The End Appears Near for the Jewish Community Center in Oak Park

January 07, 2015, 6:40 AM


The Jewish Community Center on 10 Mile Road in Oak Park, a gathering spot for area residents for decades, may close.

It may close in May after facing annual losses of up to $1 million in recent years, Jewish leaders say, according to Niraj Warikoo of the Detroit Free Press. The center, built in 1956, posted a statement about its situation on Facebook and its website.

The mains Jewish Community Center of Metropolitan Detroit on Maple Road in West Bloomfield was built to keep up with the Jewish migration in the suburbs.

The center in Oak Park includes a fitness facility and a kosher restaurant.

The Freep reports:

In a letter sent to local Jewish residents, the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit said that a committee is going to recommend that the center be shut down. The letter drew a sharp response from some Jewish residents who live near the center, saying the facility should remain open and blamed poor management for its financial shortfalls.

A community forum about the pending closure is scheduled at 7 p.m. next Monday, Jan. 12, atthe Oak Park facility. The JCC and Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit will host "an open discussion on the important issues we are facing."

These are among social media reactions to the news:

  • Alexa Stanard: I'm so bummed out about this. I don't know the back story, other than the center was grossly mismanaged for several years, financially. I'm baffled as to how that wasn't caught sooner.
  • Philip Applebaum: The Oak Park JCC is a huge money-loser. Someone needs to come up with a strategy to keep the place open as a JCC or to repurpose the building for the local Jewish community.
  • Rebecca A. Cohen: This is sad and crazy.

Read more:  Detroit Free Press

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