The Lost Synagogues of Detroit » BETH AARON [WYOMING]
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Lowell (admin)
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Post Number: 100
Registered: 1-2004
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Posted on Thursday, May 12, 2005 - 3:50 pm

Tell us about this site! The following memories were previously contributed by email. To add your memories simply scroll to the bottom where you will find the "Add Your Message Here" posting box. Write your message, put any name you wish in the username box and click Preview/Post Message.



I attended Sunday School at Beth Aaron until I was 12 years old in 1952. Rabbi Gorelick never forgot a face and even when I went to weddings and Bar Mitzvahs years later, he recognized me and greeted me by name. His daughter Elisheva was my age and had a Bat Mitzvah, an unheard of ceremony for girls at that time (at least in Detroit.)
- Sue

The synagogue was but one or two blocks north of the fabulous mumford high school of the mid -1950's -1960's fame on wyoming. I had to walk by the synagogue to meet the "dexter bus" of the dsr ( detroit street railways) which used to travel i believe from the northwest side of detroit on outer drive at least to greenfield adjoining the sinai hospital area & then thru curtis and then wind its way down into the center city of detroit via dexter past many of these shuls. I travelled to mumford via the busline during 1956-1957.

The building and adjacent educational center was not as impressive to the exterior sitting nearly right on the curb of wyoming, a very busy & narrow street. My wife judy & i were married there in the sanctuary in 1963. The sanctuary immediately adjoined the vinyl or asphalt checkboard appearing tiled social hall, separated by i believe a folding heavy vinyl like doorway thruwhich my bride entered the sanctuary to ultimately join me in marriage.

There were i believe heavy glass exterior doors which lead to the street level by several shallow very broad steps. The entry area was the most attractive part of the external appearance, but better appreciated from across the street due to the proximity of the sanctuary to the street.

I celebrated my Bar Mitzvah at Beth Aaron in 1960. My three brothers were also bar mitzvahed there. I remember Rabbi Gorelick's booming voice, and was surprised when I ran into him years later to find that in fact, he was a short, soft spoken gentleman. Although it had been 35 years, he remembered me by name.
- Steve

I attended Beth Aaron Religious School from 1956 - 1965. My grandmother also attended Adat Shalom on Curtis. I was married in Temple Israel.
- Judy

Memories of Beth Aaron

My twin brother, Alan, and I were Bar Mitzvah'd in the social hall just behind the newly completed sanctuary on May 22nd, 1955. Since our parents were not members of the synagogue, it must have been deemed that we were NOT to be the first Bar Mitvahs in the new space. Rabbi Gorelick officiated, of course.

Alan and I attended the United Hebrew School branch at Beth Aaron for a year or two, after attending the Seven Mile (?) and Schaefer branch and riding the Hebrew School Bus 'til what seemed like dawn for about two years. Walking to Hebrew School was great after the endless bus rides of the first two years. We have always referred to those years as our years in the United Hebrew School "Gulag." Our teacher at Beth Aaron was Mrs. Kretchmar (sp.?) and we enjoyed her class.

Junior Congregation was held down at the Hebrew School end of the building and we were required to attend every Saturday for a year before being Bar Mitzvah'd. The leader was a Southerner named Mr. Apt.

One of the funniest moments of my life was when the ENTIRE congregation of boys sounded out a responsive reading in Hebrew with a southern accent...."Bahroooch Aahtawww Andownoyyyy..." after Mr. Apt had chastised us for a weak response. What made it particularly great was that not one of us had looked at another....we all just did it. Sort of like a large flock of birds turning instantly in flight, we all just knew.

Steven E. Frenkel
Dr. Alan J. Frenkel (1942-2003

Beth Araron was the Shul where Chazzan/Rabbi Ulrych died on Shabbat in the Shul at about 1959. His son Chazzan Barry Ulrych is still in Detroit and carries on Ulrych's good name.
-- Harvey

I was bar mitzvahed there by Rabbi Gorelick on June 14, 1958. My sister and her husband of 49 years were married there on June 26, 1955. I led junior congragation services there from 1958 until 1963. I sang with Cantor's Goldring to world famous David Bagley there. Always was in competition with cousins down the street at Adath Shalom.

It truly was the cornerstone of my growing up and my Yiddishchite!
-- Dr. Bernie, Hollywood, Florida

Dear Lowell

Congratulations on your site. My cousins from Detroit were visiting us in Ft Lauderdale tonight and told us about it and I have been "in it" all nite. I have numerous photos, even "videos" of Beth Aaron and Adath Shalom (mystory !!) of outside and insde of both. I even have a flyer from circa 1959 of a concert with brother in laws Richard Tucker and Jan Pierce. Will scan and send when I find.

Keep up the good work.
-- Bernard H. Stern, M.D.

Laura (Unregistered Guest)
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Posted on Friday, June 03, 2005 - 4:55 pm

I went to Sunday School at Beth Aaron. The synagogue was always full in my recollection, and we were welcome even if we weren't members. I looked forward to Saturday services and Sunday School as important social events of the week.

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Fran M (Unregistered Guest)
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Posted on Tuesday, February 13, 2007 - 7:56 pm

My two sisters and I all attended Beth Aaron Hebrew and Sunday school, even though we lived two blocks from Adat Shalom. I have fond memories of Rabbi Gorelick. I was sad when Cantor Bagley moved to Mexico City. I loved singing in his choir. I still remember how we were required to attend shabbat services in order to be confirmed, and that little file box that held the cards with our names on it to prove we were there. Oh, yeah, and the chocolate milk machine! The upside of this mandatory attendance was helping the Sisterhood prepare the kiddush trays Shabbat morning. It not only got us out of the sanctuary, but we got to eat the cookies as we worked. It broke my heart when the synagogue was sold to a church. It was an end of an era. Part of my life was erased, or so I thought, until a friend told me about this website.

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Johnathan Bragman (Unregistered Guest)
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Posted on Monday, June 25, 2007 - 8:09 am

I am so happy to find this site. It brings back the memories of the "olden days". We lived on Pennington, a few blocks east of Wyoming, frequently walking to shul. In 1962 we moved to Southfield "the golden ghetto" (mostly Jewish). In Oct. 1966 I was bar mitzvahed by Rabbi Gorelick after what seemed like forever in the small youth sanctuary down the hall an Saturdays. I relished the bagels about a block north on Wyoming, getting back just in time for the Kiddish after the ceremony. Then my brother would pick me up to go to our family shop to work.

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Robin (Unregistered Guest)
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Posted on Wednesday, January 28, 2009 - 1:16 pm

I went to Hebrew School at Beth Aaron until we moved from our house on Roselawn in 1961. I remember the sanctuary, the social hall, and the red tied brown paper envelopes that we carried to and from Hebrew School. I even have a "Golden Book" hebrew prayer book that was taken out of the Beth Aaron Library, indicating that my older sister had taken the book out. (no, she didn't abscond with it, it found its way back to me almost 40 year later via a pile of give away books in Ann Arbor

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Gil K. (Unregistered Guest)
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Posted on Wednesday, May 20, 2009 - 2:51 pm

I now live out of Michigan, but, my bar mitzvah was at Beth Aaron in November of 1955. It will always be in my memory as a joyous day.

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Steve (Unregistered Guest)
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Posted on Sunday, May 31, 2009 - 8:39 am

I attended Hebrew School at Beth Aaron and was Bar Mitzvah in September, 1959. I am interested in finding some records. Does anyone know where the old records are now?
Also, I live in Buffalo and see Eliesheva, Rabbi Gorelick's daughter on occassion.

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jwerber (Unregistered Guest)
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Posted on Friday, June 19, 2009 - 3:29 pm

I have many fond memories of Beth Aaron. I went to Hebrew and Sunday school there until I was in Fifth grade. My father was the Treasurer of the Synagogue. I used to go with him at night to balance the books. I remember walking to shul on Shabbat and on the High holidays and walking past Rabbi Gorelicks house. He had a very beautiful Succot.

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