>> ... Next Generation ...
leaders and Detroit
Mayor Dave Bing.
SPECIAL TO THE JEWISH NEWS
Above: Mayor Dave Bing greets
hortly after Moishe House Motor City
celebrated its sixth month in existence,
it welcomed three significant visitors. On
Friday, Dec. 2, the Midtown residence
where six young Jewish adults live and plan Jewish
programming to attract others to Jewish life in Detroit,
hosted Mayor Dave Bing and house donors A. Alfred
Taubman and Mandell Berman.
Taubman was the first donor to Moishe House. He
committed a large amount site-unseen in July 2010
because he felt an investment in Detroit Jewish life
was very worthwhile. He came by for his first visit and
received a tour of the house and sat down for coffee
with 10 young community leaders. Taubman, a global
businessman with roots throughout his personal and
professional life in the city of Detroit, saw how his
generosity allowed the vision for a Moishe House in
Detroit to become a reality.
Taubman then shared how he was involved in
the formation of the Detroit Renaissance after the
1967 riots. Detroit Renaissance was a gathering of
23 executives, including his friend Max Fisher. They
focused on rebuilding and redeveloping the city's
economy. That story led the attendees to understand
the power that a few committed leaders can have on
redefining how the city is portrayed. The only other
donor at Taubman's level is the Norman and Esther
Pastries and the challah that week were provided
by Midtown's Avalon Bakery, founded by Jackie Victor
Later that day, the house hosted a dinner and
discussion with Detroit Mayor Dave Bing. House resident
Allie Gross, formerly of Los Angeles, participates in the
Teach for America program in Detroit. She hosted several
of her students for a brief presentation to the mayor. The
students talked about how they intend to take initiative for
the good of their city by becoming "change makers."
Then Bing and Kirk Lewis, his chief of staff, had a
frank talk with the house about the city's future. The 30
attendees included philanthropist Mandell Berman, Eli
Saulson of the Davidson Foundation, Jake Cohen of Detroit
Venture Partners and Adam Blanck, representing the Live
Bing lauded the attendees for standing up and taking
action on behalf of Detroit without waiting to being
asked to do so. He acknowledged the contributions of the
December 22 - 2011
Miryam Rosenzweig, director of NextGen
Detroit at the Jewish Federation of
Metropolitan Detroit. Moishe House resident
Justin Jacobs, Adam Blanck of the Live Detroit
Fund and donor Mandell Berman stand nearby.
Left: Mayor Bing and his chief of staff sat down
for a visit with Moishe House residents, donors
and guests. The discussion touched on the
Jewish community's involvement in Detroit,
mass transit, education, grassroots leadership,
diversity in the city and his vision for the city
over the next year.
Left: House resident Allie Gross, formerly of
Los Angeles, Is a participant in the Teach for
America program in Detroit. She hosted several
of her students for a brief presentation to the
Jewish community to Detroit's past and referenced his past
experience as a businessman and basketball player with
the Detroit Pistons.
The major takeaway from Bing's remarks was the
discrepancy between what is reported on the news and
what is actually happening on the ground. He stated that
the majority of the positive stories in Detroit are ignored
by local and national media outlets.
Berman, whose foundation provides scholarships to
Detroit students, ended the discussion with a question
for the mayor about education in Detroit and the role
of charter schools. The remarks in the days after the talk
reflected on the need for education to be priority number
one for the long-term success of the city. Bing's visit lasted
just over one hour.
Over the past three months, the 40 Moishe House
locations hosted more than 700 programs for more
than 13,500 attendees.
Moishe House Motor City continues to stand out.
Over its three-month quarter, the house hosted 16
programs for more than 500 attendees. In addition to
regular Shabbat dinners, they partnered with Crain's
Detroit Business to host a Rosh Hashanah event
attended by 80 people. They also volunteered with
Earthworks, which included another 48 people. Bing's
visit came seven weeks after a multi-generational
discussion on the revitalization of Jewish Detroit with
U.S. Sen. Carl Levin and five months after a "Dinner and
Davening" event with Grammy-nominated Orthodox star
Adam Finkel, 25, lives in Metro Detroit. In a volunteer
effort, he led the capital campaign for Moishe House
Detroit. Supporters included the Norman and Esther Allan
Foundation, Al Taubman, the Four Friends Foundation, the
Mandell and Madeleine Berman Foundation, Nancy and
James Grosfeld, Jane and Larry Sherman, Eugene Driker,
the Seligman Family Foundation, the Torgow Foundation and
an anonymous donor.