Quick Click … From the William Davidson Digital Archive of Jewish Detroit History, Sept. 15, 2016
It was a historic and gala week in Detroit 62 years ago. The city and the state of Michigan celebrated the Tercentenary of Jews in America. To say the least, it was a big deal.
First, the Detroit Historical Museum opened an “impressive” exhibit celebrating the Tercentenary: “Jewish Life and Culture in Detroit.” Participating in the opening ceremony was JN editor and publisher Philip Slomovitz, chairman of the Detroit “Committee of 300 for the American Jewish Tercentenary,” and Charles E. Feinberg, chairman of the exhibitions committee. Rabbis Benjamin H. Gorrelick and Richard Hertz gave the prayers.
There was also planning for numerous events throughout the fall in Detroit, including exhibitions, radio shows, book events and activities for children. And, there was a major community dinner on Oct. 12 at the Statler Hotel, where the featured speaker was Dr. Abba Hillel Silver, who was billed as American Jewry’s most distinguished leader and orator. The state of Michigan was busy as well — both the Senate and House passed a concurrent resolution in recognition of the American Jewish Tercentenary.
The Sept. 10, 1954, issue of the JN has the complete story. It makes one wonder what will be done in 2054 to celebrate 400 years of Jewish history in America.
Want to learn more? Go to the DJN Foundation archives, available for free at www.djnfoundation.org.
By Mike Smith, DJN Foundation Archivist