Quick Click … From the William Davidson Digital Archive of Jewish Detroit History: March 31, 2016
Remember shopping at Farmer Jack? It has been nearly 10 years since this supermarket chain closed its doors in 2007. Once boasting more than 100 stores in the Midwest, most of which were in Metropolitan Detroit, the chain traced its roots to two Russian-Jewish immigrant brothers who opened small markets in Detroit in the 1920s: Tom and Abraham “Al” Borman.
It would take a full-length article to cite the numerous stores — like “Lucky Markets” and “Food Fair” — that eventually resulted in Farmer Jack. The brothers were enterprising merchants, to say the least.
What sparked my interest in writing about the Bormans was this page from the Nov. 11, 1966, issue of the JN titled: “A Man for All Humanity.”
This full-page spread was published to commemorate Al Borman receiving the Israel Prime Minister’s Medal for his service toward the development of Israel and the Israeli Bond program.
The page has historic photographs of Al Borman with Chief Supreme Court Justice Earl Warren, Rabbi Morris Adler and Max Fisher, and a photo of Tom and Al Borman at the cornerstone laying of the Borman Branch of Hebrew United Schools; in all, on one page, a baker’s dozen of great images and stories about the Bormans’ community service and leadership in Jewish Detroit. *
Want to learn more? Go to the DJN Foundation archives, available for free at www.djnfoundation.org.
By Mike Smith, DJN Foundation Archivist