We welcome and invite you to share your memories of Detroit's former synagogues and Jewish sites.
Shared Memories of Shaarey Shomayim / Fenkell Shul
Email your memories to us » and we will add them to the site.
UPDATE 2021: The former Shaarey Shomayim synagogue site is rising again as the site of the exciting BULK Space gallery and artist residency program.
Shaarey Shomayim on Muirland
Rabbi Herbert Eskin listed this synagogue as his employer on his Army registration in 1940.
This shul happened to have been the only one in it's neighborhood.
It moved to 10 mile in OP where it was demolished to make way for the
freeway. A successor minyon under the leadership of Rabbi Goldman currently
meets in the Jewish Community Center of OP. My grandfather Bernard Shapiro
prayed here from the 1930's until it closed, when he moved to Beth Moses
as the next closest shul.
My father, of blessed memory, was president of this synagogue.
I had my bar mitzvah there, in 1949. Another president of the shul was
Harry Horowitz, a friend of my fathers, his son, David Horowitz, is a
good friend of mine, he can give you more information regarding this shul.
We had a blind cantor, conduct the entire Rosh Hashanah,
and Yom Kippur services one High Holiday year. There was a United Hebrew
School, two blocks away, on the corner of Parkside, and Midland, a yellow
one-story building. My grandfather, Peretz Weinziger, was a Shomer Shabbas,
and was a very active member of the shul. It was an orthodox congregation,
with separate seating for the men and women, the women were separated
from the men with a small white elevated area, on the southern side of
There was a recreational hall down the basement. It did
not have a full time rabbi; Rabbi Leo Goldman was the last rabbi of the
shul when it was on Muirland and Midland. The shul is still in existence
with Rabbi Goldman in Oak Park. My parents had two sefer torahs donated
to the shul. Thank you for bringing back many memories of the shul.
The Shaarey Shomayim located on the corner of Midland
and Muirland originated in the early thirties. It was some times referred
to as the Fenkell Shul. It was a modest wooden structure with the bema
in the center. The balcony on one side was for the women. The social hall
was in the basement. Many dinners and parties were held there.
My Aunt Lillian Goldman married Al Harrison there in
1934. The sister hood held picnics and parties at Belle Isle and Mt Clemens.
My grandfather Peter [Paisha] Goldman was a founding father and shamos.
He also read torah and taught bar mitzvah boys. My father Morris Sax was
a founding father. Rabbi Moldofsky was the rabbi for many years. Three
of his sons were killed in WW2. All of the congregates and rabbi were
all from Russia.
The other early members and founding fathers were:
Henry Keyhole, and
The Levine family were prominent Detroiters
Joseph Balberor was president of SS.
Sam Goldman [my mothers brother]
Barnett Katz [my mothers cousin]
The Gussin family,
Nayer,[mother in law of Abe Satovsky]and
Two years ago SS was on the bus tour sponsored by Adat Shalom and the
Jewish Historical society. SS is now relocated on Wyoming and 10 mile
in Oak Park, Michigan
I have lived in the Chicago area for many years although
my family is
still in the Detroit area. I do not know when SS was closed and reopened
This was Rabbi Levine who was head of the VAAD Ha Rabonnim's
- Ruth M.