The Lost Synagogues of Detroit » BETH EL [8801 WOODWARD]
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Lowell (admin)
Board Administrator
Username: admin

Post Number: 106
Registered: 1-2004
Posted on Thursday, May 12, 2005 - 11:58 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. [No password needed]
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If this is the temple I think it is, near the Jewish Center, I attended from kindergarten through high school. I taught Sunday school there somewhere about 1946-1950. My mother taught Sunday school the whole time that I went. I remember a wonderful old rabbi who left retired shortly after I started attending. Then another rabbi, Sol Glazer, who I was scared to death of, and finally Sidney Axelrod who all the mothers had lined up for their daughters. I was confirmed there and graduated from the high school. I still have several pictures of our classes. I graduated in 1946 so I must have started in 1934. Somehow I remember another Rabbi Lynon. [Afterthought. The Rabbi was B. Benedict Glaser. Sol Glaser was my great uncle. ]
- Carol M

My mother was in the first confirmation class at Temple Beth El. She is now 91 years old. Our family were members and my sister, brother and I were confirmed there in the 40s and 50s. We all have memories of many happy days there, including holiday dinners and celebrations. My memories start going back to Rabbi Franklin.
- Joanne L. H.

My family enjoyed membership at Beth El from the 40's to the 90's. My mother remained a member until her death in 1995. The original alter and paneling from the main sanctuary was moved to the new Temple in Birmingham and now constitutes the smaller worship hall. The stained glass windows from the original building were also moved to the new one. There were 4 levels of classrooms and the lower level contained the social hall and a gymnasium.
- Caren

Just a small note... on the south side of the building is written the inscription "My house shall be a house of worship to all nations." Very fitting, isn't it?
- AS

This is the Temple Beth El which moved from 3424 Woodward Ave., by Mason and Kahn (1903), now Bonstelle Theater. The move was in 1922. The JCC [Jewish Community Center] on Woodward near Clairmont (now Considine Center) is nearby.

Temple Beth El. Built by Albert Kahn, 1922. Temple Beth El is Michigan's first Jewish Congregation, (1850). Octastyle temple in the Ionic Order of architecture. It recalls the Lincoln Memorial, and anticipates Angell Hall by Kahn in Ann Arbor. The bldg. is grand, imposing, dignified and a monumental classic. Kahn shows he can design a neo-classical bldg. AND industrial-functional factories.
- Arnie

I remember the Temple Beth El quite well. In the late 1930's, I was a boy scout in Troop 76 that met every week in the meeting rooms there. I once attended a service in Temple Beth El with members of Troop 76. Up to that time I had only been to orthodox synagogues. The service in English and Hebrew was very strange to me.
- Herman

I am 83 years old and went to Temple Beth El from pre kindergarden through college. ( Was confirmed, highschool grad. etc.) Dr. Franklin was the Rabbi (much loved) Although he had retired, he married my husband and I in 1941. I taught first grade there for two years. I have wonderful memories for that building and the education received there which I feel has made me a better citizen , mother, and grandmother.
-- Bernice Nemer Israel

Pastor Allie Taylor and congregation of Lighthouse Tabernacle on Conant Avenue purchased the building around 1974. It was renamed Lighthouse Cathedral. We toured the building and did a lot of cleanup in it. We also repaired the roof. The pipe organ was quite large. The basement/dining area had a fully equipped kitchen and a walk-in safe, as did an office upstairs. I remember many classrooms, the main auditorium which held about 1300 and the small auditorium had a fully equipped stage and would seat 750. Unfortunately I left before we moved. Rev. Allie Taylor pastor quite a few years after that. I believe Charles Green is pastor now. It was an impressive building.
-- Merle Y

I attended Beth El in the 50's and the thing I remember the most was the beautiful artwork on the ceiling of the main sanctuary. Having just visited the Sistine Chapel in Rome, i guess we had our own "Jewish" cathedral. It just wasn't painted by Michelangelo..
-- Joyce

Walter Levine (Unregistered Guest)
Permitted by Moderator
Posted on Friday, June 03, 2005 - 4:37 pm

At the the former Temple Bethel on Woodward Ave. I was a member with my parents, Reuben and Goldie Levine. Subsequently, the Temple moved far out Northwestern Highway. For many decades the organist and choir director was Jason Tickton; his wife, Mamie, was also strongly involved with the choir. Jason passed away a number of years ago, his wife lives at Trowbridge in Southfield. They were true pillars in Temple Bethel.

The present rabbi, Rabbi Syme, is the son of the former rabbi Syme at Temple Israel, recently deceased.

(Message approved by admin)

Arnold Berger (Unregistered Guest)
Permitted by Moderator
Posted on Monday, October 30, 2006 - 2:54 pm

Thanks to Walter Levine for his post on Beth El history. As he mentioned the archives of Detroit's oldest synagogue, I visited their History page ory/ and found that it said less than Walter's post.

It also had no links to other pages or other sites to learn more.

This is very often the case. Jewish institutions give only a glimpse of their history, and some say not a word. It would be a way to honor their past, show how they evolved and give recognition to many leaders.

So thanks for offering a place for more on Detroit's Jewish history.

Arnie AT shakersquare DOT net

(Message approved by admin)

SisterCelest (Unregistered Guest)
Permitted by Moderator
Posted on Tuesday, December 19, 2006 - 8:57 am

The Lighthouse Cathedral was my family church from 7 mile and Conant and after it moved into 8801 Woodward Ave. Pastor Allie Taylor was the pastor. Pastor Charlie H. Green is the Pastor now. This was the "CHURCH" in the City. I have so many good memories and this is the root of my spiritual beginnings. The scripture says" Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is Liberty" and there was a freedom in the spirit there like I have not seen anywhere else. The very power of "GOD" was allowed to enter into the services. We weren't strange like some churches I've seen but, it was real.

I just wish we could all get together again at the Lighthouse once again.

This was our theme song when I was a little girl;
At the Lighthouse Tabernacle everybody's welcome come and find your savior here.. Your every need ...
(don't remember the rest) ahhhhh.., such fond memories.
I thank God for My mother Mae A Harris-Moore for taking us to the Lighthouse.
Sister Celestine L. Harris aka Sister Celest

(Message approved by admin)