Launching the Orchards


The dedication of The Orchards was very special to me because it was the fruition of a hopeful new idea.  For several years, I had worked on a committee, chaired by Phyllis Akers and Beryl Winkelman, that planned, organized and raised money for a residence for boys who needed special help in their daily lives.  During that time, we checked various areas to locate the home, and checked school systems to see if they would take the boys into their schools.  As a result of our research, our Section purchased an older house in Livonia.  We cleaned it up, stocked it with supplies, furnished it and gave it a name, courtesy of Jo Weiner.  She noticed the trees in the back of the house, and thought naming it The Orchards would be appropriate.

Our national NCJW president attended the dedication along with the mayor of Livonia and many community neighbors.  We gathered on the patio in back of the home, and it was a very proud moment for Greater Detroit Section.

I was president of our Section at the time that Ralph Abramowitz was hired as director, and he did a fine job choosing the seven Oakland County boys who would comprise the first group to reside in the home.   He wanted to ensure that these boys would have a good chance to succeed in our initial venture.  Later, The Orchards grew to encompass 3 homes, included girls, and finally got so big that we turned it over to an organization of its very own that serves more than 2000 children for counseling, adoption or foster care situations.