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October 24 • 2013
Shell! Liebman Dorfman
collection of Judaic items
that already has a multi-
synagogue connection is
once again in need of a home.
Since Congregation Hava Nashira
held its last service in a Farmington
Hills basement in November 2011,
the synagogue's ark, prayer books
and other religious objects have been
unused, and former members are
looking to donate them.
Larger pieces now are being stored,
at no charge, at Congregation Beth
Shalom in Oak Park, with nearly
200 books sorted and warehoused in
the Oak Park home of former Hava
Nashira treasurer Aaron Schwartz.
Services had briefly taken place there.
"We absorbed siddurim [prayer
books] and Chumashim [book-
bound Torahs] from [Congregation]
Beit Kodesh [in Livonia], along
with their ark, reading desk, a side
table, Torah covers and curtains
and ner tamid [eternal light] when
they closed," Schwartz said. Some
former Beit Kodesh members attend-
ed services at Hava Nashira, led by
Cantor Frank Lanzkron-Tamarazo.
"There was a family active in Hava
Nashira that had connections at Beit
Kodesh, and they made a shidduch
[match] of the items with our con-
gregation," he said.
The Beit Kodesh ark originally was
used at a Toledo synagogue. "This
ark is designed to hold up to five
Torahs," Schwartz said. "It is about 7
feet by 6 feet, with an additional piece
for the top of the ark with gold lions
flanking two tablets. All of the furni-
ture pieces match, and I would prefer
to keep them together, if possible."
The ark is in need of minor
repairs. "During transport it started
to fall apart, so we disassembled it
in an orderly way so that it wouldn't
break," Schwartz said. "We have all
the pieces. Just some screws would
need to be replaced. It could also use
a paint job or a stripping and stain-
ing once it is in its new home:'
He suggests that Beth Shalom's
"Mitzvah Man" crew, which works
for donations to the synagogue, may
offer assistance in doing the repairs
if materials are provided to them.
Other items loaned to Hava
Nashira are back with their original
Ark with curtains
congregations, including a Torah
from Congregation Shaarey Zedek in
East Lansing and Chumashim from
Beth Israel in Flint.
Also returned was a second
ark, built by the late Cantor Israel
Idelsohn, who served the Isaac Agree
Downtown Synagogue in Detroit. It
was originally used at Beth Moses
in Detroit and later moved to the
Downtown Synagogue, which loaned
it to Hava Nashira.
In a continued sharing of reli-
gious items, some of what was used
by Hava Nashira has already been
donated to other congregations.
"We had over 200 Silverman
machzorim (High Holiday prayer
books) that were all given to the
Downtown Synagogue, the only
shul in the area still using that
edition," Schwartz said. "Some of
the Hertz Chumashim also went
to Downtown. But I have several
dozen Hertz Chumashim, more than
100 Silverman siddurim as well as
about 40 of a 1930s edition of the
Stern Chumash from Beth Aaron
in Detroit, which folded into Beth
Achim and later Adat Shalom.
"The siddurim that are available
are a mix of those from Beit Kodesh
and Hava Nashira, but both of those
shuls got many used books from
other shuls," he said. "For example,
many of them have Shaarey Zedek
Schwartz is hoping there is a con-
gregation or group who can benefit
from the furnishings and books.
"We want nothing in return," he
said. "Just your labor in removing
the pieces from my basement and
Beth Shalom, and we would like to
know that they are going to a place
that will treat them with respect and
hopefully put them to good use."
For details, send an email to