January 2019 / Tevet-Shevat 5779

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January at the Downtown Synagogue
A message from Rabbi Silverman

There are four new years in the Jewish calendar, one of which occurs this month. The 15th of Shevat (corresponding in 2019 to Jan 20-21) is the new year for the trees, which was used to calculate tithing for their fruit. There is the 1st of Nisan, which evokes the exodus from Egypt, and is actually the "first" month of the year.  There is the 1st of Elul, used to calculate tithing for cattle. And of course the 1st of Tishrei is "Rosh Hashanah," which traditionally marks the birthday of the world.

In our secular world we also mark January 1 as the first day of the Gregorian calendar and July 1 often serves as the first day of a fiscal year. Once we add the start of the academic year and our individual birthdays, we have a remarkable number of opportunities to take stock of our past and make plans for the future.

As a congregation, January also marks the beginning of a new year for our board. Thank you to the leaders whose service on the IADS board ended in 2018--Leor Barak, Rena Friedberg, Susannah Goodman, Liz Kannon (who joined our staff!), and David Kirsch. Your time, energy, and insights have been invaluable and this community is stronger because of you.  Some of you served on the board for multiple terms and we appreciate your dedication and the tremendous growth you enabled. Our incoming board members know that they are standing on the shoulders of giants. And thank you to Jodee Raines, who completed her term as president. You have given so much of yourself to this congregation, and we are so grateful for both what you have done, and for what you will continue to do. 
Tu B'shevat reminds us to notice and appreciate the growth that happens every year. No matter which new year(s) you choose to observe, we can find examples of growth that has been remarkable and beautiful. Happy New Year.

With gratitude,
Rabbi Silverman
Upcoming Events
All events are at IADS unless otherwise noted. For more information on some of the events below, visit our website

Detroit Farm Crew: Food Preservation Workshop
Thursday, January 10th, 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Isaac Agree Downtown Synagogue
Join the Detroit Farm Crew for a hands-on, jam-making workshop! An instructor from MSU Extension will be leading the workshop at the Downtown Synagogue, and will also touch on other food preservation techniques. The workshop is limited to 8 participants, so only those who purchase a ticket through Eventbrite will be able to attend. We'll email to confirm your spot. Purchase tickets here.

This workshop is intended for participants age 18+.

Turn The Tables Shabbat Discussion
Friday, January 18th, 7:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Isaac Agree Downtown Synagogue
Join us for this Turn the Tables Shabbat dinner in partnership with Repair the World Detroit in celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Discussion over dinner will be centered on the theme L'dor Vador, From Generation to Generation. All are welcome!

Tu B'Shevat Family-Friendly Seder
Sunday, January 20th, 4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Isaac Agree Downtown Synagogue
We invite you to join us in celebration of Tu B'Shevat for a meaningful, family-friendly seder focused on ecological awareness. We look forward to sharing in this special event! RSVP required, please contact Nicole.

MLK Celebration with Second Baptist Church & Old St. Mary's Church
Monday, January 21st, 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Second Baptist Church, 441 Monroe St. Detroit
Join us in partnership with Second Baptist Church and Old St. Mary's Church for a collaborative commemoration of Martin Luther King Jr. Engage in dialogue, local music, food, and celebration.

Environmental Havdallah with Congregation T'chiyah
Saturday, January 26th, 5:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Isaac Agree Downtown Synagogue
Join us in partnership with T'chiyah as we engage in environmentally themed Torah study and havdallah, followed by enjoyment of fruits and nuts.
Interested in enrolling your child in Sunday School with the Downtown Synagogue? Reach out to Rabbi for more information on this new and exciting development!

Adult Hebrew Classes
Interested in brushing up on your Hebrew reading and writing skills? Have you always wanted to learn a new language? Join us in our Adult Hebrew Classes! Our next class will be held this Sunday, January 13th at 2:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. led by Avi Kidron at the Repair The World workshop (2701 Bagley Street, Detroit MI).
If you are interested in enrolling in classes, please email Rabbi Silverman.
The Downtown Synagogue's New Friday Night Shabbat tradition

Join us as we begin a new Friday night Shabbat tradition! As of Friday, January 4th, we are kicking off Shabbat with a chance to socialize and unwind with refreshments at 5:30 p.m. Services will begin at 6:00 p.m., with dinner following. This new schedule will continue throughout the year.

We look forward to starting a new tradition within our community, and hope to share Shabbat ruach with you!
 Downtown Synagogue's 2019 Board of Directors


We would like to extend a warm welcome to our 2019 Board of Directors: Joey Agree, Rick Agree, Vadim Avshalumov, Dennis Blender, Lavea Brachman, Sam Malott Brown, Oren Goldenberg, Jay Hack, Martin Herman, Lauren Hoffman, Chava Knox, David Powell, Jodee Fishman Raines, Ari Simon, Amit Weitzer, and Sam Woll.


Our leading 2019 Board officers: Vadim Avshalumov (President), Rick Agree (1st Vice President), Oren Goldenberg (2nd Vice President), Dennis Blender (Treasurer), and Lauren Hoffman (Secretary).


We send deep gratitude and best wishes to our board members who cycled off of the Board this year: Leor Barak, Rena Friedberg, Liz Kannon, and Susannah Goodman.  

IADS Volunteer Shout Out 
In recognition of all of our December volunteers:
Eric Hansen, Sam Woll, David Lerner, Marty Herman, and Ruby Robinson  for leading Shabbat services.  Sarah Pappas and Josh Berkow for transporting remaining items from the Family Book and Toy Swap back to the Synagogue. Wendy Robins, Andrea Kannon and Mike Rymsza for helping out during the Hanukkah Party.

Thank you to everyone else who volunteers their time and energy to IADS. A lay-led congregation is only as strong as its volunteers.

If you're interested in volunteering, please contact Nicole Feinberg 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 Amit Weitzer and Evan Major on the birth of their child Raviv Yair, and to Rozita Knox on the birth of her child Adin. We extend congratulations to Ryan Landau and Margo Peck on their marriage on December 31st, 2018. Mazel Tov!

Call for Mi Shebeirach

During our Shabbat morning worship, we read the names of people in our community who are in need of healing. As we invoke God's blessing, we also become more aware of the people who could use a little extra care. Please let us know if you would like us to read the name of a loved one.
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 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. 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 use 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! 

Join us to unwind and socialize with refreshments at 5:30 pm
Shabbat Services every Friday night now start at 6:00 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 6:00 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.
Get 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 a suggested donation of $18. Contact the office for more information.
Alternate Ways to Get to the Downtown Synagogue! 

Take the QLine - 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, and can be reached by taking the DDOT Woodward bus route  



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