Posts by Barbara Lewis

Wayne State Professor Finds Rare Clarinet

Huntington Woods professor and urologist searched for rare basset clarinet to solo in Detroit Medical Orchestra concert. By Barbara Lewis Featured photo by David Dalton A regular clarinet just wouldn’t do. Michael Cher, a professor of urology at Wayne State University’s medical school, was planning to play Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto in A Major with the…

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Research Shows Growing Number of Hate Groups in U.S.

“Beyond Fear and Hate” program at Temple Beth El outlined the proliferation of hate groups in the U.S. By Barbara Lewis Hate groups are proliferating in the United States, said Cassie Miller, senior research analyst for the Alabama-based Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), reinforcing what many Americans feel in their gut. Miller was the keynote…

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Younger students respond to Hebrew words through music and movement in Temple Beth El’s chapel.

Metro Detroit Religious Schools Staying Relevant

Congregational religious schools in Metro Detroit find innovative ways to keep kids engaged. By Barbara Lewis Featured photo by Anthony Lanzilote   If there’s one thing that unites the Detroit area’s congregational religious schools, it’s their willingness to try new approaches. This is not your father’s Hebrew school! After-school sports and other activities killed the…

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No-Fail Hamantaschen Recipe

Food blogger Bobbie Lewis has perfected a hand-me-down hamantaschen recipe. By Barbara (Bobbie) Lewis These fruit, nut or poppy-filled cookies are popular on the Jewish festival of Purim, which commemorates the events told in the Book of Esther. This year, Purim falls on March 21. The cookie’s three-cornered shape is supposed to represent Haman’s hat,…

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Feel Better Mommy book cover

‘Feel Better, Mommy’ Helps Kids and Adults Heal

Local author Risa Kirschner’s hospital stay sparks helpful children’s book. By Barbara Lewis Fifteen years ago, Risa Kirschner, then 29, discovered she had a life-threatening tumor on her heart. Several surgeries and complications led to many weeks in the hospital. Kirschner worried about her own health and about how her daughter, Alli, then 2, would…

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Karaite Jewish Family Finds Their ‘Promised Land’ in Michigan

Family of Karaite Jews Tries Homesteading in the Lower Peninsula By Barbara Lewis Photos courtesy of Eric and Ashley Wormsley Like the ancient Israelites, they’ve come “out of Goshen” and found their promised land. For the Wormsley family, paradise is a 10-acre wooded site near Farwell, pretty much smack in the middle of Michigan’s Lower…

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Jewish Lovebirds Meet Through JFS and JARC

Lovebirds who connected through Jewish organizations JSL and JARC  share their love stories. Love is not just for Valentine’s Day. Love can happen when you least expect it, as in the case of these two couples who share their stories with us. Nancy and Manny Kalef Nancy and Manny Kalef are part of a love…

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Knitters Lori Bolkosky, Oak Park; Vicki Salinger, Southfield; Liz Kannon, Ferndale; Gila Gelfond, Southfield; and Judy Domstein, West Bloomfield sit together at a table with knitting needles and yarn and smile at the camera

Filling the Gap

Beth Shalom rents, gives space to help groups stay afloat after JCC’s closure. Barbara Lewis Contributing Writer Congregation Beth Shalom has become a de facto community hub since the Jewish Community Center closed its Oak Park branch in 2015. Detroit Chesed Project’s The Spot program (“The spot for special children”) has been at Beth Shalom…

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Left to right: Jeri Fishman, Liz Modell, Jodee Fishman Raines, Hillary King

Common Thread

Though not so unusual, seven synagogues currently are led by women. Barbara Lewis Contributing Writer Seven congregations in the Detroit Jewish community are led by female presidents. What’s so remarkable about that is that it’s so unremarkable. None of the current female congregation presidents feels like a trailblazer, though several noted it is unusual to have…

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The old B’nai Moshe building in Oak Park that housed Bais Yaakov School.

New Girls’ School

Yeshiva Beth Yehudah begins building project on old B’nai Moshe site. Barbara Lewis Contributing Writer Yeshiva Beth Yehudah, Detroit’s largest Jewish day school with 1,063 students, according to Jewish Federation figures, has begun construction of a new elementary and middle school building for girls in Oak Park. The new facility will replace the existing Bais…

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