Defiant Requiem

The Defiant Requiem: Verdi at Terezin tells the story of the courageous Jewish prisoners in the Theresienstadt Concentration Camp who performed Verdi’s Requiem Mass. The two-hour multimedia performance, created by conductor Murry Sidlin and performed by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, combines the music of Verdi with testimony from survivors of the original chorus and footage from propaganda films.

Learn more through lectures, documentary film and pictures through five independent encounters:

  • Prelude to the Defiant Requiem: a Defining Lecture Series
    7:00-8:30 p.m. Wednesdays at CSZ
    April 5: Jews of Czechoslovakia Pre-World War II with Professor Howard Lupovitch
    April 19: The Music and the Meaning of The Defiant Requiem with DSO Associate Conductor Michelle Merrill, Community Chorus of Detroit Artistic Director Edward Maki-Schramm, and members of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.
    April 26: The “Model” Concentration Camp Theresienstadt with Dr. Amy Simon
    Cost: $50 per person for CSZ, Friends of Melton, Friends of Cohn-Haddow, Holocaust Memorial Center Docents, JCC Members. General Public $60 per person.
    Each registered participant will receive one complimentary ticket to the DSO’s Thursday, May 4 performance at CSZ.
    Register at 248.205.2557.
  • Documentary Film: Defiant Requiem
    Sunday, April 30, 2017
    7:45 p.m.
    Berman Center for the Performing Arts at the JCC West Bloomfield
    6600 West Maple Road, West Bloomfield
    Free of charge
  • Discussion with Creator and Conductor Murry Sidlin
    Monday, May 1, 2017
    7:00 p.m. at CSZ
    Free of charge
  • The Butterfly: a Children’s Art Exhibition
    April 6-May 4, 2017
    at CSZ
    Inspired by the poem The Butterfly, written in 1942 by a child in a concentration camp.
    Free of charge
  • The Defiant Requiem: Verdi at Terezin
    Detroit Symphony Orchestra perfomance
    Thursday, May 4, 2017
    7:30 p.m. at CSZ
    Cost: $25 General Admission, $10 Students.
    No charge for those enrolled in “Prelude to the Defiant Requiem: A Defining Lecture Series.
    Ticket Purchase: or 313.576.5111.

For more information, contact the Synagogue office at 248.357.5544


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Jeffrey L. Weisberg Memorial Creative Writing Award

Jeffrey Weisberg was a published poet and the winner of the University of Michigan Hopwood Award for his poems. He encouraged young people to write, and was involved at Shaarey Zedek with teaching youth about a commitment to the heritage of the Jewish people. His parents, Lucille (z’l) and Harvey Weisberg, established this award to honor his memory.

Writing Prompts:
Grades 3-5: ($100 prize, 2 winners). Essays must be at least 150 words, 12 point font and double spaced.  All creative writing pieces may be submitted in original format.
Being Jewish is a lot like participating in a sport. We have rules. We practice. We work together and we work alone. All of these things make us better and stronger. How does being a Jew make you a better and stronger person?

Grades 6-8: ($200 prize, 2 winners). Essays must be 250-500 words, 12 point font, double spaced.  All creative writing may be in original format.
Throughout history, people claim: “It’s tough being a Jew!” Is it?  Often, the things that are the toughest make us stronger. What do you find challenging about being Jewish; what do you feel are the rewards for this challenge, and how does living Jewishly make you a stronger person?

Grades 9-12: ($1,000 prize, 2 winners). Essays must be 500-750 words, 12 point font, double spaced. All creative writing pieces may be submitted in original format.  Creative writing pieces MUST include a paragraph accompaniment that explains how the piece addresses the prompt and explains the process you went through in designing your text.
Time and again people claim: “it’s tough being a Jew.” These words have rung true throughout our history – from our biblical ancestors to the Holocaust. Lately, we have witnessed blatant anti-Semitism right in our own backyards, with vandalized graveyards, bomb threats at JCCs, and swastikas painted on homes. Have you been a victim of or a witness to anti-Semitism? How has the current climate of antisemitism affected your commitment to being a Jew, and what do you think the Jewish people’s response should be anti-Semitism?

All essays must be e-mailed to Leah Gawel at by Wednesday, May 17, 2017.

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Words to Action – April 27

A workshop for teens to give them the tools to respond effectively to anti-Semitism and prejudice. RSVP to Leah Gawel at or 248.357.5544.

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Help Others through the JWI Flower Project

Shaarey Zedek and CSZ Men’s Club support




Send Mother’s Day and Father’s Day Cards
to the People You Love!

More than 45,000 women and children
spend each Mother’s Day in domestic violence shelters.
JWI’s Flower Project sends bouquets of flowers
and financial literacy resources to 200 shelters
across the U.S. on Mother’s Day.

For each $25 donation you make, we’ll send a beautiful
Mother’s Day or Father’s Day card to anyone you choose to honor:
mom or dad, brother or sister, grandparent, in-law or friend.
Click the link to send e-cards or paper cards:

If sending paper cards, it is recommended that you send
Mother’s Day cards by May 5, 2017 in order to arrive in the mail on time.
Father’s Day cards will be sent in time for the holiday in June.

As you personalize your cards, please select
Shaarey Zedek as your Partnering Organization.

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Lois Linden Nelson Woman’s World – May 3

  • Pop-up Shops run through the day, and are open to the public. No charge to enter and shop for yourself, for Mothers’ Day, birthdays, graduations and more!
  • Woman of Valor Sally Orley and Featured Speaker Lesley Stahl
  • Luncheon
  • Over the Top Raffle

CSZ Sisterhood’s premier event!
Become a Patron, or purchase tickets for speakers, lunch and raffle. Contact Sisterhood at, 248.357.5544, extension 48, or check our website, with pricing, a growing list of shops, sponsors and raffle items at

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Rabbi Yonatan Dahlen: When Your City Speaks

I’ll be the first to admit it. I’ve had a complicated relationship with Detroit. Perhaps five years in New York has turned me into an urban elitist, a city snob. When Meredith and I head into Detroit for brunch or a show, I often catch myself starting sentences with the words, “You know, in New York…” (which she, shockingly, does not find all that endearing).

I’ve had a hard time adjusting to the “Detroit vs. Everybody” mentality, and I usually draw a blank when I’m asked what my “hustles” are (evidently in Detroit, one is expected to have at least two). And despite my best efforts, I cannot get myself to refer to this towering city of American success, failure, and perseverance as “The D.”

I am (and I’m not trying to be dramatic or garner sympathy here) an outsider. I didn’t grow up eating at Leo’s. There has never been any Vernors or Faygo in my fridge. My roots don’t spread under the streets of Lafayette or Bagley, and they don’t pull their nourishment from the Rouge. Almost one year since arriving, and I still don’t feel like a Detroiter.

But this past Monday, I spent all day in the city that has yet to accept me, and we had a very serious talk. We were both reluctant for the first few hours, but when my friend Larry stepped in to mediate, the conversation took a difficult but important turn.

Larry Oleinick is the founder and president of Heart 2 Hart Detroit (please click the link for information about this amazing project), and on Monday he took me along with him on his downtown route, allowing me to hand out hot food, hand warmers, and socks to Detroit’s homeless men and women who live, work, and survive in the city’s streets, alleys, and abandoned buildings.

It was during these few hours, as the violent wind threw snow into our eyes and the well-below-freezing temperatures bit at any exposed skin, that Detroit told me her story.

She told me about when she was a struggling rap artist who fell in love with gangster culture until it ruined all the beauty in her life. She told me about her days in Vietnam, and how she was never the same after the war ended. She told me about her addiction, about how she can’t help but spend her money on dope, because being sick is hell. She told me that she is black, brown, white, and any other color under the sun, and that the only real code is that you look out for your brothers and your sisters.

And she told me that she had never met me before. That while I was complaining about her not noticing me, not letting me be a part of her life, she had other things on her plate, things that I wouldn’t be able to understand.

And then I apologized. Because I had made her into something she wasn’t. And I had come to her without any humility, without any compassion, without any understanding.

I told her, that like the Israelites who chose to build their golden calf and dream of Egypt rather than put their full trust into their newly formed covenant, I had romanticized my past and in doing so, blurred my present.

And she told me that it was okay, that she forgave me, because a covenant isn’t easy. It takes time.

So we sat there, Detroit and I. The snow continued to fall and the wind whipped around us. And we looked at one another with a new sense of truth and with a tinge of embarrassment at how raw and vulnerable our conversation had been.

I said goodbye to Larry and the crew. I got in my car, and headed back to the suburbs, and when I got back to my house that night, I watched the first half of the Pistons / Knicks game being replayed on Fox Sports. And as my old city took on my new city, I cheered for Detroit, not because she’s been through a lot, not because she’s strong and resilient, not because her future is limitless. I cheered for her because she’s my home.

On this Shabbat Parah (the Shabbat of both the red heifer and the golden calf), Meredith and I wish you a Shabbat of peace, of introspection, and of joy. May your tables be filled with song, laughter, and blessings, and may you feel truly and fully at home.

Rabbi Dahlen

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Seder Songs

Dear Friends,
I am pleased to offer Seder songs I recorded for anyone to use to spice up their Seder experiences. Please click on the links below to hear the music.
I also added some Passover Parodies and lyrics, to add some fun to your Seder. Scroll through and give them a listen!

For sheet music, please contact me directly at or 248.357.5544.

~ Hazzan David Propis

Kadesh Order of the Seder:

Kiddush for Passover:

Ha Lachma Anya:

Ma Nishtana 1:

MaNishtana 2:

Avadim Hayinu:

The Ballad of the Four Sons:

V’hi Sh’am’da:


Birkat Hamazon:

Eliyahu Hanavi:

Ani Ma’amin:

Chad Gadya Hebrew:

Chad Gadya English:

Adir Hu:

Echad Mi Yodea:

Quen Supiese:

L’Shana Haba’a 1:

L’Shana Haba’a 2:



Seder Parody Songs

Do You Hear Our People Sing?:

Lyrics: Do You Hear Our People Sing

Some Enchanted Seder:

Lyrics: Some Enchanted Seder

Say a Real Big Prayer:

Lyrics: Say A Real Big Prayer

All We Ask of You:

Lyrics: All We Ask Of You

Manischewitz Wine:

Lyrics: Manischewitz Wine

Sweet Kosher Wine:

Lyrics: Sweet Kosher Wine

I Want to Wash My Hands:

Lyrics: I Want to Wash My Hands

That’s a Matzah:

Lyrics: That’s a Matzah

Why You Are Here:

Lyrics: Why You Are Here

Goodbye, Goodbye, Mitzrayim:

Lyrics: Goodbye Goodbye Mitzrayim

The Gambler:

Lyrics: The Gambler

We’ll Cross the Sea:

Lyrics: We’ll Cross the Sea

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Men’s Club Me’ot Chetim and Sale of Chametz Forms

EXTENDED: Sale of Chametz forms will be accepted through 9:00 a.m. Monday, April 10, 2017, to the attention of Rabbi Aaron Starr.

Please click HERE: 3 mitzvot of passover letter 2017 to download and print the forms to sell your Chametz for Passover. A form is also inclded to allow you to donate to Men’s Club’s effort to raise funds to sponsor 500 families for Passover, allowing them to celebrate appropriately.

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Game Day Thursday – March 23

Bring your games and your players to CSZ and Sisterhood’s day of tabletop play! Open to the community, delicious lunch included!

Cost: $6.00 per player if reservations are received by 12:00 Noon on Monday, March 20, 2017. After that deadline, or at the door, the cost is $8.00 per player.

Click HERE to RSVP, or contact Tobye Bello at or 248.357.5544.

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Welcome in Shabbat with CSZ – Fridays at 5:45 p.m.

The CSZ clergy welcomes you to our casual, joyful, participatory Friday night services,
weekly at 5:45 p.m., beginning with Minchah.

Shaarey Zedek Shabbat
Fridays, March 24 and 31, 2017
Daven with your Shaarey Zedek family at our musical experiences!

T.G.I.S. (Thank God It’s Shabbat)!
Friday, April 7, 2017
The music of the CSZ clergy and the T.G.I.S. players will enrich your spirit.
Come as you are. Leave uplifted.
For this special T.G.I.S., join us following services for a
Last Chance for Chametz  family Italian dinner
Cost: $18 per adult/$9 per child age 12 and younger.
RSVP for dinner to 248.357.5544 by Monday, April 3, 2017.

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