Art historian Deborah Lubera Kawsky, PhD, discusses the inspiring life and career of Detroit design icon, Ruth Adler Schnee. This talk focuses on Schnee's legacy as a Jewish woman in the field of design. June 22, 2022.
Carol Ellstein, PhD, Susan Burack, and Lynette Webber share Jewish connections to Mary Doria Russell's novel, The Women of Copper Country (a Great Michigan Read). This program was made possible with support from Michigan Humanities. April 25, 2022.
Recent violence against Jews stands atop a long history of American antisemitism that most people do not know. In this program, Pamela S. Nadell turns to the past to help us grapple with the antisemitism of our own moment in time. April 12, 2022.
Thousands of unauthorized Jewish immigrants crossed the US-Canada border at Windsor to work in Michigan's auto industry. That shaped the federal government's policies toward illegal immigration and business and labor union practices. March 21, 2022.
Mike Skinner unpacks the complicated working relationship between architect Albert Kahn and motor magnate Henry Ford. Although they worked well together, their interactions were constrained by Ford's public antisemitism. March 14, 2022.
Gail Rosenbloom Kaplan reveals how art can enrich history. Discover the historical inspirations behind her studio art, including the Kindertransport quilts at the Zekelman Holocaust Center. March 3, 2022.
When interstate buses debuted in the 1920s, most bus corporations insisted on racial segregation. White Americans were largely silent about these practices with one major exception: Jews. February 23, 2022.
Charles R. Gallagher recounts a forgotten chapter in the history of America's far right. Christian Front members viewed themselves as crusaders fighting for the nation's spiritual purification. February 10, 2022.
JHSM VP Barbara Cohn interviews Israeli artist Yigal Ozeri and his daughter, Shear, managing director of Yigal Ozeri LLC. Yigal Ozeri is one of the leading artists of photorealism. Photo courtesy Elayne Gross Photography. January 21, 2022.
Award-winning author discusses Frank Murphy (Detroit mayor, Michigan governor, and US Supreme Court justice) and his ties to the Jewish community. Part 3. January 19, 2022.
Award-winning author discusses Frank Murphy (Detroit mayor, Michigan governor, and US Supreme Court justice) and his ties to the Jewish community. Part 2. January 12, 2022.
Award-winning author discusses Frank Murphy (Detroit mayor, Michigan governor, and US Supreme Court justice) and his ties to the Jewish community. Part 1. January 5, 2022.
JHSM. We keep the past present. And you are our future.
Annelise Heinz, PhD talks about her new book, Mahjong: A Chinese Game and the Making of Modern American Culture. Photo courtesy of Elayne Gross Photography. December 1, 2021.
Historic architect Laura Mitchell is on hand to talk about the recently renovated Detroit Free Press Building, exploring the impact the building and the people within have had on each other. November 17, 2021.
NBC News reporter Erin Einhorn explores the history of the notorious racial segregation wall that was built in 1941 to divide Black and white residents of a northwest Detroit neighborhood. Photo courtesy Elayne Gross Photography. November 4, 2021.
Rachel Yoskowitz, MPH explores modern-day refugees, gleaning wisdom from previous refugee resettlement efforts and understanding how Metro Detroit plays a part today. Photo courtesy of Elayne Gross Photography. October 20, 2021.
Noted psychologist Leonard Felder, MD discusses the influences of growing up in Detroit, from attending Beth Abraham and Temple Israel, to the Michigan Region of Temple Youth. Photo courtesy of Elayne Gross Photography. September 23, 2021.
Filmmaker Andy Kirshner joins JHSM Executive Director Catherine Cangany, PhD, plus Rabbi Asher Lopatin (JCRC/AJC) and Carolyn Normandin (Michigan ADL) to discuss Ten Questions for Henry Ford. Photo courtesy Elayne Gross Photography. August 26, 2021.
Ora Pescovitz, MD talks about her life and career with JHSM President Risha B. Ring. Photo courtesy of Elayne Gross Photography. July 27, 2021.
Judy Batalion talks about her newest book, The Light of Days:The Untold Story of Women Resistance Fighters in Hitler's Ghettos, with JHSM Executive Director Catherine Cangany, PhD. Photo courtesy Elayne Gross Photography. July 8, 2021.
The Chene Street History Project documents the history of the Detroit neighborhood, which cuts through the city's east side from the Detroit River to GM's Hamtramck Plant. It was once one of Detroit's most vibrant commercial corridors. June 23, 2021
Following JHSM's elections and programming retrospective, Patrick Gallagher (Gallagher & Associates) shares his experience planning, designing, and creating Jewish exhibits and museums around the world. June 7, 2021
Rachel B. Gross, PhD argues that artisanal delis, picture books, historic synagogues, and Jewish genealogists are nostalgic activities that should be understood as religious practices. May 25, 2021
Innovators & Entrepreneurs, sponsored by Jan-Pro Detroit and Alrig USA, is back! This time, Jared Rothberger and Gabriel Schuchman interview Geoff Kretchmer of Star Trax Events and Detroit Axe about his interesting and unusual career path. May 12, 2021.
Prof. Emeritus David Weinberg joins us to talk about "The Bintel Brief: East-European Jewish Immigrants and Their Descendants Make Their Way in America, 1906-1967." Photo courtesy Elayne Gross Photography. May 3, 2021.
Our new series, "Shattering the Ceiling," features interviews with pioneering Michigan Jewish women. Meet Molly Reeser, founder and executive director of Camp Casey." Thanks to Ann Conrad for her generous support of this series! April 20, 2021.
JHSM docent Gail Fisher gives a 5-minute look at Hans Petzolt's 1596 Double-Cup, tracing its amazing journey from Jewish owners, to confiscation by the Nazis, to restoration, and finally to the DIA. April 8, 2021.
Craig P. Wilson (chief curator of Mackinac State Historic Parks) tells us all about Ezekiel Solomon(s), Michigan's first Jewish resident, who settled in Michilimackinac in 1761. Photo courtesy Elayne Gross Photography. April 6, 2021.
Rabbi Joseph Krakoff (Jewish Hospice Chaplaincy Network) stops by to talk about how Covid has both affected and not affected end-of-life care and ritual. A collaboration with the Jewish Hospice Chaplaincy Network. March 23, 2021.
Gabriel Schuchman (Alrig USA) and Jared Rothberger (Jan-Pro Detroit) kick off our new sponsored series, "Innovators & Entrepreneurs," interviewing Dennis Bernard of Bernard Financial. March 10, 2021.
Feiga Weiss (Holocaust Memorial Center) receives the 2020 Simons Award! Following the award presentation, she shares treasured artifacts from the HMC's collections. March 7, 2021.
EMU's Jewish Life and Language of Southeast Michigan project co-directors discuss the language of ten metro Detroiters to demonstrate that local pronunciations among Jewish women are changing considerably over time. February 15, 2021.
Historian David Nasaw discusses his book, The Last Million: Europe's Displaced Persons from World War to Cold War. February 2, 2021.
George and Annemarie Roeper fled Germany in 1937. In 1941 they founded The Roeper School, one of Michigan's best-known independent schools. Its purpose: to develop human beings who want to build a better world. January 24, 2021
Join JHSM Executive Director Catherine Cangany, PhD for a look at the enduring popularity of the Dearborn Independent's hate speech. January 19, 2021
Former curator Louis Miller showcases highlights from the William L. Clements Library's Judaica collection, including collections related to two soldiers. January 12, 2021
Back by popular demand, Prof. Marc Dollinger (San Francisco State University) returns to discuss the history of Jews and racism. December 14, 2020
Join Yiddishist Mikhl Yashinshy for an in-depth study and performance of Yiddish theater in Detroit and New York City. December 3, 2020
A terrific, 7-minute clip from our documentary, From Hastings to Home
Rabbi Herbert A. Yoskowitz examines the stories of Jewish European physicians during the Holocaust (1938-1948), including Dr. Mark (Meyer) Dworzecki, Dr. Karel Fleischmann, Dr. Viktor Frankl, and Dr. Gisella Perl. November 9, 2020
Prof. Jonathan Sarna (Brandeis) discusses "free seating" (the movement to end assigned or owned synagogue seats), which began a century ago at Detroit's Temple Beth El, before taking on national significance. October 13, 2020
Naomi Shemer's popular song, "Jerusalem of Gold," was written before the 1967 War. Soldier Meir Ariel challenged her vision with his own: "Jerusalem of Iron." Poet Dina (Routin) Pyle highlights a surprising Detroit connection. September 30, 2020
Congregation Anshe Knesseth Israel existed in Iron Mountain, Michigan from 1882 to 2020. Jim Zacks, Jack Zacks, Wendy Russman-Halpren and Donna Minsky discuss the rise and fall of the synagogue. September 14, 2020
Carol Ellstein (Petoskey's Temple B'nai Israel), Ginny Cymbalist (Sault Ste. Marie's Congregation Beth Jacob), Susan Burack (Houghton-Hancock's Temple Jacob), and Betty Line (Petoskey's Temple B'nai Israel) discuss Jewish life up north. August 25, 2020
Newly converted, Natalie Ruth Joynton moves to a northern MI farm with a life-size replica of Dodge City, KS. Hundreds of miles from the nearest synagogue, she builds a new life with her non-Jewish fiancé and discovers herself. August 12, 2020.
Prof. Marc Dollinger (San Francisco State University), author of Black Power, Jewish Politics, joins JHSM for an excellent introduction to "Jews & Civil Rights: 1950s-1970s." August 6, 2020.
Get to know JHSM. Here's what we do, and why we'd love to have you along for the ride.
Learn more about Alpena's Temple Beth-El. With special thanks to Phyllis and Stephen Strome for their generous support of this project!
Looking for more information on J-Cycle 10's automotive-themed stops?
Barbara Lewis, "The Legacy of Meyer L. Prentis," Michigan Jewish History 53 (2013): 4-13.
Neil Baldwin, Henry Ford and the Jews: The Mass Production of Hate (2001)
Steven Watts, The People's Tycoon: Henry Ford and the American Century (2005)
Milton Marwil, "The True Story of the Cemetery in the General Motors Parking Lot," Michigan Jewish History 33 (1992): 30-2
Beth Olem Cemetery website: https://www.cloverhillpark.org/beth-olam-cemetery
Randall Fogelman and Lisa E. Rush, Detroit’s Historic Eastern Market (2013)
Diane Pomish, “Detroit’s Food Distribution Markets: Eastern Market, Gratiot Central Market and the Jewish Families Who Helped Shape These Centers of Commerce,” Michigan Jewish History 45 (2005): 3-14.
“Best Place to Practice Aerial in Eastern Market: Detroit Flyhouse Circus School,” Detroit Metro Times, September 29, 2015
Stephanie Steinberg, “New Murals Light up Eastern Market,” Detroit News, September 23, 2016
Unable to attend our wildly popular bicycle tour of Jewish Detroit? Our route below gives you a taste of what you missed. This map is made possible by a grant from MotorCities National Heritage Area. We appreciate their support!
• American Jewish History, Journal of the American Jewish Historical Society. The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore.
• Applebaum, Phillip. The Wetsmans: Odyssey of an American Family. William Morse Davidson, 1994.
• Berman, Lila Corwin. Metropolitan Jews: Politics, Race, and Religion in Postwar Detroit. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2015.
• Bolkosky, Sidney. Harmony and Dissonance, Voices of Jewish Identity in Detroit, 1914-1967. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1991.
• Cantor, Judith Levin. Jews in Michigan. (Discovering the Peoples of Michigan). East Lansing: Michigan State University Press, 2001.
• Cohen, Irwin. Jewish Detroit: A Pictorial History. Arcadia Press, 2002.
• Demetriou, Karen Kritz, & Fran Rubin Weinstein. Temple B’nai Israel, 100 Years: Saginaw, Michigan, 1890-1990. Saginaw: Golden Jubilee, 1942.
• Devlin, Dennis S. Muskegon’s Jewish Community: A Centennial History, 1888-1988. Muskegon: Dana Corp., 1988.
• Edgar, Dr. Irving I. A History of Early Jewish Physicians in the State of Michigan. New York: Philosophical Library, 1982.
• Friedlander, Alex. From Suwalki to St. Ignace: A History of the Rosenthal, Reinhertz, Blumrosen, Winkelman, and Related Families. Brooklyn, NY: Breakaway Productions, 2003.
• Grad, Eli, and Bette Roth. Congregation Shaarey Zedek, 5622-5742, 1861-1981. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1982.
• Katz, Irving I., and Dr. Jacob Marcus. The Beth El Story. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1955.
• Kraus, Bea. A Time to Remember: A History of the Jewish Community in South Haven. Allegan Forest, MI: The Priscilla Press, 1999.
(Available at First Hebrew Congregation, 263 Broadway, South Haven, MI 49090)
• Michigan History, Journal of the Historical Society of Michigan. 1305 Abbott Rd., Lansing, MI 48823.
• Rockaway, Robert. The Jews of Detroit, From the Beginning, 1762-1914. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1986.
• Slobin, Dan. From the Pale of Settlement to Michigan: Stories of My Grandparents and Their Families. Berkeley: Dan I. Slobin, 2016, 2021.
Links to some digitized content provided by our friends at the Center for Jewish History.