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July 26, 2002 - Image 19

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2002-07-26

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sat, sat and wept, as we thought of Zion.

"They're miserable because they're in a
strange land and they're singing the
Lord's song in a strange land," Hood
said, explaining the passage. "The people
who were left behind in Jerusalem were
also miserable, because not only were
their families taken away from them, but
the skilled-trades people, the intellectuals
were also taken away." As with Detroit,
he said, "You have a void in both
In 1962, Rabbi A. Irving Schnipper
became rabbi of Beth Moses in north-
west Detroit, a congregation of about
250 families that met in a social hall.
A few years later, they built an
adjoining sanctuary on Evergreen,
north of Seven Mile. The migration of
Jews from Detroit had been taking
place before the riots, but a lot of little
shuls like his were still left, the rabbi
recalled. Of shuls in the city, the Isaac
Agree Downtown Synagogue survived;
today, it continues to spiritually serve
Jewish city residents and people work-
ing in and near downtown.
Back then, Beth Moses was in a very
homey setting, and everything was in
the area. "If you wanted to shop, you
walked on Seven Mile Road. Every-
thing you wanted was there — the
kosher butCher, the barber, the shoe-
maker. You didn't have to take a bus or
a car," Rabbi Schnipper said.
The congregation eventually corn-
bined with Beth Abraham Hillel, itself
a merger of rwo shuls from Detroit.
Congregation Beth Abraham Hillel
Moses (now Beth Ahm) moved into its
building in West Bloomfield in 1979.
The drop in quality of the schools and
forced busing in Detroit were the main
reasons many Jews migrated to the sub-
urbs, but as something was gained,
something also was lost, the rabbi said.
"When you move to the
suburbs,you don't have the cama-
raderie that you have in the city, and
within the congregation. It just broke
it up. It lost a little bit of the
warmth," he said.
One of the saddest byproducts of
the riots was the effect on neighbor-
hood shopping areas, such as Dexter,
said Rev. Nick Hood III.
The city of Detroit "had everything,
he said. "Repair shops, drugstores and
restaurants. After the riots, they all left. It
impressed me how important these small
stores are to the community. ... They
made for a vibrant community." El

0 7


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A specini


arY)ear a nce

For more remembrances of the
Detroit riots of 1967, please log
on www.detroitjewishnews.com

4 .44




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