Keter Torah History
Jacob and Judith Chicorel arrived in Detroit
in 1917 from Izmir, Turkey.
Mr. Chicorel was an inspiring spiritual leader
and formidable Hazan who had trained side by side
with the world renowned Rabbi Izak Algazi.
That year, the Chicorel's began hostinghosting
High Holiday services for the small group
of local Sephardim. Amongst that first group
was a 2 year old boy named Sam Papo, one of 10 Papo children, who remains our strongest member today. The organization became known as the Sephardic Comunity of Greater Detroit.
Although the membership grew in size over the years, we continued to rent spaces, holding only High Holiday Services and social events until the 1980's.
The congregation remained a primarily immigrant group with members arriving from Turkey, Yugoslavia, Greece, Italy, Hungary, Yemen, Morocco, Tunisia, Iran, Iraq, India, Egypt, France, Afghanistan, The Russian States, Israel, Ethiopia, Canada, and elsewhere.
In the mid 1980's, a small group of men including Yeshua Katan, Joseph David, Gilbert Senor, Mario Sevy, Sam Pinchas, Gabriel Salama, Sam Papo, David Hazan with the leadership of Rabbi Avraham Cohen, and President David Chicorel began the organization's first weekly minyan Sunday services at Yeshivah Beth Yehuda in Oak Park, MI.
In the early 1990's, President Shirley Behar initiated Shabbat Services held initially at the 10 Mile Rd. Jewish Community Center. Mrs. Behar identified the voice of a new member, Sasson Natan, and asked him to assist us in leading services. He became our hazan in the mid 1990's. He is now the eminent Rabbi Sasson Natan. Hazak U Baruch!
Throughout the years, the Sephardic Community was renowned for their wonderful social gatherings, annual Mediteranian Night Dinners, and holiday parties.
The homemade Sephardic delicacies at every event were legendary. However, at the root of it all, was the continuation of the Sephardic traditions of religiousness and spirituality.
Following Haham Jacob Chicorel's untimely passing in 1963, Mr. Yeshua Katan and Mr. David Hazan led our congregation with untiring spirit for over 30 years. This team was blessed with not only the knowledge and love of Sephardic liturgy, but amazing voices that elevated the spirit in myriad ways.
The synagogue has been honored by the guidance of Rabbi Solomon Maimon who has graced us with his presence on numerous occasions.
With the generosity of Albert Chicorel, and many others, Keter Torah Synagogue was dedicated in 2002 as the Jacob and Judith Chicorel Building. Rabbi Michael Cohen served as head Rabbi until 2007. With the joint participation of Isaac Benezra, Eli Rashty, Menashe Shemesh, Avie Benaderet, and Hazan David Soleimani, Keter Torah's lay leaders lead members and guests in beautiful services every week.
The synagogue holds the Ari Nissim Levadi Main Sanctuary, The Shamie Family Social Hall, and the Gabriel Salama Library.
The kehila is located on the NW corner of Orchard Lake and Walnut Lake Roads, at 5480 Orchard Lake Road in West Bloomfield, MI 48323.
Weekly Services are held every Friday night, Saturday morning and evening, and Sunday morning.
Keter Torah Synagogue services are maintained in the
traditional Orthodox Sephardic manner.
The building maintains a Kosher kitchen and is
available for rental.