About Us


For more than half a century, the Jewish Historical Society of Michigan has promoted and celebrated the special story of Michigan’s Jewish communities, organizations and citizens. Our programs, tours, events and publications preserve and proudly bring to life the struggles of Michigan’s early settlers, the strength of our business entrepreneurs, the accomplishments of our Jewish leaders, and the legacies of today’s innovators and urban pioneers. JHSM is the only organization in Michigan with the unique ability to curate these stories from myriad resources, then preserve and share them so future generations will know these legacies.

Founded in 1959 to preserve and commemorate our past for future generations, JHSM is the only not-for-profit organization in Michigan dedicated exclusively to this purpose. JHSM has amassed and documented a storehouse of information about the events, traditions and lives of Jewish people throughout the state.

With a staff of four and an able corps of talented and passionate volunteers, JHSM accomplishes our mission by leading public and private tours of historic Jewish Detroit and Southeast Michigan; offering a variety of historically interesting programs; publishing Michigan Jewish History and the MJH Bulletin; creating curriculum for educational programs for adults and youth; managing a Speakers Bureau who present “virtual tours” of historic Jewish Michigan; and managing, maintaining and growing the Michigan Women Who Made a Difference Project and Archives, the Jewish Yearbook Collection and www.michjewishhistory.org.


Meet our New Executive Director,

Catherine ("Katie") Cangany, Ph.D.

The Jewish Historical Society of Michigan announces the hire of Catherine ("Katie") Cangany as Executive Director.

Cangany (KANG-guh-nee) joins JHSM from the University of Notre Dame in Notre Dame, Ind., where she was an Associate Professor in the Department of History, specializing in United States history (particularly early America), and economic, cultural, and religious history. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan and a B.A. from Indiana University in Bloomington, Ind.

Married with a daughter, she resides in Oakland County, where her ties to the Detroit area are both personal and professional. She is the author of Frontier Seaport: Detroit’s Transformation into an Atlantic Entrepôt (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2014), which charts colonial Detroit’s transformation into an Atlantic port city. She has also published significant research on colonial Detroit in peer-reviewed journals, earning her numerous awards for scholarship, and has been the recipient of numerous fellowships and grants.

With family ties to Apple Island on Orchard Lake, Cangany has been an active member of the Greater West Bloomfield Historical Society for over a decade. Her service to that organization includes successful fundraising efforts on local, statewide and national levels, and a long, varied list of public programming.

“Katie’s strengths as a respected scholar, passionate historian, proven fundraiser and dedicated non-profit volunteer combine to make her the ideal candidate as our new Executive Director,” said JHSM Board of Directors President Risha B. Ring. “We are thrilled to welcome Katie to our stellar team of staff and volunteers, and look forward to a bright future with her at the helm.”

Cangany, who will assume her new role August 15, said she is looking forward to returning to her Oakland County roots in a role that highlights her love of public history.

“The Jewish Historical Society of Michigan is a respected, well-run organization of which I am greatly proud to be a part,” she said. “As JHSM heads into its 60th year in 2019, I am excited to explore ways to expand and improve outstanding programming, engage a wider membership, and share our state’s proud Jewish history.”

Cangany replaces Wendy Rose Bice, who provided more than nine years of service to JHSM. Under Bice’s leadership, the organization’s membership has doubled, with an increased web and social media presence, and robust programming, including a variety of bus tours, youth education curriculum, and professional presentations. 


  • Risha B. Ring, President
  • Neil Gorosh, Immediate Past President
  • Barbara Cohn, Vice President
  • Ron Sollish, Vice President
  • Ralph Woronoff, Treasurer
  • Larry Gunsberg, Secretary

Board of Directors

  • Dan Buckfire
  • Jacqueline "Jacqui" Elkus
  • Bruce Fisher
  • Ruthe Goldstein
  • Dr. Sharon Havis
  • Margery J. Jablin
  • Judy Lansky
  • Ed Malkin
  • Sheri Schiff
  • Martin Shichtman
  • Jeannie Weiner


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 – 1986 Stanley N. Meretsky
  • 1986 – 1988 Evelyn Noveck*
  • 1988 – 1990 Adele W. Staller
  • 1990 – 1994 Gilbert Borman
  • 1994 – 1996 Judith Levin Cantor
  • 1996 – 1998 James D. Grey
  • 1999 – 2000 Joan R. Braun*
  • 2000 – 2002  
  • 2002 – 2005 Robert D. Kaplow
  • 2005 – 2009 Ellen S. Cole
  • 2010 – 2012 Arnold S. Collens
  • 2012 – 2014 Gerald S. Cook
  • 2014 – 2016 Michael W. Maddin
  • 2016 – 2018 Neil Gorosh

* of Blessed Memory

JHSM Advisory Board

  • Laurie Blume
  • Jennifer Boardman
  • Denise Brown
  • Dan Buckfire
  • Ann J. Conrad
  • Cathy Deutchman
  • Charles "Chuck" Domstein
  • Charlotte Dubin
  • Ben Falik
  • Dennis Frank
  • Jules Goldman
  • Prof. Karla Goldman
  • Dr. Paul Goodman
  • Michael Kasky
  • Myrle Leland
  • Andrew "Andy" Levin
  • Hannan Lis
  • Prof. Howard Lupovitch
  • Marc D. Manson
  • Rabbi Mark Miller
  • Allan Nachman
  • Gabe Neistein
  • Stuart Raider
  • Edie L. Resnick
  • Dr. Wendy Sadoff
  • Harriet Siden
  • Sidney "Sid" Simon
  • Janice Sobel
  • Pam Sofferin
  • Debby Tukel
  • Carol Weisfeld
  • Rabbi Herbert Yoskowitz
  • Mary Lou Zieve

Meet The Team

Risha Ring

Risha Ring


Jane Nordberg

Jane Nordberg

Program Associate


Get In Touch



Office Hours

Monday - Friday
9am - 2pm


The Jewish Historical Society of Michigan
6600 W. Maple Rd.
West Bloomfield, MI 48322

Located in the administrative offices of the West Bloomfield Jewish Community Center.

Contact Us

Become a JHSM Volunteer

We invite you to join JHSM on our journey as we grow and continue to explore new avenues and pathways. We need volunteers who like to work with people and who want to join our tour program as docents or navigators. We need volunteers who are skilled writers and editors who want to work with us on our fantastic journal, Michigan Jewish History.

Become a JHSM Volunteer

Leonard N. Simons History Award

This award honors an individual who has made outstanding contributions to the Jewish Historical Society’s mission and to the larger Michigan community. This award honors Mr. Simons’ desire to ensure that the Jewish community of Detroit would retain a sense of pride in knowing who they are and where they came from.

Learn More

Support the Michigan Women Who Made a Difference Project

The Jewish Historical Society of Michigan's Michigan Women Who Made a Difference project seeks to revive, discover and share the names of our community foremothers. Your gift to the MWWMD Fund will help us further our research and documentation.


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