June 2018 / Sivan-Tammuz 5778

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June at the Downtown Synagogue

Rabbi's Message: The Impact of Mentors

This coming week will end the period of shloshim for Rabbi Dr. Aaron Panken, President of the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. He was a formidable Talmud scholar, a visionary seminary president, and a passionate advocate for social justice. He is mourned by leaders across the spectrum of Jewish life, throughout the academic world, by his loving family, and by his many students. It is astounding how many lives he touched, and touched deeply.
Including mine. He was my teacher, my mentor, my rabbi. I still use much of what he taught me in my own teaching. I sought his advice throughout my years in rabbinical school and then as a rabbi. He supported me through very challenging times and celebrated the birth of my children.
He was a teacher of Torah in the deepest sense, and I will continue to share his Torah with the world. And so I do so now, and conclude with his words:
"We who are given the gift of life, no matter how short or long it happens to be, do best by imbuing its every moment with meaningful actions that are complete, whole, and innocent. If we can have the strength to do so (and it is far from easy), then we, too, can one day face death with deeds that speak to our life's goodness and the way we lived it well."

May his memory be a blessing.
Rabbi Silverman
Upcoming Events
All events are at IADS unless otherwise noted. For more information on some of the events below, visit our website
Sort, Socialize, and Snack
Saturday , June 9, 3:00-5:00pm
at Bethel Community Transformation Center, 8801 Woodward Ave, Detroit
Join the Downtown Synagogue and the Bethel Community Transformation Center (BCTC) Communities to help sort and organize clothes and toiletries for the Detroit Phoenix Center, an organization working to empower youth who are experiencing homelessness through improving their health, wellness, and self-sufficiency. We will be meeting at BCTC. This event is open to all - bring your family and friends. Please RSVP to Arlene Frank

Detroit's Tax Foreclosure Crisis
Monday, June 18, 7:00-8:30pm
From 2011 to 2015, the Wayne County treasurer foreclosed on about 1 in 4 Detroit properties for nonpayment of property taxes, the most in any American city since the Great Depression. It's been an avoidable, human-made disaster for the city, but the good news is that many voices across Detroit are joining together to bring it to a halt. Join members of the Coalition to End Unconstitutional Tax Foreclosures, including representatives from Detroit Jews for Justice and other coalition partners, to discuss how this happened, the grassroots work that is leading to change, and how you can help your Detroit neighbors stay homeowners.

Building a Bridge Over Dinner
Sunday, June 24, 4:00pm
at Eden Gardens, 12273 Glenfield Ave, Detroit
Join with Eden Gardens, Isaac Agree Downtown Synagogue, and Repair the World: Detroit for an afternoon and evening of gardening, games, food, and conversation. Gardening and games from 4:00-6:00pm, followed by potluck bbq, and conversation at 6:00pm. Bring a dish! Kosher food will be provided. More information and RSVP on our Facebook page, or by calling Brandi at 717.422.3021.

We're hiring a Program Coordinator - could it be you? Join our vibrant team leading the hub of Jewish life in downtown Detroit! View the job posting on our website.
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!  

It's a Girl!

Mazel tov to Vadim and Rachel Avshalumov on the birth of their daughter Sonia Devorah, born Wednesday, May 23. Happy grandparents are Dr. Larry and Lisa Kaplan and Slava and Rina Avshalumov. Delighted great-grandparents are Suzanne Curtis and Dr. Jerome Kaufman, and Sonya Cherkasova and Shelmu Khaimov.  Baby and mother are doing well!

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

Ruby Robinson, Eric Hansen,  Josh Berkow, Vadim Avshalumov, Leor Barak, Leahliza Lee, and Marty Herman for leading services this month; Adam Milgrom & Valerie Efros, Sarah Pappas & Josh Berkow, and Helene Rottenberg & Rory Bolger for sharing their homes for our Tikkun Leil Shavuot; Emilie Kahn, Josh Berkow, Yifat Clein, Ruby Robinson, Justin Long, and  Marni Falk for teaching at Tikkun Leil Shavuot! 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 Arlene Frank 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. 

Sukkah Design Competition

Sukkah x Detroit celebrates the Jewish harvest festival of Sukkot in Detroit's Capitol Park through design, agriculture, and Jewish programming. Detroit, home to 1300 urban farms, is the only UNESCO City of Design in the United States. Sukkah x Detroit honors both.
The week-long celebration will take place on September 23-30, 2018, as part of Detroit's Month of Design. Throughout the week, 5-7 sukkahs, selected through an international design competition, will be on display in Detroit's historic Capitol Park, accompanied by complementary programs and events to be announced.
The Design Competition
The competition is open to all: architects, artists, makers, builders, design professionals, and others. No professional qualification is required. Design proposals can be developed individually or by teams (Max 4 team members). Winning teams will be connected with a licensed engineer for certification.
Winning teams will receive a $10,000 materials/construction budget and $5,000 design stipend. Submissions will be exhibited at the Isaac Agree Downtown Synagogue and Eastern Market After Dark.
To view the RFP and apply, click here.

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 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