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September 20, 2002 - Image 49

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2002-09-20

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Synagogue Listings ... 54

Torah Portion


w ill

Reme mber

Adat Shalom


names its

social hall

in memory of

its founding


Jacob Segal.

Special to the Jethish News


he social hall at Adat Shalom Synagogue in Farmington
Hills always held special meaning for the late Rabbi
Jacob E. Segal. It served as a sanctuary for the overflow
crowd at High Holiday services every year — when part
of the bimah (dais).from the old synagogue on Curtis west of
Livernois in northwest Detroit was used.
Rabbi Segal, the synagogue's founding rabbi, delighted in the
many social events and festive celebrations that took place in the
hall. It was the scene of a final tribute dinner for him in 1974, a
year before his untimely death from leukemia at age 62.
So, it was fitting to have the hall named on Aug. 31 for Rabbi
Segal, who served his beloved congregation for almost 30 years. He
also is noted for co-founding Hillel Day School of Metropolitan
Detroit in Farmington Hills.
An endowment from Jean and Sam Frankel of Bloomfield
Township, friends of Rabbi Segal and longtime Adat Shalom mem-
bers, made the naming possible. The synagogue's library also bears
his name.
"From what I've heard about Rabbi Segal, he loved simchahs
[joyous occasions] — and he loved this social hall," said Rabbi
Daniel Nevins, who joined Adat Shalom in 1994. "It's appropriate
to have this highly visible place named after him. I've heard and
read a lot about him. He was a giant of a man who put this syna-
gogue on firm footing, and I have the utmost respect for him."

An eerie and solemn highlight of the synagogue's pre-Selichot
dedication program was the playing of taped portions from some of
Rabbi Segal's sermons. It brought tears to the eyes of several congre-
gation members.
In a 1963 Rosh Hashanah sermon, Rabbi Segal demonstrated
he was a "man before his time" by giving a powerful, impassioned
plea for civil rights, human rights and diversity — a year prior to
the U.S. Congress passing a landmark Civil Rights bill.
"This dedication ceremony is a celebration of my father's dreams
and accomplishments, not just a memorial," intoned Jeremy Segal
of Irvine, Calif, who spoke on behalf of the Segal family. "He
would have been very gratified at the great success of Adat Shalom
and Hillel. Both places are now pillars of the Jewish community
Also attending were Jeremy's brother, Jonathan Segal of Silver
Spring, Md., sisters Debbie Fine of Amherst, Mass., and Rebecca
Segal of Chicago and several of Rabbi Segal's nine grandchildren.
The oldest grandson, Jacob Fine, is studying to be a rabbi at the
University of Judaism in Los Angeles.
Jonathan Segal read a letter and a poem for world peace from his
mother, Jean, 85, a resident of Silver Spring. His grandchildren
unveiled Rabbi Segal's name over the entrance to the social hall.
Additionally, Adat Shalom Rabbi Herbert Yoskowitz read
excerpts from testimonial letters by rabbis and other colleagues

Top :
The late Rabbi Jacob Segals grandchildren Aliza Segal, 10; Kerren
Segal, 5; and Jacob Segal, 12, all of Irvine, Calif, unveiled their
grandfather's name over the entrance to the social hall.

Above left:
Rabbis Lee Buckman and Daniel Nevins greet Sam Frankel, who
with his wife, Jean, endowed the newly renamed Rabbi Jacob E.
Segal Social Hall. .




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