community members at GPJC

Grosse Pointe Jewish Council celebrates a milestone.

Photos courtesy of GPJC

The Grosse Pointe Jewish Council (GPJC) celebrated its 30th anniversary around Chanukah with an extravaganza complete with music, food and entertainment. The GPJC has grown to 150 families and is an invaluable resource for the small but dedicated members of the Grosse Pointe Jewish community.

GPJC
Janet Weingarten, dinner chair and one of the Council’s founders.

Over the years, the GPJC has expanded to include a local Sunday school and adult education programming. It also provides the community with a place to celebrate Shabbat and holiday services, weddings, baby namings and bar and bat mitzvahs. Rabbi Joseph Klein, rabbi emeritus of Temple Emanu-El, is the GPJC’s visiting rabbi. Bryant Frank is the council’s cantorial soloist.

The 85 guests at the anniversary party were treated to a gourmet meal, the comedy of JN Contributing Writer Alan “Big Al” Muskovitz and musical entertainment by former Motown performer Les Williams.

Dinner chair Janet Weingarten welcomed the guests and spoke about the history of the GPJC. Upon moving to Michigan and settling in Grosse Pointe 30 years ago, Janet, and her husband, Dr. Jeffrey Weingarten, hosted a Chanukah party to get to know their Jewish neighbors.

As told to the JN by Jeffrey Weingarten in 1992, “When I-696 was completed, it was hailed as a time when east got to meet west. Our Chanukah party and meeting was for us an opportunity for east to meet east.”

That initial gathering was so well received that a committee was formed, by-laws created and the GPJC was born.

“I think the key was everyone knew there were Jews living in Grosse Pointe, but nobody knew that there was a Jewish community. As of Chanukah 1989, there became a Jewish community here,” Weingarten said.

Learn more about the GPJC by searching Grosse Pointe Jewish Council in the William Davidson Digital Archives at djnfoundation.org. Contact the GPJC at (313) 882-6700.

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