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April 21, 2011 - Image 1

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2011-04-21

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$2.00 APRIL 21-27, 2011 / 17-23 NISAN 5771


Remembering Ernie Harwell



Freep sportswriter Mitch Albom's new play, Ernie, a tribute to his
longtime friend and legendary Tigers broadcaster Ernie Harwell,
runs April 28-June 26 at Detroit's City Theatre.
"The play takes place in the tunnel of Comerica Park just before
Ernie is about to go out to give his goodbye speech," explains Albom.
"Ernie is fully aware that he's dying and that it's about to be his last
time at the stadium. He is very much thinking about his mortality
and where he is going."

For more, see the story on page 50.

Mitch Albom

Ernie Harwell

)> cover story

Local Jewish country clubs
prepare for the new season
amid taxing economic times.

Robin Schwartz
Contributing Writer


hile the chill in the air may linger, signs of spring
abound across Southeast Michigan; green grass
is starting to emerge, buds are appearing high up
on tree branches, and tulips and daffodils are pushing their
way through the once-frozen ground. It's the time of year die-
hard golfers live for — time to grab their shoes and clubs and
return to the greens.
For decades, Jewish Metro Detroiters have flocked to the
"big three" predominantly Jewish golf and country clubs:
Knollwood and Tam-O-Shanter, both in West Bloomfield, and
Franklin Hills, in Farmington Hills. As always, those clubs are
preparing for their busiest season. But in many ways, the tough
economic times have changed their game. There's a great deal
at stake and plenty of financial turmoil, including major tax
disputes, behind the scenes.
"With retirement and attrition of older members, and the lack
of young Jewish families staying in Michigan, that could be the
ultimate demise of the three Jewish clubs," says one avid Jewish
golfer and longtime club member. He declined to be identified
because of the sensitive nature of the subject. He loves the game
and the community where he and his wife have raised their chil-
dren. But like so many others, he's uncertain about the future.
"I don't think three to five years from now, unless some
drastic things change, these clubs will all continue to exist as
predominately Jewish clubs:' he says. "It's all about the eco-
nomics of our young Jewish people. That's just my opinion."
These concerns have been whispered and wondered about
privately for years. The economic downturn, job losses and
the foreclosure crises have combined to shift the priorities
of many families. The golf clubs, in turn, have been forced to
adjust quickly, change ownership or change the way they do
business to attract and retain members. There was even seri-
ous talk of a possible Knollwood/Tam-O-Shanter merger in
recent years, but a deal was never reached.

Tax Disputes
As they crunch their numbers, both Knollwood and Tam-0-
Shanter have turned to the Michigan Tax Tribunal, the state's

In The Rough on page 10

» Cap & Gown:

High School Grads: New submission instructions. See pages
9 and 23.



1942 - 2011

A rising star from Florida to lead the Democrats' national
fundraising efforts. See page 26.

Covering and
Jewish Detroit
Every Week


» Sports:


An Orthodox Israeli leads University of Toledo's NIT women's
champions. See page 48.

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