December 2017 / Kislev - Tevet 5778

December Events at the Downtown Synagogue

We Made Our Annual Campaign Goal!  
We exceed our goal and raised over $140,000! Thank you to everyone who donated and supported us throughout our first ever Annual Campaign. We will continue to be here for you. 
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 contributions 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 2017-18 year, please fill out the form and mail it back or apply/renew online!  
Thank you to our renewed members.  
Welcome to our new members: Molly Mardit, Jonah Raduns-Silverstein, Shirel (LaTonya) Motley, Lavea Brachman and Andrew Smith, Noah Gardner and Keyanna Silverman-Maddox, Roslyn Schindler, Helene Rottenberg, Jacob Rosenzweig, Karl Gierach and Sherrita McClain, Samantha Malott and Jeffrey Brown, Oren Brandvain, and Adam Blanck. 

Rabbi's Message

We come together during Hanukkah to remember that we can share light and tell stories of hope. And this December we are lighting sparks in many ways.
We are proud to be partnering on two events this month that engage in the complexities of Judaism and racial justice in our city and our country. I encourage you to come to the Synagogue for the workshop on December 10th, and to the Bethel Community Transformation Center for the performance and discussion on December 17th, because each of us has a role to play as we pursue justice and demonstrate the courage to learn and have dialogue across lines of race, faith, and class.
Our JTot Hanukkah party will ensure that the youngest generation of Jewish Detroiters know that we are all committed to building a bright future for them and for all of Detroit's kids. And yes, we will communicate that through plenty of latkes, chocolate, and singing.
And then of course come to our Annual Meeting and Hanukkah party. A lay-led congregation reflects the strength of its volunteers. The annual meeting is an opportunity to express our gratitude to outgoing board members and elect and empower new ones. And the party is a wonderful annual celebration of the light we create and reflect as a community.
Winter tends to keep people inside because of the cold and the darkness, and we sometimes feel discouraged by that isolation. Our tradition is an anecdote to that.  Come join us as we kindle light.
Rabbi Ariana Silverman
Upcoming Events
All events are at IADS unless otherwise noted. For more information on some of the events below, click here

What's a Jew to Do?
Sunday, December 10, 1:00 to 4:00 pm
Talking about Racism and Anti-Semitism and Where They Intersect. An interactive workshop with Yehudah Webster.
We hear (and use) the words "oppression" and "privilege" a lot these days, but what do they really mean and how do they affect our country, our community and us as Jews? We're delving in to the complicated issues of modern-day racism, anti-Semitism and exploring how these power dynamics are playing out in our own backyards. Yehudah Webster and members from the Detroit Jewish community will share their personal stories about being on "both sides of the fence" and together we will reflect on our own experiences and work to find ways to make our community a more inclusive, welcoming place for everyone. Co-sponsored with Detroit City Moishe House, NEXTGen Detroit, The Well, and Detroit Jews for Justice.
2nd Annual Lil' Latkes Hanukkah Party 
Saturday, December 16, 4:00 to 6:00 pm  
Join us for a special Tot Hanukkah party, complete with songs, latkes, donuts, bagels, and activities designed for kids ages 6 and under (all are welcome)! Please send an RSVP via email to Vicki.
Come My Beloved
Sunday, December 17, 3:30 to 5:30 pm    
Bethel Community Transformation Center , 8801 Woodward Ave, Detroit 
Join us for a staged reading of Come My Beloved, a new play about the shared history and future of Black and Jewish communities in Detroit. The performance will be followed by a community discussion led by Pastor Aramis Hinds and Rabbi Ariana Silverman. Reserve your tickets now! A donation of $10 is suggested to support production costs. 
Annual Meeting and Hanukkah Party 
Sunday, December 17, 5:30 to 8:00 pm
We will begin the evening with our annual meeting. All members in good standing may vote on the slate of new Board Members and Officers. After, stay for Hanukkah delights featuring a latke bar and more! Please join us for food, fun, and some holiday comradery. For more information on our Annual Meeting, please contact the office
New Series Coming in January! 
10 of Judaism's Best Ideas with Rabbi Ariana Silverman
Thursdays, January 4 - March 8, 2018
7:30 to 8:45 pm 
This 10 week course will cover topics such as Shabbat and the holidays, lifecycle events, social justice, Hebrew, eating as a Jew - everything you wanted to know about Judaism but were afraid to ask! This class is intended for beginners, non-Jews, interfaith couples, or anyone who would love a refresher course on how cool Judaism really is. Please contact Rabbi Silverman with questions or to register.  
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!  

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

Adam Martin, Molly Mardit, Sam Woll, Eric Hansen, and Marty Herman for leading services this month and Troy Amber for cooking food for Shabbat. Thank you to everyone else who volunteers their time and energy to IADS. A lay-led congregation 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! 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 10:00 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 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 they run out! T-shirts are $18. Contact the office for more information.



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