Men’s Club: Two Hechtman residents form
“There’s a preponderance of women here!” said Mort Horwitz, a resident of Jewish Senior Life’s Hechtman Apartments on the Applebaum Jewish Campus in West Bloomfield. “Not that we have anything against women, but it was time we get the men together.”
In early June, Horwitz and fellow resident and friend Seymour Ungar came up with the idea to form a Men’s Club.
“It was really Seymour’s idea,” Horwitz said. “He’s the CEO.”
Every other Tuesday, the men meet in the Hechtman library. When the club was first initiated, the men held their own meetings where they learned about each other and shared family stories.
“There are a lot of interesting people here with fascinating stories,” Ungar said. “It was great to get to know each other, but Mort and I wanted to do something more — something educational. From here, we came up with the idea to invite guest speakers to share their stories at our meetings.”
The Men’s Club has heard from Michael Liebowitz, retired Kennedy Space Center employee who worked on rockets; JN editorial assistant Sy Manello who spoke about his 25 years at the newspaper; Joel Shayne, a Morgan Stanley financial adviser; Friends of Bar-Ilan University-Detroit director Les Goldstein, who spoke about higher education in Israel; and Congregation Shir Tikvah’s Rabbi Dan Horwitz (Mort’s grandson and son of JN publisher Arthur Horwitz), who spoke about his trip to China when he was part of the Moishe House team.
“We’re averaging around 15 people at every meeting,” Ungar said. “The group is for men only, but if we think the speaker will be of interest and educational for the women, we extend an invite.”
At Hechtman, the 44 men are outnumbered by 154 women.
“The speakers bring light to the place,” Horwitz said. “They talk to us and compliment us. The residents love it.”
Jewish Senior Life Foundation Director Carol Rosenberg said, “There are more than 900 residents here at JSL. We have activities and programs planned from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., but Mort and Seymour wanted to do something to bring the men together.
“They are both intelligent, social and creative gentlemen who have a following of men impressed with their efforts in forming the Men’s Club. It’s truly wonderful,” she said.
No finances are involved. The Men’s Club is free for residents, and guest speakers volunteer their services after being contacted by Horwitz and Ungar.
“We don’t just pick anyone out of the book,” Horwitz said. “Seymour and I use our resources and choose people who have special talents in certain fields. And we do it all by ourselves.”
Melissa Morton, a JSL administrator, said, “Their initiative seems to be bringing them together. It’s always easier for women to get together and make plans, but Mort and Seymour created an opportunity for the men to get to know each other — exchange phone numbers, go out for dinner, play cards.”
Horwitz added, “The club makes it easier for them to get together and bond. It’s been really beneficial, and I know they are having a lot of fun with it. It’s phenomenal.”
Ungar said, “There are no rules or regulations. We do it because we love it.”
Horwitz concluded, “And although we’re all active outside of Hechtman, this brings us together.”
— Leslie Spector, Special to the Jewish News