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Davidson Foundation’s $2 million gift will sustain and grow DJN Foundation archive in perpetuity.

Bill DavidsonThe William Davidson Foundation is providing the Detroit Jewish News Foundation with a transformative endowment gift that will assure the Detroit Jewish News and the soon-to-be digitized Detroit Jewish Chronicle are protected, maintained and enhanced — and available to the community free of charge — in perpetuity.

In recognition of the $2 million gift, the archive will be known as the William Davidson Digital Archive of Detroit Jewish History.

“We are grateful to the William Davidson Foundation for recognizing and appreciating the value and importance of preserving, protecting and bringing to life more than 100 consecutive years of information contained in the Detroit Jewish News and the Detroit Jewish Chronicle,” Detroit Jewish News Foundation president Arthur Horwitz said.

“This content tells the story, in infinite detail, of the tens of thousands of Detroiters — and their families — who continue to make our Jewish community among the most admired in America.

“Historians view the 20th century as ‘America’s Century’ and ‘Detroit’s Century.’ There is no person more fitting to be forever associated with the ongoing story of the Detroit Jewish community and its greatest century than William Davidson,” Horwitz added.

Davidson, former chairman, president and CEO of Guardian Industries Corp., former owner of Palace Sports and Entertainment and former managing partner of the Detroit Pistons Basketball Club, made philanthropy his personal mission.

The William Davidson Foundation is a family foundation established in 2005 in Detroit. The foundation honors Mr. Davidson’s memory by continuing his philanthropic goals focusing on two areas. First, it’s committed to preserving and enhancing Jewish life in the United States and abroad. Second, it funds efforts to improve the economic prosperity of its home community in Southeastern Michigan in order to make the region an even more desirable place to work and live.

Since launching on Nov. 18, 2013, the 270,000-page Detroit Jewish News digital archive has attracted more than 10,000 visitors accessing more than 30,000 pages of content dating to the publication’s first issue in 1942. Its Google-style search capabilities provide users with fast and efficient results. It can be accessed via www.djnfoundation.org.

DJN 1949 CoverThe Detroit Jewish News Foundation is in the midst of a separate campaign to raise the one-time resources needed to digitize the content of the approximately 90,000-page Detroit Jewish Chronicle.

Founded in 1914, the Detroit Jewish Chronicle was merged into the Detroit Jewish News in 1951. The Detroit Jewish Chronicle’s content resides on rolls of microfilm that have been largely inaccessible for decades.

The Detroit Jewish Chronicle digitization is scheduled for completion in 2015 and will be fully integrated into the William Davidson Digital Archive of Detroit Jewish History.

The Detroit Jewish News Foundation is a 501(c)(3) independent nonprofit organization created in July 2011 to pursue an educational, cultural and scholarly mission focused on providing the opportunity for any and all to research, learn, discuss and know the story of the Jewish community of Detroit.

“As a community, we are truly standing on the shoulders of the ones who came before us,” Horwitz said. “The William Davidson Archive of Detroit Jewish History will ensure that we can quickly and easily tap into the thinking and doing of our wisest leaders who, in many cases, faced the same challenges and opportunities that confront us today. Concurrently, we will be able to discover and enjoy content that helps us to more fully understand and appreciate our personal and family histories.”

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