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Of Michigan’s 87,000 Jews, 72,000 live in the Detroit area and 7,000 in Ann Arbor. There are smaller communities in Lansing, Flint, Grand Rapids, and Kalamazoo. Jews first arrived in the state as fur traders in the mid-18th century, and during the Revolutionary War there were a few Jews in Michigan. Organized religious life started in Ann Arbor in 1845, and by the late 18th century Jews began to arrive in Detroit, starting a major Jewish community. The Jewish Welfare Federation was organized in Detroit in 1926, and a Community Council was started in 1937 with more than 260 local organizations. The Detroit Jewish News was first issued in 1942. Today, Detroit has a well-organized Jewish community with an extensive Hebrew school system, a thriving Jewish Community Center, and active Jewish cultural life.

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