The Lost Synagogues of Detroit » JEWISH COMMUNITY CENTER [WOODWARD]
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Lowell (admin)
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Post Number: 129
Registered: 1-2004
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Posted on Friday, May 13, 2005 - 12:42 am

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I remember the first time I was in the JCC gym. I believe it had just opened, maybe 1955 or 56, I was 11 or 12. I remember the smells. The freshly waxed, shiny wood floor of the basketball court, the new basketballs, and the disinfectant smell of the locker room. The sound of the gym shoes squeaking on the floor and the bouncing basket balls. There was always the anticipatory excitement going from the locker room to the gym. Sneaking into, and being kicked out of, the Health Club was also a favorite activity. I also remember the snack bar, I think it was in the basement but I'm not sure.
This JCC played an important role in my early adolescence. There was the Saturday Night League basketball (my team was the "Tri-Squares," I have no idea where the name came from). Howard Schechter and Howard Golding, both of whom starred at Mumford High basketball also played in that league. The teen clubs, (Joel Schechter was our club leader), softball leagues, winter weekends at Camp Tamarack, and ice hockey on the adjacent playground.

I later belonged to the JCC in Cincinnati. This got me through graduate school, sanity intact. Too bad there's no JCC for my kids in Ventura California. They don't know what they've missed.


I spent a lot of my free time after school (mumford) at the JCC. I was in an AZA chapter called Gershwin and we had a basketball team that played in a league at the JCC. We played there for several years. One year we even tried to get Rocky's Pizza (on 7 Mile Rd.) to sponsor our team and pay for the uniforms, but we were not allowed to have outside sponsors.
-- Ron

We lived on Kenilworth and Brush (4-6 blocks from the Center) and moved away in 1943 however I do remeber that they had a three lane bowling alley in the basement of the Center. There was a Mr. Rubinstein (spelling??) who was at the desk of the Health Club or perhaps the gym. He was a mean old guy who did in fact kick us little kids out of the locker room. Boy, that was a fabulous neighborhood!! The present Center is trying to tag the name "The "J"" on to the new Center but to true Detroiters it will alway be the Center.
-- GG

I remember the JCC quite well. In the 1930's I used to attend the Summer camp there. That was the old JCC. The present building was built in the 1940's. I regularly went swimming there. I also made a used photo dark room, that was located near the ping pong room. Mr. Rabinowitz was in charge of the game
-- Herman Krieger

Lynne Master (Unregistered Guest)
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Posted on Friday, December 01, 2006 - 9:49 am

In the 1940's a group of us as children would take the McNichols Mile Bus to Woodward, and the Woodward steetcar to the JCC for swimming lessons and other Sunday activities, including crafts and drama. The independence we learned was equalled only by the fun we had.

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Chava (Unregistered Guest)
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Posted on Thursday, April 10, 2008 - 8:29 pm

Remember Palmer Park and the horse and buggy rides and the Palmer home that you could tour? Then you could go over and play shuffle board or go feed the ducks by the pond. Those were good days.

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gunarson (Unregistered Guest)
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Posted on Thursday, March 05, 2009 - 9:06 am


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sol hoberman (Unregistered Guest)
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Posted on Monday, May 25, 2009 - 11:48 am

nn was writing about the meyers road jcc. I lived on oakland and josephine. went to alger school and every friday afternoon in the summer i would go the the jcc and go swimming. Mr Rubenstein mean but a nice old man. the kids were always giving him a hard time. they also had a few pool tables where I first learned how to shoot pool. I remember the time Hank Greenberg came to the center and we were playing tennis ball. He took the ball and hit it left handed and the ball still has not landed.

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