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November 14, 2013 - Image 16

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

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Open Door from page 14

In 1963, Jewish Detroit had
shrunk to 84,600. Jews had moved
into suburbs such as Oak Park,
Huntington Woods and Southfield.
Clearly the onset of Jewish flight to
the suburbs had preceded the 1967
racial disturbances.

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November 14 • 2013

Let's fast forward to 1990 in our
search. Another front-page story:
"Population Study Finds 96,000
Detroit Area Jews."
The study cited was undertaken
be Steven Cohen and Jack Ukeles
for the Jewish Federation. It found
that 80 percent of the Jewish com-
munity resided in Oakland County
suburbs, with additional pockets in
Grosse Pointe and western Wayne
County suburbs. The story focused
on how to keep the Jewish popula-
tion stable in Southfield and Oak
Park. There was no mention about
the Jewish population of Detroit.
The next "hit" in the archives
comes in 2006, where stories in
the June 8, 2006, and Nov. 16,
2006, editions talked about the
findings of a 2005 demographic
study. The number of Jews in Metro
Detroit had dropped to 72,000, and
it showed an aging population — 24
percent of Jewish Detroiters were
age 65 or older. Only 7 percent
were between 18 and 29.
None of the research cited in
these stories specifically identified
Jewish population within Detroit
city limits. A manual scan of esti-
mated Jewish population by ZIP
code showed fewer than 1,000 Jews
living in Detroit, about 1.5 percent
of the total Jewish population.
Between that study and the
launch of Federation's NEXTGen
Detroit in 2012, Jewish business-
man Dan Gilbert, CEO of Quicken
Loans, relocated his company's
headquarters to the city and began
buying up buildings in Downtown
with the intent to carve out a
dynamic commercial/retail/residen-
tial core that would attract young
adults back to the city.
A search of the JN digital
archives from 2011 on shows
numerous stories focusing on how
Metro Detroit could become a mag-
net for young adults, especially for
those who moved away after col-
NEXTGen Detroit director Miryam
Rosenzweig was quoted in the Aug.
23, 2012, issue as saying, "The
future of the Jewish community is
inextricably tied to the future of
the Detroit area and, therefore, to
all of Southeast Michigan."
Currently, Detroit has become

a destination for young adults,
Jews and non-Jews alike. Data sug-
gest that an increasing number of
young Jews now live in the Campus
Martius-Midtown area, serving as
a core for future Jewish popula-
tion growth in a city that has seen
an exodus of Jews for almost 60
That is but one example of the
history that is now at your finger-
tips at www.djnfoundation.org .
Holocaust history, the evolution
of the State of Israel — Jewish
thought on a myriad of topics is
now just a search term away.
And if you'd like an expert's help,
you can buy four-hour blocks of
expert research time on your spe-
cific request. Often this is enough
to collect a large quantity of his-
torical data on your topic and have
it collected, separated into another
database and placed on a memory
stick for you.

Family Histories

Perhaps even more exciting is that
the personal histories of many
Jewish Detroit families are now a
few clicks away. Birth notices, b'nai
mitzvah announcements, engage-
ment and wedding announce-
ments, and obituaries from the last
70 years are available in the JN
digital archives. If you're looking
to trace your family tree, pull up a
chair, crack your knuckles and get
For those of us who are not as
computer-savvy, but would still
like to search the archives for our
families' histories, there is help
The JN Foundation archivist,
Mike Smith, and his team of
experts can work to research your
name, family members, events or
entire family tree by pulling data
and articles from our database for
a fee starting at $250.
In addition, a staff of creative
experts can design and deliver a
wide variety of products that allow
your family history to be turned
into a gift or a keepsake, if you
so choose, providing a $50 credit
toward the finished product, such
as a beautiful and lasting hard-
bound book with 20 pages. The
cost is $150 (minus the $50 credit,
final cost is $100).
Other options include keepsake
calendars with pictures and articles
from your family, such as birth and
wedding announcements and other
family simchahs or yahrtzeits, all
on the correct days. Picture books
and digital ebooks are options as

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