January 2018 / Tevet-Shevat 5778

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January 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!  

Rabbi's Message

The Hebrew word  עבודה ( avodah) is often translated as work, but it also means service, and often, sacred service. It can be understood as manual labor, and also as prayer.
Thank you to our outgoing board members: Jay Basin, Jon Koller, Noah Purcell, and Jackie Victor for their avodah. They have done the manual labor that prepares our building to be a sacred space and they have devoted their hearts and minds to building sacred community. Thank you for serving and shaping this synagogue.
And thank you to our incoming board members: Lauren Hoffman, David Kirsch, and Sam Woll for taking on this sacred task. We are so fortunate that you will share your talents, wisdom, enthusiasm, and love for the Synagogue in this new role.
Each of us has a part to play as the Synagogue grows and I encourage you to try something new. Consider learning to lead a service or chanting Torah/Haftarah (we can teach you!). Share your passion and insights in a committee. Let us know if you have an idea you would like to explore or skill you can contribute. It is the avodah we do, to serve one another and to serve the Divine, that will build a remarkable Jewish future.

Thank you for what you have done and for all that is yet to come. 

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. 
Tikkun America: Racism and the National Anthem 
Saturday, January 6, 12:30 to 2:00 pm  
It is 2018 and race relations is still the most divisive issue in America. Join us, after services and during Shabbat lunch, for a discussion that will bring new insight into practices, programs, policies and thoughts that many hold dear vs. taking an analytical look at what is really meant in these documents (National Anthem, Judicial system, Education, etc). We will also explore some ways to begin to close the divide. Speakers include: Ginger Hopkins, a member of the Downtown Synagogue who has been a lifelong community activist and free thinker, Chantel Henry, REACH Coordinator raised in Southwest Detroit and on Chippewa of the Thames First Nations reservation in Ontario Canada, and Dr. Marcy Epstein, who teaches social justice and writing at the Comprehensive Studies Program at the University of Michigan.  
MLK Shabbat and Discussion 
Friday, January 19, 7:00 to 9:30 pm    
After our Friday night services beginning at 7:00pm, join us and Repair the World at 8:30pm for a special MLK weekend dinner and discussion about reparations with Anita Belle. Belle is a human rights activist from Detroit. She received her Bachelor of Science degree from Wayne State University and a JD from the University of Florida College of Law. Belle is a voting rights advocate who envisions reparations as ensuring that blacks' right to vote is not diluted or rigged, thus setting the precedent that no American is subject to a dictatorship under which he or she is taxed without representation.  
Troubled Water Film Screening 
Wednesday, January 24, 7:00 to 9:00 pm
Join Hazon Detroit, Detroit Jews for Justice, and the Isaac Agree Downtown Synagogue community for a screening, discussion, and action around Detroit's Troubled Water. We'll screen the video from the 2nd Annual Michigan Jewish Food Festival that features stories covering the criminal poisoning of the people of Flint, health damaging water shut-offs in Detroit, the corporate giveaway draining the Great Lakes, and the need to provide water in a climate that's heating up; we are at the front-line of the Water Wars. Hear stories from the field, meet the people who have chosen to work for solutions to one of the most important issues of our lifetime, and find out how you can take action. 
Tu b'Shevat b'Schvitz  
Saturday, January 27, 4:30 to 6:30 pm
Join Congreation T'chiyah, the Reconstructionist Congregation of Detroit, Repair The World, and the Isaac Agree Downtown Synagogue for a Tu b'Shevat seder and havdalah at The Schvitz Health Club (8295 Oakland Ave, Detroit). 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. Space is limited and RSVP is requested by January 23 at: 
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 December volunteers:

Ruby Robinson, Eric Hansen, and Marty Herman for leading services this month and Liz and Andrea Kannon for helping prepare food and decorating for the Hanukkah party; Josh Berkow for helping with the Lil Latkes party and for fixing our doorbell. 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. 
Hazon Seal of Sustainability  

We are excited to be participating in Hazon's Seal of Sustainability program here with a commitment to greening the Downtown Synagogue and lessening our impact on our environment. Our three focus areas are:

1) Start a recycling program
2) Transition to more sustainable plates/cups/utensils for our meals
3) Plan a launch/kick-off/educational event or publicity event surrounding our deepened commitment to sustainability

For more information on how to participate, please contact the Rabbi
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