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August 01, 2013 - Image 10

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2013-08-01

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Cross-Border from page 8

had two daughters, now 22 and 23,
who attended a local French immer-
sion elementary school.
When business brought the fam-
ily to West Bloomfield in 2001, it
was a challenging adjustment for
the girls, who were 9 and 10 years
"My wife was happy; she was
basically coming home, but it was
somewhat awkward for the kids to
suddenly jump into a very different
scene said Ian. "They went from a
small community to a much larger
After the initial adjustment, the
girls became involved in a variety
of Jewish and school-related activi-
ties. Ian believes residing in both
countries provided benefits that
enhanced his daughters' lives on
many levels. An added plus was the
geographic proximity of the two
communities, which made it pos-
sible to maintain close relationships
with extended family members in
both locations.
When Windsor native Natalie
Freed married then-Southfield
resident Bill Newman, it seemed
only natural. When it came to
Detroit-Windsor unions, Natalie's
parents, former Detroiter Miriam
"Mikie" Linden and Windsor native
Gerald Freed, had already paved
the way. While her mother moved
to Windsor after marriage, Natalie
relocated to Michigan, where she
and Bill raised three sons.
"I wanted to live in a larger com-
munity where I would still be close
to my family; it worked out well:'
said Natalie, who used to commute
to work in her family's third-gen-
eration clothing business, Freeds of
The family tradition extended to
Natalie's brother, Ari Freed, who
married a bride from Southfield,
Pam Jacobs. The couple now resides
in West Bloomfield, as does Freed's
business partner and cousin, Dan
Orman, and his wife, Susan, anoth-
er Windsor-Detroit couple.
Both Freed and Orman commute
daily to the Windsor store founded
by their grandfather, Sam Freed,
more than 80 years ago.
"Commuting is second nature
now," Freed said. "I've been doing it
for close to 17 years"
Freed said he knows many other
Jewish couples who are from differ-
ent sides of the border.
"Danny and I were two Jewish
Windsor boys who married Jewish
Detroit girls:' he said. "We wanted
Jewish wives; it was not uncommon
then. It's a smaller world than you

10 August 1 • 2013


Over The River

Detroiters learn about Jewish Windsor
through Historical Society tour.


Esther Allweiss Ingber

Contributing Writer


'0 '


hree busloads of adven-
turers recently had the
opportunity to explore
the history of Jews in Windsor,
Canada, under the auspices of
the Jewish Historical Society of
Michigan (JHSM).
One function of the West
Bloomfield-based JHSM is
arranging and leading tours
of historic places in Michigan.
The docent team for JHSM Jewish Windsor tour poses on
Taking people across the Detroit
the steps of Shaar Hashomayim Synagogue in Windsor: Fred
River into Windsor was a first —
Katzman of Windsor, Ruthe Goldstein of West Bloomfield,
but a natural, considering that
Sarah Shoklov of Windsor, Mike Kasky of Grosse Pointe, Herb
"the Windsor and Detroit Jewish
Brudner of Windsor and Stanley Meretsky of West Bloomfield.
communities have always had a
Left: The stained glass window is at Shaar Hashomayim.
very special and unique relation-
ship': said Harvey Kessler, execu-
tive director of the Windsor
Jewish Community Centre (JCC).
The bus trip departing from
Congregation Shaarey Zedek in
Southfield attracted a number
of Metro Detroiters with family
roots in Windsor. For example,
former JHSM president Stan
Meretsky's great-grandfather,
Polish-born Aaron Meretsky,
was a Jewish pioneer in Windsor
around 1880. He became a city
Inside of Congregation Beth El, which started in 1959
as a liberal worship alternative for Jews in Windsor,
Some joining the tour in
Madie and Arthur "Art" Weingarden speak to the
Windsor were originally from
Dennis and Peggy Frank of West
Bloomfield stand with Terry and
"The tremendous synergy,
Marty Hollander at the grave of
both personally and profession-
History journal. Jerry Cook of Farmington
Moses David, Windsor's first Jewish
ally' between the communities continues
Hills is the organization's president.
whose remains were relocat-
today, said Kessler, despite a vast difference
Kessler in Windsor was approached with
Hashomayim Cemetery.
in population. Windsor's Jews number
the tour idea, and soon afterward a com-
1,475, he said, while the Detroit Area Jewish
mittee of volunteers and staff from Metro
Population Study of 2005, updated in April
Detroit and Windsor began holding planning A Tour of Historic Jewish Windsor," along
2010, recorded 67,000 Jewish residents.
meetings at the Windsor JCC.
with attorney Harvey Strasburg of Sutts,
"We are the smallest organized Jewish
Volunteers representing JHSM on the
Strasburg LLP in Windsor and Toronto.
community in Canada, but part of the Jewish
Jewish Windsor team were Mike Kasky
Federations of North America and the JCC
Windsor's Synagogues
of Grosse Pointe, adult tour chairperson;
Association of North America: he said.
Ruthe Goldstein of West Bloomfield, youth
The tour's first stop was Congregation Shaar
The Windsor tour came about because
tour chair; and Meretsky, board member.
Hashomayim (Gate of the Heavens). Open
Meretsky's friend, attorney Burton Shifman,
From Jewish Windsor came Sarah Shklov,
since 1930, the Shaar continues as the home
asked him why the JHSM didn't offer a
Fred and Marcie Katzman, Maddie and Art
for Windsor's Orthodox Jewish residents.
Windsor tour along with all the Detroit
Weingarden, Lorraine Victor, Herb Brudner,
Windsor has never had a Conservative
Sandi Malowitz and Milton Dzodin.
Jewish synagogue, but does offer Reform
"Because my family heritage starts in
"The large number of planners from
Congregation Beth El.
Windsor," Meretsky said, "I agreed with him
Windsor exemplifies how eager and proud
Cantor David Neumark conducts Shabbat
and suggested it to the board of the JHSM."
the Windsor community was to help us cre-
services in the Shaar's main sanctuary, while
"A. historic Jewish Windsor tour had been
ate this tote Bice said.
Chabad Rabbi Sholom Galperin is his coun-
on our wish list for many, many years' said
Shifman, president of the philanthropic
terpart in the chapel for a separate Orthodox
JHSM Executive Director Wendy Rose Bice,
Ravitz Foundation in Michigan, became a
who edits the society's Michigan Jewish
sponsor of the resultant "Settlers to Citizens:
Over The River on page 12

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