B’nai B’rith Brings People Together
Esther Allweiss Ingber
Special membership rates offered as part of 175th anniversary.
Why should teenagers have all the fun?
Opportunities for friendship, social activities and philanthropy are available for mature Jewish individuals in Metro Detroit through ZSTG Unit of B’nai B’rith (BB). The group’s 300 members include couples, singles, widows and widowers, primarily from Oakland County.
ZSTG — an acronym comprised of the first initials of former B’nai B’rith units — is connected to the local Jewish community and the world through its many social and benevolent programs. Members are connected to each other, too, with some unattached singles finding late-in-life spouses or companions within the group.
“We are the No. 1 unit in the country for being the largest and most active,” said Harvey Olson of Commerce.
He and co-president Lana Jacobs of Bloomfield Hills have guided ZSTG for eight years. They followed in the footsteps of president Adrienne Guss and before her, Nancy Braun. First leader Fran White founded ZSTG in 1996.
The unit belongs to B’nai B’rith International’s Great Lakes Region, which includes Michigan, Fort Wayne, Ind., and Toledo, Ohio. BBI’s regional office is in the Jewish Federation Building in Bloomfield Township.
ZSTG offers a variety of activities — one or two monthly — and each typically attracts between 60 and 80 participants. Members may choose to see plays and vintage films, bring their families to an annual summer picnic, celebrate Chanukah together and attend monthly dinners to celebrate those having birthdays and anniversaries.
Among the unit’s charitable activities, ZSTG puts on a Chanukah party with latkes and gift bags for Kadima clients, prepares Passover and Rosh Hashanah food baskets for distribution through Project Hope of Jewish Family Service, conducts bingo games twice a year at the Downtown Detroit Veterans Administration Hospital and helps at Yad Ezra, the kosher food pantry in Berkley.
In addition, Olson said, “We have a strong commitment to supporting the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life,” held at St. Mary’s Preparatory School in Orchard Lake.
ZSTG supports and funds at least one of the B’nai B’rith College Scholarships awarded yearly to Michigan high school seniors. Candidates are judged by factors that include financial need, academic achievement, record of community service and extra-curricular activities. Local scholarships will be announced June 4 at the Great Lakes Region’s golf outing at Tam-O-Shanter Country Club in West Bloomfield; event proceeds will benefit BBYO.
According to Jacobs, older Jewish individuals interested in having more fun and helping others could find just what they’re seeking in “our very welcoming” ZSTG B’nai B’rith.
As part of BBI’s current celebration of its 175th anniversary, B’nai B’rith is offering special membership rates for singles and couples. New members also will receive a commemorative pin. For details, contact Jacobs at (248) 626-0616.
ZSTG B’nai B’rith Unit will host a scholarship auction fundraiser at 4:30 p.m. Sunday, April 29, at Big Tommy’s Parthenon, 30380 Grand River in Novi. Guests are asked to bring “gently loved treasures” for the auction, with a value of at least $20. The admission charge of $15 includes a buffet dinner. RSVP by April 25 with a check payable to B’nai B’rith. Mail to Shel Jacobs, 4090 Saint Andrews Court, Bloomfield Hills, MI 48302. For information, call Lana or Shel Jacobs at (248) 626-0616 or Harvey Olson at (248) 330-1470.