June, 2017 / Sivan-Tamuz, 5777

June Events at the Downtown Synagogue

Immigration Talk
Monday, June 12
7:00 - 8:30 pm
We are delighted to be hosting immigration attorney Ruby Robinson to learn about how our immigration system operates and what has really changed since January 2017.
Water Crisis in MI
Friday, June 23
7:00 to 10:00 pm 
Join us to hear attorney Julie Hurwitz talk about her work defending clients affected by both the Detroit and Flint water crises during dinner.
Challah Baking  
Sunday, June 25
1:00 to 3:00 pm
Who doesn't love freshly baked challah on Shabbat or any day of the week? Learn how to make it yourself with Emily Levine and leave with you own challah loaf!

Shavout Day Two Yizkor Memorial Service 

The Yizkor Memorial service, observed only four times a year, Yom Kippur, Sh'mini Azeret, Passover 8, and Shavuot 2, will be included in services to be held on Thursday, June 1, the second day of Shavuot. That day, services will begin promptly at 9:00 am, with Yizkor occurring at approximately 11:00 am. Remembering our beloved departed, be they family members or dear friends, is a sacred duty, and all who wish to participate in this moving ritual are urged to attend. 

Rabbi's Message:  Lifelong Learning       

A student recently asked me nervously if he could still have his anticipated conversion ceremony this summer even if he is not yet fluent in Hebrew. I smiled and said yes, provided he is committed to continuing to learn Hebrew. It is a message I expect every conversion student to embrace-being a Jew means being a lifelong learner.


Unfortunately, the experience of many Jews is that Jewish education is something we do as kids, and is complete by our bar/bat mitzvah or confirmation ceremony. But pediatric Judaism is not compelling to us as adults. Nor should it be. The experience of prayer and ritual can be radically different when we join the debate and discussion about Jewish theology and practice that has expanded over millennia. Mordecai Kaplan's articulation of the divine is just as "Jewish" as those of the mystics in the 16th century, or the early rabbinic sages.  How do they speak to us? Where is our voice in the conversation?


Which brings me to Shavuot. As we celebrate receiving the Torah, there is a tradition on Erev Shavuot of staying up all night to engage in study. So we are proud to present the 4th Annual Woodbridge Tikkun Leil Shavuot on Tuesday, May 30 from 7:30 pm to 2:00 am. I hope to see you there.


And even if you cannot come that night, please come for educational opportunities at the synagogue in the months (and years) ahead. I look forward to learning from and with you.

Rabbi Ariana Silverman  
Upcoming Events
All events are at IADS unless otherwise noted. For more information on some of the events below, click here

NEW RABBI SERIES: Lunch & Learn with Rabbi Brent Gutmann   
Monday, June 12, 12:00 to 1:00 pm
The Jews of New Zealand
Join us as we welcome Rabbi Brent Gutmann from Temple Kol Ami to our penultimate Lunch & Learn from our New Rabbi Series. Rabbi Gutmann will speak over lunch about the quirky Jews of exotic New Zealand among whom he lived and served for three years.  Learn a bit about Kiwi Jews' unique history and the journeys their great-grandparents took to find their way to the most significant South Pacific Island Nation, and discover ways Kiwi's Jewish observance resembles and is distinct from your own. Kosher, vegetarian lunch provided.

Everything You've Ever Wanted to Know About Immigration 
Monday, June 12, 7:00 to 8:30 pm  
...But Didn't Know Who/What to Ask 
Join Ruby Robinson, supervising attorney of the Michigan Immigrant Rights Center, to learn about how our immigration system operates and what has really changed since January 2017. Please bring your own questions for the open-discussion section of the program.  
Ruby Robinson is the supervising attorney of the Michigan Immigrant Rights Center (MIRC) where he focuses, primarily, on immigration relief for vulnerable persons (e.g. survivors of domestic violence), naturalization matters, and increasingly, all other areas of immigration law. Prior to MIRC, he worked for the Counsel and Advocacy Law Line providing general, civil legal services to low-income and elderly persons around the State of Michigan. He is active in the Jewish community as well, with regular involvement with and leaderships positions at JCRC/AJC, the Downtown Synagogue, B'nai Israel Synagogue, and Limmud Michigan, among other organizations. Ruby is also a Wexner Heritage member for Detroit. This program is co-sponsored by the JCRC/AJC.  Light refreshments will be served.  

Friday Evening Services and Dinner with Guest Speaker, Julie Hurwitz     
Friday, June 23, 7:00 to 10:00 pm
Please join us for our regular Friday evening services with dinner guest speaker, Julie Hurwitz. Julie will be speaking about the work she is doing regarding the water struggle both in Detroit (representing civil disobedience activists arrested in 2014 for blocking a driveway to prevent water shutoffs) and in Flint (part of the major class action legal team representing the community in a number of civil rights/common law lawsuits).
Julie is in private practice in Detroit, Michigan, a partner in the firm of Goodman & Hurwitz, P.C., where she specializes in civil rights and government misconduct/ยง1983 litigation. She has been adjunct professor of law at the University of Detroit/Mercy School of Law, where she taught a class in Civil Rights Litigation, and was the founding Executive Director of the NLG/Maurice & Jane Sugar Law Center for Economic and Social Justice [Sugar Law Center] in Detroit, from 1990-1993 and 1998-2006. She has successfully tried several civil rights cases to verdicts in excess of $1 million, including police misconduct, prisoner rights, malicious prosecution, wrongful conviction, failure to protect, and sexual harassment cases. She has been selected as a "Michigan Super Lawyer" since 2006.
Challah Baking Class with Emily Levine 
Sunday, June 25, 1:00 to 3:00 pm 
Baking challah is a great way to make Shabbat feel extra special. Regardless of your experience level, please join us as we learn about the Jewish tradition of baking challah. In this class, you will learn how to make challah from start to finish and bring home your own fresh challah and dough for making more. There is nothing quite like the smell of freshly baked challah to impress your family and friends!
The class will be taught by Emily Levine, a Downtown Synagogue member who loves to cook in her free time and makes bread often, including challah. Her infant son, Nadav will be on hand to answer all of your questions about playing peek-a-boo and to verify the high quality of Emily's home-made challah. Please RSVP to Vicki at
New Ways to Get to the Downtown Synagogue! 

Now that the QLine is up and running (all rides are free until July 1), 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 two blocks from the nearest MoGo station!  

Eden Gardens is Back in FULL SWING! 

Eden Gardens is back in full swing! Please join them on Thursdays and Sundays from 5:00 - 7:00 pm  to work in the garden. Unfortunately, they did not receive the Seeds of Change grant this year. You can help them by going to Eden Gardens' website to donate to their current fundraiser. They are a 501c3 and all donations are tax deductible. Thanks for your support!

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

Ruby Robinson, Susannah Goodman, Josh Berkow, Blair and Phreddy Nosanwitch, and Marty Herman for helping to lead services this month; Jeff Herbstman for cooking for Shabbat, DaVid Powell, Les and Liz Kannon, Oren Goldenberg, Chava Knox, Polly Jones, and Douglas Vipond for their help with the Lag b'Omer program. Thank you to Costco and Meijer for their generous donations for Lag b'Omer. 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. 
Rebbetzin's Corner

"Don't dress your whale in galoshes, if she really prefers overshoes," says Billy De Wolfe on Free to Be You and Me, an album I happen to listen to more times a day than pious Jews pray. And so I've been thinking about clothing, and what it means to dress Jewishly.

To read the rest of Rebbetzin's Corner, please click here.
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. 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! From November to January, you earned $51.31 for IADS. 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 Friday 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 9:30 am
Rabbi Silverman leads services the second Saturday 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 9:30. 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!  $18.00 for members in good standing and $25.00 for friends. See more photos and get purchasing inf here.



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