The Jewish Presence on Chene Street: The Detroit Debut of the Chene Street History Project


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  • Speaker: Marian Krzyzowski
  • Host Department: Judaic Studies, Frankel Center for
  • Date: 06/04/2013
  • Time: 07:00PM - 9:00PM

  • Location: Congregation Shaarey Zedek 27375 Bell Road, Southfield, MI 48034-2079

  • Description:

    6:45 Doors open
    7:00 p.m. Lecture and presentation begins
    followed by coffee and cookies
    To register, call 248-432-5517, mail the reservation form below or visit

    Chene Street, which cuts through the east side of Detroit, was once one of the city’s most vibrant commercial corridors. Chene Street was at the heart of family, work, and social life for thousands of families who arrived in Detroit from all over the world, including thousands of Eastern European Jews. Today, virtually no sign of the dynamic residential and commercial neighborhood remains: Chene and its surrounding blocks are among the most devastated and depopulated areas of the city.

    The Jewish Presence on Chene Street provides a glimpse into the day-to-day life of the hundreds of Jewish families that made their living along the street and contributed to the neighborhood’s history. Led by Marian Krzyzowski, the Chene Street History Project has recorded and archived nearly 30 oral histories of neighborhood Jewish families (about 10% of all the oral histories recorded), collected and digitized hundreds of family photographs, as well as hundreds of letters and postcards written in Yiddish, Polish and German. The Project Team includes several U-M Jewish students interested in social history, who have devoted hundreds of hours each to preserving the material and spiritual world that was Chene Street Jewry.

    Marian Krzyzowski is Director of the Institute for Research on Labor, Employment and the Economy (IRLEE) at the University of Michigan, which carries out research and assists Midwest communities in the area of economic and community development. He holds several degrees from the University of Michigan and one from Wayne State University. As director of the Chene Street History Project, he has, for 10 years, immersed himself in the social history of his childhood neighborhood.

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