Syma Echeandia

As you know Lou and I have been members of Congregation T’chiyah.  The rabbi we hired three years ago, Alana Alpert, who is also a trained community organizer, started an organization, Detroit Jews For Justice (DJJ).  This organization has been a beacon of hope for us all who want to bring back a Jewish presence to assist the struggle to bring equity and justice to Detroit.  Detroit can be a beacon of hope for Michigan and the entire country.

Under the auspices of DJJ, I was delighted to participate in a course “Don’t Kvetch – Organize!” given by Join for Justice.   I learned so much about how one tackles social justice issues, to respect the thoughtful process and careful use of resources.  It enhanced my ability to understand and contribute to DJJ and other social justice organizations.

Chanuka has arrived, Christmas follows soon and my 75th birthday follows shortly.  As you may know my birthday is January 15th, the very same as Martin Luther King and in 2018 we get to celebrate MLK Day and my 75th birthday on the same day. 

I want to ask you for a Chanuka gift, Christmas gift and an early birthday present.  I would like to ask you to make a contribution in my name to Detroit Jews for Justice, so I can continue working with these amazing people, Jews and those to like to hang with Jews who are dedicated to make a difference in Detroit and the country.

  • @SYMADE tweeted link to April 7 - Klezmer Brunch!. 2019-03-22 22:51:43 -0400

    April 7: Concert & Brunch with Klezmer Masters

    Congregation T'chiyah and the Workmen's Circle-Arbeter Ring of Michigan invite you to... 

    Wake Up & Sing with HOT PSTROMI!

    Join us at the International Institute of Metro Detroit at 11 AM on Sunday, April 7 for a brunch concert with the world-renowned HOT PSTROMI, featuring Yale Strom on violin, Elizabeth Schwartz on vocals and Tallulah Strom on guitar. HOT PSTROMI will treat us to a delectable selection of traditional Yiddish songs, klezmer tunes, Hasidic melodies and more -- including material that the band collected while conducting ethnographic fieldwork with Jewish and Roma communities of Eastern Europe!

    Proceeds of the event will benefit T'chiyah & the Workmen's Circle, allowing both of our heimish (homey) communities to continue to support meaningful, ruachdike Yiddishkayt (spirited Jewishness/Jewish culture!) in Metro Detroit. 

    As space is limited, we ask that you RSVP by purchasing your ticket HERE by March 31! 

    Pay-what-you-can according to our sliding scale model. Feel free to pay in-between the stated rates. No one will be turned away due to lack of funds -- please contact Jake Ehrlich at with any questions!

    • $72.00 Tzedakah Rate
      Give what you can to help to sustain our shared mission of building accessible, meaningful, progressive Jewish community!

    • $54.00 Supporter Rate
      Spare that extra half-shekel to help subsidize someone else's ticket!

    • $36.00 Standard Rate
      This is the real cost of entry per person, taking into account compensating our talent, staff, volunteers, and other expenses. 

    • $18.00 Subsidized Rate
      Available thanks to the generosity of people willing to pay extra!

    To purchase multiple "tickets," please enter the total amount of your donation (for example, two tickets at the $36 rate = a donation of $72) and email Jake Ehrlich at the name(s) of your plus-one(s).

    [Please note that the actual cost of the event is $36 per person. Dollars donated above the $36 mark are a tax-deductible donation to Congregation T'chiyah. Earnings above our expenses will be distributed between Congregation T'chiyah and Workmen's Circle-Arbeter Ring of Michigan. Congregation T'chiyah and Workmen's Circle-Arberter Ring are 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations.]  

    We're all looking forward to seeing you soon! Note that there is on-site parking available and that metered street parking is free on Sundays. The International Institute is a wheelchair-accessible building, and we will be gathering on the first floor. We hope to record and livestream this event, barring technical difficulties. Please email Jake Ehrlich at for any questions!

    This event is made possible in part by a grant from the D. Dan and Betty Kahn Foundation. 


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    Reconstructing Jewish life in Metro Detroit

    Welcome to our website! We are a Reconstructionist congregation with the mission of building an accessible, meaningful Jewish community that integrates deep commitments to social justice with robust, dynamic spirituality. Trans Jews Belong Here!

    Click here to sign-up for the T'chiyah Times, our weekly newsletter, for up-to-date information about what's happening in community. We look forward to welcoming you soon!

    T'chiyah strives to be a warm, welcoming and inclusive community. Our commitments to racial and economic justice are exemplified by our creation of Detroit Jews for Justice in 2015. In 2018 we enrolled in the Keshet Leadership Project with Keshet and StandWithTrans to implement structural reforms to bolster our community's inclusion and celebration of LGBTQ+ individuals and families. 

      Follow us on social media!

Syma sits on DJJ's Steering Committee.
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