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JCA: Congregation Beit Kodesh Records

 Collection
Identifier: UR002356
The Livonia Jewish Congregation/Congregation Beit Kodesh Records include administrative records, bar and bat mitzvah records, Chai dinner booklets, legal documents, minutes and records of Sisterhood activities. They reflect the activities of a small but dedicated group of volunteers that labored to maintain Jewish presence and practice in Western Wayne County for more than 50 years.

Important Subjects: Bar/Bat mitzvah, Jews—Livonia (Mich.), Livonia (Mich.).

Important Names: Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit, Holocaust Memorial Center (West Bloomfield, Mich.), United Jewish Charities, United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism.

Dates

  • 1957 - 2011

Creator

Language of Materials

Material entirely in English.

Access

Collection is open for research.

Use

Refer to the Walter P. Reuther Library Rules for Use of Archival Materials.

Extent

3.5 Linear Feet (7 MB)

Overview

The Livonia Jewish Congregation was organized in 1959, later changing its name to Congregation Beit Kodesh in 1990. Throughout its existence, the congregation held Shabbat services, maintained a religious school, and was active in numerous community and social service projects. The congregation disbanded in 2011. The Livonia Jewish Congregation/Congregation Beit Kodesh Records include administrative records, bar and bat mitzvah records, Chai dinner booklets, legal documents, minutes, and records of Sisterhood activities. The records reflect the activities of a small but dedicated group of volunteers that labored to maintain Jewish presence and practice in Western Wayne County for more than 50 years.

History

In 1958, Livonia was a growing community that attracted Jewish families. A group of Jewish visionaries began holding Shabbat services at Clarenceville Central Elementary School. Services were also held in individual homes. In 1958, High Holiday services were held at the Botsford Inn. By 1959, a nucleus of membership had formed, and the Livonia Jewish Congregation was officially organized.

Over the years, Shabbat services were held in rented locations such as Clarenceville Junior High and Pierson Elementary School. In 1963, property was purchased on Seven Mile Road in Livonia and the existing farmhouse was renovated for use. In 1965, a church on Six Mile Road was purchased and renovated. This facility included a sanctuary, meeting rooms and kitchen.

Membership grew and, in the early 1970s, the congregation negotiated with the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit to use the former Maly and Samuel Cohn United Hebrew School Building. The congregation maintained a religious school and was an important presence within the Livonia community, participating in numerous community and social service projects.

In 1990, the Livonia Jewish Congregation changed its name to Congregation Beit Kodesh. Its former name was restrictive in membership appeal as members came from throughout Western Wayne County and Oakland County.

Over the years, the congregation had three rabbis and a dedicated membership that undertook much of the responsibility for the synagogue's daily functioning. There was great involvement on the part of lay leadership, who often conducted religious services. The synagogue operated on a volunteer basis with a limited budget.

The congregation referred to themselves as the "House of Miracles" as they were small in numbers and overcame many financial obstacles. They were a close-knit synagogue that operated like a family.

The building on West 7 Mile Road was their congregational home for more than 40 years and was occupied until November 1, 2011, when the congregation disbanded.

Arrangement of the Records

Folders are arranged by subject and then by either secondary subject, format, or reverse chronological order.

Acquisition

Deposited at the Reuther on September 12, 2012, by the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit as part of the Jewish Community Archives.

Related Material

Collection in the Jewish Community Archives at the Reuther Library, particularly the Jewish Community Council Records.

Processing History

Finding aid written by Sharon Alterman; edited by Dallas Pillen on October 1, 2013. Edited by Aimee Ergas, April 2020.
Title
Guide to the JCA: Congregation Beit Kodesh Records
Status
completed
Author
Processed by Phyllis Lewkowicz; encoded by Dallas Pillen.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English

Revision Statements

  • 2013-10-01: Revised by Dallas Pillen.

Repository Details

Part of the Walter P. Reuther Library Repository

Contact:
5401 Cass Avenue
Detroit MI 48202 USA