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About Us

Our History 
Established in 1934, our synagogue has a long and dynamic history, from the congregation's days on Pike Street in Pontiac through our move to West Bloomfield more than 30 years ago and our recent rebirth as B'nai Israel Synagogue. Kiddush lunch and minyan breakfast are hallmarks of our community, reaching back many decades. Known for a family-friendly atmosphere and lay-led services, B'nai Israel
Synagogue is proud of its place among the family of Conservative congregations in Metro Detroit.

Our Rabbi 
Rabbi Mitch Parker has spent his career making his way around the Great Lakes. He was born in Toronto (Lake Ontario) where he remained until completing undergraduate school at York University. He then enrolled in a doctoral program in Educational Psychology at the University of Buffalo (Lake Erie). After finishing school. Dr. Parker remained in Buffalo for another 20 years, during which time he worked at Children’s Hospital and a school for children with developmental challenges. While in Buffalo Dr. Parker was the lay spiritual leader of a small chavurah and was very involved in adult education activities in the Buffalo community.

For over a decade of summers Dr. Parker first founded and then directed Tikvah, a program for children with Developmental Disabilities at Camp Ramah in Canada.

In the summer of 2000, Dr. Parker moved to Detroit (Lake Huron) to be Special Needs Director at Hillel Day School. He immediately joined B’nai Israel/Shaarey Zedek, moving a block away from the West Bloomfield building.

After leaving Hillel, began working as a psychologist at Keller Clinic in Bloomfield Hills.  Additionally, he was a founding teacher at the Detroit Branch of the Florence Melton Mini-School. He soon took a part time job working for the North American Office of Melton in Chicago (Lake Michigan), where he was responsible for developing and monitoring Melton programs designed for parents of young children.

In 2007, Dr Parker took a full time position in Toronto returning to his roots at Zareinu, a Day School for Children with Developmental and Physical Challenges.  He returned to Detroit every weekend to spend time with his family, friends and synagogue.

In 2015 it was time to come home.  Returning to Detroit and looking for something to do, Dr. Parker decided to enroll in an online Rabbinical program designed for people already in the field of Jewish education and practice.  Around the same time that Doctor Parker became Rabbi Parker, the now independent B’nai Israel Synagogue was searching for a new Rabbi and the shidduch was made.  Rabbi Parker has been very proud to be part of his community first as a lay person in the pews and now as the Rabbi still largely in the pews (or in today’s world on Zoom)

Cheryl Parker is the wife of the peripatetic Rabbi. Their son, daughter in law and three grandsons live in Toronto and their daughter, son-in-law and two granddaughters live in Silver Spring Maryland.

Only one more Great Lake to go. . .

Membership 
If you are interested in membership or would like to be added to our email list, please contact us. You can reach us at (248) 432-2729 or via email at info@bnaiisraelwb.org. If you are curious about our congregation, please join us for services and introduce yourself. WE WILL CERTAINLY INTRODUCE OURSELVES! B'nai Israel offers a range of dues levels based on age and family status. We also encourage our members to participate as minyan leaders and volunteers.

Sun, August 9 2020 19 Av 5780