When I tell people I’m from Michigan, they usually assume I mean Detroit. Not surprising; Detroit is one of America’s most renowned Jewish communities, rich with history. But today, most people have written off Detroit as a dying city, ignoring the possibility of continued Jewish life there. Like many of downtown Detroit’s buildings, synagogues have been presumed lifeless and abandoned.
My friend Amit and a dedicated group of young Jewish folks are aiming to change that; they’re restoring the old Isaac Agree Downtown Synagogue by winterizing its windows to save energy costs. Why? Because they believe that a continued Jewish presence in downtown Detroit is important. And anyone on a synagogue/shul board knows that saving costs keeps doors open.
Amit & her team have until tomorrow to raise $6,500. They’ve been busting their chops, raised over $10,000, plus $3,000 more in the last two days. DTE, a Detroit Energy company, will match the whole shebang, but only if the full amount is raised. If social media is your thing, have a look at how funders of all giving levels have contributed online in response to the above video, a facebook campaign and online fundraising effort.
I know MLK Day was Monday, but the importance of a strong Black-Jewish dynamic and a welcoming Jewish presence in a city can’t be overstated. I’ll be dropping a cool chai today; if you know anyone who might be able to contribute (and/or contribute big), please pass this along to them. Remember–deadline is tomorrow!