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November 14, 2013 - Image 14

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2013-11-14

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Open Door To The Past

JN Foundation archives will be a
boon to researchers and historians.

1949 and continuing through the
We can click on the June 19, 1959,
he possibilities for research
edition of the JN, which features a
are endless with the JN
front-page story about Mayer's pop-
Foundation archives, and haw-
ulation study. At that time, Detroit's
ing 70 years' worth of the history
Jewish population numbered slight-
of Jewish Detroit easily searchable
ly less than 90,000 (down from
for the first time has many local
93,700 in 1956). The story also
historians chomping at the bit to
laments the small number of Jews
get started.
in the 18- to 24-year-old range as
You don't need to be a historian,
well as the "increasing numbers of
however, to research the archives.
the aged."
Easy-to-use search technology
Let's jump to April 8,1966, one
opens up these records to not only
year prior to the civil unrest in
seasoned researchers but curious
Detroit. The headline of the front-
community members and students
page story in that edition reads
as well. Additionally, on the site
"88% of Detroit Jewry will live in
you'll find a short video tutorial that
the suburbs by 1975."
will help you step by step. Here we
According to the story, "These
provide an example of how it's done.
conclusions are answers to the
posed question — will the Northwest
Jewish Flight From Detroit
area, like Dexter, disappear; and if
Much has been written about the
so, when? Will Detroit become, as
July 1967 civil unrest in Detroit and
Cleveland has, a city without Jews?"
the resulting Jewish flight from
In the article, Mayer was asked
the city to the suburbs of Oakland
if urban renewal offered hope of
County. What can the Detroit
retaining Detroit as a Jewish popu-
Jewish News digital archive tell us
lation area. "The 'return to the cen-
about Jewish exodus from Detroit?
tral city movement' in the Jewish
Did the 1967 racial disturbance
community is fancy, not fact," was
precipitate it or accelerate it? Does
Mayer's reply.
there appear to be any movement
He reported that during the
back to the city today?
15-year movement of the Jewish
Let's begin with the query "popu-
community to the suburbs, "only
lation study" and limit the search to one household returned to the
city." Mayer also noted that the
First, we'll learn that Professor
trends he identified in Detroit were
Albert J. Mayer of Wayne State
not unusual in other metropolitan
University conducted a series of
areas, where Jews were moving in
demographic studies for the Jewish
significant numbers to new suburbs
Welfare Federation, beginning in
from core cities.

Jackie Headapohl



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14 November 14 • 2013


Managing Editor

Open Door on page 16

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