About Us


Founded in 1959, Jewish Historical Society of Michigan is committed to preserving and sharing Michigan's remarkable Jewish history, to inspire history enthusiasts of all ages.  Our customizable, award-winning bus tours bring the past to tantalizing life.  Our Speakers' Bureau presentations, given by our extraordinary league of volunteers, bring "armchair tours" of historic Jewish Detroit, Michigan's cemeteries and synagogues, and Michigan Women Who Made a Difference to groups throughout the state.  Our award-winning publications, Michigan Jewish History and the JHSM Bulletin, document our history for this generation and those to come.  Our innovative programming and exciting collaborations, like "The Henry Ford... THROUGH A JEWISH LENS," bring the past and present into fascinating dialogue.  In all that we do, we affirm that Michigan's Jewish history is for everyone. 


About our Executive Director

Catherine Cangany, PhD is a scholar of colonial and early federal Michigan.  Prior to joining JHSM, she was a tenured associate professor of history at the University of Notre Dame.  She has received fellowships through the American Council of Learned Societies, the John Carter Brown Library, the Massachusetts Historical Society, the Center for French Colonial Studies, the Institut Français d’Amérique, and the Library Company of Philadelphia.  She received her doctorate in colonial North American / Atlantic world history from the University of Michigan.  She holds bachelor's degrees in English, history, and classical civilization from Indiana University.  She is the author of Frontier Seaport: Detroit's Transformation into an Atlantic Entrepôt (University of Chicago Press, 2014).



  • Margery Jablin, President
  • Barbara Cohn, Vice President
  • Roz Blanck, Vice President
  • Nadav Pais-Greenapple, Vice President
  • Ken Bernard, Treasurer
  • Deede Auster, Secretary
  • Jeannie Weiner, Immediate Past President

Board of Directors

  • Beryl Bessemer
  • Rachel Francisco
  • Cindy Hughey
  • Sue Kalisky
  • Susan Cassels Kamin
  • Andrew Lapin
  • Gail Offen
  • Susan Rollinger
  • Stewart Shevin
  • Michael G. Smith
  • Joel Ungar
  • Trudy Levine Weiss


JHSM Past Presidents

  • 1959 – 1961 Allen E. Warsen*
  • 1961 – 1963 Irving I. Katz*
  • 1963 – 1964 Emanuel Applebaum*
  • 1964 – 1973 Dr. Irving I. Edgar*
  • 1973 – 1975 Dr. A.S. Rogoff*
  • 1975 – 1977 Dr. Henry Green*
  • 1977 – 1979 Doris Easton*
  • 1979 – 1981 Jeffrey N. Borin
  • 1981 – 1983 Phillip Applebaum
  • 1983 – 1984 Bette A. Roth Young*
  • 1984 – 1987 Stanley N. Meretsky
  • 1986 – 1988 Evelyn Noveck*
  • 1988 – 1990 Adele W. Staller*
  • 1990 – 1993 Gilbert Borman
  • 1993 – 1997 Judith Levin Cantor*
  • 1997 – 2001 James D. Grey
  • 2001 – 2002 Joan R. Braun*
  • 2002 – 2005 Robert D. Kaplow
  • 2005 – 2009 Ellen S. Cole*
  • 2008 – 2012 Arnold S. Collens
  • 2012 – 2014 Gerald S. Cook
  • 2014 – 2016 Michael W. Maddin
  • 2016 – 2018 Neil Gorosh
  • 2018 – 2022 Risha B. Ring, PhD
  • 2022 – 2024 Jeannie Weiner

* of Blessed Memory

JHSM Advisory Board

  • Dr. Constance G. Arnold
  • Fred Cislo, Jr.
  • Irwin J. Cohen
  • Ann J. Conrad
  • Cathy Deutchman
  • Charles "Chuck" Domstein
  • Charlotte Dubin
  • Ben Falik
  • Margaret "Peg" Tracy-Finkelstein
  • Dennis Frank
  • Hon. Bernard Friedman
  • Jules Goldman
  • Karla Goldman, PhD
  • Dr. Paul Goodman
  • Elayne Gross
  • Hon. Gilda Jacob
  • Cillia Kleiman
  • Myrle Leland
  • Hannan Lis
  • Rabbi Asher Lopatin
  • Howard Lupovitch, PhD
  • Rachel Manela
  • Marc D. Manson
  • Rabbi Mark Miller
  • Hon. Susan Moiseev
  • Allan Nachman
  • Gabe Neistein
  • Margi Opperer
  • David Otis
  • Edie L. Resnick
  • Sharona Shapiro
  • Harriet Siden
  • Sidney Simon
  • Mike Skinner
  • Robert Sklar
  • Janice Sobel
  • Carol Weisfeld, PhD
  • Rabbi Herbert Yoskowitz
  • Mary Lou Zieve

Meet the Team

Margery Jablin

Margery Jablin


Catherine Cangany, PhD

Catherine Cangany, PhD

Executive Director

Hilary Joy Chottiner, MM

Hilary Joy Chottiner, MM

Program Director

Tracy Weissman, JD

Tracy Weissman, JD

Education Director and Managing Editor

Judy Sofferin

Judy Sofferin

Office Manager and Bookkeeper


Get In Touch



Business Hours

Monday - Friday
10am - 3pm

Mailing Address

Jewish Historical Society of Michigan
33228 West 12 Mile Rd., #349
Farmington Hills, MI 48334

Contact Us

Become a JHSM Volunteer

Looking for a fun and heimish organization to get involved with?  Volunteer with us!  Love to work with people?  Enjoy researching or writing?  Want to become a tour guide or program docent?  If you have time and skills to lend, we will put them to good use!  Contact us about volunteering today!

Become a JHSM volunteer

Leonard N. Simons History-Maker Award

Named for Leonard N. Simons, an early JHSM member and a Detroit icon, the Simons Award honors those who have made outstanding contributions to the enrichment, conservation, knowledge, and dissemination of Michigan Jewish history. Its presentation is a highlight of our annual meeting.  Know a deserving candidate?  Submit a nomination!

Learn More

Support the Michigan Women Who Made a Difference Project

We're here for herstory.  Our Michigan Women Who Made a Difference project celebrates the community's foremothers, from renowned soprano Emma Lazaroff Schaver to philanthropist Frieda Stollman to braille writer Lillian Keidan Levin. Check out our online gallery for some inspiring reading.  And consider making a gift to the MWWMD fund--to ensure their stories are never forgotten.


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