March 2018 / Adar-Nisan 5778

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March 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 for Egypt is Mitzrayim, which evokes meitzarim, the "narrow straits." When the Israelites were freed from slavery, they were freed from a narrow place, a place that constricted them. And the haggadah instructs us to personally identify with the Exodus narrative such that we imagine that we ourselves came forth from Egypt, from those narrow straits.
Today, when asked the question "where are you from?" regardless of where our house sits in the Metro area, many of us respond, "Detroit." Detroit comes from the French word, d├ętroit, which means "strait." We live in a place that similarly challenges us to examine our own experiences of narrowness - in our personal lives, in our communities, and in the structures that shape them.
So as we tell Passover's personal and communal narrative of redemption, it is a time to reflect on what is constraining us, and the people around us, from redemption today. And to commit to doing something about it.
One of the things that excites me about our March 25 seder is the chance to do just that. To hear the Exodus story, to hear others' stories, and to examine our own.  It might make that night different from all others, or it might inspire us to keep marching toward our own vision of a Promised Land.

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
Friday, March 16, 5:30 to 6:45 pm
When we rush through transitions, whether it's a yoga pose, a meeting, a class, or an appointment, we tend to convince ourselves that once we reach the destination, we will then become present.
This class will focus on tuning into transitional moments and how the spaces between our destinations can serve us. We'll also help our physical bodies prepare to move from the dynamic energy of the week into the relaxed space that we intend for Shabbat. 

Friday, March 16, 8:30 to 9:30 pm  
Marnina Falk graduated from the University of Michigan Residential College with a Major in Spanish, Minor in English, Secondary English and K-12 Spanish teaching certificate.  After two years of teaching in Costa Rica while completing her Masters in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages through Cornerstone University, she chose to move back to Detroit. Marnina is now in her fourth year of teaching  Spanish at Foreign Language Immersion and Culture Studies, a Detroit Public School. Marnina is also an active member of the Detroit Federation of Teachers and other local community organizing efforts around Education. She is the Education Justice Liaison
for Detroit Jews for Justice, and is very passionate about their various projects for promoting Racial and Economic Justice with their partners in Detroit. She also co-hosts a weekly talk show on WHPR, "The Teachers' Lounge," with three other DPSCD teachers. Marnina believes that public education is crucial to the children of Detroit, and is fighting hard to ensure that the children and teachers of Detroit get the learning conditions they need. Feel free to join us for yoga at 5:30pm, Shabbat services at 7:00 pm, and dinner. 

Saturday, March 24, 9:00 to 12:30 pm    
In conjunction with the March For Our Lives, Rabbi Silverman will be leading a text study on pikuach nefesh, the Jewish mandate to protect life whenever possible. On this Shabbat, services will begin promptly at 9:00 am and text study and lunch will begin at 11:30 am. After, participants are encouraged to join the march at Rivard Plaza. 
Sunday, March 25, 4:00 to 6:00 pm    
This year, our congregational seder will be held prior to Passover on Sunday, March 25 from 4:00-6:00 p.m. at the Downtown Synagogue. Our seder will be an opportunity to explore our journey toward freedom and justice in partnership with the Bethel Community Transformation Center and the JCRC / AJC: A Partnership for Community Relations and Jewish Advocacy. The seder will feature a new haggadah and joyful music led by members of Breakers Covenant Church International.
Attendance at the seder is limited to the first 70 who reserve seats. Consequently, we ask that you respond immediately, as we expect to reach capacity again this year. As this is an RSVP event, please register online. The deadline for submitting reservations is Monday, March 19, so please don't delay.
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!  
Limmud 2018 

Limmud Michigan is an all-volunteer run festival and celebration of Jewish thought, culture, learning, teaching and fun! Dedicated to the Jewish experience and exploration in all its variety, Limmud is committed to harnessing the energy of people from across the Jewish community and across the region.
Limmud Michigan 2018 | March 11, 2018 | Wayne State University. Register now! 

Mazel tov to Samantha Malott Brown and Jeffrey Brown on their recent marriage and Gillian Sopko & Michael Walker and Rachel Rudman & Justin Wedes on the arrival of their baby girls!

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

Eric Hansen, Jeff Herbstman, Susannah Goodman, Lauren Hoffman, Josh Berkow, Sam Woll, and Marty Herman for leading services this month; 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. 
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