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September 06, 2003 - Image 41

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

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

ANN ARBOR

Robin and Brad Axelrod with Robert, 12, and Ari, 9.

FAMILY SPOTLIGHT

Axelrod

ri Axelrod, 9, wants to be
certain his opinion is heard.
Not an uncommon occurrence.
"Ann Arbor is the perfect place
to grow up. It's not too big, not
too small, and the Jewish com-
munity is active." His brother
Robert, 12, and parents Brad and
Robin, agree.
"For Brad and me profession-
ally, Ann Arbor was rich with
opportunity," said Robin. They
returned there in 1987, after
earning their graduate degrees at
Wayne State University.
For Robin, a native of East
Lansing who attended the
University of Michigan in the
early-1980s and stayed on after
graduation, Ann Arbor had
already become home.
"Living in a big metro area
was familiar to Brad growing up
in suburban Chicago," said
Robin, "hut it was completely
foreign to me. Ann Arbor had a
Jewish community larger than I

grew up with, but small enough
to feel we are part of a large fami-
ly."
And the Axelrods are an active
part of that large family.
Robin is director of the Sol
Drachler Program in Jewish
Communal Service, affiliated with
U-M's School of Social Work.
Brad, a neuro-psychologist at the
VA hospital in Detroit, has served
on the board of the Conservative
Congregation Beth Israel, and
both also have been active with
the Jewish Federation of
Washtenaw County and the
Hebrew Day School ofAnn Arbor,
which both boys attended.
The entire family also is active
with Young Judaea, the Zionist
youth movement of Hadassah
that brought Robin and Brad
together as teenagers.
"The variety of Jewish life in
Ann Arbor is great. You can
express your Judaism any way
you want," said Robin. "There is
an air of community despite the
many, many differences among
Jews here."

Doll

Co he ll

Population: 114,000
Synagogues:
Ann Arbor Chabad House
Ann Arbor Orthodox Minyan (AAOM)
Beth Israel Congregation
Ann Arbor Reconstructionist Havurah
Temple Beth Emeth
Ann Arbor Jewish Cultural Society
Jewish Institutions:
Jewish Federation of Washtenaw County
Jewish Community Center of Washtenaw
County (JCC)
Jewish Family Services of Washtenaw
County
Jewish Community Foundation of
Washtenaw County
University of Michigan:
Hillel Foundation
Sol Drachler Program in Jewish
Communal Leadership
Jean and Samuel Frankel Center for
Judaic Studies
U-M Chabad House Student Center
Organizations and Services:
Hadassah - Ann Arbor Chapter
Jewish Resource Center - Machon
LiTora h
Schools:
Hebrew Day School of Ann Arbor

LONG KNOWN AS THE HOME of the

University of Michigan, today Ann Arbor is

much more than a college town as resi-

dents of "A-squared" savor the many

opportunities the city has to offer.

Knowing a good thing when they see it,

Jews have made Ann Arbor one of the

very few growing Jewish communities in

the nation outside of the Southeast.

In less than an hour, an Ann Arborite

can be at a program at the Jewish

Community Center in West Bloomfield, or

a couple from Oak Park can be in their

seats in Hill Auditorium to hear the Israeli

Philharmonic. But while there is regular

cooperation and cross-pollination between

the two Jewish communities, Ann Arbor is

its own destination for metro Detroiters.

With its own Jewish day school, seven

synagogues, campus Hillel and Chabad

houses, and a thriving Jewish studies pro-

gram, the Jewish community of Ann Arbor

has established itself as one of the premier

intermediate-sized Jewish communities in

the nation.

FAVORITE NEIGHBORHOOD HANGOUT:

"It is an incredible place to be culturally," says Robin Axelrod, listing a number of events

but particularly noting the world-class offerings at Hill Auditorium. The family enjoys

Zingerman's Deli and canoeing on the Huron River.

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