More than 200 people turned out for the opening of Platform 18, Partners Detroit’s new building designed for Jewish young professionals.
Photography by Derrick Martinez
Platform 18, a new community space for Jewish young professionals, officially opened its doors on Jan. 30 in Royal Oak. The launch event attracted more than 200 people eager to see the space and enjoy food, drinks and live music.
While Platform 18 is not exclusively for young adults, the building is the new headquarters of Partners Detroit Young Jewish Professionals, a division of Partners Detroit. The organization targets Jewish young adults in their 20s and 30s through one-on-one and group learning sessions, Jewish-themed events, Shabbat dinners and trips around the world with a Jewish spin.
“The building has been a vision within Partners for years: to be able to open up a space where the young Jewish people are,” said Partners Detroit educator Erin Stiebel. “To be able to have something in Royal Oak where so many young Jewish people live is something we’ve really been looking forward to.”
The name Platform 18 was chosen due to the location alongside the train tracks, with the number 18 signifying “chai.” Prior to its current transformation, the building was a rustic antique shop.
The 7,000-square-foot space is equipped with a lower-level lounge featuring world clocks representing Partners Detroit trip destinations, a pool table, private classrooms and a show kitchen. The second level features a heated porch with sofas overlooking downtown Royal Oak.
“I’m looking forward to learning and the future events that will be held at Platform 18 with the phenomenal rabbis and community of Partners,” Huntington Woods resident Brittany Danzig, 32, said at the launch event.
The space was funded by the William Davidson Foundation, Mickey Shapiro and family in memory of his parents, Sara and Asa Shapiro, as well as in-kind donations from Metro Detroiters.
“It was really a project of a lot of people engaged in the Partners community — everyone brought their talents and skills to the table,” Stiebel said. “People who are engaged in Partners who are themselves interior designers and builders volunteered their time to offer insight and wisdom.”
Platform 18 has numerous programs already on the docket including a tutorial on how to prep Shabbat dinner in an hour, weekly chaburah learning sessions with Rabbi Noam Gross, holiday-themed festivities and a monthly Jewish book club. Young adults seeking individual learning sessions will also have the option to meet Partners educators at Platform 18.
“Partners slogan is, ‘Where Detroit comes to learn,’ and [it] aims to be a place where we offer Jewish educational resources to anyone who wants it,” Stiebel said. “Everything is done with that intention and the goal to offer deeper connections to where they come from and where they’re going.”