Quick Click … From the William Davidson Digital Archive of Jewish Detroit History, March 24, 2016
As I write this, I am “Up North” in Michigan, taking a few days of vacation with my family in Boyne City, a few miles from Charlevoix, a prime vacation spot for many Jewish Detroiters. This area of Michigan’s northern Lower Peninsula is truly one of the most beautiful places in America.
I am also reminded that, while most of Michigan’s Jews do live in Metro Detroit, there are Jews living throughout the state, and they have been doing so for more than 100 years. In Traverse City, there were Congregations Beth El and Ahavat Shalom, which merged into Congregation Beth Shalom. Temple B’nai Israel is in Petoskey, and Kehillat Hatzav Hagadol is on Mackinac Island.
Or, take Temple Jacob in Hancock, Mich. Founded in 1912, when copper mining was still the main local industry, this is the oldest, continuously operating synagogue in the Upper Peninsula. As part of the East Hancock Neighborhood Historic District, it is also the only active synagogue in Michigan listed on the National Historic Register.
I must admit I am also writing about Temple Jacob because of a great story about the 75th anniversary of the northern-most synagogue in Michigan that ran in the July 24, 1987, issue of the JN. Of course, Temple Jacob is now 114 years old!
Want to learn more? Go to the DJN Foundation archives, available for free at www.djnfoundation.org.
By Mike Smith, DJN Foundation Archivist