PROLOGUE
1ST DETROIT SERVICE
SHULS
1ST HEBREW DELRAY
AARON ISRAEL [STOLINER]
ADAS YESHURN [TYLER]
ADAT SHALOM
AHAVATH ZION
AMARATH TEMPLE
AVAS ACHIM [DELMAR]
AVAS ACHIM 2
BETH AARON
BETH AARON V ISRAEL
BETH ABRAHAM
BETH ABRAHAM 2
B'NAI DAVID
BETH EL [BONSTELLE]
BETH EL
BETH EMMANUEL [TAYLOR]
BETH ITZCHOCK
BETH MOSES
BETH MOSES 2
BETH MOSES [OWEN]
B'NAI MOSHE
BETH SCHMUEL
BETH TICHVAH [PETOSKEY]
BETH YEHUDA
B'NAI ISRAEL
B'NAI ISRAEL 2
B'NAI JACOB
B'NAI JACOB
B'NAI ZION [HUMPHREY]
DOWNTOWN SYNAGOGUE
EL MOSHE
EZRAS ACHIM TUROVER
HERES ISRAEL
MISHKAN YISROEL
NUSACH HARI
SHAAREY SHOMAYIM [FENKELL]
SHAAREY TORAH
SHAAREY ZEDEK
SHAAREY ZION [PIGGLY WIGGLY]
TEMPLE ISRAEL
INSTITUTIONS
BETH DAVID CEMETERY
BETH EL ELMWOOD CEMETERY
BETH OLEM CEMETERY
BUTZEL BUILDING
FREE BURIAL ASSN
JCC MEYERS
JCC WOODWARD
JEWISH WELFARE FED
MANUEL URBACH
SHAAREY ZEDEK SCHOOL
SINAI HOSPITAL
THE SCHVITZ
TUSHIYAH UHS
UHS DELMAR
YESHIVA BETH YEHUDA & MOGEN AVROM


CLICK IMAGE FOR FULL VIEW

Tour the Revived Downtown Synagogue

Downtown Synagogue

1457 Griswold
Detroit, MI 48226-1709 
Phone: (313) 961-9328 
Website

The only remaining synagogue inside the City of Detroit*, the Downtown Synagogue has been at this location since 1937 having evolved from the Isaac Agree Society  established in 1921 by the Agree, Canvasser, Kaplan, Rosin and Zatkin families.

*In 2005

A Donation to the
Lost Synagogues of Detroit Project
has been made by
Paul & Francine Hack
in honor of
The Special Birthday of
Dorothy Irwin.

We welcome and invite you to share your memories of Detroit's former synagogues and Jewish sites.
Email your memories to us » and we will add them to the site.

Shared Memories of The Downtown Synagogue

The official name is called Issac Agree Downtown Synagogue. A Sabbath Service is held here every Sat. at 8:30 am. It functions as a local businessman's synagogue as well as one for tourists downtown. If a person was staying at a downtown hotel, it would be possible to walk to synagogue and take in a ballgame or other downtown activities, remaining "Shomer Shabbos" and not driving or riding a bus.
- Arnie P

My father Harry N. used to go to the Downtown Synagogue occasionally to observe yahrzeit for his father Samuel. One evening, walking up the stairs to the maariv service, my father heard an unusually beautiful voice coming from the sanctuary. When he entered the room, he saw Metropolitan Opera star Jan Peerce chanting from the Torah. Mr. Peerce was in Detroit with his Opera company, and he too was observing yahrzeit. It was an enchanting experience for my father, one which he shared with many people.
-Seymour

Our family went to the Downtown Synagogue (a kind of jazzy name for a synagogue) on the High Holidays. I remember a Rosh Hashanah in the mid-60s when we all emerged from synagogue ready for a break, but filled with fellow feeling by this brought-together-for-one-day community. The synagogue was free of cost and the people who came were an interesting, unaffiliated crowd. At that period in Detroit -- the early to mid-sixties, you could see the problems of racism, classism, corporatism, and pollution, that became urban disintegration in so many other places, as well. There was much that was wonderful -- the music especially from the Black community -- Motown -- was a green lyrical voice growing out of the sidewalks.

As Jews of Detroit we occupied a curious place. Not moneyed, but not poor. Books, our history, gave us the sense of a horizon that could include many futures. The unfolding political events were totally compelling -- the Civil Rights and Anti-war movements; the deaths, or murders, of a generation's leaders had already begun. (And without that leadership, we seem to have found ourselves not in the progressive future that was flowering then, but in a parallel future that seems to prefer fundamentalism to originality. There was little actually known of Judaism by our neighbors (and perhaps that was our faults, we didn't speak about it much to non-Jews); some of whom thought we had horns under our curly hair as a sign of an evil nature. Wefell into a nether world between Black and White. After all, just a decade and half before six million of our people died, in part, because they were not "white" enough. And Christianity, which was so strong in parts of the Black community, seemed both foreign and responsible and for a history of misery. Still, we were not brought as slaves to America, nor trapped in factories or mines. We lived as other immigrants who came of their own free will did, through our connections to others who preceded us. And because of that, we had a responsibility to help. Sadly, most families we knew fled instead, to the safe confines of the suburbs.

With that move, the financial base of the city was shattered. Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, is the only day a Jew goes down onto the ground to pray, though just for a moment. I remember the rabbi on that particular Yom Kippur lowering himself onto the floor of the center aisle as everyone sang and then men gathering around him and taking him by the elbows to lift him up again. He was small, vulnerable looking in his black gown, bird-like, but the act of humbling himself seemed to make the opposite happen, he became central and important in our vision; a kind of emblem that opposes man (the noun is purposeful) the tyrannical, invulnerable, and proposes man as equal and, sometimes, vulnerable. Later, when we crossed the street to rest and watch the river, the steely grey Detroit River, the sky was breaking open. The shafts of lights that shot through the clouds were at once a Hollywood moment and a real moment, because on that day it was Jewish in Detroit.
- Sari

The Lost Synagogues of Detroit
Techtown Detroit | 444 Burroughs, Ste. 136 | Detroit, MI | 888-474-8189 ext. 1
© Lowell Boileau - All rights reserved