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.

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.

Historian David Nasaw discusses his book, The Last Million: Europe's Displaced Persons from World War to Cold War. February 2, 2021.

Did you know you're part of Michigan's Jewish history? Find out how, and help us continue to make history. You are our future.

Former curator Louis Miller showcases highlights from the William L. Clements Library's Judaica collection, including collections related to two soldiers. January 12, 2021

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.

A terrific, 7-minute clip from our documentary, From Hastings to Home

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.

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

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

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

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

Join Yiddishist Mikhl Yashinshy for an in-depth study and performance of Yiddish theater in Detroit and New York City. December 3, 2020

Back by popular demand, Prof. Marc Dollinger (San Francisco State University) returns to discuss the history of Jews and racism. December 14, 2020

Join JHSM Executive Director Catherine Cangany, PhD for a look at the enduring popularity of the Dearborn Independent's hate speech. January 19, 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

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!


J-Cycle 8 Interactive Map

Were you 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!


J-Cycle Interactive Map


Looking for Some Good Reading Material on Jews in Michigan?

• 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.  Online access:

• 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. Online access:

• 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.

• Michigan Jewish History, Annual Journal of the Jewish Historical Society of Michigan. West Bloomfield, MI.
Contact us to find out how you can receive a copy of the current issue.  Browse our online archive of past issues.

• Rockaway, Robert. The Jews of Detroit, From the Beginning, 1762-1914. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1986.


Links to digitized content provided by our friends at the Center for Jewish History.





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