Rock-and-roll and Elvis became popu-
lar while they were teens.
"Cars were under $500 and gas was
a staggering 20 cents a gallon. We had
ponytails, ducktails, cars with loud
mufflers, poodle skirts and went to
drive-in movies together," recalls Joan
(Mayers) Spector, 61, of West
Bloomfield, an,Oak Park High School
graduate from the Class of 1959. .
"Pajama parties were popular, and
we bleached our hair, talked about the
boys and hoped they would come
over," she continues.
Spector's memories are flowing as
her school's first combined reunion in
45 years, on Sept. 20-21, draws near.
The event, for the first three graduat-
ing classes of Oak Park High, 1957-
1959, will include a nostalgic dinner-
dance at Big Daddy's Restaurant in
West Bloomfield, with a DJ playing —
what else? — the sounds of the Fifties.
"Our backgrounds were varied.
However, it wasn't important," Spector
says. "We were friends and classmates.
There were no secrets, no drugs and a
strict dress code."
In that era, she says, the choices for
women after graduation, were "to be a
nurse, get married, teach, work in an
office; the lucky girls went to college.
The boys went
Four Oak Park
shown in 1957,
and here's where
they live in
City; and Kathy
away to college, the service or got
After graduation, the students went
their separate ways, she says, but never
forgot their special memories at Oak
For information about the reunion,
contact Joan Spector at (248) 683-
When is an interfaith dedication not
an interfaith event? That is a question
the Jewish community can consider
with the scheduling of the interfaith
dedication of Detroit's spanking-new
Ford Field from 2-5 p.m. Sunday, just
hours before Yom Kippur begins.
"We were aware that Yom Kippur
started at sundown, but we needed a
Sunday afternoon before the first
Lions home game," said Iana Dealey
of Brogan & Partners of Detroit,
which handles public relations for
Dealey noted that Rabbi Daniel
Syme of Temple Beth El agreed to be
an honorary co-chair of the event and
will be acknowledged on a list of co-
chairs, even though he will not be able
to attend. She also noted that the
Jewish Community Council of
Metropolitan Detroit had called to let
them know the timing was not con-
ffnai ffrith eager to "re-emphasize" group's roots.
JAMES D. BESSER
know where we want to go; now our job is to get
"There" means a return to the group's traditional
'nai B'rith International, the troubled -
role as a community-oriented service agency, said
Jewish communal giant, has a brand new
Kaplan, who succeeds Washington attorney and
headquarters in Washington and
former Detroiter Richard Heideman.
a new president who says he can
"We have never really left those roots,
return the group to what it does best:
but we really have to re-emphasize
them," he said.
Joel S. Kaplan, a lawyer in Woodmere,
"People in our communities are just
N.Y., was elected at the group's recent
waiting to do service. Volunteerism has
convention in San Francisco. He is the
once again started to gain respectability;
first new president in years who hasn't
there are people waiting to be directed
come to the job with sweeping plans for
about how they can contribute."
overhauling the creaky B'nai B'rith hierar-
B'nai B'rith, he said, is "uniquely suit-
ed to do that." An early priority for
"We've already done the restructuring,"
Kaplan: "one-on-one programs with sen-
he said in an interview this week. "We
iors who live alone," in addition to the
ducive to Jewish participation.
"I don't think they realized what
they were doing; it was an accident of
scheduling," Rabbi Syme said. "It's a
shame, an unfortunate scheduling
problem on their part, but nothing
At press time, Dealey said event
chairperson Pastor Edgar Vann of
Second Ebenezer Baptist Church was
contacting Rabbi Syme to get some-
thing to read on the rabbi's behalf to
ensure inclusion of the Jewish com-
munity in the program.
— Don Cohen
A Fast And
The three congregations that hold
High Holiday services at the Oak Park
Jewish Community Center may be in
for a little more discomfort than usual
during the Yom Kippur fast.
The Jimmy Prentis Morris Building
of the JCC will have its water turned
off Monday, Sept. 16, for major
repairs. To alleviate the situation, JPM
is bringing in portable toilets and bot-
tled water for anyone who needs it.
The three groups praying in the
building include the Friends of
Refugees of Eastern Europe and con-
gregations Or Chadash of Oak
Park/Huntington Woods and Shaarey
— Alan Hitsky
group's active low-income housing programs.
He also said he will strengthen the group's public
policy operation in Washington and dramatically
increase B'nai B'rith's presence at the United
"The Jewish community desperately needs a
U.N. action group," he said. "The U.N. spends far
too much of its time covering Mideast affairs at the
behest of the Arab countries. We can't tolerate
He said recent decisions to spin off college
Hillels and B'nai B'rith Youth Organization, job
reductions and this year's sale of the group's anti-.
quated downtown headquarters have resulted in
"much better" financial conditions for the group,
which has been losing members and operating in
the red for years.
"It means we're not budgeting beyond our
means, that we can put some money aside," he
He said B'nai B'rith will seek the services of pro-
fessional fund-raisers and public relations experts.
"We're stepping into the modern world in terms
of doing business; we're going to do what the other
organizations have been doing." ❑