May 2019 / Iyyar - Sivan 5779

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May at the Downtown Synagogue

$17,686 so far, $57,314 to go...
Help us get to $75,000 by Lag B'Omer!
The Isaac Agree Downtown Synagogue's Annual Campaign is running for 33 days (from Pesach to Lag B'Omer). That means there are 29 more days to donate and encourage everyone you know to donate as well.
How You Can Help:
Donate the amount of your choice through our Patronicity  page.
Remember to share your donation on social media to encourage your friends and family to contribute too!

Why Should You Donate?
The Isaac Agree Downtown Synagogue, the last free-standing synagogue in Detroit, deep in the heart of downtown, has always been, and remains, open to all and free of charge or obligation. Our egalitarian synagogue, rooted in tradition, includes religious services, a broad range of engaging programs, young family events, Jewish educational series, fun happenings, and more - we've expanded our offerings and we're here for you.  
Show your support and help us sustain the work we've done, the work we're doing, and the work we'll do in the future with your generous support!
A message from Rabbi Silverman
Many people in our community are uncomfortable talking about money, and fundraising in particular. We may worry that it is an imposition when we ask.
Jewish tradition sees it very differently. Since biblical times, giving has been an essential part of Jewish life. When the Temple stood, tithing one's harvest was an annual expression of gratitude for one's blessings. As Jewish communities organized in the Diaspora, it was the expectation that everyone would contribute to support the institutions and individuals who needed it. As Maimonides powerfully wrote in the Mishneh Torah (Gifts to the Poor, 10:1), "We are obligated to be more scrupulous in fulfilling the commandment of tzedakah than any other positive commandment..." Asking someone to give is providing an invitation to do a mitzvah.
Thank you for the generosity each of you has shown to the causes you care about. And thank you to those who have included the Synagogue on that list. Many of you have given generously to our Annual Campaign and we are grateful.
Some have not yet had a chance to do so. Please do. Your support would sustain and enrich Jewish ritual, learning, and action for everyone who walks through our doors. I invite you, as Brian Hermelin once said, to "give until it feels good."
Upcoming Events
All events are at IADS unless otherwise noted. For more information on some of the events below, visit our website.  
Bearing Witness To Mass Incarceration 
Saturday, May 4th, 12:30 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. 
Isaac Agree Downtown Synagogue
Join us in partnership with Congregation T'chiyah for a presentation by Evie Litwok, a "formerly incarcerated New York Jewish lesbian feminist" and Founder and Director of Witness To Mass Incarceration, who has taken her personal experience to give voices to victims of our flawed criminal justice system.

Evie will be sharing her personal story, and speak about the effects that mass incarceration has on our society as a whole. This event is open to all folks interested in learning more about the criminal justice system, mass incarceration, and what next steps can be made to support change within the system. 
Spring Into Service- Volunteering at Eden Gardens 
Sunday, May 5th, 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. 
12273 Glenfield Street Detroit, MI, 48213
Join Repair the World Detroit and the Isaac Agree Downtown Synagogue at Eden Gardens to take care of garden beds and clean up adjacent lots. We'll begin at 1 pm, but come whenever you can! This event is part of Repair the World Detroit's Spring Into Service weekend.

There is plenty of street parking surrounding the farm. Please wear clothes that you don't mind getting dirty, and dress according to the weather as we will be outside. Don't forget a water bottle!
Tots and Teva Weekend Retreat
Saturday, June 1st - Sunday, June 2nd
Tamarack Camps, 4361 Perryville Road, Ortonville, MI 48462  
Come join JTot Detroit on our second annual retreat at Tamarack! In addition to fun outdoor activities for families, those who are interested are welcome to continue to evaluate and plan for Dor Hadash, our family education program in Detroit.  
Due to the generosity of The Jewish Federation, the cost for the weekend is $100/family which includes lodging and all meals.  Scholarships are available, please reach out to Rabbi Silverman.

Register for the retreat here.  
Tikkun Leil Shavuot
Saturday, June 8th, Evening (Time TBA) 
4546 Avery Street, Detroit MI 
On June 8th, our community will again gather for a night of learning in our annual Tikkun Leil Shavuot. We invite anyone with something they want to teach (past sessions have included flower arranging, origami, and, yes, traditional text study) to contact Rabbi Silverman. And please stay tuned for further details! 

Interested in enrolling your child in Sunday School with the Downtown Synagogue? Reach out to Rabbi for more information on this new and exciting development!

Community Reflection 
As we engage in our annual campaign, as we ask our members, supporters, neighbors, and friends to continue to support our free synagogue, we want to reach out to you (our members, supporters, friends, neighbors) and learn how we can continue to improve and meet the needs of our evolving community.  
Please take a few moments to share your thoughts with us by completing this brief survey by May 12, 2019.  
Yiddish Classes at the Downtown Synagogue! 
Are you interested in connecting with the Yiddish language?! Then this is the class to begin your journey!

We will be offering a language and culture course teaching Yiddish through the artistic and political movements of (mostly) nineteenth and twentieth century Ashkenazic Jews, giving students the linguistic knowledge to further unearth the Yiddish lexicon for themselves.
Subjects covered: Yiddishland, Yiddish dialects, Yiddish linguistic theories, Yiddish-American slang, Classics, Satire, Folksongs, Poetry, Theater, Film, Socialism, Communism, Anarchism, Yiddish Expressionism and Introspectivism, Yiddish and Hebrew, Yiddish and German, Yiddish and Israel.

There will be a total of 8 sessions. Classes will begin this Sunday, May 5th, 2019, and will be held on Sundays, 2:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. at the Downtown Synagogue. Classes will be led by Ollie Elkus, Yiddish translator.
If you are interested in enrolling in classes, please email Nicole Feinberg.
Adult Hebrew Classes
Interested in brushing up on your Hebrew reading and writing skills? Have you always wanted to learn a new language? Join us in our Adult Hebrew Classes! Our next class will be held this Sunday, May 5th, 2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. led by Avi Kidron at the Downtown Synagogue (1457 Griswold, Detroit, MI).
If you are interested in enrolling in classes, please email Rabbi Silverman.
New Downtown Synagogue Members

Ninive Costa, Solange Costa, Benjamin and Susan Stein, and Rabbi Alana Alpert and Justin Sledge.

If you would like to become a Downtown Synagogue member, please complete a membership application

IADS Volunteer Shout Out 
In recognition of all of our April volunteers:
Eric Hansen, David Lerner, Marty Herman, Ruby Robinson, Sam Woll, and Adam Martin for leading Shabbat services. Les Kannon for placing memorial plaques and repairing chairs. Abby Waldorf for helping at our Seder, and kind Seder guests who volunteered to help clean up afterwards!
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 Nicole Feinberg 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. 
Call for Mi Shebeirach

During our Shabbat morning worship, we read the names of people in our community who are in need of healing. As we invoke God's blessing, we also become more aware of the people who could use a little extra care. Please let us know if you would like us to read the name of a loved one.
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 use 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! 

Join us to unwind and socialize with refreshments at 5:30 pm
Shabbat Services every Friday night now start at 6:00 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 6:00 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.
Get 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 a suggested donation of $18. Contact the office for more information.
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, and can be reached by taking the DDOT Woodward bus route  



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