We welcome and invite you to share your memories of Detroit's former synagogues and Jewish sites.
Shared Memories of Yeshiva Beth Yehuda & Mogen Avrom
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The building in the picture was, as others have pointed out, Yeshiva Beth
Yehuda. The closer building was the original structure, containing the
prayer chapel in the far portion of the building and classrooms, (6 or
7 as I recall) and office areas in the nearer side. I attended the 2 hour
after-school sessions from around 1943 until 1948, when I lived across
the street on Cortland.
Like one of your earlier correspondents,
I attended MacCulloch Elementary, Durfee Intermediate and Central High
Schools. Also Wayne (later State) and U of D. The only other detail I
can add to the YBY story is that the large school building at the far
aspect of the photo was not part of the original site. That space was
an open playground where some of the teachers (rabbis) would fungo out
softballs to us as we waited along the Sturtevant side of the field...and
more than one baseball sailed through the windows of the dental office
on Sturtevant facing the site!
I have been following your site for about a year and I
must congratulate you on perhaps one of the best sites on the web. It
is warm, friendly, informative and wonderfully organized. The memories
it has elicited are priceless and the spirit of the participants is more
than admirable. Please keep up the excellent work.
Yes. the closer building is the shul Mogen Avrohom.
The further building, YBY, was one of the first day schools outside NY.
It's building was so impressive in its' day that it was featured on the
stationary of Torah Umesorah for a time.
The picture of the Yeshiva Beth Yehuda is in fact the Yeshiva Beth Yehuda
Building. The large 3 story one was the Girls school building and the
newer addition circa late 1950's. The smaller one had a dual function
as the boys school building and the Mogen Avrom Synagogue. the two organizations
continue to have a symbiotic relationship till today.
There is an individual who has many pictures and an expertise on many
of these synagogues.
Yes, it is the Yeshiva - I attended
it from around 1940 to 1945 (prior to that we attended the B'nai Moshe)
when my Zaida became a member. He was William (Wolf) Mitnick and owned
the grocery store on Dexter (east side), between Richton and Cortland
(they also lived in an apartment on Richton and Dexter). I was Bar Mitzvahed
there on June 2, 1945, and attended the day school briefly in the Fall
- Mitch R
The closer building is the shul Mogen Avrohom. The further building, YBY, was one of the first
day schools outside NY. It's building was so impressive in its' day that
it was featured on the stationary of Torah Umesorah for a time.
It is the old Yeshiva Beth Yehuda. I attended classes
there and resided close by in an apartment on the corner of Richton and
The building you have identified as UHS Dexter [I had
identified this as United Hebrew School on Dexter-LB], I believe is
the former Yeshiva Beth Yehuda. My brothers attended Day School
there and I went to the Beth Jacob Girls School, across the street
and above Grunt's Grocery Store.
I also attended the UHS School on Lawton between Tyler
and Davison. Perhaps you have confused the two sites.
Have you found evidence of an old synagogue on the corner
of Lee Place east of 12th street. It was the Polishe Shul (in Yiddish)
Thank you for assembling this wonderful website. I'm a
native Detroiter and went to Thirkell Elementary, MacCulloch
Elementary, Durfee Jr. High and Central High School. I also
commuted to Wayne State University. Additionally I substituted
as an elementary school teacher in Detroit as well as taught at MacCulloch.
Therefore I am truly enjoying this exploration.
This was the original site of Yeshiva Beth Yehuda, it
was never a UHS site.