Welcome to
Jewish Historical Society of Michigan

Our Mission

Founded in 1959, Jewish Historical Society of Michigan, a nonprofit educational organization, interprets and highlights the history of Jewish Michigan.  Through the past, we understand our present and actively shape our future.


What We Do and Why We Do It

We capture and share the past with our communities, state, nation, and the world, producing academic-quality historical knowledge and offering meaningful and engaging programming.  Now, more than ever, history's stories and lessons have much to teach.  We offer innovative, docent-led lectures, tours, and classroom lessons.  Our immersive and experiential events are designed to instill, astonish, inspire, and build pride.  Our groundbreaking collaborations put us on the forefront of history as social activism.  We publish Michigan Jewish History, our annual, peer-reviewed journal--our commitment to producing knowledge for students, scholars, and the general public.  We also maintain the Jewish Yearbook Collection, the largest gathering of yearbooks from Detroit-area high schools.  In all our undertakings, we affirm that Michigan's Jewish history is for everyone.  With deep roots and a clear-eyed vision for growth, we are equipped to fulfill our mission.  With your help, we can achieve our vision: illuminating the past for a brighter future.

JHSM.  Our star is rising.

Esther Bookstein LaMed

Esther Bookstein LaMed

At the age of 14, in 1917, Esther was already a driving force - literally - as a young driver who brought women to fundraisers for Israel.  She also made trips to Michigan Central Train Station to pick up visitors to Detroit, including a young woman later known by the name of Golda Meir.  Education and the security of Israel were driving forces to a young Esther and they were important to her throughout her life--just two of the many ways she was a Michigan Jewish woman who made a difference.   

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