In his latest book,
Motown native Irwin Cohen
tells the story of Detroit's
Jewish community through
Special to the Jewish News
first Jewish resident, fur trader Chapman Abraham,
the book highlights the growth of the Jewish com-
munity, the establishment of its synagogues and
ore than 200 black and white photo-
communal organizations, notable Detroiters and
graphs grace the pages of native
population shifts, all set against the background of
Detroiter Irwin Cohen's latest book,
local and world events.
Jewish Detroit (Arcadia
Many quirky bits of information are
Publishing, S19.95), a text-less
tucked in among the vintage snapshots
chronicle of the growth and settle-
of famous folks, buildings and street
JE \v1 SEE
ment patterns of Motor City Jews.
of "the old neighborhood."
DE; TIC OIT
Their story is told through cap-
Readers will discover that in the
tioned photographs culled from
early part of the 20th century, many
archives, historical societies and pri-
Jews were employed in Detroit's stove
vate collections. The author spent the
companies and breweries. Jewish News
last two years gathering material at
columnist Danny Raskin's father
the Burton Historical Collection of
served as a Detroit firefighter, and
the Detroit Public Library, the Leo
Rabbi Judah L. Levin, for whom
M. Franklin Archives of Temple Beth
Yeshiva Beth Yehudah is named,
El and the Leonard N. Simons
patented an adding machine:
Archives of the Jewish Federation of
An architectural tour of Detroit
Metropolitan Detroit, among others.
reveals an enormous number of promi-
Additional material was collected
nent buildings designed by architect
from past issues of the Detroit Jewish News.
Albert Kahn. They include two homes for Temple
Cohen, a professional photographer, also supplied
Beth El, of which he was a member; the Detroit
a number of the book's photos himself, notably
Athletic Club, whose opening Kahn refused to attend
those of still-standing buildings and the numerous
because it barred Jews from membership; the General
abandoned synagogues which now serve as churches.
Motors Building; the Fisher Building; and the just
Beginning in 1762 with the arrival of Detroit's
demolished Sinai Hospital, to name a few.
Above: Detroit historian Irwin Cohen with his
previous book, "Echoes of Detroit." He is currently
at work on "Echoes ofDetroit's Jewish
Top: In the 1890s it wasn't uncommon to see women
peddlers; some were widows and some were helping
out their ill husbands.