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October 06, 2011 - Image 14

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2011-10-06

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


A Year Of Celebrations

Mazel Toy! from page 13

October 2011

400 pounds of fresh produce this year.
We have had more than 50 volunteers,
and it has been a wonderful experi-
ence for our families. They know how
important it for the recipients to have
fresh produce, and they feel good about
their participation in helping the less

Providing A Moral Voice
"We've also been a moral voice,

demanding justice, understanding and
peace said Krakoff, reflecting back
to the congregation's move to Chicago
Boulevard in 1932."That move met
with intense anti-Semitism," he said.
"It was clear the neighborhood did not
want us, and our members fought law-
suits, some that went all the way to the
Supreme Court" [See sidebar below:
"Movin On Up"]
Early in the 20th century, when

Jewish boys were excluded from school
debating teams, a group of CSZ kids
organized a debating club that served
as a training ground for many of
Detroit's future lawyers and judges.
"We also were an early voice in the
formation of the Conservative move-
ment. (CSZ built the first Conservative
synagogue in Detroit). We played a

Mazel Toy on page 16

Movin' On Up

ver the years, Congregation Shaarey Zedek has
kodesh (Torah ark), which is designed in
had many homes. After its founding by disen-
off-white marble. Stained glass windows,
chanted members of the former Beth El Society
with shades of deep blue and flaming
in 1861, the original congregants met in a rented space
orange frame the 40-foot ark and the
above a Detroit drugstore. In 1864, they purchased an
ner tamid (eternal light), designed to
unpretentious building on Congress and St. Antoine
look like the "burning bush." From out-
(the former St. Matthew's Episcopal Church).
side, the massive prow-like form of the
Bill Berman
The synagogue sold the buildings, which were
sanctuary rises over a busy freeway.
removed from the land, and laid the cornerstone for
"We had almost no money for the stained glass,"
a new building in 1877. By the time it was completed,
Berman recalled. Once the glass, which was designed
however, the congregation lacked the money to pay
in Paris and built in New York, was installed, Berman
for it and could not take possession. The member-
had storm windows installed behind the glass. "We had
ship splintered into three groups: Shaarey Zedek,
to protect the investment!"
Congregation Beth Jacob and Congregation B'nai
Rabbi Morris Adler, one of CSZ's most renowned
Israel. Shaarey Zedek members were permitted to rent pulpit clerics, also ensured that stained glass was
the building from the eventual purchaser who bought
installed above the doors, only visible from the bim-
the facility at auction before members bought it back
in 1886.
The main goal was space, Berman added. "The
As the congregation grew, so did its need for space.
Chicago Boulevard building had a big space upstairs
In 1903, CSZ opens its new building at Brush and
and down ... we wanted one big space where we could
Winder streets with seating for 750. In 1915, a new
congregate. We ended up with a space so big, you can
Renaissance-style structure with an octagonal dome,
almost hear an echo!" Shaarey Zedek remains one of
opened at Brush and Willis with seating for more than
the largest Jewish houses of worship in the world.
1,400 members.
Two halls adjacent to the sanctuary can be opened
By 1922, the congrega-
tion's growth required
the land purchase for a
new building on Chicago
Boulevard. Met with anti-
Semitism from their new
neighbors, the congrega-
tion was forced to defend
several lawsuits before
construction began in 1927.
The building, designed by
architect Albert Kahn, was dedicated in
1931. The synagogue, designed in a clas-
sic Italian Renaissance style, had seating
for 2,500-3,500.
In 1957, as the congregation saw its
members leaving city life for newly
developed suburbs, the shul purchased
a 45-acre site in Southfield. Percival
Goodman and the firm of Albert Kahn
Clockwise from top left: Brush & Winder Synagogue, Brush & Willis
were hired to design a building, the
Synagogue, Chicago Boulevard Synagogue and Current Synagogue
Shaarey Zedek of today.
Mandell "Bill" Berman was a member of the syna-
up to seat 3,600 people, one of the largest venues for
gogue's Building Commission. "When I first saw the
gatherings in Metro Detroit. The basement, which has
plans, I thought they were crazy," he said. "There's
5-foot thick concrete walls, was designated as a nucle-
nothing holding up the roof. It's all spanned." After
ar bomb shelter during the Cold War years.
talking with the dean of architecture from the
Berman said that he personally had a clock added to
University of Michigan, he was convinced. "No regrets
the lectern on the bimmah. "I joked with Rabbi Adler
on the design," he added.
that if he went over 20 minutes, a trapdoor would
The sanctuary, which seats 1,200 is, by all measure,
open up."
majestic with a roof soaring 90 feet over the aron


14 October 6 2011

Photo Transfer Project

Celebrated artists Gail Rosenbloom Kaplan
and Linda Soberman are creating an
installation using images portraying 150
years of congregational life at Shaarey

Oct. 23, 2011

150 Years of Shaarey Zedek History

Members are invited for a multigenera-
tional bus tour of Shaarey Zedek's roots in
old Jewish Detroit.

November 2011

Voice Quilt

Members will be able to call a dedicated
phone number, which will record voice
messages containing personal memories
and experiences related to Shaarey Zedek.
The messages will be used to create a
very special audio/video presentation.

Nov. 4-5, 2011

Scholar in Residence Weekend

The congregation welcomes Dr. Jack
Wertheimer as its 2011 Scholar-in-
Residence. Wertheimer is professor of
American Jewish history at the Jewish
Theological Seminary, who has written
extensively on trends in American Jewish
religious and communal life, educational
developments and philanthropy.

Nov. 12, 2011

Veterans Shabbat

This special service will feature participa-
tion from members of all branches of the
military, a procession of our veterans and
singing of military anthems.

Celebrating our Simchahs
CSZ will be honoring members who

have marked special milestones at the
synagogue — any location! Save the date
for these wonderful celebrations:

• January 7, 2012

Bar/Bat Mitzvahs

• March 17, 2012


• April 8, 2012


May 27, 2012

First Day Shavuot, Dedication of New
Torah Covers

CSZ Sisterhood has commissioned new
Torah covers to be designed and made for
Torah scrolls in the sanctuary, which will
be dedicated on Shavuot.

June 7, 2012

DSO Concert with Cantor Finkelstein

Cantor Finkelstein is writing an original
cantata and will debut the piece in this
concert with the DSO.

Oct. 27, 2012

"We've Got 150 Years of Celebrating To Do"

A dance culminating the anniversary year.

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