Living, Working and Playing in the D
My Jewish Detroit means home
Living, working and playing in the D, Kate has recently joined Isobar, a digital communications agency network new to the city, to build the General Motors brand online. What Kate especially loves about working downtown: the fast pace of creative teamwork and the incredible views of the city. Outside the workplace Kate is just as passionate about the growth of the Isaac Agree Downtown Synagogue and her volunteer work as a birth doula coaching women through pregnancy and labor.
On growing up in Detroit.
I grew up in a beautiful home in a historic neighborhood, riding my bike through Palmer Park and spending Shabbat morning taking ballet at a church near Eastern Market followed by Shabbat lunch at Zeff’s Coney Island. I attended elementary school at Golightly, a DPS magnet school. I was one of a handful of white kids, and one of three Jewish kids (the other two were my parents’ friends’ kids). I have memories of bringing apples and honey at the start of each school year per my teachers’ requests to teach the class about Rosh Hashanah.
On making her mark in Detroit
I don’t know that I am making my mark, but I am doing what I have always done, living in Detroit and trying to take advantage of everything this great city has to offer.
On what inspired her to get started
I moved back to Detroit in January, 2005, and went to a Young Adult Division (YAD) event in Campus Martius just a few weeks later. Next thing I knew I was on boards of YAD and JARC and then joined the board of the Downtown Synagogue. I have since moved on from my work on the boards, but stay very involved with the Downtown Synagogue.
On what makes Jewish Detroit a great place to live, work and play
Detroit is my home. I grew up in the city and moved back after college and have made my life here. What makes Detroit unique is that it is a small community in a big city. This means you can be part of something big, while knowing and recognizing everyone. I love going to Eastern Market on Saturday morning and standing in the middle of Shed 3 and seeing tons of people I know stroll by with their beautiful produce.
On what to tell someone considering moving back to Detroit or into the city for the first time?
I’d say explore every nook and cranny. There are so many great neighborhoods with sites, bars and restaurants. Walk on Belle Isle, through Palmer Park, or on the River Walk.
On Detroit pride
I am proud to be a Detroiter. I am proud of my parents for going against the grain and investing in the city when most were not. I am proud to be part of the movement now.
On hopes and dreams for Detroit’s future
I love the momentum and energy surrounding the city right now. The next step will be in sustaining it. For all the people that are moving into the city now, how can we get them to stay? A good place to start is with the schools, funding education in our city is absolutely crucial to people moving in and staying.
Favorite building in the Detroit skyline
The Guardian building is exquisite, but One Kennedy Square (now Chrysler House) will always remind me of my childhood – coming to my dad’s office after school and then going across the street to Lafayette Coney Island for dinner!
I have so many. Aladdin (though technically it’s in Hamtramck), Lafayette, Roma Café