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Accession number UR002619
Object Name Manuscript
Title Jewish Community Center Records
Collection Jewish Community Center Records
Date 1935-2005 (bulk 1970-2005)
Scope & Content 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 branch of the JCC.

The collection is loosely arranged in alphabetical order by subject, then in reverse chronology.
Admin/Biographical History The Jewish Centers Association was formally organized in 1926, located on Melbourne near Woodward. 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, 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 the 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 Department of Parks and Recreation and the offices were moved to Bradstreet near Elmhurst. The programming was shifted to the Davison Branch.

From 1928 to 1954 the Jewish Center had many branch activities. The Fenkell Branch at Kenkell near Parkside ran 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 School ran from 1944 to 1955 and used jointly with the United Hebrew Schools. The 12th Street Council Center at 12th and Blaine operated from 1950-1951. The Northwest office on Livernois near Seven Mile Road operated from 1049 to 1950. A Dexter Davison temporary office was opened in 1950, and the Dexter-Davsion building was completed and opened on January 15, 1952. It closed in November of 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 7 Mile Road opened in October of 1954.

The Oak Park branch of the Jewish Community Center, located on Ten Mile Road east of Greenfield, was opened in November of 1956. It was named in memory of Jimmy Prentis Morris. At this time JCC membership was about 3800 with more than half being young people under the age of 18. By February of 1960 the new main branch was opened at Curtis and Meyers. At that time, it was decided to close the Davison branch and transport senior adults to the new main branch. By 1961 because of budgetary factors, most of the JCC programming at the Oak Park branch was moved to the Main Building on Curtis and Meyers, except for the large day camp program. A contributing factor was also 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 West Bloomfield Jewish Community Center on West Maple Road and Drake was dedicated in 1975 to address 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 is the Janice Charach Gallery, the Pitt childcare center, JCC camps, the Berman Theater, Frankel Jewish Academy, and a fitness club among other organizations/activities.

In March 2015, the Jewish Community Center board, as well as the combined boards of the Jewish Federation and United Jewish Foundation, approved a recommendation to close the Oak Park branch at Ten Mile Road due to large annual deficits in the budget. Operations are expected to cease around August 31, 2015.
Extent of Description 7 Linear Feet (7 SB)
Credit line Jewish Community Center Records, Leonard N. Simons Jewish Community Archives
Search Terms Jewish Community Center
Jewish Book Fair
Maccabi Games
Center Symphony Orchestra
Center News
Finding Aid Click here to view Finding Aid.