In 2010, Rabbi Dorit Edut participated in a Landmark Education personal and professional development program, The Landmark Forum. She came out of it with a vision of what she wanted to do.
A former crisis counselor and teacher, Rabbi Edut says, “I really saw at that time that what I was being called to do was lift up Detroit and work for its transformation through interfaith efforts. I have a lot of connections in the city and I’m really dedicated to seeing it flourish again and seeing it be a great place for everybody.”
She has brought together faith leaders from the city to form the Detroit Interfaith Outreach Network (DION) with the goal of working on education, conflict resolution, arts and culture, and interfaith relationships.
They started by holding interfaith services four times a year where participants could come and socialize over a potluck dinner and learn about different traditions.
“That has morphed into an all music service,” says Rabbi Edut. “We use music as a means of connecting people to our different faith traditions, to lift up Detroit through all kinds of music.”
Using principles of restorative justice, resolving conflict by recognizing and addressing injustice and brining people into a “win-win” sense of fairness, DION developed a conflict resolution program that can be used in many different settings.
DION’s education program works to motivate students by sending community volunteers into classrooms to speak about how they got into their careers, their challenges and success, and how their success relates to what is being taught in the classroom.
DION meetings are largely devoted to building an active interfaith network by hearing about what other groups are doing and working together to promote those programs.
“The idea is we don’t all reinvent the wheel, that we work together to promote the programs that are out there to help the children and families of Detroit,” says Rabbi Edut. “I like to think it’s done some good already. We have even bigger plans for the future.”
DION has a number of upcoming programs including their annual interfaith picnic on Belle Isle on August 3, and their interfaith music service on June 22.