February, 2017 / Shevat-Adar, 5777

February at IADS

Lunch and Learn
Monday, February 6
12:00 pm
Environmental activist Emma Lockridge will share her photographs from Picturing Pollution: From the Hole. More information below. 
Tu B'Shevat Seder
Saturday, February 11
3:30 to 5:00 pm  
IADS, Congregation T'chiyah and the Reconstructionist Congregation of Detroit will celebrate together. More below.
Coffee Tasting  
Wednesday, February 22
7:00 to 8:30 pm
Nathan Glitman from Chazzano Coffee Roasters will guide us through a tasting of this common beverage. Details found below.

Rabbi's Message:  Stewards of the Earth   

When God created the first human beings, God led them around all the trees of the Garden of Eden and said: "Look at My works! See how beautiful they are-how excellent! For your sake I created them all. See to it that you do not spoil and destroy My world; for if you do, there will be no one else to repair it."
--Midrash Ecclesiastes Rabbah 7:13

For Jews, our stewardship of the Earth is a direct reflection of our relationship with God. Our holidays are based on the agricultural cycle, our liturgy reminds us each day to be in awe of the natural world, and our sacred texts, from the first Torah portion in Genesis to the midrash above, instruct us to guard God's creation.

Tu B'Shevat is an opportunity to remind ourselves of this sacred obligation and celebrate the beauty and abundance of our world and the food it provides. Although the holiday occurs closer to the emergence of spring in Israel than in the US, perhaps now more than ever, we need to remember the beauty of spring, celebrate abundance, and recommit ourselves to our sacred responsibility.

We will do so, together with Congregation T'chiyah, and the Reconstructionist Congregation of Detroit, at our Tu B'Shevat seder. I look forward to seeing you there.

Rabbi Ariana Silverman  
Have you Seen the News?


Rabbi Ariana Silverman was front page news recently. To read the article, click here
Upcoming Events
All events are at IADS unless otherwise noted. For more information on some of the events below, click here.

Lunch and Learn with Emma Lockridge 
Monday, February 6 at 12:00 pm 
Picturing Pollution: From the Hole Detroiter Emma Lockridge uses her camera, like Gordon Parks, as a weapon to right a societal wrong. Her probing lens documents environmental racism in her southwest-side community, which is ranked the most polluted in Michigan. Lockridge has captured five years of pollution images that are a clarion call for the government and polluting industries to radically change the impact toxic industries have on the health of our most vulnerable citizens. She is planning a series of environmental photographic events to engender positive change for folks she calls the Canaries in the Cave of Climate Change. A graduate of Wayne State University, Lockridge is an environmental activist and recently joined the staff of Michigan United as an environmental justice organizer. Kosher vegetarian lunch served.

Lunch and Learn with Rabbi Megan Brudney of Temple Beth El: Food for Thought 
Monday, February 13 at 12:00 pm 
Continuing in the New Rabbi Series, join Rabbi Megan Brudney from Temple Beth El as we delve into food ethics in our texts and today. Meat-eaters and vegetarians, kosher-keepers and traif-tasters, locavores and exotic fruit eaters are all welcome. A kosher vegetarian lunch will be served, enjoyed, and discussed!

Detroit ShabbAsana Yoga  
Saturday, February 11, 10:30 to 11:30 am
Deepen your Shabbat experience by observing your breath and flowing through an all levels, egalitarian yoga class with instructor Emilie Kahn. Shabbat is an ideal time to pause, rest, and breathe, thereby re-centering ourselves, and restoring our energy for the week to come. In this special Shabbat morning practice, we will create that space together through asana (poses), pranayama (breathing), and meditation. By going inwards and taking time to nurture your neshama we create a more peaceful olam. This class is intended for everybody, from beginner yogis to seasoned practitioners. Please bring your own yoga mat, a water bottle, and comfortable clothes. Emilie Kahn hails from Detroit proper and is a graduate of Flow Yoga Center.

Tu B'Shevat Seder    
Saturday, February 11, 3:30 to 5:00 pm
Join Congregation T'chiyah, the Reconstructionist Congregation of Detroit, and Isaac Agree Downtown Synagogue for a Tu B'shevat seder at IADS. The seder, led by Rabbis Ariana Silverman and Alana Alpert, will have lots of fruits, nuts, and Jewish wisdom about being better stewards of the Earth. Special activities for children will enable each generation to celebrate and learn. Please RSVP to

Coffee Tasting with Chazzano Coffee Roasters  
Wednesday, February 22, 7:00 to 8:30 pm
Wine has 750 different flavor profiles, but coffee has 1500 - twice the complexity of wine! Join Nathan Glitman from Chazzano Coffee Roasters for an exciting evening learning all about coffee and its many flavors and sample a variety of coffees from Ethiopia, Central America, and Indonesia. Nathan Glitman is the Operations and Roasting Manager for Chazzano Coffee Roasters located in Ferndale. He has been a coffee connoisseur and home barista since 2009.

This House of Synagogue Dance Party 
Saturday, February 25 at 10:00 pm
This House of Synagogue is the re-imagining of the Downtown Synagogue dance party into an ongoing series. Our goal is to cultivate the use of House Music to experience the spiritual and the transcendent. If you've been before, you know not to miss. If you haven't, really, where have you been? Please bring your love to party and your respect for the last synagogue in Detroit. With s pecial guest John Collins UR.

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

Thank you to Chef Bee and Susan Dines for cooking Shabbat dinner; Ruby Robinson, Josh Berkow, Susannah Goodman, Sam Woll, Eric Hansen, and Marty Herman for helping to lead services this month. 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.
Mazel Tov! 

To Nathaniel and Shaina Warshay on the birth of their daughter. Avigail Orit Warshay was born December 18, 2016. Her parents; siblings Assaf, Maayan, Anna, David and Madeleine (Abe Truitt); and grandparents Lee and Diana Warshay, Elliott and Lisa Shevin, and Shirley Shevin are excited to share the news. 

Rebbetzin's Corner

As a token of empathy, and in recognition of how hard it is to be single around the mid-February holiday of Tu B'Shevat, I devote this Rebbetzin's Corner to problems of romance.

To read the rest of Rebbetzin's Corner and his take on dating this time of the year, click here
IADS Staff Volunteers at Noah Project 

In early January, the Downtown Synagogue staff was honored to volunteer together for a morning at The Noah Project, located near the Synagogue in the Central United Methodist Church, serving lunch to 100 men and women in need. 
Community Events and Opportunities 

Cohn-Haddow Center for Judaic Studies 
Thursday, Februay 9, 2017 at 12:00 pm
Wayne State University, Faculty/Administration Building, room #2339
656 W. Kirby Street, Detroit 
Jerusalem of Gold or of Iron: a reading of two poems by  Naomi Shemer and Meir Ariel with Dina Routin "Jerusalem of Gold" by Naomi Shemer is one of the most well-known Israeli songs written before the 1967 war, and its composer was soon to be known as the "national song-writer." Yet a young soldier dared challenging the utopia of Shemer's song with a song of his own. So is Jerusalem a city of gold, or perhaps - a city of Iron? Dina Routin, a native of Jerusalem, holds an M.A in Hebrew Literature from the Hebrew University, and a text editing certificate from the David Yellin College. She is a freelance text editor, and works at the JCC; recently her first poetry book, "Ascending," was published. This event is free and open to the public.
Get Involved!
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 the synagogue 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 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. 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.
Shop at Kroger
If you shop at Kroger, you can earn money for the synagogue by registering your Plus Card with the Kroger Community Rewards Program and swiping your Plus Card each time you shop. 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
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 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
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 (proceeded by the Torah study at 9:00). We want to pass the Torah l'dor v'dor.

Contact us if you have questions or requests pertaining to our service schedule.
Purchase Your IADS T-Shirts Today!
Our incredibly soft tees are setting trends all over the city. Grab yours today before we run out!  $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