Photos by Elayne Gross
It was natural that Arnold “Arnie” Collens would join the Jewish Historical Society of Michigan and rise through its ranks to serve as a docent, board member, president and, most recently, recipient of the 2018 Leonard N. Simons History Award.
Collens credits his father, Harry, with instilling an early appreciation for storytelling and history. The two would walk along Wyoming Avenue to attend services on Saturday mornings in Northwest Detroit. “He didn’t take me to daven (pray), but to hear the stories,” Collens recalled.
That interest never waned, and Collens has lent his knowledge, time and talents — including his professional photography skills — to JHSM for many years.
Collens shared many of his images at the June 5 award ceremony held at Temple Israel in West Bloomfield. Also honored: Robert Kaplow with the Leonard N. Simons Lifetime Achievement Award and Dr. Charles Domstein with the Volunteer of the Year Award.