Shabbat Shalom August 31, 2012

Shabbat Shalom August 31, 2012

Dear Friends and Family,

Hurricane Isaac barreled into the Gulf Coast on the anniversary of his older sister, Katrina. Though he only achieved Category 1 status, he surely dumped lots of rain and caused massive flooding all over the region.  He swept past Tampa as the Republicans were electing their official nominee.  Mitt’s homestate of Michigan provided 25 delegate votes for him, 4 for Ron Paul and 1 absentee. Yes, Mitt and Ann Romney were both born in Michigan but did you know his father, George, was born and raised (till age 5) in Mexico and he also ran for president.  This might be a good reminder for Mitt to stir clear of those Birther remarks.

“One small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind”.  All these years, Mr. Neil Armstrong has been misquoted.  Though it is only a small 1-letter word, his intent was slightly different than the historical quote. Either way, the man was a giant and deserves to Rest in Peace for his lunar accomplishments.

Labor Day weekend is upon us as we celebrate all workers in this country who keep our economic engine running smoothly.   It was back in 1887 in the great State of Oregon when Labor Day was born. (Incidentally, Eugene, Oregon will be the next home of our daughter, Liat.  She will be leaving her current home of Marquette, MI and driving cross-country next week.)  From sanitation crews to teachers to car assembly line workers to baristas to cashiers to carwash towel dryer… I salute you on this Labor Day (and everyday).

I also salute our US Paralympic team as 10% of them are military veterans. These games were started after WWII as many veterans became disabled and despondent.  The games gave them hope, purpose and encouragement.

Two corrections from last week.  First, I’d rather forget his name but it is correctly spelled Akin (not Atkins).  Second, the Hungarian article may not have opened (in its entirety) but here is the follow-up on Hungry’s response to the anti-semitic actions at their soccer game against Israel:–sow.html  I assume the ADL is carefully watching the Hungarian people as a tremendous amount of hateful activity has been recently documented in this country.

As school resumes, many of you are feeling the below emotions. I may have had a tear in my eye on that first day of kindergarten but by the time they were ready for college, we (and they) were ready for that transition.  In fact, this week we moved our son, Mataan, into his new Ann Arbor apartment for his sophomore year.

back to school

Lastly,  a huge Mazel Tov goes to the two loving couples who’s weddings we will be attending this holiday weekend. Wishing Wendy and Dan a life filled with Love, Laughter, Peace and Prosperity as you take your vows under the Chuppah this weekend. Also, Joy, Happiness, Peace and Love are our blessings to Arnie and Rob as they celebrate their beautiful union this weekend.

Wishing you and your loved ones a Sweet and Peaceful Shabbat Shalom,



Please remind all legal aged voters to register by Oct. 9th, so they can vote in our Nov. 6th Election Day.  For Michigan residents, here is a website filled with all the info you’ll need for the election:,4670,7-127-1633_8716—,00.html

If you are interested in attending the James Taylor concert in support of Pres. Obama, please resister at:  James Taylor invitation

My Endorsements
President Barack Obama – President of the United States (aks. Potus)
Senator Debbie Stabenow – US Senate
Congressman Gary Peters – US Congress (Oakland and Wayne Counties)
Congressman Sandy Levin – US Congress (Oakland and Macomb Counties)
Mike Pestka – US Congress (Grand Rapids)
Gary McDonnell – US Congress (UP and northern parts of LP)
Bridget Mary McCormack – Michigan Supreme Court
Kevin Howley – Oakland County Executive
Jim Nash – Oakland County Water Commissioner
Lisa Brown – Oakland County Clerk
Andy Meisner – Oakland County Treasurer
Mark Bernstein – U of M Regent
Vicki Barnett – State Representative (Farm. Hills area)
Ellen Cogen Lipton – State Representative (Hunt. Woods area)
Todd Stern – Oakland Country Commissioner
Mazel Tov to Brian Kepes for successfully achieving another term as Bloomfield Hills Trustee.

Shabbat Shalom August 31, 2012

Shabbat Shalom August 24, 2012

Shabbat Shalom August 24, 2012

Dear Friends and Family,

How great would it be if we could control our body’s with our emotions.  I assume more cancers would be healed from sadness. More broken bones would be mended by frustration… But alas, even our terror, fear and pain can NOT prevent our uterus from hosting an unwanted fertilized egg.  Didn’t we learn all of that in High School biology class…? Some, obviously, weren’t paying attention. Too bad Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert are off-the-air this week prepping for convention coverage.  They would have had a field day with Congressman Atkins.  Speaking of the Tampa GOP convention, it looks like Hurricane Isaac could be headed their way. If they can survive Hurricane Atkins, they should be fine with Isaac. Hey,Tzachi (aka. our friend Isaac in Seattle) they named a Hurricane after you.  We always knew you were a force to be reackoned with. Hope your namesake is kind to the people of Haiti.

May we all live to be 95, possess a wonderful sense of humor and pass in our sleep with a smile on our faces.  This was the fate of Phyllis Ada Driver (best known as, Phyllis Diller), who was the matriarch of female comedians.  Bet you didn’t know she lived in Ypsilanti with her husband during WWII while he worked at the Willow Run Bomber Plant.

Here is an update on recent court verdicts.  The Russian rock band, Pussy Riot, was convicted of hooliganism and sentenced to 2 years in jail for speaking (or singing) out against Putin and the Russian Orthodox Church.  Now there is a vigilante group, called Holy Rus’ rooming the Russian street to weed out other hooligans.  Another interesting verdict, last week, was the $4.5 Million fine levied against the former Michigan Assistant Attorney General for obsessive (in my opinion) anti-gay bullying against the U of M student body president,Christopher Armstrong.  And all Mr. Armstrong really wanted was an apology.

Those who really need to apologies (and we need to watch carefully) are the Hungarians.  During a soccer game with Israel last week, the whole crowd (not a small group of hooligans) chanted anti-Israel and anti-semitic statements, booed during the Hatikva and waved Palestine and Iranian flags during the game. Please read this article to understand the full (scary) picture.

Wishing you and your loved ones a Sweet and Peaceful Shabbat Shalom(check out the bonus photo at the end of this email),



VOTING INFO:  Please remind 18,19, 20 and (some) 21 year olds to register to vote.  You must register by Oct. 9th in order to vote on Nov. 6th Election Day.  If you live in MI, here is a website which will explain voter registration and absentee ballot info:,4670,7-127-1633_8716—,00.html

Wishing a speedy recovery to Richard Bernstein after his pedestrian/bike collision.  He is the (blind) pedestrian (with many NY marathons under his belt) who (while walking in Central Park) was plowed down by a speeding biker.  This seems to be a increasing problem as reckless bikers seem to forgot the rules of the road.  But my biker friends, (Beth B, David C, Ronny E, Beth G, Betsy A, Diane O…) are always respectful of walkers. Here’s a special shout-out to Team Alex and all you do.

Condolences to the family of Jean Segal, wife of Rabbi Jacob Segal (of blessed memory) who passed away this week.  Rabbi Segal was the founder of Hillel Day School (where all 4 of your children graduated) and the founder of Congregation Adat Shalom.  May the memory of Jean Segal be a blessing onto her family and our community.

Bonus Photo
Camp Sea-Gull 1971 Karen Sosnick and Lisa Mark in front of (old and lost to a fire) Lodge

Karen/Lisa Sea-Gull 71

By the way, Camp Sea-Gull is being sold to the County and help with this transition is needed.  Please contact Todd Wyett if you are interested to learn how you can help.

Again my filming skills are lacking in this week’s celeb Shabbat message but I think you will recognize him anyway:

Mazel Tov dear friend, Tomer Zur, on your wedding in Israel this week to Vered Rom. Sorry we missed it. May you both be blessed with a long, loving, healthy and happy new life together.

If you plan to attend the James Taylor Living Room Concert Fundraiser for Pres. Obama, please register at

The event is filling up and could sell out.

Shabbat Shalom August 24, 2012

Shabbat Shalom Aug. 17, 2012

Shabbat Shalom Aug. 17, 2012

Dear Friends and Family,

In hindsight, we all make mistakes.  One of our local Congregation’s, B’nai Moshe, admitted to making the mistake of allowing the rental of their building to house a controversial meeting regarding the sale of Eagle Elementary school in (my hometown of) Farmington Hills to the Islamic Cultural Association. The (fear-mongering) opponents of this sale hired the narrow-minded law firm, Thomas More Law Center(TMLC) from Ann Arbor to continue the fight. To give you preceptive, Michelle Bachman just joined the TMLC’s advisory board.  They fight for the “Christian rights of all Americans” and at their B’nai Moshe meeting they handed out anti-Islamic material to all in attendance. The rights of all citizens (Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, Atheist…) in our country must be protected and respected. Today it’s a protest against the Muslims…tomorrow it could be the Jews. By the way, The Islamic Cultural Center has been endorsed by the West Bloomfield Clergy Association. I will keep you posted on this ongoing controversy.

I also made a mistake last week of forgetting to announce the wonderful engagement of our niece, Ilana Mark to her beloved, Jason Fisher. We all look forward to the celebration and wish Ilana and Jason a long, loving, happy and healthy life together. And speaking of family congrats… Mazel Tov to Yael and Iair (in Israel) on the birth of baby Libby Sophia and safe and fun travels to, niece, Allie Mark, on her trip to Australia.

I know I will make the mistake of forgetting someone’s August Birthday, so don’t hesitate to let me know so I can put it on my calendar for next year:

Tony L (Jodi and Brad’s dad), Jandy S (bonus Floridian sister), Andy L (Dad to 4 great kids and partner on our JT concert), Susie S (Mom to Laura who is minus her wisdom teeth), Shlomi H (Robin’s main massage squeeze), Hy S (Great political mind), Miriam L (new NYC JTS student), Irwin W (Ruth’s main man), Luke A (Bunky’s Det. nephew), Aubrey S (Sea-Gull friend from the olden days), Alex M (Australia bound Niece), Dan G (favorite neighbor Saul’s Son-in-law), Ishai R (Wine blessing Nephew Doc), Darryl R (father of the groom), Adam B (Landscaping cousin) , Uri S (Best Israeli dancer in the city), Gary E (Best friend to Leora),  Jimmy K (Sherri’s favorite fella), Joan CE (Hadassah President),  Shimon W (Seattle’s best), Adi K (Bat shel Jeff v’ Devora), David W (handsome 65 year old cousin), Sasha B (Krista’s baby girl), Sherri K (Mom of Chase and Lance), Marcia A (Legendary Hillel Teacher), Orna W (fellow LOJ in CA), Steve T (Music genius), Dan C (engaged to Monica), Jeremy B(my first cousin in Chicago), Cheryl M (mom of twin daughters), Ron S (Caryn’s better half), Daniella HPM (mom of 3), Jeanne M (NYC gal), Lisa W (Mom of Adam the Bar Mitzvah boy), Susan K (dog loving Fed. staff),  Sage B (Cousin Josh’s big girl), Gene Simmons (Haifa native).

Don’t make the mistake of driving anywhere near Woodward this weekend unless you plan to see or be seen in some cool cars at the Dream Cruise.

Don’t make the mistake of EVER forgetting to click your seatbelt, as (our County exec.)L. Brooks Patterson did last week which landed him in the hospital with 3 surgeries already under his (seat) belt.

Wishing you and your loved ones a Sweet and Peaceful Shabbat Shalom,



RIP, Helen Gurley Brown.  Though I was never a Cosmo reader,  Ms. Brown was a trailblazer for the women’s voice.  She was the Carrie Bradshaw of the early 1960s.I hope you can attend the James Taylor concert in support of Pres. Obama’s re-elections. Please register here:

Also, here is info on Vice Pres. Biden‘s Michigan Wednesday Aug. 22nd @ 11:45am visit:

Please attend the Jewish Women’s Foundation 13th Annual open meeting with guest speaker Jocelyn Benson on Wed. Sept. 12th @ the Birmingham Community House

Welcome to the Presidential race, Paul Ryan.  If you believe that life begins at conception and you would like to repeal Roe v. Wade, then Paul Ryan is your guy. He supports to Sanctity of Life Act which if passed would make abortions illegal.

Last weekend, here is our great city of Detroit, the Democratic National Committee lead by Mayor Cory Booker (Newark, NJ) formalized this year’s DNC platform with a Yasher Koach (Bravo) to them for including Marriage equality.

If you like Les Mis and are progressive, you will love this video. One Term More(thanks Liz G. for sharing).

Please help our friend, Danielle Winterberger, raise funds for cancer research in honor of her (Israeli cousin suffering from the desease) at the website:

Yours, free for the taking… 3 tickets to How the Grinch Stole Christmas Saturday Dec. 22nd @ Detroit Opera House at 2:00pm.  They were part of our Fisher Season Tickets. First come first serve.

Shabbat Shalom Aug. 17, 2012

Shabbat Shalom August 10, 2012

Shabbat Shalom

Dear Friends and Family,

More sadness occurred this week with the senseless, hateful murders of 6 innocent souls at the Wisconsin Sikh Temple.  Of course, a semi-automatic gun was, again, the chosen weapon with the sole purpose of killing as many lives as possible.  Come on people, let’s get these weapons out of legal circulation.  There are too many Hate Groups and delusional people in this country to continue this skewed right to bear arms.

Rest in Peace, Mr. Marvin Hamlisch, at the early age of 68.  He was one of the few prolific and extremely talented musicians in our lifetime to have won all awards possible including Emmy, Oscar, Tony, Grammy, Pulitzer and Golden Globe.  He was beloved by many and was considered a true genius.  We had the great pleasure of meeting him at our JCC last year and hearing him share his history in musical form. He also graciously allowed me to videotape him wishing all of you Shabbat Shalom:

Why is there some much effort occurring this election season to eliminate Voter Fraud. Did you know that over a 5 year period there are approx. 300 million votes cast and of those 100s of millions of votes, only 86 people were convicted of Voter Fraud and most of them just didn’t know they were ineligible to vote. So why are legislators focusing on this non-problem. Is it to prevent legitimate votes of a certain voter group who would naturally vote a certain way?

I love this photo?  Thanks, Barbara N. for sharing it.

Tech. Help

Sweet Baby James is coming to Farmington Hills. Though for those JT fans, we know that Sweet Baby James was actually James Taylor’s newphew who he wrote the song about.  See Soap Box for more details of his local visit.

Lastly, here are some Olympic Stats.  As of Thursday afternoon the US has won 90 medals, China is next with 80 and Russia is in 3rd place with 56. Israel has not received any medals this time but a huge BRAVO goes to Jewish-American Gold medal Gymnast, Aly Raisman, for using her spotlight with reporters to memorialize the Munich 11. Also, her perfect floor routine was performed to the Hebrew folk song, Hava Nagila.  Another local proud moment was when female boxer, Claressa Shields, from Flint, MI won the gold medal.

Wishing you and your loved ones a Sweet and Peaceful Shabbat Shalom,



YUM!  We just ate at the new Ferndale restaurant, Local.  Yasher Koach, Brian and Jennifer Siegel on your new delicious hotspot.  Just last night we saw Joanne A, Mike M and others dining there too.

Bravo to Gary Peters, Steve Pestka and the DIA on succeeding in this week’s Primary Elections. Let’s continue the momentum on Nov. 6th at the General Election.

We are very excited to be organizing a Living Room Concert (at my mother’s home) with James Taylor on Sunday Sept. 9th 5:30pm in support of President Obama’s re-election. The cost is $1,000 to attend the concert and $5,000 for a private dinner with James Taylor after the concert.  Please let me know if you are interested or click here to sign up:

Also, VP Joe Biden will be in Michigan for a fundraiser on Aug. 22nd.  If you are interested in attending this event, here is the info:

Also, he is information about a free event in Detroit to bring together a variety of people to discuss “What does it mean to be a neighbor”

To all of my Camp Sea-Gull friends, I was asked to forward this info to you regarding the sale of the property.  Camp Sea-Gull letter to Alum

Do you think you are knowledgable about Israeli issues relating to our past presidents (and current candidate)?  Then take this quiz and see how much you really know:

Shabbat Shalom August 10, 2012

Shabbat Shalom Aug. 3, 2012

Shabbat Shalom Aug. 3, 2012

Dear Friends and Family,

Here we are again, on one of our many visits to Israel, but do you know who has NEVER visited our beautiful Jewish Homeland…? Ronald Regan, Gerald Ford, George HW Bush, Harry Truman, JFK, LBJ and Eisenhower.  Nixon and G.W. Bush only got here in their 2nd terms and Carter & Clinton got here in their first terms because they were signing Peace Accords (with one now in jeopardy and the other amounting to bubkiss).  Hopefully our current president will get the opportunity to visit this land of Milk and Honey in his 2nd term, but in the meantime, I’m sure the Israelis appreciate the tripled amount of Military Aid and Loan Guarantees he has provided compared to some of his predecessors.

And now for an update of the unofficial tributes to the Munich 11.  First Bob Costas and other broadcasters recited their own memorials during opening ceremonies. Then 20,000 Londoners (and supporters) stood silent at the British Zionist Federation and well as the Italian team who provide a minute of silence outside the Israeli team’s housing area.  Then a French swimmer raised his arm to showcase his Hebrew tattoo stating “I am nothing without them”.  I hope the IOC gets the message that denying and ignoring this issue is truly not the meaning of the Olympic spirit.

Lastly, did I hear correctly that they are bringing back a reincarnation of the Brady Brunch? This top story even made it to the Israeli news.  Marcia, Marcia, Marcia… where have you been all this time?

Wishing you and your loved ones a Sweet and Peaceful Shabbat Shalom,



Mazel Tov to Nancy and David Gad-Harf on the arrival of their first grandchild, Jonah Henry Gadharf.  May your family be blessed with health, happiness and peace.

Not to outdo the Gad-Harfs but a double Mazel Tov goes to Marcia Balonickon the arrival of her first grandkids, twins, Brooke Hanna and Aubrey Rose. May your family also be blessed with health, happiness and peace.

Here is your last opportunity to prepare yourself for the Tuesday Aug. 7th Michigan primary.  Please vote and if applicable, please vote for Gary Peters.

Looking at the ballot BEFORE the election is very helpful, so here is the sample ballot for Farmington Hills:

And below is a site where Bloomfield Township residents can find their sample ballots:

And for the rest of Oakland County ballot info, please click below:

Please forward this info to help educate your friends on this year’s primary.

If you live in Michigan (Metro. Det.), please vote in favor of the Detroit Institute of Arts millage support.

Shabbat Shalom Aug. 3, 2012