January, 2017 / Tevet-Shevat, 5777

IADS January News

Memoir Writing Class
Tuesday, January 17
6:30 to 8:00 pm
Joy Gaines-Friedler will conduct a seminar for both the inexperienced and experienced writer. Dinner is included. More information on the workshop below.
New Rabbi Series Lunch and Learn
Monday, January 23
12:00 pm 
We are excited to have rabbis, new to the metro Detroit community, teach us at several upcoming Lunch and Learns. First up, Rabbi Shalom Kantor from B'nai Moshe. More details below.
Be the Light 
Wednesday, January 25
7:00 to 9:00 pm
An Imam, a Pastor, and a Rabbi walk into a synagogue. What sounds like the beginning of a bad joke is an opportunity to study together at Hazon's Gathering of Holy Sparks. More information below.

Rabbi's Message:  Building a Sacred Community    

The Talmud states, "Two who sit together and discuss words of Torah between them, the Divine Presence rests between them." (Pirkei Avot 3:3)

It is important to pause, to sit, to speak, and to really listen to people with whom we want to build a sacred community. Community organizers often call these conversations "one-to-ones." Martin Buber suggested they can create I-Thou moments, inviting the presence of the Divine. Starbucks likes to call them coffee dates.

Regardless of what we call them, regardless of whether our words of Torah are explicit or implicit, regardless of whether we actually drink coffee, when we come together to talk one-on-one it can bring holiness into our lives and into the world.

And so I want to do so with you. I want to do so if we've never met, and if we've known each other for years. I want to learn from and with you.

So let's schedule a time to sit and talk. Please send me a note via email to and we'll schedule a time.

Rabbi Ariana Silverman
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 Erin Einhorn 
Monday, January 9 at 12:00 pm 
Join us for a conversation with author Erin Einhorn, whose book, The Pages In Between: A Holocaust Legacy of Two Families, One Home, tells the unexpected consequences of digging into the past. When Einhorn found the family that hid her mother from the Nazis during World War II, she thought she'd created a made-for-TV-reunion for two families thrown together by history. A man who knew her mother as a child threw his arms around her and - tears streaming down his face - told her the little girl had been a sister to him. But the initial embrace soon gave way to half a century's hurt feelings and resentments. Erin found herself apologizing for choices made years before she was born, untangling a real estate deal made on a handshake by people no longer alive and struggling to prove the death of a great-grandfather born in 1868. Her story was featured on This American Life.
Free, kosher, vegetarian lunch served. 

Memoir Writing Class with Joy Gaines-Friedler        
Tuesday, January 17, 6:30 to 8:00 pm 
Writing is fun. It's art. It's expression. Does one really remember word for word what Dad said on that fishing boat? At the kitchen table? In the car on the way to Hebrew school? To write from our memories requires a bit of fiction. It requires the devices of story-telling and the form and function that fiction provides. We'll do fun writing exercises that will spark memory and imagination while learning some techniques of creative writing. We'll look at our world through the objects in them. In the end, you may want to write a memoir (a specific moment.) You may even want to write a poem (they don't rhyme anymore.) This seminar is for both the inexperienced writer and the experienced. Dinner included. Please RSVP to Joy Gaines-Friedler is the author of three books of poetry. Her award winning essays and poems have been published in over 50 literary magazines. Joy teaches creative writing, memoir, and advanced poetry for non-profits in the Detroit area.

NEW RABBI SERIES: Lunch and Learn with Rabbi Shalom Kantor of B'nai Moshe 
Monday, January 23 at 12:00 pm
Chocolate, Slavery, & The Idolatry of $$$$. Imagine a deep rich piece of chocolate. That multi-layered flavor experience as it coats the back of your throat with a smooth velvet like texture. The warm feeling you get as savor those wonderful flavors. Mmmm. Now consider this: According to the US Department of Labor, most of the cocoa we consume is produced in countries using child labor: Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Guinea, Ghana, Nigeria. These child workers labor for long, punishing hours, using dangerous tools and facing frequent exposure to dangerous pesticides as they travel great distances in the grueling heat. And of course no education leaving not much hope for a future out of poverty. By international labor laws this is illegal. All major cocoa companies buy cocoa from farms using children, and reap profits off the backs of these kids. Join Rabbi Shalom Kantor as we learn about Slavery in the chocolate industry and what Judaism says about such a situation including the need to provide economic alternatives. Fair Trade Chocolate will be served.

Be the Light: Hazon's Gathering of Holy Sparks    
Wednesday, January 25, 7:00 to 9:00 pm
As days get shorter, and darker, we're gathering as Jews, Christians and Muslims to bring all our lights together, to fan the universal flame of love. And you're invited! Join the Isaac Agree Downtown Synagogue, Hazon Detroit, Southwest's Grace in Action Detroit, and the Michigan Muslim Community Council for an evening of deeply ecumenical learning and discussion. We'll hear from Imam Mika'il Saadiq, Pastor John Cummings, and Rabbi Ariana Silverman, we'll share a kosher/halal vegetarian meal, we'll study, and we'll make herb-filled candles to take our light out into the world. Please RSVP to

Rosh Chodesh Women's Circle 
Sunday, January 29 at 2:00 pm
The Rosh Chodesh Women's Circle for the month of Shevat will be hosted by Sha Bukeima at her home in Pleasant Ridge. The topic will be "Dreams".  Please contact Sydney Skully at for details.
Baruch Dayan HaEmet  

We are sorry to share the news of the death of Bill Berman, an important leader in the Jewish community and quintessential philanthropist. Bill was a consistent and passionate supporter of the Downtown Synagogue, giving us our first real grant and enabling us to hire our first full-time staff person. Not only did he continue to actively support the Synagogue, he took the time to meet with us each year at his office to hear about our progress and share our enthusiasm. Bill had an incredible amount of energy, wit, and wisdom. May his memory be an abiding blessing. 

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

Thank you to Hazon staff, Chef Bee, Susan Dines, Emily Levine, Carly Sugar, Nora Feldhusen, Abby Weiss, Yael Sacks, and Julia Lowman for cooking Shabbat dinner; Ruby Robinson, Laura Jackson, Eric Hansen, DaVid Powell, Susannah Goodman, Lauren Hoffman, Jeff Herbstman, friends of Phreddy Wischusen and Blair Nosan, and Marty Herman for helping to lead services this month; Kate Bush for helping put together the Tot Pre-Hanukkah party, Ellie Farber for her stellar face painting skills; Liz, Les and Andrea Kannon and Rebecca Waisanen for all their help with the Pre-Hanukkah/Welcoming the Rabbi party; Liz Kannon for assisting with Grooming on Griswold; and Noah Purcell for setting up and Emily Levine for cooking for our Chinese Food and Movie night. 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 Blair Nosan and Phreddy Wischusen who were married on December 29. We wish them well in this new chapter in their lives.  
Results and Remarks   
Jodee Fishman Raines, IADS President, welcomed members to the Annual Meeting, which included reports by Board Officers and members, as well as staff. Both proposed by-laws amendments passed. Liz Kannon and Noah Purcell were re-elected to the Board of Directors, Noah Purcell was re-elected to the position of 2nd Vice-President.

Synagogue Executive Director, Arlene Frank  offered these remarks which summarized the happenings and progress at IADS over the past twelve months. 

Rebbetzin's Corner

Recipe for Kosher Bacon Ingredients:
A package of lox. Get the 8 ounce kind, because it comes with more than the 4 ounce kind. If you have principles, make sure it's sustainably sourced.

To read the rest of Rebbetzin's Corner and how to make Kosher Bacon, click here

Kitchen Coordinator Updates  

IADS would like to thank Carly Sugar for her efforts in the kitchen and recruiting volunteers as our Kitchen Coordinator. Unfortunately, she was not able to continue in that role for the synagogue. We wish her well and hope to see her around once in a while--maybe even in the kitchen!

The synagogue is looking to fill this vacancy as soon as possible. We are looking for a lover of cooking, an organized person, and able to rally volunteers. Please look at the job posting on the IADS website to see if you or someone you know would be qualified.

We still need people to help provide food for Shabbat and our Lunch and Learns. If you are interested, please contact the synagogue office to get on the schedule. 
An impressionistic story by Sydney Skully  

"From Genizah to Burial: A Ritual and Ceremonial Journey" has recently been published.  It is about the day last spring when the contents of the synagogue's genizah were ritually buried at the B'nai David Cemetery in Detroit.  To read the story, click here.
Community Events and Opportunities 

Limmud MI 2017 
Sunday, March 19, 2017
Wayne State University 
Limmud MI 2017, an exploration and celebration of all things Jewish, is seeking presenters. Share your experience, your skills, or your ideas. Interested? Have something you want to share? Click "propose a session" at
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
It's time to re-enroll for the Kroger Community Rewards Program! If you shop at Kroger, you can earn money for the synagogue just by swiping your Plus Card--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.



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