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JCA: Jewish Community Center Records

 Collection
Identifier: UR002619
The bulk of the materials relate to programming and internal operations at all branches of the Jewish Community Center (JCC). Box 5 mainly relates to the building of the West Bloomfield campus of the JCC.

Dates

  • 1935 - 2005
  • Majority of material found within 1970 - 2005

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. 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.

Extent

7 Linear Feet (7 SB)

Abstract

The Jewish Centers Association was formally organized in 1926, located on Melbourne near Woodward Avenue in Detroit. Its purpose was to provide recreational, cultural, and informal educational activities for the Detroit Jewish community.

These records include JCC programming and events at its many locations, from the Fenkell Branch to the West Bloomfield campus, from 1935 to 2005. The materials include meeting minutes from various governing groups and papers from the Jewish Book Fair, Jewish Parents Institute, day care and camp programs, and the Jewish Ensemble Theater, as well as the Music Department, Festival Dancers and the Sholem Aleichem Institute. Box 5 mainly relates to the building of the West Bloomfield campus of the JCC.

History

The Jewish Centers Association was formally organized in 1926, located on Melbourne Street near Woodward Avenue in Detroit. Its purpose was to provide recreational, cultural, and informal educational activities for the Detroit Jewish community. In 1933 the Young Women’s Hebrew Association merged with the Jewish Center to form the Jewish Community Center of Detroit and moved to Woodward at Holbrook Street, which was the site of the old Frazer farm. This newly renovated building was possible through the efforts of the Detroit Jewish community and the Allied Jewish Campaign. In 1939 the building was enlarged with a gymnasium and swimming pool through generous donations by Mrs. Aaron DeRoy and the Carrie Sittig Cohen Estate. The building became known at the Aaron DeRoy Memorial Building. In 1955 the building was leased to the Detroit Department of Parks and Recreation,and the offices were moved to Bradstreet near Elmhurst. Programming was shifted to the Davison Branch. From 1928 to 1954, the Jewish Center had many branch activities. The Fenkell Branch at Fenkell near Parkside operated from 1934 to 1937. The Dexter Branch on Dexter near Lawrence was in operation from 1940 to 1942. The Northwest Branch at the Rose Sittig Cohen Building of the United Hebrew Schools ran from 1944 to 1955 and was used jointly with the United Hebrew Schools. The 12th Street Council Center at 12th and Blaine operated from 1950 to 1951. The Northwest office on Livernois near Seven Mile Road operated from 1949 to 1950. A Dexter-Davison temporary office was opened in 1950, and the Dexter-Davison building was completed and opened on January 15, 1952. It closed in November 1960. The D.W. Simons Branch, which was run out of the D.W. Simons Hebrew School at Tuxedo and Holmur, began programming around 1946, and the Ester Berman Branch at 18945 Schaefer near Seven Mile Road opened in October 1954. The Oak Park branch of the Jewish Community Center, located on Ten Mile Road east of Greenfield Road, was opened in November 1956. It was named in memory of Jimmy Morris Prentis. At this time JCC membership was about 3,800 with more than half being young people under the age of 18. By February 1960, the new main branch was opened at Curtis and Meyers in Detroit. At that time, it was decided to close the Davison branch and transport senior adults to the new main branch. By 1961, due to budgetary factors, most of the JCC programming at the Oak Park branch was moved to the Curtis and Meyers building, except for the large day camp program. A contributing factor was that the United Hebrew Schools was using the Oak Park branch extensively. By 1964, United Hebrew Schools had drastically reduced its use of the branch and the Center reinstituted children’s programming. This was a priority because of the growth of families in the Oak Park-Huntington Woods-Southfield area. The Jewish Community Center on West Maple Road at Drake Road in West Bloomfield was dedicated in 1975 to serve the growing population in the West Bloomfield/Farmington Hills area. The campus is known as the Eugene and Marcia Applebaum Jewish Community Campus. It opened with the same purpose and objectives as the first JCC in 1933: to provide leisure time recreation, informal education, and meet the cultural needs of the Jewish community. Housed within the D. Dan and Betty Kahn building are many community organizations and services including a fitness center, the Janice Charach Gallery, the Pitt childcare center, JCC camps, the Berman Theater and the Frankel Jewish Academy.

Arrangement

Folders are listed by their location within each box. The collection is loosely arranged in alphabetical order by subject, then in reverse chronology.

Acquisition

Deposited by the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit on March 30, 2015, as part of the Leonard N. Simons Jewish Community Archives.

Related Materials

Leonard N. Simons Jewish Community Archives, particularly the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit Records and the Janice Charach Gallery Records

Transfers

Photographs are stored at the offices of the Leonard N. Simons Jewish Community Archives in Bloomfield Hills, MI

Processing History

Processed and finding aid written by the Leonard N. Simons Jewish Community Archives on March 3, 2015.
Title
Guide to the JCA: Jewish Community Center Records
Status
completed
Author
Processed by the Leonard N. Simons Jewish Community Archives.
Date
2015-03-03
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English

Revision Statements

  • 2016-04-11: Updates and corrections to intro material and history.

Repository Details

Part of the Walter P. Reuther Library Repository

Contact:
5401 Cass Avenue
Detroit MI 48202 USA