Will the future
locked. Parking lots cracked and over- and it gives
Current places of worship might in their lives,
or a ghost-
stand as churches, secular centers, then every-
town of Jewish
missionary outposts — or warehous- thing else falls
into place," he
es — 50 years from now
Mt Applebaum believes that, today, said.
"If you're a baseball fanatic,
old Jewish buildings in Detroit, long
since abandoned by their founders, you learn all the batting averages
would serve as community grave- and you keep all the statistics be-
stones were it not for thriving Jewish cause you care about it. It's
life in the suburbs. But what about 50 meaningful to you. And you wont
years from now? Will religion remain miss the World Series for any-
vibrant, or will Detroit's Jewish corn- thing. It's something inside of
munity, now with a population of your heart and everything else
lliall.111111111 .11111111111nik 1111Na ftam,
falls into place."
96,000, fizzle out?
The rabbi neither foresees an
"We'll still be here," Mr. Applebaum
said. "The worst that might happen is upsurge of anti-Semitism in the
that we'll have one small Orthodox United States nor a subsequent
community, living in a little enclave, ghetto-izing of American Jew-
ry. And he doesn't consider op-
with only fragments of the rest."
Mr. Applebaum forecasts an over- pression good reason to remain
all shrinking of the Jewish communi- true.
"If anti-Semitism were the
ty. He says that most Jews who
remain will be Orthodox in the year only thing that kept Jews alive
2044, in part because they marry as a people and as a separate
faith, then I don't see any reason
younger and have more children.
"And they don't marry gentiles," he for it. If being Jewish is only dis-
crimination, who in his right
said. "They marry only Jews."
If his predictions are true, the sit- mind would want to be Jewish?"
tudents of the future, take
uation would stand in sharp contrast
11 11 0 11
note! Homework might
to today's denominational split.
someday become an old-
For instance, in 1990, Federation's
fashioned, inefficient use
demographic survey identified 40 per-
cent of Detroit's Jewish community as of your precious time.
diction: year-round school. She thinks videos and field trips. (Youth groupers
Indeed, some of today's youngsters it would lessen the amount of mater- Lisa Zaks and Michael Stern envision
Conservative. Thirty-three percent of
metro Jews considered themselves Re- anticipate learning Talmud and secu- ial students forget during summer va- day-trips to Israel via light-speed rock-
lar studies during sleep, through some cations. Not to fear, students would ets.)
form. Seven percent are Orthodox.
Rabbi Martin Berman, of the Con- sort of new-fangled technique of epis- still get days off every two months or
No matter how high-tech education
servative Congregation Beth Achim temological osmosis.
gets, however, Ms. Iczkovitz foresees
in Southfield, acknowledges that these
Ms. Iczkovitz believes Jewish day no robot teachers. "There has to be a
Rochelle Iczkovitz, principal of Hil- schools in Detroit will be flourishing warm body in there somewhere," she
statistics probably will change. He is
pessimistic, but not without hope. Like lel Day School, has a more stoic pre- in 2044, with computers, interactive said.
Ten years ago,
Rabbi Berman be-
lieves that the per-
body was roughly
350. Today, it num-
Orthodox Jews will
bers 635. The same
grow as the overall
trend is evident at
Akiva and other lo-
ishes. The key to
cal Hebrew day
Jews is education
"It's now become
"If there's a pos-
Ms. Iczkovitz said.
itive reason to be
"It's very acceptable
Jewish, if people
to send your child to
feel in their hearts
Hebrew day school.
that this is who
for both Judaic
they are, that this
studies and general
is their identity
and they're happy
Along with an ex-
with that identity Michael Stem and Lisa Zaks predict a virtual reality future. Ricky Biumenstein foresees YAD events at a resurrected Caucus Club.
THE D E TRO IT J EWIS H NEWS