"Town Village Sterling Heights gives you
what our competition can only to about."
PRESERVING OUR HISTORY
from page 33
C onsider this your personal invitation to see just what we're talking about. Stay as
our guest for lunch or dinner, and we bet that you'll leave as part of our family.
Everything at Town Village Sterling Heights is First-Class. From the delicious restaurant-
style cuisine, to the warm and friendly staff. Its the only rental community in the area for
active, independent seniors that offers distinctive living in beautiful, new surroundings.
You can take a Tai Chi class. Join a book club. Exercise in our heated pool or bubble
in our spa. Imagine how fun and fulfilling it will be, living in a place like this. And
everything's included in one affordable monthly fee.
Archivist Heidi Christein
TownVillage Sterling Heights
A Community for Active, Independent Seniors
n Yes, I want more information about TOWN VILLAGE STERLING HEIGHTS
I Mail to: Town Village Sterling Heights
4500 Dobry Drive, Sterling Heights, Ml 48314
Sales • Leasing • Utiving
+ Tax per room
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Legal Lot • Restaurant - Indoor Pool - Fitness Center
• 243 Deluxe Rooms
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1-888-637-2623 • 1-734-729-6300
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(248) 545-6677 (248) 433-3323
Community Archives was brought
together at the urging of the Jewish
Historical Society of Michigan and vari-
ous community leaders, including Judge
Avern Cohn, Irwin Shaw, Joel E. Jacob
and Sharon Alterman, during the years
immediately preceding Federation's
move to its current home in the Max
M. Fisher Building on Telegraph Road
in Bloomfield Township.
"There was a sense of urgency that we
needed to maintain and store all these
papers from Federation and different
agencies. As agencies were closing or
moving, papers got lost or thrown
away," recalled Alterman, who literally
shaped the collection in her eight years
as the Jewish Community Archives'
archivist. "The remarkable photo collec-
tion exists primarily because the photos
had all been stored in one building for
so long [at the former Federation build-
ing on Madison Avenue in Detroit]."
In archival terms, the collection today
measures some 1,200 linear feet, which
means there are hundreds of gray, acid-
free boxes containing the papers and
records of dozens of organizations and
important community leaders, including
the Jewish Federation, Sinai Hospital
and the National Council of Jewish
Women-Greater Detroit Section, Jewish
News founder Philip Slomovitz — and
those of the passionate local historian
Leonard N. Simons, for whom the col-
lection is dedicated. And then there are
the photographs, tens of thousands of
them, and hundreds of artifacts all help-
ing to paint a picture of the rich history
of the Detroit Jewish community.
Separately, they are all bits and pieces,
but together they present answers to a
myriad of questions and probes. Many
contact the archive seeking genealogical
information, says Christein who has
been caring for the collection since
1999. Marriage certificates, questions
about community congregations and
burial sites are common inquiries.
Producers, authors and researchers
working on documentaries, books and
projects pore through papers and photo-
graphs looking for facts and images to
enhance their work. And, the archives'
own collection is presented to the public
on numerous occasions, such as when
the Jewish Community Center celebrat-
ed its 75th anniversary last year or the
new Jewish War Veterans exhibit that
opened in late May at the JCC.
The JWV exhibit, a permanent instal-
lation, covers some 38 feet of wall space
with an interactive kiosk. Besides view-
ing photographs of local war heroes,
viewers will see uniforms, medals and
other mementos from the Civil War,
World War II, Korea and Vietnam.
Personal stories from the rabbis who
served as chaplains during these times
will be part of the interactive element, as
will the memories of the soldiers and
While the exhibit honors these heroes
of the past, it also highlights the need
for the community to remain commit-
ted to preserving history. (See Cover
Story• page 12.)
"I have always thought that archives
are not about the past. They are the
future," says Christein, who is seeking a
full-time position elsewhere. "The
archives are a place to talk to the future.
If you have a record — textual materi-
als, videotapes, photographs — people
will be able to see what you were doing
and have a legitimate basis to think
about why something happened. If we
don't preserve these things, we'll be for-
gotten — or someone else will write
your history for you."
Susie Citrin feels confident that the
scaling back of the Jewish Community
Archives is temporary.
"We're not going to let anything hap-
pen to this collection," she says. "The
96,000 Jews in this community are
adding to history and we will be there to