Jewish Life Moves
In The Fast Lane.
Building Plans Follow
Young Israel Merger
Can You Spare
A Few Minutes?
PHIL JACOBS EDITOR
ALAN HITSKY ASSOCIATE EDITOR
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mom emm my.m. tg:sm wom nmsm
sr m or
he memberships of Young could be done until the merger
Israel of Oak-Woods and was approved last week.
Young Israel of Greenfield
He said Oak-Woods would
voted last week to form a like to maintain a minyan at the
new congregation and expand at building for 12-15 member fam-
the Greenfield site in Oak Park. ilies living nearby. "One of the
The merged congregation — possibilities when the building
to be called Young Israel of Oak is sold is that part of it could be
Park — plans to expand on the maintained as a shul," Mr. Tanz-
north side of the Young Israel of man said.
Greenfield building on 10 Mile
Rabbi Steven Weil of Young
Israel of Greenfield will be the
Tentative plans call for ren- spiritual leader of Young Israel
ovations to begin in May with of Oak Park. Rabbi Eliezer Co-
construction of a new social hall hen, who has been part-time
that will seat up to 500 people, spiritual leader at Oak-Woods
which would allow for more for 10 years, is a full-time
room for an Orthodox function teacher at Akiva Hebrew Day
than any existing Detroit-area School. Rabbi Cohen's contract
with Oak-Woods concluded Feb.
Young Israel of Greenfield 29. Mr. Tanzman said Rabbi Co-
President Dr. Steven Tennen- hen was gifen a generous sev-
berg, who now heads the merged erance package.
entity, said that it is the con-
Alex Saltsman, a member of
gregation's hope to have the so- Greenfield's merger committee
cial hall completed by the High with Dr. Tennenberg and Steven
Holidays. The congregation Cohen, said Greenfield put its
would then conduct services in
the new social hall while reno-
vations are made to the sanctu-
"With the reality of a chang-
ing geographic makeup of the
Oak-Woods community and its
shrinking membership, the ob-
vious proximity of the two
congregations and the close re-
lations between the two syna- own renovation plans on hold
gogues, the impetus was there when the merger idea surfaced
to merge," Dr. Tennenberg said. in November.
Oak-Woods was founded in
Serving with Mr. Tanzman on
the 1950s and now has 57 mem- the Oak-Woods merger com-
bership units — 35 families and mittee were Larry Horowitz and
22 singles. Greenfield was David Barth.
founded in the late '50s and has
Mr. Tanzman said the merg-
180 membership units.
er, and eventual sale of the Oak-
At separate votes on Feb. 21, Woods building, has the
more than two-thirds of each potential to create a much larg-
congregation approved the er facility.
merger, according to Oak-Woods
"You won't have to go to ho-
President David Tanzman.
tels or long distances to have fa-
He said Oak-Woods members cilities for everybody right in the
will have a special meeting heart of the Jewish community,"
Wednesday, March 6, to elect he said.
five members to the board of
There are two major assets to
Young Israel of Oak Park. The the merger, according to Dr.
officers of Oak-Woods will serve Tennenberg. "There's an in-
as ex-officio members of the crease in membership for Green-
merged board until their terms field and, of course, the
expire on Shavuot in May.
Oak-Woods building. Already,
According to Dr. Tennenberg, area schools and other institu-
Oak-Woods members will have tions have looked at it.
free membership for two years
"I feel the merger is a tremen-
and some may be assisted to dous opportunity. Both sides feel
move closer to the new Young Is- proud of it. You have two inde-
rael of Oak Park.
pendent shuls in Oak Park. Now
Oak-Woods is in the process we'll work together. We feel
of selling its building on Coolidge there's no problem we cannot
Highway. Mr. Tanzman said a solve together. We're becoming
number of Jewish and rim-Jew- a shul with about 250 member
ish groups have inquired about units, learning and teaching and
the building, but nothing official davening together." ❑
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