Detroit is full of surprises. Where else can you pull into a parking garage and find your spot in an international tourist destination? Every level you ascend reveals another artist, another mural, another chapter of our city’s ever-changing story. The Z – the first ground-up development by Bedrock Real Estate Services (bounded by Gratiot and Grand River Avenues and Broadway and Library Streets) – is in so many ways a microcosm of Detroit on the rise. Ten floors, each with a different view, each with its own brand of color and wild imagination, looking at life through a unique lens, telling a tale that could only be told here.

As we speed off in all directions, from the East Side to the West Side, downtown to the burbs, county to county and sometimes even coast to coast, our hearts always belong to the city. Generation after generation, there’s a Jewish story being told in Detroit. And here are just a few from its cast of characters, finding their place and making their mark in the Motor City.

Photos: John Hardwick and Vivian Henoch 

 

Shoutin’ from the Rooftop

Shoutin’ from the rooftop: Federation insiders (left to right) Frank Lepkowski, Becky Hurvitz and Shimon Levy with Gabe Neistein from Tamarack Camps. Artist: SMASH 137 (Level 10)

Gabe Neistein
Becky Hurvitz
Shimon G. Levy
Shimon Levy, Becky Hurvitz, Gabe Neistein, Frank Lepkowski and Vivian Henoch
Gabe Neistein

Gabe Neistein

Detroit resident; Alumni Relations Director, Tamarack Camps

Also: Co-Chair and Founding Committee, Pitch for Detroit, Board Member, Jewish Historical Society of Michigan; Bucketlister, The Well.
Occupassion: Getting all worked up watching Tigers and Spartans games
Words to live by: “Everyone you will ever meet knows something you don’t.” – Bill Nye

Becky Hurvitz

Becky Hurvitz

Online Content Strategist, Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit

Occupassion: Downtown Synagogue Board Member, Chabad in the D Garden Manager, dog mom
Words to live by: No one ever went broke from giving.

Shimon G. Levy

Shimon G. Levy

Entrepreneur, Secret Sauce Capital/ Nonprofit Consultant, Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit

Occupassion: Social entrepreneurism among Jewish millennials
Words to live by: “In for a penny, in for a pound.”

Vivian Henoch

Vivian Henoch

Founding Editor, Writer: myJewishDetroit, Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit

Occupassion: City life, photography, books, blogs, cooks, travel, grandchildren!
Words to live by: “Everyone has a story.”

Frank Lepkowski

Frank Lepkowski

User Experience Design, Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit

Occupassion: Creating seamless experiences accross the web. Learning. Doing.
Words to live by: “Being right keeps you in place. Being wrong forces you to explore.”

Lighting up the D

Lighting Up in the D: A Partner in “Menorah in the D” Chanukah Lighting, Rabbi Yisrael Pinson. Artist: Cyrcle (Level 3)

Benjamin Rosenzweig
Benjamin Rosenzweig and Rabbi Yisrael Pinson
Rabbi Yisrael Pinson and Harriet Berg
Harriet Berg
Benjamin Rosenzweig

Benjamin Rosenzweig

Commercial Real Estate Broker, VP of Brokerage at Indigo Centers

Also: Board Member of JVS and Team member at Menorah in the D
Occupassion: live music junkie, Michigan Live Music Scene/Facebook group
Words to live by: “My definition of balance is being able to obsess equally in all areas of my life.”

Rabbi Yisrael Pinson

Rabbi Yisrael Pinson

Director of Chabad of Greater Downtown Detroit

Also: Co-founder of Menorah in the D, Board Member of NEXTGen Detroit and
Jewish Family Services; Volunteer, Friendship Circle of Michigan
Occupassion: Connecting young people with Jewish experiences
Words to live by: “When two people meet, something good should result for a third person.” – The Rebbe

Harriet Berg

Harriet J. Berg

Dance Historian Detroit resident, Founder & Artistic Director, Dance Thru History LLC (retired)

Occupassion: Dance, dance, dance!
Words to live by: “To live is to dance, and to dance is to live.”

Repairing the World

Repairing the World: Good Fellows Charlie Frank and Sarah Rontal parallel parking with Ben Falik (center). Artist: “b”

Charlie Frank, Ben Falik and Sarah Rontal
Charlie Frank
Ben Falik
Sarah Rontal
Ben Falik

Ben Falik

Detroit Director, Repair the World

Occupassion: Coaching kindergarten soccer
Words to live by: “Spontaneity favors the practiced mind.”

Charlie Frank

Charlie Frank

Fellow, Repair the World – Detroit

Occupassion: Planting the seeds of Food Justice
Words to live by: “Even fake plants need to be pretend-watered from time to time.”

Sarah Rontal

Sarah Rontal

Fellow, Repair the World – Detroit

Occupassion: Individualizing education
Words to live by: “Own your lived experience.”

Davening Downtown

Davening Downtown: Members of Detroit’s one and only Downtown Synagogue: Leor Barak, Jodee Fishman Raines, Anna Kohn (with Fido), DaVid Powel, Liz Kannon and Rena Friedberg and Marty Herman. Artist : Dabs Myla, (Level 5)

Rena Friedberg
Anna Kohn
Leor Barak, DS
DaVid Powel
Jodee Fishman RainesMartin Herman
Rena Friedberg

Rena Friedberg

Interim CEO, JARC a non-profit that provides homes and support services for people with disabilities.

Also: Board member, Isaac Agree Downtown Synagogue
Occupassion: Living a centered, positive life with integrity.
Words to live by: “Be kind.”

Anna Kohn

Anna Kohn

Director, Downtown Synagogue

Also: Board Member of CAPPS: Citizens Alliance on Prisons & Public Spending; Adjunct Faculty, Jackson College at the Macomb Correctional Facility; Volunteer, Recovery Park, Inc.
Occupassion: Eradicating the term “blank canvas” from Detroiter’s and visitor’s vocabularies
Words to live by: “If knowledge is the key, then just show me the lock.” – A Tribe Called Quest

Leor Barak, DS

Leor Barak, DS

Lawyer, Compliance Manager, Detroit Land Bank Authority West Village Resident

Occupassion: 7Layers (the Band and the cake), Pizza, Detroit
Words to live by: “Spread love.”

Liz Kannon

Administrative Assistant at the Jewish Historical Society of Michigan

Also: Member, Board of the Isaac Agree Downtown Synagogue
Occupassion: biking and knitting, still looking to find a way to combine them.
Words to live by: “Balance in all things”

Jodee Fishman Raines

Jodee Fishman Raines

VP of Programs, Erb Family Foundation

Also: Board member, Agree Downtown Synagogue, Palmer Woods Association; Volunteer, People for Palmer; member, Palmer Park Keep Growing Detroit, Eastern Market, DIA, MOCAD
Occupassion: Detroit, gardening, building community
Words to live by: “If you want to go fast, go alone; If you want to go far, go together.”

Martin Herman

Martin Herman

Retired Academic, Professor Emeritus of Humanities, Wayne State University.

Also: Society of Active Retirees (SOAR), A WSU program for devotées of lifelong learning: Founding member and still active (pro bono) faculty and board member.
Occupassion: Isaac Agree Downtown Synagogue (IADS), Former President; current board member and ritual director
Words to live by: “Always try to be your best self.”

DaVid Powel

DaVid Powel ben Avraham

Director Legal Resources, Metropolitan Legal Resource Center, PC

Occupassion: Reading History, Torah and Law, gardening.
Words to live by: “Seek peace and pursue it.”

Shoppin,’ Movin’ and Groovin’ in the D

Shoppin,’ Movin’ & Groovin’ in the D: Entrepreneurs, Rachel Lutz with her cup of tea, Kacee Must in perfect yoga pose and Jeff Aronoff online. Artist: Hense (Level 6)

Kacee Must
Jeff Aronoff
Rachel Lutz
Kacee Must

Kacee Must

Business Owner/ Yoga Teacher Citizen Yoga

Occupassion: Positive Business and Philosophy
Words to live by: “Faith is the bird that feels the light and sings while the dawn is still dark.” – Tagore

Jeff Aronoff

Jeff Aronoff

Founder and Principal, Sidewalk Ventures

Occupassion: helping local businesses raise money from groups of local investors, proving that small scale business don’t have to take a back seat to high-growth tech companies and that investors across all income levels can earn meaningful return by supporting businesses they love.
Words to live by: “There are dreamers and there are doers. Whichever one you are, try to be a little more of the other from time to time.”

Rachel Lutz

Rachel Lutz

Proprietress, The Peacock Room and Frida

Also: Member, Isaac Agree Downtown Synogogue, Preservation Detroit Advisory Board
Occupassion: I have the best job in the world- helping women feel good about themselves.
Words to live by: “When it’s better for everyone, it’s better for everyone.” -Eleanor Roosevelt

Growing Detroit

Growing Detroit: (l to r) Jeff Klein, Eitan Sussman, Blair Nosan and Noam Kimelman. Artist: Interesni Kazki (Level 9)

Blair Nosan
Jeff Klein
Noam Kimelman
Eitan Sussman
Blair Nosan

Blair Nosan

Associate Director, Hazon Detroit

Occupassion: Spontaneous preservationist and fermenter
Words to live by: “Six days you work, and the seventh day is Shabbat (radical sustainability).”

Jeff Klein

Jeff Klein

Landscape Architect, Detroit Farm and Garden / Classic Landscape, Ltd.

Occupassion: Landscape Architecture; providing creative and practical land use solutions to achieve balance and harmony between people and the environment.
Words to live by: “I live not in dreams but in contemplation of a reality that is perhaps the future.” –Rilke

Noam Kimelman

Noam Kimelman

CEO at Fresh Corner Café, Board Chair at Detroit Food Academy, Detroit Grocery Store Coordinator at Fair Food Network, Chief Solutionary at Fresh Corner Solutions.

Occupassion: Wielding the power of good food to further equity, create opportunity, and improve quality of life.
Words to live by: “Just make sure you’re having fun along the way.”

Eitan Sussman

Eitan Sussman

Co-Director, Keep Growing Detroit, working to create a more just, healthy, equitable, delicious food system in Detroit

Occupassion: My woodworking business, ‘Occasional Woodworking’, where I aspire to create beautiful, functional, and interactive furnishings from reclaimed and sustainably harvested wood.
Words to live by: “You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to desist from it.” (Pirkei Avot 2:21)

Highly Social Workers

Highly Social Workers: Alyssa Bracha McMillan and Abi Liepshutz. Artists: RevoK & Pose (Level 8)

Alyssa Bracha McMillan
Abi Liepshutz, LLMSW
Alyssa Bracha McMillan

Alyssa Bracha McMillan

Social Worker/Patient Services Coordinator – ALS of Michigan

Occupassion: Empowering mankind
Also: NEXTGen Board Member, Hillel Advisor Board Member and NEXTGen Volunteer Committee Co-Chair
Words to live by: “Do not judge your fellow until you have stood in his place” (Pirkei Avot 2:4) “If there is no struggle, there is no progress.” – Frederick Douglass

Abi Liepshutz, LLMSW

Abi Liepshutz, LLMSW

Clinical Social Worker at Sinai-Grace Hospital

Also: Graduate, Wayne State University School of Social Work; member, Jewish Social Work Student Association, Phi Sigma Pi Honor Fraternity Alumni Advisory Board.
Occupassion: NextGEN board member, NextGEN Volunteers board member, volunteering with hospice patients, yoga, being a dog mom. ☺
Words to live by: “Stop comparing yourself to others. The only person you should compete with is yourself, focusing on whether you have done better today than yesterday.”

Bedrockers

Bedrocker: Detroit Ambassador, Bruce Schwartz in “The Belt” alley art walk at Z Lot Entrance. Artists: Varied

Bruce Schwartz
Bruce Schwartz
Bruce Schwartz
Natalie Gray
Bruce Schwartz

Bruce Schwartz

Detroit Ambassador, Bedrock Real Estate Services

Occupassion: Detroit! I love to tell my 11 and 8 year old kids that they will read about our work in social studies one day. This is history in the making.
Words to live by: “What’s happening in Detroit today is something that cannot be explained in words. It’s something you need to see to understand.”

Natalie Gray

Natalie Gray

Public Relations Associate, Bedrock Real Estate Services

Occupassion: I am passionate about Detroit and love telling Detroit’s comeback story to the world. I’m also passionate about cooking, health and wellness, so working with Bedrock’s many restaurant and wellness tenants has been a thrill for me.

Words to live by: “The journey is the destination. Embrace and enjoy the process with an attitude of gratitude.”

Your Friendly Woodridge Neighborhood Rabbis

Friendly Woodbridge Neighborhood Rabbis: Ariana Silverman and Alana Alpert, find their spot to schmooze at Z Lot Ground Level. Artists: Varied.

Rabbi Arianna Silverman
Rabbi Alana Alpert
Rabbi Arianna Silverman

Rabbi Arianna Silverman

Rabbi of the Grosse Pointe Jewish Council and Interim Manager of Lifelong Learning for the Central Conference of American Rabbis.

Also: Jewish educator in Detroit, Co-founder of the Woodbridge JEEWS, Board Member of NEXTGen Detroit, and Organizing Committee, Member of Detroit Jews for Justice.
Occupassion: Educating and empowering Jews to make intentional choices and be passionate advocates for social justice

Rabbi Alana Alpert

Rabbi Alana Alpert

Director of Detroit Jews for Justice

Also: Rabbi of Congregation T’chiyah
Occupassion: Engaging the Jewish community in movements for racial and economic justice; Exploring the relationship between spiritual practice and social change.
Words to live by: “Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.” Arundhati Roy




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