February 2018 / Shevat-Adar 5778

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February Events at the Downtown Synagogue
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

Welcome to our new members in December/January: Julie Pais, Alan Havis, Andrea Kannon, Joshua Goldberg, and Adam Milgrom & Valerie Efros!

Rabbi's Message

My daughter is already planning her Purim costume. Jewish organizations in Detroit have begun coordinating and planning our Purim parties (there will be one every day Wednesday through Sunday). Our Ritual Committee and I have been recruiting lay leaders to facilitate the festivities at IADS (if you are interested, please let me know!) and the to-do lists in the office cover every detail.
The month of Adar and our Purim celebrations will be filled with joy and laughter. And amidst the spectacular costumes, intoxicating refreshments, and spirited megillah reading, it is easy to forget another Purim observance--providing support to those in need.  Matanot L'Evyonim is one of the mitzvot of Purim and, along with mishloach manot, it reminds us that we need to share our abundance.
And so I encourage you, as you plan your costume and Purim party itinerary, to also prepare to give. Please bring a box of pasta to shake as your grogger, and we will donate them to a food pantry. Please consider a donation to an organization fighting for social justice. And please, as you move through Detroit, if someone by the side of the road is asking for money, give without assumptions or judgment. Our generosity can and should continue throughout the year, and one the particular joys of Adar is bringing joy to others. May our entire extended community have a very happy Purim.

With gratitude,
Rabbi Silverman
Upcoming Events
All events are at IADS unless otherwise noted. For more information on some of the events below, click here
10 of Judaism's Best Ideas with Rabbi Ariana Silverman
Thursdays, January 4 thru March 8, 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. This is not a drop-in class and participants are encouraged to sign up for and attend the entire series. Please contact Rabbi Silverman with questions or to register. 
Hebrew Free Loan, Lunch, and Learn  
Saturday, February 10, 12:30 to 2:00 pm  
In parshat Mishpatim, we are taught about the mitzvah of showing sensitivity by lending money without charging interest. In our community, Hebrew Free Loan has provided thousands of interest-free loans to Jews across Michigan, and you may be surprised in the various types of loans that the agency gives - everything from medical expenses (including IVF) to business loans to home remodeling. As we read and study parashat Mishpatim, come learn about the loan opportunities for you or someone you know.
JTot Detroit: Megillah for Munchkins   
Wednesday, February 28, 5:30 to 7:00 pm    
We invite our JTot Detroit families to join us at the synagogue (in costume, of course) for a special tot Purim celebration with activities, stories, treats, and pizza! To RSVP, please email Vicki
Purim: The Whole Megillah!  
Wednesday, February 28, 7:00 to 8:30 pm    
Join the Downtown Synagogue at our annual community reading of the Megillah for the holiday of Purim to commemorate the defeat of Haman's (BOOOOO!) plot to get rid of the Jews, foiled by the heroic and dazzling Esther (YAAAAAY!). Come in costume, bring a box of kosher pasta to use as a grogger - all to be donated to Yad Ezra after Purim. Hamantashen and beverages will be provided.
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 January volunteers:

Ruby Robinson, Eric Hansen, Josh Berkow, and Marty Herman for leading services this month; Troy Amber for helping to cook Shabbat meals; Josh Berkow for fixing our doorbell; Brandi Hunter and Aaron Cahen for their help with the Tu b'Schvitz seder; Alan Havis for being a great partner to work with at the Schvitz Health Club; and Ginger Hopkins and Anita Belle for their wonderful presentations during 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. 
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.



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