Expat Homecoming Honors Danny Fenster
By David Glass
October 20, 2022
Detroit Homecoming attendees and representatives of the Detroit Jewish community gathered on Thursday, September 18, 2022, for the 9th Annual Detroit Jewish Expat Reception.
Hosted by Adam Finkel and Rabbi Yisrael Pinson of ChabaD at the recently remodeled BasBlue, this year’s event honored Danny Fenster, currently attending a prestigious journalism fellowship at Harvard University, as the 2022 Detroit Jewish Expat. Fenster was provided a “homecoming” after spending nearly six months in a Myanmar prison on fabricated charges.
BasBlue co-founder and entertainment executive Nancy Tellem welcomed the participants to the recently opened woman-focused gathering space which now boasts more than 700 members.
Joshua Sirefman, CEO of Michigan Central Innovation District, provided remarks on his professional background, which began in Detroit, and his vision for Ford’s investment in Corktown. Sam Woll, President of Isaac Agree Downtown Synagogue, updated the participants on exciting developments in Detroit as a city and a welcoming Jewish community.
The event was made possible by the generosity of the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Foundation, the Joel D. Tauber Foundation, the Mandell L. and Madeleine H. Berman Foundation, Dan & Jennifer Gilbert, and Greatwater Opportunity Capital.
The annual Jewish Expat Reception has recognized an array of individuals with roots in Michigan over the years, including Presidential Advisor Gene Sperling, Harvard President Larry Bacow, Hamilton Producer Jeffrey Seller, Grammy-nominated musician Mike Posner, former National Geographic CEO Susan Goldberg, Google.org founder Dr. Larry Brilliant, developer Stephen Ross, financier Adam Levinson and Roots founders Don Green and Michael Budman.
Several “expats” have now moved back, including technology executive Aaron Averbuch, philanthropist Lisa Applebaum, 313 Presents President Howard Handler, private equity executive Josh Cascade, and StockX Vice President Jacob Fenton, to name a few. Many others have provided contributions and mentorship to non-profit organizations and supported the growth of entrepreneurial activities and real estate development in the city.
For as short or as long they stay, welcome back to Detroit. Because there’s no place like home.