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JCA: Detroit Jewish Newspapers Microfilm Collection

Identifier: UR001743

Scope and Content

23 microfilm reels. Three reels of The Jewish American, 1901-1911. Twenty reels of The Jewish Chronicle, 1916-1951.


  • 1901 - 1951


Language of Materials

Material entirely in English.


Collection is open for research.


Refer to the Walter P. Reuther Library Rules for Use of Archival Materials. Restrictions: Researchers may encounter records of a sensitive nature – personnel files, case records and those involving investigations, legal and other private matters. Privacy laws and restrictions imposed by the Library prohibit the use of names and other personal information which might identify an individual, except with written permission from the Director and/or the donor.


Detroit’s first English-language Jewish newspaper began with the October 5, 1900, issue of The Jewish American, a weekly publication. Emanuel T. Berger was the editor, and it was published by The Jewish Review and Observer of Cleveland, Ohio. On October 18, 1901, after being purchased by Solomon Goldsmith, The Jewish American became the official organ of Temple Beth El in Detroit. Beth El's rabbi, Leo M. Franklin, served as editor, and Goldsmith was publisher. In 1904, Franklin relinquished the role of editor, but the paper continued as the voice of the temple. Goldsmith died in 1908, and as of 1910 the paper was no longer the official voice of Temple Beth El. The last issue appeared on May 12, 1911.

There were several short-lived attempts at other Detroit Jewish papers, but the most successful did not begin until March 16, 1916, with the publication of The Jewish Chronicle. That paper's first editor was Samuel J. Rhodes, but its best known was Philip Slomovitz, who remained as the editor and a prominent voice in the Detroit Jewish community until his death in 1993. The Chronicle was published until July 20, 1951, when it was incorporated with The Jewish News.


2 Linear Feet (1 OS, 23 reels) : Microfilm Box 29


The microfilm collection is comprised of The Jewish American (1901-1911), official organ of Temple Beth El in Detroit, and The Jewish Chronicle (1916-1951), forerunner of The Jewish News and The Detroit Jewish News.


Microfilms are arranged in chronological order.


Acquired from the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit in 2000.

Other Copies

Digital copies of the Jewish Chronicle are available at the website of the Detroit Jewish News Foundation:

Related Materials

Jewish Community Archives at the Reuther Library, including the Philip Slomovitz papers.

Processing History

Finding aid written by Aimee Ergas on February 23, 2016.


Guide to the JCA: Detroit Jewish Newspapers Microfilm Collection
Updated by Aimee Ergas
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Walter P. Reuther Library Repository

5401 Cass Avenue
Detroit MI 48202 USA