Lots of mazel! 

Downtown Synagogue celebrates 90 years in Detroit

On Sunday, March 27, downtown Detroit's fledging Jewish community will gather at the historic Gem Theatre to celebrate a milestone. No, Passover is still another month away. Coming off a year that jump-started its heart with an invested and energized congregation, the city's last standing, still-operating temple, the Isaac Agree Downtown Synagogue, is celebrating its 90th anniversary. And it's doing so in style.

The synagogue's treasurer, Leor Barak, sees involvement in the synagogue as "an opportunity to revitalize Detroit and reconnect with Judaism," he said when we interviewed him last summer. "We're calling up every Jew in Detroit. What happens in the city affects the suburbs, and we're building a positive community downtown. All Detroiters should support the synagogue."

Avalon Breads proprietor Jackie Victor was one of those who answered the call. In a letter Victor sent en masse to local media recently, she expressed how, since, hearing about the Downtown Synagogue, she's met a group of young Jewish Detroiters whose commitment to rebuilding the city is "mirrored by their determination to create a vibrant Jewish community in Detroit." After living without a Jewish community in the city that she loves so dearly — you can taste it in her food — finding the downtown synagogue was "really like a dream come true."

At the party, there'll be something to nosh on, drinks to sip on, tunes to dance to. For young Jews in search of a comfortable community, it's a networking event not to be missed. Your attendance is a mitzvah.

Making Minyan: 90 Years in Detroit, hosted by WDET reporter Noah Ovshinsky, is from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday, March 27, at the Historic Gem Theatre, located at 333 Madison St., Detroit; $10 in advance, $15 at the door; call 313-962-4047 or e-mail downtownsynagogue@gmail.com to save your spot. Attendees are invited to enjoy an afterglow sponsored by CommunityNEXT following the celebration.

More by Travis R. Wright

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