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September 06, 2003 - Image 29

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2003-09-06

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

NEIGHBORHOODS

111T hough metro Detroit's 96,000 Jews live in communities as diverse as Troy

B R NG HA
H
B LOOMFir
-
FAi=RMINGTON
FR ANKUN
rOO DS
HUNTINGTO

and Royal Oak, there are some areas that traditionally have attracted large
segments of the Jewish community. Over the years, the demographics have
shifted, with the migration continuing to head northwest. Writer Ronelle
Grier and photographer Angie Baan give us a look at nine neighborhoods that have
long been home to Detroit's Jews.
Keri Guten Cohen, SourceBook Editor

BIRMINGHAM

Population:

19,164
Educational Institutions:

Birmingham AISH Center -

AISH Hatorah

THE CITY OF BIRMINGHAM is known for

its tree-lined residential areas and its

bustling downtown streets lined with

upscale shops, restaurants and boutiques.

In the center of the city is Shain Park, home

of the biennial Birmingham Art Fair, out-

door summer concerts and many other

community events.

During the 1830s, Birmingham became

a designated railroad stop between Royal

Oak and Pontiac, which contributed to the

city's growth. That early train station is still

there on Eton Street, just east of the main

downtown area.

The Jewish population of Birmingham

has increased significantly over the last

few decades, according to Shelley

Roberts, director of the city's Community

House, which offers kosher catering for

parties and events. Both the Community

House and the elegant Townsend Hotel

are popular venues for b'nai mitzvah and

Jewish weddings.

Birmingham elected its first Jewish

mayor in 2002, Seth Chafetz, who also

served as the Birmingham's first City

Commissioner.

For the first time last December, a 6-

foot metal menorah was lit in Shain Park,

after a petition filed by members of the

Birmingham Bloomfield Chai Center was

approved by city officials.

AM I LYSPOTLIGHT_

Roberts

S

OAK PARK

S oUTHFIELD

WEST 'BLOOMFIELD
ANN ARB

attorney. "I love the downtown
and the pretty residential areas.
Before Jeff and I were married, we
used to ride our bikes around the
area dreaming about our future
home."
The family belongs to nearby
Temple Beth El; Jeffrey is a fifth-
generation member. Shelley is a
member of the Temple's sisterhood,
and their son George is president of
the youth group and a voting mem-
ber of the temple board. Shelley
is also a member of National
Council of Jewish Women.

Kelley Dorfman Roberts has
more than a passing fancy for
Birmingham. In addition to living
there for the last 32 years, she is
president and CEO of The
Community House.
The family has lived in their
current house for 23 years. Jeffrey
is an owner of Gorman's
Furniture and works out of the
company's Troy store.
He says that living in
Birmingham reminds
him of his childhood in
the Detroit neighbor-
hood of Sherwood
Forest, when he used to
walk to the shops on
Livernois.
"We've loved
Birmingham from the
beginning and have never
considered living in a dif-
ferent community," said
The Roberts family: George,
Lacey, 22, not pictured.
Shelley, who is also an

14, Shelley and Jeffrey.

FAVORITE NEIGHBORHOOD HANGOUT:

"When the kids were young, we never missed 'Music in the (Shain) Park,' which is still a great

community event," Shelley Roberts said. "We attend most of the special events: The

Community House Jazzfest, the Birmingham House Tour and many others. We love walking

through the downtown, visiting the shops and frequenting the many restaurants in the area.

My son's favorites are Streetside Seafood, 220 and Hunter House. My daughter loves Elie's,

and my husband is a Peabody's fan. Of course, I'm partial to the The Community House Café.

SOU RC E BOO K 2003

-

2004 •

2 9

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