Jewish Community Archives Moving November 2022

As of November 2022, the Leonard N. Simons Jewish Community Archives (JCA) is moving to a brand-new collections space at Temple Beth El as partner in the newly formed Center for Michigan Jewish Heritage. The JCA collections at Reuther are closed to patrons in preparation for transfer. Potential researchers and visitors should contact JCA Director Robbie Terman at to plan your research visits going forward.

The Walter P. Reuther Library has been the proud host of the Leonard N. Simons Jewish Community Archives since 1992. In 1991, the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit established the JCA project to document the rich and varied history of Jewish organizations and individuals in Detroit. At that time, it was understood that the archives would extend beyond the space available, and so a number of regional repositories were considered as partners for storage and access. Founding Director Dr. Philip Mason offered the Reuther Library and its recently completed building as a physical home for collections maintenance and accessible space for researchers, and it was selected by the JCA Committee after lengthy consideration of options.

The Jewish Community Archives has remained under ownership of the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit, with its own Advisory Board and Director located at the Federation headquarters in Bloomfield Hills, and collections spanned the two locations. During the 30 years that the JCA collections were housed at Wayne State, Reuther Library hosted thousands of researchers, made collections accessible to students and community researchers through classroom instruction and digital collections, and co-curated exhibits with the Jewish Community Archives such as "25 Years, 25 Treasures" and "Bricks, Mortar and More: The Jewish Community and the Growth of Wayne State University".

The Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit is excited to announce the opening of the Center for Michigan Jewish Heritage in December 2022. As an umbrella for Michigan’s Jewish heritage collections, the Center will be home to both JCA and the Rabbi Leo M. Franklin Archives of Temple Beth El, creating the largest local archive focused solely on Michigan Jewish history.

While the Simons Jewish Community Archives will no longer be located at Wayne State, the two institutions look forward to new collaborations as the relationship evolves. Reuther Library is committed to supporting the significant archival collections documenting Jewish life in Michigan that still reside at Reuther Library, and identifying opportunities to engage researchers and amplify scholarship in partnership with the Jewish Community Archives for years to come