Here are the highlights of 2022.
For many, 2022 was a challenging year. Russia launched an unjust war in Ukraine. Inflation put a dent in everyone’s wallet. Incidents of antisemitism surged, and the year, which began with a COVID surge, is ending with a triple threat of respiratory infections: COVID, flu and RSV.
Despite these challenges, the Jewish community of Metro Detroit found many ways to celebrate and many reasons to rely on one another. Throughout it all, the members of our community continued to “just do Jewish.”
Here are the highlights of 2022.
» Omicron version of COVID virus begins to surge in the New Year 2022.
» Julie Yaker pilots the start-up JLive in Detroit, an initative of the Jewish Federation of Metro Detroit and the Federation CJA of Montreal, Canada.
» Jan. 15 — Hostage crisis at Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, Texas. Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker, who grew up in Lansing, is a hero, throwing a chair at the gunman, which allowed hostages to escape.
» Jan. 20 — UN approves resolution to combat Holocaust denial.
» Clover Hill Park Cemetery announces planned expansion with on-site shivah center.
» After years of consideration, Ann Arbor City Council finally condemns weekly Shabbat protesters at the city’s Congregation Beth Israel.
» COVID still rages — JARC has run more than 25 clinics at the Jewish Federation of Metro Detroit’s Max Fisher building since 2020.
» Davidson Foundation announces $6.5 million in arts and culture grants in honor of Byron and Dorothy Gerson.
» Feb 14 — Local community leader Guy Stern, professor emeritus from Wayne State University, WWII “Ritchie Boy” and former director of the Zekelman Holocaust Center, observed his 100th birthday.
» The Rabbi Leo M. Franklin Archive at Temple Beth El and the Leonard N. Simons Jewish Community at the Jewish Federation of Metro Detroit announce a collaboration: The Center for Michigan Jewish Heritage.
» Frankel Jewish Academy introduces Shorashim Grants providing all students up to $10,000 toward tuition.
» Feb. 20 — JGrand, a new program of the Jewish Community Center’s JFamily targeted at grandparents and their grandkids, held its first event, a grandparent-only “pep rally.”
» Feb. 24 — Russia invades Ukraine, which has a deep affect upon hundreds of Jewish Detroiters with Ukrainian heritage and relatives still living there.
» March 1 — Jewish Federation of Metro Detroit spins-off its security program. It is replaced by the standalone Jewish Community Security Inc., led by Gary Sikorski.
» March 10 — JN publishes its first cover story dealing with the invasion of Ukraine. “Standing with Ukraine” is about local Jewish connections to Ukraine.
» Farber Hebrew Day School (formerly Yeshivat Akiva) in Southfield was accredited for the first time by ISACS, the Independent School Association of the Central States.
» March 7 — Chabad JCC opens in Auburn Hills. Michigan Chief Justice Richard Bernstein is featured speaker.
» Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit announces the Motor City Mission to Israel for 2023, the first mission since 2008.
» March 27 — Detroit Jewish News celebrates 80th year anniversary.
» March 30 — By voice vote, the U.S. Senate unanimously confirmed Deborah Lipstadt as antisemitism monitor, the first to have ambassador status.
» April 7 — groundbreaking for WWII Legacy Memorial in Royal Oak. Jewish War Veterans are prime supporters.
» April 26 — ADL releases its Audit of Antisemitic Incidents that shows a 56% increase over 2021.
» April 28 — Detroit Historical Museum opens major exhibit on the legacy of Albert Kahn, the premier industrial architect of the 20th century.
» Okemos resident Oded “Ody” Norkin helps deliver ambulances and medical supplies to Jews in the Ukraine.
» May 23 — Jewish Bar Association of Michigan honors Judge Bernard Friedman with 2022 Avern Cohn Lifetime Achievement Award and Judge Michele Freidman Appel with the 2022 Ruth Bader Ginsberg Champion of Justice Award.
» Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit announces its annual campaign that ended on May 31 was the largest in history. The campaign raised $35.45 million.
» June 1 — Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit Awards night. Marta Rosenthal, Jessica Katz, Amy Neistein, Neil Satovsky, Keith Schonberger and Yoni Torgow are honored.
» June 20 — Israeli Prime Minister Bennett and Alternate Prime Minister Yair Lapid announce decision to dissolve the coalition, leading to a fifth election in Israel in less than four years.
» June 21-July 15 — After two-year hiatus, Detroit Teen Mission to Israel resumes.
» June 22 — At 25th annual JVS and Kadima Strictly Business fundraising event, the two organizations announce their new name after their merger will be Gesher Human Services.
» June 24 — U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe vs. Wade removing federal protection for the right to an abortion and unleashing political turmoil in many states.
» Rising inflation becomes a serious issue in America.
» July 14 — U.S. President Joe Biden makes State Visit to Israel.
» July 14 — JN’s 80th anniversary issue is published
» July 31-Aug. 5 — After two-year hiatus, Maccabi Games for Jewish youth are held in San Diego, California; 18 Detroit youth attend.
» Aug. 2 — Michigan holds its election primaries. Andy Levin loses his primary, meaning that in January 2023, for the first time since 1979, there will not be a Levin from Michigan in Congress.
» Aug. 21 — Sixth annual Hazon Michigan Jewish Food Festival returns.
» Sept. 8 — Queen Elizabeth II, longest-serving monarch of England, dies at the age of 96.
» Sept. 11 — Michigan State University’s Serling Institute for Jewish Studies and Modern Israel celebrates 30-year anniversary.
» Sept. 18 — Ken Burn’s documentary, The U.S. and the Holocaust, debuts on PBS.
» Sept. 15 — Art Fishman, 95, is chosen “Michigan Veteran of the Year” by the Commanders Group of Michigan.
» Kanye West or “Ye” makes global headlines with his antisemitic remarks.
» Oct. 13 — Ben Rosenthal is awarded the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit’s highest honor, the Fred M. Butzel Memorial Award for Distinguished Community Service.
» Oct. 30 — Limmud returns and is held on the Wayne State University Campus.
» Oct. 30 — James Grosfeld receives Outstanding Leadership Award at Yeshiva Beth Yehudah’s annual dinner.
» Nov. 1-13 — Detroit Jewish Book Fair returns to in-person events as well as digital presentations. Ann Arbor Jewish Book Fair also returned to in-person/digital events in 2022, Nov. 6-18.
» Nov. 1 — Israeli elections are held, the fifth election in four years.
» Nov. 1-2 — Bomb threats are sent to Frankel Jewish Academy at the JCC in West Bloomfield. Adat Shalom Synagogue also received a bogus threat during Shabbat services on March 18.
» Nov. 8 — Midterm elections. Four members of Michigan’s Jewish community will serve in Congress and the Michigan legislature. Proposals 1, 2 and 3 pass; Proposal 3 makes Michigan the first state to pass a citizen-initiative constitutional amendment that guarantees the right to an abortion.
» Nov. 19-21 — The first #nomoreantisemitism International Conference is held in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.
» Nov. 22 — Terrorist bombing at Jerusalem bus stop, the first major bombing in the city in many years.
» Dec. 2 — Hassan Yehia Chokr, 35, drives into the Temple Beth El Parking lot in Bloomfield Township during preschool drop off time, spewing anti-Israel rhetoric and anti-Jewish and racist language.
» Dec. 14 — Federal, county and local law enforcement officials with leaders of the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit stand on the bimah of Temple Beth El to let everyone know they have the backs of the Jewish community during a Community Forum on Antisemitism.