Charlotte Dubin
Charlotte Dubin. (William Davidson Digital Archive of Jewish Detroit History)

“By Charlotte Dubin” was a mainstay for many years in the JN.

I first met my friend a few years ago, when I was director of the Walter Reuther Library at Wayne State University. Another longtime friend and professional partner, Sharon Alterman, and I were working on an exhibit about the buildings on campus that were named in honor of Jewish donors.

Sharon assembled a team from the Jewish community that included Susie Citrin, Harriet Saperstein, Stan Meretsky and others. One member of the group asked if she could help with the writing of the text panels. I said sure. What I must admit I did not know at the time was that I would benefit from the skills of a great writer: Charlotte Dubin. 

Indeed, “by Charlotte Dubin” was a mainstay for many years in the JN. Charlotte’s work as well as stories of her achievements are found on 579 pages of the William Davidson Digital Archive of Jewish Detroit History, including a great feature article in the Jan. 5, 2001, issue.

Mike Smith
Mike Smith
Alene and Graham Landau Archivist Chair

Charlotte followed in the footsteps of her father, Lewis Hyams. He was a writer and editor of a small community newspaper. Charlotte earned a degree in journalism at Wayne State, where she was the editor of the student newspaper, the Daily Collegian (now known as the South End). After graduating, Charlotte wrote for the Pontiac Press.

In 1964, Charlotte was hired as the JN’s city editor. For the next 10 years, she worked for legendary publisher and editor Philip Slomovitz. As Charlotte states: “No classes taught me as much as what I learned from my boss.”

In 1966, Charlotte met Harold Dubin, then associate director of the Jewish Community Council. They were married in 1967 on the last day of the Six-Day War. Sadly, Harold passed away in 2010.

The JN headline read: “City Editor Leaving Jewish News to Go on Israel Aliya” in 1974. She and Harold moved to Israel where Charlotte worked for the United Jewish Appeal (July 19, 1974).

From 1993
William Davidson Digital Archive of Jewish Detroit History

Charlotte and Harold returned to Detroit in 1976. For the next 24 years, Charlotte was director of communications and associate director of marketing for the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit. 

Charlotte’s career at the Federation was remarkable. Special Adviser to the Detroit Jewish News Foundation Board Mark Davidoff spoke of her expertise: “In my years at the Federation, Charlotte Dubin was the oracle, crafting the right messaging to help the community understand the critical role the Federation played in our daily lives”

At the Federation, Charlotte had many accomplishments. For one example, she was heavily involved in the Federation’s First Michigan Miracle Mission in 1993 and the second in 1995. Charlotte received the Federation’s first William Avrunin Fellowship in 1993. She was also instrumental in creating the Simons Jewish Community Archives. In 2011, Charlotte received the prestigious Leonard N. Simons History Award from the Jewish Historical Society of Michigan.

From 2001
William Davidson Digital Archive of Jewish Detroit History

The above contributions to Detroit’s Jewish community are just the tip of Charlotte’s leadership iceberg. She supports Hebrew Free Loan, Camp Tamarack, Israel and, dear to my heart, the William Davidson Archive. Always looking forward, at Adat Shalom, she conceived of “Tech Connect,” a program where teens helped the older generation with the digital age (Feb. 6, 2014). 

I really enjoyed writing about my friend, a real mensch. I just hope my prose meets Charlotte’s standards! 

Want to learn more? Go to the DJN Foundation archives, available for free at www.djnfoundation.org.

From 2011
William Davidson Digital Archive of Jewish Detroit History
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