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July 05, 1996 - Image 43

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1996-07-05

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asked the man if he knew his
brother Carl. "Sure I know Carl,
but not as well as I know you,
Sandy," the man said.
Sen. Levin., born in 1934, grad-
uated from Detroit's Central
High School. hi 1956, he received
his undergraduate degree from
Swarthmore College and went on
to Harvard for a law degree.
He practiced and taught law
until 1964 when he was ap-
pointed an assistant attorney
general in Michigan. He won his
first election to the Detroit City
Council in 1969 and served until
1977. He was president of the
board for four years. A year lat-

Rep. Levin was elected to the
state Senate in 1964. Six years
later, he challenged William Mil-
liken in the governor's race. Un-
successful, he tried again four
years later, losing both times by
a narrow margin.
In 1977, he went to Washing-
ton as assistant administrator at
the Agency for International De-
velopment. His wife and children,
who were attending schools in
Berkley, went with him.
He moved back in 1982 to run
for an open seat in the U.S.
Although Michigan had lost
a seat via redistricting, two in-

who also was active in Democra-
tic politics and worked on Rep.
Levin's state Senate campaign.
In the 1970s, when the judge's
wife became sick, Rep. Levin and
his family included the Cohn chil-
dren in their winter vacation
Away from Congress, family
still takes on the utmost impor-
tance for both Levins. Sen. Levin
and his wife, Barbara, have been
married for 35 years and have
three grown daughters. Rep.
Levin and his wife, Vicki, have
four grown children — two sons
and two daughters.
The two families jointly own a

on the State Corrections Com-
mission from 1956 until 1960,
when he died at the age of 62.
Growing up, dinner-table dis-
cussions centered on politics.
"Our parents taught us, We
will give you every opportunity,
but it's up to you to seize it,' " Rep.
Levin said.
Sunday nights at the Levin
home were reserved for dinner
with relatives. As a result of these
functions, the Levin brothers
said, their families — along with
their sister, Hannah Levin Glad-
stone, and her family — have re-
mained close.
Saul, and their mother, Bess,

were Zionists. Although not ob-
servant, the Levins felt strongly
about giving their children a Jew-
ish education.
As an adult, Sen. Levin helped
establish the Reconstructionist
Congregation T'Chiyah in De-
troit. Judy Harris, also a found-
ing member and past president
of the 19-year-old congregation,
said the senator was interested
in maintaining a Jewish presence
in the city. He was responsible
for introducing the group of
founders to the Reconstruction-
ist movement.
Sen. Levin and his wife, Bar-
bara, are still active members of

er, he ran and won his U.S. Sen-
ate election.
To date, Sen. Levin has nev-
er lost an election. Many of his
races, however, have been close.
Rep. Levin attended the Uni-
versity of Chicago and, like his
brother, holds a law degree from
Harvard. He came back to De-
troit to practice labor law before
embarking on a political career
which, so far, has spanned more
than 30 years. Actually, his po-
litical career began in high school,
where he was a class president
at Detroit Central High School.

cumbents left office — James
Blanchard to run for governor
and William Brodhead to retire.
"It was obvious Sander was
destined to go into public life,"
said Judge Cohn. "The first sum-
mer I knew him (in 1940 or 1941
at Camp Tamakwa), he was cap-
tain at color wars," Judge Cohn
said. "He exhibited qualities of
leadership which suggested he'd
lead and people would follow."
"Because we were cousins, and
aside from political association,
we developed a close personal re-
lationship," said Judge Cohn,

summer home between Milford
and Fenton, where they've gone
ever since their children were
The Levins come from one of
the most well-known political
families in Michigan.
Their uncle Theodore Levin
was the former chief judge on the
U.S. District Court for the East-
ern District of Michigan. Charles
Levin, a cousin to the congress-
men, is a justice on the Michigan
Supreme Court.
Their father, Saul Levin, was
a prominent attorney who served

Opposite page:
Carl and Sander Levin speak
with President Clinton.

rChiyah. Like the other families
in the congregation, the Levins
take their turn leading a service
(the synagogue does not have a
Rep. Levin and his wife belong
to Congregation Shaarey Zedek,
where the brothers celebrated
their b'nai mitzvah. Rep. and
Mrs. Levin also attend services
with her family at Temple Beth
Morrie Amitay, a Washington
attorney and treasurer of Wash-
ington PAC, a leading pro-Israel

This page:
Left: Barbara and City
Councilman Carl ride with
the family in Detroit in the
early 1970s.

Right: The Levins pose for a
picture some time during
Sen. Levin's first term.

BROTHERS page 48





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