August 2017 / Av-Elul 5777

August Events at the Downtown Synagogue
Jewish Identity
Friday, August 11 and Saturday, August 12
We are delighted to be hosting a weekend series about Jewish identity with a discussion and Jewish text study.
Lunch & Learn
Monday, August 14
12:00 pm to 1:00 pm 
Joinus for our final NEW RABBI SERIES with our own Rabbi Ariana Silverman leading a talk about tithing.
Milk and Honey    
Friday, August 25
7:00 to 9:30 pm
Come hear about (and taste!) a variety of honeys from Beekeeper Amalia Haas after our traditional Friday night services.
The Days of Awe are a time to reflect and return to the values that define us. To affirm our commitment to Detroit, to partnering with our neighbors, and to significant spaces in the life of our Jewish community, we are proud and excited that our services for the Days of Awe will be returning to the City of Detroit. They will be held at the former home of Temple Beth El (8801 Woodward), deepening our partnership with the community of the Bethel Community Transformation Center (BCTC). High Holiday letters will be mailed out in early August. Click here for our schedule of services.

Rabbi's Message: Sacred Spaces        

Moses was tending a flock in the wilderness when he was surprised to discover a burning bush. God said to Moses, "Do not come closer. Remove your sandals from your feet, for the place on which you stand is holy ground."
Sometimes sacred spaces are known to us, and sometimes they take us by surprise. We may connect with the Divine in the outdoors, a synagogue sanctuary, a place from our childhood, speaking with a friend, or alone as we go to sleep. We all have those places and times.
When IADS decided to move our services for the Days of Awe back to Detroit, we did so out of commitment to Detroit and its residents. We are humbled by the opportunity to worship in a sacred space that is a part of our Jewish story, and part of the story of our partners and neighbors in Detroit.
And so we are inviting you to connect with the Divine in a place that inspires - in its beauty, in its history, in the opportunities for partnership with the community that it currently houses. We are not going to ask you to take off your shoes. Nor do we expect a burning bush. We do expect moments of reflection and renewal, and perhaps a surprise or two.
I look forward to seeing you there.
Upcoming Events
All events are at IADS unless otherwise noted. For more information on some of the events below, click here

Jewish Identity Weekend    
Friday, August 11, 8:30 pm
Saturday, August 12, 1:00 pm

What makes someone a Jew? In 2017/5777, the major denominations have very different answers. This has implications for everything from who is counted in a minyan, to who may move to Israel under the Law of Return, to which rabbis will officiate at marriages, to the Jewish identity of our children. On Friday evening we will hear from members of our community, with varied Jewish journeys, about how they understand their own Jewish identity and the joys and struggles they have faced. On Saturday we will study the implications of the positions of the major denominations in the United States and the recent conversion bill in Israel. Both programs will take place after Shabbat services. Services begin on Friday evening at 7:00 pm, followed by dinner and the discussion. Services begin on Saturday morning at 9:00 am, followed by lunch and the discussion. Free and open to the community.

NEW RABBI SERIES: Lunch & Learn with Rabbi Ariana Silverman 
Monday, August 14, 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm 
We are delighted to be wrapping up our New Rabbi Series with Rabbi Ariana Silverman! Regardless of income, every Jew is obligated to give money to the less fortunate. Traditionally, one would give 10%, or "tithe." However, very few of us do that today. While the average American earning under $25,000 gives over 10% of their income to charitable causes, the average American earning over $50,000 gives around 3%. Come learn about the Jewish obligation to give and how we can make informed decisions about how much to give and to whom.  Kosher, vegetarian lunch provided.
Annual Riverboat Cruise      
Thursday, August 24, 7:30 to 10:30 pm
Stroh's River Place Dock, 201 Joseph Campau, Detroit

Send summer off in style at the Annual Detroit Riverboat Cruise. Dress in white and ride the waves with music, dancing, drinks, eats and one of the best views in the city. This year, Downtown Synagogue is partnering with NEXTGen Detroit, Hillel of Metro Detroit, Chabad of Greater Downtown Detroit, Repair The World: Detroit, and Detroit City Moishe House. We have 10 free tickets to give away so, if you're interested, please contact! Ages 18-45 only. 

The Land of Milk and Honey Shabbat 
Friday, August 25, 7:00 to 9:30 pm
Join us for our traditional Friday night Shabbat services at 7:00 pm and then stay for dinner and an explanation and honey tasting and food pairing with beekeeper, Amalia Haas. Honey is an extraordinary food that possesses the quality of terroir - its taste derives from the soil, plants, and region from which it comes. A honey's taste is multi-layered, and the flavor tones of a single-source (varietal) honey will pair beautifully with the flavor panel of specific foods such as fruits, cheeses, or chocolates. In this session, we will taste and pair several varietal honeys, learn each honey's ecological narrative, and see how the topic of bees and honeys is appropriate to many touch points in the Jewish calendar: Shavuot, Pesach, Chanukah and more. Come taste, learn the Torah of bees, and enjoy!
Amalia Haas, CEO/Founder of Bee Awesome, is a thought leader, social entrepreneur, and food justice activist whose work has been featured in Kosher Nation.

2nd Annual Michigan Jewish Food Festival 
Sunday, August 27, 11:00 am to 4:00 pm
Eastern Market Sheds 5 & 6, Detroit 
Bring the whole family to the Second Annual Michigan Jewish Food Festival and enjoy food, celebrate our shared history in Detroit, and learn about Detroit's current food movement that's creating a more sustainable, healthier, and more just community for all. Stop by the Downtown Synagogue's table and say hi! Interested in volunteering ? Contact
New Ways to Get to the Downtown Synagogue! 

Now that the QLine is up and running (all rides are free until Labor Day), 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!  

Eden Gardens is Back in FULL SWING! 

Eden Gardens work days are Thursday and Sunday 6:00 - 8:00 pm during the summer and they would like for you to help volunteer! They are doing a fundraiser to purchase the house next to the garden. The cost of the house is $1000. Having this house would allow Eden Gardens to have a place to teach skills such as canning, gardening, literacy classes, and would provide a permanent source of water for the garden. Please support them by going to their website. They are a 501c3 and all donations are tax deductible. Thanks for your support!

IADS Volunteer Shout Out 
In recognition of all of our July volunteers:

Ruby Robinson, Eric Hansen, Josh Berkow, and Marty Herman for helping to lead services this month; Troy Amber for cooking for Shabbat; Susannah Goodman for leading a wonderful program on immigration; Joshua Kannon for leading a very moving Lunch & Learn; Les Kannon for clearing the overgrown weeds behind the synagogue; and everyone who helped make minyan during weekday services. 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
Get Involved!
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.

Clean House!
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.

Amazon Smile
The Downtown Synagogue is now on Amazon Smile! If you use 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, click here.
Don't Forget!
We hold regular Shabbat services! 

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
Shabbat services every Saturday morning at 9:30 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 9:30. We want to pass the Torah l'dor vador.

Contact us 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!  $18.00 for members in good standing and $25.00 for friends. See more photos and get purchasing inf here.



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The Isaac Agree Downtown Synagogue
1457 Griswold - Detroit, MI - 48226 - (313) 962-4047