ipants weren't outspo-
ken, I was just behind
the times."
Mr. Oram met his first
friends as a single adult
male that day. Rather
than retreating to
movies and jogging, he
slowly began socializing
— developing a circle of
friends like himself, over
40 and single.
Although Space is open
to individuals of all reli-
gious backgrounds, Mr.
Oram enjoyed finding
Jewish friends in the
support groups.
A former member of a
local temple, Mr. Oram
left the congregation
after changes of address
and billing were not
made. Although an over-
sight, he took offense.
Also, he found he didn't
enjoy attending services
alone.
"Like many older peo-
ple (Mr. Oram is 60
years old), I'm not look-
ing to get married again.
But I am looking for that
Jewish connection," Mr.
Oram said.
In addition to his
involvement with Space
— Mr. Oram is now a
facilitator — he has par-

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