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March 28, 2003 - Image 36

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2003-03-28

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on page 35

when I'm listening, I get a better sense
of what my grandparents went
through — adapting to American cul-
ture, assimilating but still keeping
their culture or values."
As part of his research, Pearlman, a
sophomore from New City, N.Y., has
spent time looking at old documents
and directories of people who lived
and worked on the street. Some might
consider the work boring, but he says
he finds it worthwhile.
"It's stuff I wouldn't normally get a
chance to look at," he said. "It's not
always the most exciting, but the
information we get now is going to
help us as we interview more people,
so we have a better idea of what to ask
Sophmore Amanda Plisner, 19, who
grew up in Farmington Hills, also
feels a connection to the work. "I
chose this project based really on the
premise that I'm Jewish," she said.
"Much of the [suburban] community
I live in now, at one point, lived in
the area this project is studying."
She said she is particularly struck by
the camaraderie of the Jewish store-
owners she has learned about so far.
And she enjoys the chance to study
the generational lineage and consis-
tency that brought the Jewish corn-
munity to where much of it now
"It's interesting to see how a lot of
people have stayed in the area, it gives
you a strong feeling of Judaism when
you see how people have stuck togeth-
er," she said. "There are clearly strong
connections within and among fami-
lies, the way we've been able to trace
back generation to generation."
The team, four students and
Krzyzowski, continues to research and
search for individuals to share their
Chene Street stories. Plans for the
project include creating an online
map so visitors can virtually travel
into a neighborhood, click on a build-
ing and see who lived and worked
there for 100 years. Old photographs,
stationary and business cards also will
be included. Visitors will also be able
to hear clips of the interviews and oral
histories, which Plisner said are often
vivid and emotional. Fl

If you lived, shopped, worked or
owned a business in the Chene
Street neighborhood and would
like to be interviewed for the
Chene Street History Project, call
Marian Krzyzowski at (734) 998-

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