November Events at the Downtown Synagogue
Join us for Shabbat services and then stay to hear about how Jewish identity and environmentalism coexist with scholar in residence, Hazon's Nigel Savage.
Tuesday, November 14
7:00 to 8:30 pm
Catch up on the year in review with distinguished
Detroit Free Press
journalists, Nancy Kaffer and Stephen Henderson
Race and Protest
Tuesday, November 14
7:00 to 8:30 pm
Kneeling for the national anthem - what is it really about? Come hear law professor
Shanthi Senthe discuss race, protest, and the NFL.
Our Annual Campaign is in Full Swing!
The Downtown Synagogue is an open, inviting, welcoming home. Show your support of the last free-standing synagogue in the city of Detroit, a synagogue that has stayed in the city since it began almost 100 years ago. Help us sustain the work we've done, the work we're doing, and the work we'll do in the future with your generous contribution. We're there for you. Thank you so much to everyone who has already donated. If you haven't yet,
New Membership and Membership Renewal
The Downtown Synagogue has spent a great deal of time these past few years exploring whether and how to move beyond the traditional membership dues structure, a discussion happening all over the country in large and small synagogues. As a congregation with a long and successful tradition of free services and programs, we are pleased to announce that we too are altering our model to make membership contribution voluntary. We are replacing our annual Membership Drive with an Annual Campaign in order to raise the funds we need to continue to operate. To apply for new membership or to renew your membership for the 2017-2018 year, please fill out the form and mail it back or apply/renew online!
After I graduated from college, I went to Washington DC to do environmental advocacy, first on behalf of the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life, and then for the Sierra Club. For three years, I taught kids, congregations, and members of Congress about how we could be better stewards of the Earth. When I'm asked why I left Washington to go to rabbinical school, I sometimes joke that it was when I realized I couldn't save the world that I decided to become a rabbi.
The deeper answer is that when I made the transition from COEJL to the Sierra Club, my language about the environment needed to change, but my motivations never did. I believe that life on earth is sacred, and we have a sacred obligation to protect it.
Becoming a rabbi was a continuation of that commitment. I am deeply proud to be working with our Green Team-Sara Kaplan, Rachel Klegon, Molly Mardit, Amit Weitzer, and our Program Director Vicki Sitron-to make the synagogue more sustainable. And I am delighted that there will be many opportunities to learn more about Judaism & sustainability
. Nigel Savage, President & CEO of Hazon, will be speaking and teaching as part of our Green Shabbat, I will be part of an interfaith panel on
(at Temple Beth El in Bloomfield Hills) on
Creation Stories & Our Environment
, and will focus on early Jewish sources on sustainability during the Lunch & Learn on
Perhaps now more than ever, we have to recommit ourselves to our sacred obligation to be good stewards, and I look forward to doing so with you.
Rabbi Ariana Silverman
All events are at IADS unless otherwise noted. For more information on some of the events below, click here.
Green Shabbat Weekend
Friday, November 10, 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm
Saturday, November 11, 10:00 am to 1:30pm
Join us and Hazon Detroit for an environmentally themed Shabbat weekend! After our Friday night services at 7:00pm, please join us for an environmentally sustainable kosher vegetarian meal at 8:15pm. We are excited to host the CEO of Hazon, Nigel Savage, along with a group of community and IADS Green Team members (Rachel Klegon, Sara Kaplan, and Eitan Sussman) who are working in different fields tied to the environment about how they integrate their Judaism into their work. We will have a panel discussion and then break into smaller groups.
On Saturday morning, Shabbat services will begin promptly at 9:00am. At noon, we will discuss environmental themes from the Torah, led by Nigel Savage, over a delicious environmentally sustainable kosher, vegetarian meal.
Lunch & Learn with Rabbi Silverman
Monday, November 13, 12:00 to 1:00 pm
In the beginning...God instructed us to protect God's creation. Today, 5778 years later, as we are wrestling with how to do so, we will look back at the earliest Jewish texts on environmental sustainability and discuss how we can incorporate them into our lives. Kosher, vegetarian lunch provided.
Tuesday, November 14, 7:00 to 8:30 pm
2017: A Year in Review with Stephen Henderson and Nancy Kaffer
It's been one year since the election. Join us for an introspective and intimate conversation with award-winning Detroit Free Press journalists, Stephen Henderson and Nancy Kaffer. We will discuss policy issues (what has changed and not), the increased visibility of hate groups, and the state of local, state, and national politics. Wine and cheese will be served.
The Price of Protest: The Commercialization of Color and the NFL
Thursday, November 30, 7:00 to 8:30 pm
Join us in examining the contemporary issues surrounding the NFL protest using constitutional, corporate, and critical race frameworks.
Shanthi Elizabeth Senthe is an Assistant Professor at Windsor Law. She taught Business Associations, Secured Transactions, Corporate Governance, and Remedies. Shanthi is admitted to practice law in Ontario, Florida, North Carolina and the District of Columbia. Her research interests include corporate, commercial, banking and finance law, critical race theory and more recently sports law. She is also currently leading a research study involving Black commercialization and financialization in the Detroit area. Refreshments will be served.
New Ways to Get to the Downtown Synagogue!
Now that the QLine is up and running, park along the route, hop on the train, and join us for Shabbat services and programs. We are only two blocks from the Grand Circus station! For more information about pricing, routes, and stations, visit their website. We are also located one block from the nearest MoGo station!
In recognition of all of our October volunteers:
for helping to lead services this month;
for cooking Shabbat meals;
Les Kannon, Yifat Clein, Hannah Lewis,
for putting up the sukkah at IADS;
Ruby Robinson and Yifat Clein, Emily Levine and Brett Wilner,
Rabbi Silverman and Justin Long
for hosting guests in their sukkahs for MOSH and NOSH;
for leading another fun and meaningful Simchat Torah celebration;
Susannah Goodman, Liz Kannon, Vadim Avshalumov, Rena Friedberg, Jodee Fishman Raines, Jackie Victor, Leor Barak, Jeff Herbstman, Jeff Brown, Sam Malott,
for making calls for the Annual Campaign phone-a-thon. Thank you to everyone else who volunteers their time and energy to IADS. A lay led congregation is is only as strong its volunteers.
If you're interested in volunteering, please contact Vicki Sitron at 313-962-4047 or
We apologize for any names left off the list. Please let us know and we will recognize you next month.
Hazon Seal of Sustainability
We are excited to be participating in Hazon's Seal of Sustainability program here with a commitment to greening
the Downtown Synagogue and lessening our impact on our environment. Our three focus areas are:
1) Start a recycling program
2) Transition to more sustainable plates/cups/utensils for our meals
3) Plan a launch/kick-off/educational event or publicity event surrounding our deepened commitment to sustainability
For more information on how to participate, please contact the Rabbi!
Green the Synagogue!
If you are interested in being part of an effort to make our synagogue more environmentally sustainable, please contact Rabbi Silverman.
Help Us Cook!
We're always seeking volunteers to help us in the kitchen! We pride ourselves on our delicious home cooked Shabbat and Lunch and Learn meals. If you want to contribute to the synagogue by cooking, please contact our Kitchen Coodinator to get on the schedule.
As we work to clean up and clear out in our Synagogue, we ask your cooperation. If you notice a spill, please wipe it up. If you drop crumbs, please clean them up. If you use the kitchen, please clean up. If you have extra papers or handouts, please take them home to recycle them, or, if needed, leave them in the designated box in the library for ritual burial. Just a reminder: please no food or drinks (other than water) are allowed on the 2nd floor. As we continue to create our welcoming communal home, please help us to keep it inviting. As the saying goes, "it takes a village."
Gemilut Chasadim - Our Caring Community
As life presents challenges, surprises, and celebrations, please let the Downtown Synagogue community know, so we can acknowledge your experiences. Please share your information with us here.
The Downtown Synagogue is now on Amazon Smile! If you use Amazon.com to buy useful and useless things, a percentage of eligible purchases gets donated back to us. Please bookmark this link and don't forget to use Amazon Smile when you shop Amazon. Thanks for your support!
Shop at Kroger
Make sure to register your Plus Card and designate IADS as your Kroger Community Rewards Program, if you haven't already done so. When you shop at Kroger, swipe your Plus Card each time you shop and the synagogue benefits. It's that easy! From November to January, you earned $51.31 for IADS. For more information, or to sign up,
We hold regular Shabbat services!
Shabbat services every Saturday morning at 10:00 am
Shabbat services every Friday night at 7:00 pm
Rabbi Silverman leads services the first and second Fridays of every month
Liven up your weekly routine by joining us to welcome Shabbat. In the midst of busy schedules and tantalizing local events, Friday nights at IADS remain a signature weekly rhythm. Whether you have joy you wish to share in song or you are feeling in the mood to just be quietly present, we have a place reserved just for you. Services at 7:00 pm followed by a deliciously prepared Kosher vegetarian dinner. End your hectic work week with ruach and community.
Torah study (before Saturday services) at 9:00 am
Rabbi Silverman leads services the first and second Saturdays of every month
Where would Jews be without the Torah? Torah is the center of our Saturday Shabbat service. It is a mitzvah to make a minyan so we can read the Torah and people can say kaddish. Please come to the Saturday morning Shabbat service at 10:00. We want to pass the Torah
if you have questions or requests pertaining to our service schedule.
Purchase Your IADS T-Shirts Today!
Our incredibly soft tees have been seen all over the city. Grab yours today before they run out!
T-shirts are $18. See more photos and get purchasing info