May Events at the Downtown Synagogue
Rabbi's Message: The Great Outdoors
A Prayer of Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav (1772-1810):
Grant me the ability to be alone;
may it be my custom to go outdoors each day
among the trees and grass - among all growing things
and there may I be alone, and enter into prayer,
to talk with the One to whom I belong.
May I express there everything in my heart,
and may all the foliage of the field -
all grasses, trees, and plants -
awake at my coming,
to send the powers of their life into the words of my prayer
so that my prayer and speech are made whole
through the life and spirit of all growing things,
which are made as one by their transcendent Source.
May I then pour out the words of my heart
before your Presence like water, O God,
and lift up my hands to You in worship,
on my behalf, and that of my children!
The weather is (finally) warmer and I have been gratefully spending time outside. Being outside is a source of tremendous spiritual strength for me, and has been for many Jews. From Moses standing before the burning bush, to Rabbi Nachman praying outdoors, to countless Jewish kids worshipping at Jewish summer camps in outdoor sanctuaries, we know that being outside can often bring us closer to God, to our truest selves, and to one another.
So please allow yourself to listen to the natural world, to feel the warmth of the sun on your face or blades of grass beneath your feet, to smell the fragrances of flowering plants and trees, and recognize their beauty. Do so with the ones you love, and do so alone. When you do, perhaps, the "spirit of all growing things" will make not just your prayer, but you as a person, feel more whole.
All events are at IADS unless otherwise noted. For more information on some of the events below, click here.
Lag B'Omer Text Study
, May 2, 7:30-9:00pm
Please join Rabbi Silverman for a Lag B'Omer text study, snacks, and s'mores roasted over an open fire pit at her home at 4546 Avery St. in Detroit. Please RSVP to the Rabbi.
Musical Kabbalat Shabbat
Friday, May 4, 7:00-10:00pm
Join us at the Downtown Synagogue for a musical Kabbalat Shabbat, socializing, and dinner on Friday, May 4. Services, led by Rabbi Ariana Silverman, will begin at 7:00pm followed by a free kosher, vegetarian dinner at 8:15pm. We look forward to seeing you!
Yoga for Transitioning into Shabbat with Emilie Kahn
Friday, May 11, 5:30-6:45pm
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. Instructor: Emilie Kahn. Feel free to stay after for Shabbat services and dinner.
5th Annual Woodbridge Tikkun Leil Shavout
Saturday, May 19, 9:30pm-Sunday, May 20, 3:00am
Join us for a night of study, delicious food, and great company in celebration of Shavout. The evening begins at 9:30pm at the home of Rabbi Silverman and Justin Long, 4546 Avery St. in Detroit. Classes include favorites such as yoga with Emilie Kahn and Latin dancing with Marnina Falk and many new ones to choose from. Please RSVP to the Rabbi. Stay tuned for more details on our Facebook page.
Seven of the Ways Judaism Evolved in only 100 years (and what that may mean for the next 100 years) with Rabbi Ariana Silverman
Thursdays, May 3 to June 14, 7:30-8:45pm
Judaism is a religion that is thousands of years old and has always been evolving. Due to the leaders of the past 100 years, across the denominational spectrum, there are now girls becoming bat mitzvah and women leading congregations, openly LGBTQ rabbis, Tu b'Shevat seders focused on EcoJudaism, and apps that allow you to read the entire Talmud on your phone. How can they enrich the Judaism we practice today? And what might be coming in the next 100 years?
This class is NOT a drop-in class and participants are encouraged to sign up for and attend the entire series. It is highly recommended to register with your BFF, significant other, or coworker, so the discussion can continue even after the class is done. Please contact Rabbi Silverman with questions or to register. Suggested donation for each class is $100/person or $118/pair.
New Membership and Membership Renewal
New member? Renewing member? Either way, we'd love to have you (re)join us. 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!
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!
Thank you to those who joined us at our Keep it Free! Patron Party last Saturday night. It's because of your support that we can continue to provide free events, programs, High Holiday services, and much more to the Metropolitan Detroit Jewish community. We hope you enjoyed yourself and we look forward to seeing you again soon!
-The Board and Staff of the Downtown Synagogue
In recognition of all of our April volunteers:
Ruby Robinson, Eric Hansen, Jeff Herbstman,
for leading services this month;
for their help and support during the patron and dance parties;
for putting together the new cabinet in the social hall;
Aaron Cahen, Brandi Hunter,
for schlepping books from IADS to B'nai David cemetery; and
Troy Amber, Roseann Micallef,
for helping cook for the patron 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 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.
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.
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.
The Downtown Synagogue is now on Amazon Smile! If you use Amazon.com 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,
We hold regular Shabbat services!
Shabbat services every Saturday morning at 10:00 am
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
Torah study (before Saturday services) at 9:00 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
so we can read the Torah and people can say
. Please come to the Saturday morning Shabbat service at 10:00. We want to pass the Torah
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.