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Susie Citrin – From the DJN Davidson Digital Archive

For the past year, my look back 75 years into the pages of the JN often meant writing about some heavy subject such as war, Nazis and Jewish refugees from Europe. As I return to combing the pages of the William Davidson Digital Archives, I have been looking for stories of Detroit’s Jewish community that are important, but maybe, well, let’s say warmer and friendlier.

Page from the DJN showing Yad Ezra honoring Susie CitrinSo, I started to do some serious cruising in the archives, and one of the first pages I found was about someone I admire who is well known in the community; someone I have worked with in the past and found to be truly delightful. My quest to find a friendly story was fulfilled when I found a full-page advertisement from the Sept. 25, 1989, issue of the JN announcing that Yad Ezra would honor Susie Citrin on its eighth anniversary. Susie is one of the nicest, friendliest people I have ever met.

I dug a bit deeper. She is mentioned 478 times in the JN. The first citation noted that she was a young student playing in a piano recital. Going forward, Susie became deeply involved with Detroit’s Jewish community, working and supporting a wide range of good causes from the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit, Yad Ezra and Jewish Family Service, to Israel and Jewish history, to name just a few.

I first met Susie when I was director of the Walter Reuther Library at Wayne State University when she and Sharon Alterman, Charlotte Dubin, Stan Meretsky, Harriet Saperstein and other folks helped to curate a most successful exhibit at the Reuther about the 16 buildings on the Wayne State campus named after Jewish donors. Finding Susie in the digital archives brought back memories of working with her and my other great friends.

Want to learn more? Go to the DJN Foundation archives, available for free at

Mike Smith

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