Join us for a dessert reception and Israel discussion (not a fundraiser)

Israel 6
What are Israel’s Greatest Challenges?

Is it external threats or the growing internal social and economic disparities?

Please join us
March 19 at 7 PM
as we host Professor Dan Ben-David at
Our Home
28619 Oak Crest Ct.
Farmington Hills, MI

We are inviting a small group of people who share our concerns about Israel’s future.  As the Executive Director of the Taub Center for Social Policy Studies in Jerusalem, Dan Ben-David is a leading national expert on socioeconomic conditions in Israel.  JDC (Joint Distribution Committee) is the key funder of this center.  The fraying of Israel’s internal social and economic structure is becoming just as critical as Iran and the Arab Spring.

Please let us know if you can join us for a fascinating discussion with Dan Ben-David by replying to this email or calling 248-943-1234.

We hope to see you soon,

Lisa and Hannan

Israel 4
Join us for a dessert reception and Israel discussion (not a fundraiser)

Shabbat Shalom February 22, 2013

Shabbat Shalom Feb. 22, 2013
Dear Friends and Family,

It was nice to enjoy some warm weather as we are ending our February School Break/President’s Week vacation in Boca Raton.  I hope you also enjoyed this week, if you were on vacation or even if you weren’t.

We spent our time with family, alligators and stone crabs.

aviv and alligator Aviv and Bubbie

As our festive holiday of Purim arrives this Sunday, there are four activities/mitzvot required to celebrate the holiday.  1. Read the Megillah (Book of Esther), 2. Give Charity, 3. Give gifts of food and treats (Mishloach Manot) and 4. Feast (Eat, Drink and Be Merry). In fact, it is suggested to get so inebriated that we don’t know the difference between our Purim hero, Mordecai and the villain of Haman.

I’m sure many in Russia last week thought they were inebriated when they saw a Meteor fly in front of their eyes.  What IS the difference between a Meteor, Meteorite and Asteroid?  Here are some VERY basic definitions.

A Meteor is matter that enters Earth’s atmosphere.
A Meteorite is a meteor that hits Earth.
An Asteroid is matter that orbits the Sun.
And by the way, a Comet is like an Asteroid but it has a tail.

All three (minus the comet) invaded our planet last week with the meteor becoming a meteorite when it hit the Siberian tundra within hours of the Asteroid (named: 2012DA14) which eclipsed our atmosphere.

Since March is next week, it time to wish Happy Birthday to those who share a birthday month with our Presidents.

Wishing you all the best:
Alan L (Marcia’s man and Boston’s Jewish Community Activist)
Ingrid G (Big 70 horse loving grandma)
Lori KS (Northern Michigan Therapist)
Kathy WF (Co-Women’s Department activist)
Randi S (Proud mom of Hayley and fellow Israel traveller)
Nell D (U of M booster friend)
Amy S (Jeff’s Joy and HDS supporter)
Jeff J (Harris’ Honey and my favorite florist)
Paul Y (Best looking TI rabbi, this month)
Stacey G (Favorite Mosaic Mission photographer)
Steve S (current husband to the 2nd mother of our first son)
Linda ZR (Mom to Western Trip Counselor Lauren)
Marcy F (Mom to newly engaged Ronit)
Betsy H (valentine birthday girl)
Liz G (favorite AZ resident who is always working to save the world)
Robert C (tennis and Debbie are his passions)
Robin TM (Co-JWF trustee)
Doreen H (Michigan queen of philanthropy and activism)
Carolyn B (reason Jim counts his blessings)
Rose H (David’s lucky charm)
Susan M (favorite aunt of Hannah and David),
Rosanne K (Grandma to Chase, Lance and Emma)
Florine (Bubbie of our children with Love, Love, Love in her heart)
Parker L (big bro to Mena and Wyatt and shares a birthday with Auntie Florine)
Bob N (also shares a birthday with my mother)
Amy F (Jack’s genius wife)
Debby T (great mom to 3 sons who love NYC)
Lori S (Marc and Aspen are her passions)
Michelle GW (Sea-Gull gal in St. Louis now)
Julie ZT (future mom to Lilly’s big sib)
Ariela R (Ashkelon mom to Talia and Hilleli),
Jennifer S (met her love Brian at Camp Sea-Gull),
Brian S (met his love Jennifer at Camp Sea-Gull)).
Susan L (Harold’s love)
Yoko Ono (turned 80)

Wishing you and your loved ones a Sweet and Peaceful Shabbat Shalom and a Hag Purim Sameach (Happy Purim),



Condolence to the Steve Pestka and his family on the passing of his beloved father Henry Pestka.  May his spirit, community contributions, survivalism and love be a constant memory to ease your sorrow.
Shabbat Shalom February 22, 2013

Shabbat Shalom February 15, 2013

Shabbat Shalom Feb. 15, 2013

Dear Friends and Family,

Bravo to the Women of the Wall, and I’m not talking about the Pink Floyd Female Fan club, I’m taking about the brave women who continue to get arrested at the Kotel (Western Wall of the 2nd Temple ruins) just because they believe praying in this sacred space should be equally accessible to both genders and all religious streams. Many men, (includingDr. Yitzhak Yifat, in the center of both photos, was one of the IDF paratroopers who liberated the Kotel in 1967) were present to support the women’s monthly prayer session as they wore (forbidden for women) prayer shawls and tefillin.

IDF @ Wall Women of the Wall

This is just one of the symptoms of the Ulta-Orthodox (Haredim) influenced Government which must be updated to reflex the modern Israeli society. The Israeli population is about 20% Haredi, yet most don’t contribute to the work force (because they are full-time Talmud students), require separate schools, have many children and are exempt from Army Service.  There is hope on the horizon with new Knesset member (American born) Rabbi Dov Lipman from the (Central) Yesh Atid (There is a Future) political party. Though he is from the Haredi community,  he sees the importance of compromise between the Ultra-Orthodox agenda and the main stream of society.  I pray he can make some progress.

Speaking of the Haredi community, here is a wonderful organization, Footsteps, that helps those raised in the insular Ultra-Orthodox community here in the US who wish to enter and acclimate to modern society.  You’d be surprised how foreign modern life is to them.  Thanks, Ariella, spotlighting this agency.

Why, is the question that a billion devotees are speculating after hearing this week’s announcement of the Pope’s resignation (the first to do so in 600 years).  Is it the failings of his mind and/or body (though this never stopped previous Popes) or is it the continued scandals and mismanagement that keeps plaguing the Vatican.  Another big questions is who will be the next Pope.  Are Catholics ready for an African or Latin American Pope?

As it now heads to the House for approval, bravo to the Senate for renewing the Violence Against Women Act(with amendments to help combat adult and child trafficking among other improvements).  22 Republican Senators voted against this bill, including Lindsey Graham (SC), Orrin Hatch (UT), Mitch McConnell (KY), Rand Paul (KY) and Marco Rubio (FL).  I wonder what their reasons were for NOT continuing the protections for their mothers, sisters, daughters and friends against violence and abuse.  A billion women and men danced all over the globe this past V Day (Feb. 14th) as a global expression to protect ALL mothers, sisters, daughters and friends from violence and abuse. Bravo to Eve Ensler for starting this movement.

We just entered the Year of the Black Snake according to the Chinese calendar. It is suppose to bring steady progress and a focus on details for this New Year.  Our City of Detroit could use some steady progress yet it might take an Emergency Manager to focus on the details needed to move us in the right direction.

Mazel Tov to Carole King on receiving the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award which was presented to her daughters on her 71st birthday.  I’m not sure why she didn’t accept on her own behalf but either way, it is well deserved.  Carole King and James Taylor were my first Guest Shabbat Shalom Greeters. If you missed it the first time, here it is again:

Kelly Clarkson won a grammy for her song Stronger, but this lip sync version speaks volumes about true strength.  Please be forewarned, if you tend to get emotional or have a connection with cancer, this might elicit tears:

Farewell to Rabbi David Hartman (who died this week at age 81).  He was the founder of the Shalom Hartman Institute which focuses on pluralist Jewish education and progressive thought.  Also, Farewell to Chris Kyle (Navy Seal Hero and Author) who was gunned down by a fellow troubled Vet he was trying to help.  Another example of how mental illness (PTSD Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) and Guns should never mix. Incidentally, Bradley Cooper is currently working on transforming Chris’ book into a movie, so I assume we’ll continue to hear more about this American Hero.

In our Attention Deficit world of high speed data, here is an incredible (literally) World History in 2 minutes.  Thanks Michelle R, for sharing.

If you took part in Fat Tuesday this week, I hope it was followed by Weight Watchers Wednesday!

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


Post Script (aka. P.S.) and just for fun, whether you are a Jerry Lewis Fan or a Family Guy Fan, you should enjoy this youtube:


Happy 90th birthday, Morrie Cooper, father of dear friend Jodi.  Wishing you and your family health, happiness and love.

Condolences to Ira and Gail Mondry and their family on the passing of their beloved mother, Miriam Mondry. May her spirit and love be a blessing onto her family.

Condolences to Marci (and Jay) Shienbaum on the passing of their father, Luis Shienbaum.  May his memory be a blessing during their time of mourning.

Condolences to the Rosen family on the passing of esteemed Ann Arbor doctor, David Rosen.  Both David and his brother Robert attended Hillel Day School with me.  May David’s contributions to Adolescent Health live on in the many lives he helped heal.

Condolences to Sisters, Susie Leemaster and Marty Rosenthal and their families on the passing of their beloved mother, Adele Sonenklar.  May her many contributions to our community and her deep love of her family bring comfort to those mourning her loss.

Bravo to No Labels for getting 45 members of congress to wear orange pins at the State of the Union stating they willing to compromise for the betterment of the county.

Please let us feed you at our home on March 5th for the Forgotten Harvest event or on March 19th for the Joint Distribution Committee event with Dan Ben-David. Your support is truly appreciated.

If you have never been on an organized peer trip to Israel and if you are age 22-26 (or know someone that age) who wants to travel on a free 10 trip to Israel please click here.

I LOVE ping pong and wish I could attend this Make a Wish fundraiser with Beth Brandvain at the NEW Detroit Ping Pong Place called Drive on Saturday March 9th but I’ll happily be at Nathan Elyakin’s Bar Mitzvah celebrating with our best friends and family.  But you should go to Drive and register here:

Mazel Tov to Banana Joe (the Affenpinscher) who won Best of Show at this year’s Westminster Dog Show.

Women, I suggest you watch this very creative video on the our different symptoms (than men’s) of a Heart Attack.

Lastly,  I thought this was a great NEW idea and of course it started in Israel.  Its a new way to dine while travelling.!

Next week will include Feb. Birthdays.  Until then…

Shabbat Shalom February 15, 2013

Shabbat Shalom February 8, 2013

Shabbat Shalom February 8, 2013

Dear Friends and Family,

What would this world be like if we all had the courage and chutzpa to stand up (or sit down in this case) for equality and justice like Rosa Parks did 57 years ago?  Rosa Parks would have been 100-years-old this week. Her small gesture brought big changes in our society.

Rosa Parks 1  Rosa Parks 2

King Richard III got a bum wrap by William Shakespeare, but was he really such an evil guy?  This week scientists confirmed that the remains found under a Parking Garage about 100 miles north of London are those of Richard III.  It has been over 500 years since his death but there are still debates about who he really was… an evil man who murdered his way to the Crown or a progressive leader who supported foreign trade and literacy.

Speaking of progressive… from 1800 until just last week, a French law has remained on the books that prevented women from wearing pants.  The law has be altered throughout the years (for exceptions like bike and horseback riding) but never removed until France’s Minister for Women’s Rights finally (in the 21st century) made in Null and Void.  We, in the US, have many laws that need “Nulling and Voiding”, like women aren’t allow to wear patent leather shoes in Cleveland or alter their hair without permission from their spouse in (my home state of) Michigan.  I’m not sure who has authority over your hair if you’re not married.  Maybe your father, brother or nearest male relative…

Another progressive move (though also overdue) was the acceptance of our Federal guidelines for immigrants to acquire Driver’s Licenses. Just after I “shamed” our Michigan Sec. of State in last week’s email, she switched gears and will now follow the rules and distribute the much needed licenses.  I take Zero credit for this change of heart as Ms. Ruth Johnston is NOT on this email list but kudos to whoever got her to do the right thing.

Also mentioned a few times in these emails (during the election season) was the fact that most of our presidents (post 1948) hadn’t visited Israel until their 2nd term, and this holds true for President Obama (though he was in Israel in 2008 as a Senator).  It was just announced that Israel will be Pres. Obama first foreign destination during his 2nd term.

One fact about our Old City of Jerusalem that might be confusing is that the (Golden) Dome of the Rock (a Muslim Shrine) was built right on top of the (Jewish) sacred grounds of the destroyed 2nd Temple.  Jerusalem was fought over and ruled by many different faiths throughout her 5,000 year history and in 691 BE the Dome was built to commemorate the site where Muslims believe Mohammad ascended on his night journey to heven. When this Israeli tourism video was produced, they needed to carefully explain the Old City’s history.  I think they did a great job:

Our human bodies are miraculous…both durable yet fragile at the same time.  Are bones are strong, our organs are protected, our system is brilliantly conceived (by whom or what, I’m not sure) with numerous defensive mechanism.  Yet, we are not invincible to bullets or bacteria.  This week 2 deaths reminds us that life is fragile and should be appreciated. Condolences to the family and friends of (48-year-old) Steve Singer, who grew up in West Bloomfield but lived his adult life in Arizona. A legal disputed erupted with gun fire that took Steve’s life, which is another reminder that serious gun control measures are needed SOON.  Also, condolences to the family and friends of (19-year-old) Emily Stillman of West Bloomfield, who died this past weekend from bacterial meningitis.  This weekend is also the 1 year anniversary of the car accident that took the life of dear friend, Jeff Zaslow. The life and health of our loved ones is a precious gift we must cherish and appreciate.

This new song by Matisyahu called “Searchin” resinated with me.  Something about the chorus just grabbed me.   I hope you enjoy it too:

Farewell to:
Ed Koch, New York’s 105th Mayor, who was mourned by thousands at his funeral this week.
Monopoly Iron…welcome Monopoly Cat.
Saturday USPS delivery as of August.  We will welcome the $2 billion a year savings long before we miss our Saturday Junk Mail.
Stewie, the World’s longest cat, who died of cancer this week.  Last week’s email spotlighted dogs so it only seemed fair to include a cat in this week’s message:

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



Worthy Events:

Forgotten Harvest – Please join us at our home for dinner on Tuesday March 5th @ 6:00pm.  Invites should hit your email inboxes and snail mailbox very soon.

Joint Distribution Committee – Please join us at our home Tuesday March 19th @ 7:00pm to hear (the fascinating and interesting) Prof. Dan Ben-David (Exec. Director of Taub Center for Social Policy Research in Israel, among other roles)

Transforming Loss, a documentary – Please attend the Jewish Hospice and Chaplaincy Network sponsored screening of this moving film (we saw it this week and found it very emotional and meaningful) on Tuesday March 12th @ 7:00pm The Berman Center in West Bloomfield.  To register, please  or call Sharona Shapiro at 248.592.2687

US Holocaust Memorial Museum 20th anniversary – Please join us in DC for the commemoration on April 28-29.  The work preserving our history at the USHMM is invaluable and most be protected.  Here is an example of a recovered piece of history. The family in this film are from Michigan:

Shabbat Shalom February 8, 2013

Shabbat Shalom February 1, 2013

Shabbat Shalom February 1, 2013

Dear Friends and Family,

Snow storms, near record high temps and major rain was the weather reality for this week. Last weekend, we nearly froze our fannies off in NYC (visiting our daughter Ariella and son-in-law Tzvi) as we walkedTime Square to enjoy the delightful Broadway production of Newsies. This Saturday is Groundhog Dayso our weather fate depends on the paranoid escapades of Punxsutawney Phil and his shadow. Its either 6 more weeks of Winter OR maybe just a month and a half ;-).


Photos from the train to Penn. Station and Bryant Park.

This year’s Cain and Abel will be duking it out on the sidelines of Super Bowl XLVII (that’s 47) down in NOLA.  Brothers, John and Jim Harbaugh, Head Coachs for the two opposing teams of Baltimore and San Francisco will battle for the famed football trophy as their parents most likely will have a hard time deciding who to root for.

The family of Ariel Sharon received confirmation (of something they suspected all along) that the former Prime Minister who suffered a stoke 7 years ago might be able to see, hear and maybe even understand simple words. Though optimistic, it is not likely his current status of a vegetative state will ever change as he is breathing through a ventilator and eating through a feeding tube.

In the past, blind Israelis who sought the help of seeing eye dogs had to travel to the United States and know English to converse with dogs who only understood English commands.  Now, Israel is training Guide Dogs in Hebrew, but the real reason I share this story with you is to show these VERY cute Israeli puppies in training:

israeli seeing eye puppies

For the 10 top Israeli dog-centric ideas, please click here (#9 is quite strange):

On Jan. 17th, the 2,000th Indian Jew, Mirna Singsit, arrived to her dream homeland of Israel.  The B’nei Menashe community of India are descendants from one of the Ten Lost Tribes and for the past 27 centuries have been living a Kosher and Shomer Shabbat lifestyle in India’s Northeastern region. There are still an estimated 7,000 Jews living in India, many of them hoping an immigration flight to Israel is in their near future.

Black Hebrews are another example of the diverse Israeli tapestry. Their heritage is African but they are not Ethiopian Jews. The Black Hebrews also believe they were descendants of the Lost Tribes and their travel route took them from Africa through the Slave trade to America until the 1960s when they decided to return to the Land of Israel. Their immigration to Israel has been controversial but now they seem accepted (living mainly in the southern town of Dimona) with schools, factories and a vibrant community.

Deja vu of repeated voilence and protest is occuring in Egypt this week.  Can democracy, freedom and equaltiy exist in counties where Islamic rule is dominant?  The people of Timbuktu (a town in African Mali) were just recused from a 10 month rule of Islamic militants who burned thousand-year-old antiquties and terrorized the citizens requiring them to follow strict (prison-like) Sharia Law.

Condolences to…
… the Brazilian community on the deadly night club fire which took 235 lives and countless injuries.
… the Australian community on the deadly mass flooding cause by remnants of a cyclone, a monsoon and Climate Change.
… the family of last surviving Andrew Sister, Patty, who passed away this week at the age of 94.

Shame on…
Detroit City Council for rejecting Gov. Snyder’s offer for the State to manage Belle Isle.
… MI Attorney General, Bill Schuette, for supporting (extreme religiously conservative Domino’s Pizza founder) Tom Monaghan’s Lawsuit challenging mandatory contraception coverage.
… Sec. of State, Ruth Johnson, for continuing her stance to prevent immigrants from obtaining drivers licenses even-though our Federal guidelines approves it.
… Former Italian Prime Minister Berlusconi on defending Mussolini’s Hitler alliance during last week’s International Holocaust Remembrance event.

Bravo to…
… Hillary Clinton on her successful tenure as Sec. of State, Thanks and farewell (for now).
… 30 Rock for 7 great seasons of pure hilariousness.  Thanks, Tina Fey.
Dan Gilbert on expressing (our collective) disappointment with the Detroit City Councils inept actions.
Gabby Giffords for her brave and difficult testimony (with her permanently bullet damaged affected speech) at this week’s Senate Hearing on Gun Control.

And lastly, Bravo to Dr. Michael Cahn, who 21 years ago initiated the first attempt to eliminate the ban on Gays in the Boy Scouts. At that time, he received hate mail and anti-Semitic taunting.  Finally, in the 21st Century, the Boy Scouts could be joining the modern era by accepting the equal rights of the LGBTcommunity.

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


                                                                        SOAP BOX



Mazel Tov Alana Doctoroff on becoming a Bat Mitzvah this weekend. Wishing you and your family all the best during this celebratory weekend and for many years of future shimchot.

Condolences to Linda Klein on the passing of her beloved brother, Norbert Zuckerman.  May his memory be a blessing onto his family.

Happy “big” birthday this Sunday, cousin Ingrid.  Wishing you all the best!

Please join us for a light supper and presentation about Forgotten Harvest on Tuesday March 5th @ 6:00pm at our home.  Please reply back to me if you’d like to attend.

Please join us for an inspiring evening to learn more about the work of the Joint Distribution Committee on Tuesday March 19th at 7:00pm at our home.  Please reply back to me if you’d like to attend.

Please attend a worthy and interesting event to help support the Detroit College Promise on Tuesday Feb. 12th @ 6:30pm @ the (newly renovated) Detroit Historical Museum with guest speakers Rev. Jesse Jackson and Rabbi Danny Syme who will be discussing the “The Re-education of America in the Age of Obama”.  Click here for ticket info:

Please either help make phone call or answer your phone this Super Sunday (at Federation from 9:30-2:30) to help raise our Jewish Community’s needed funds.

Shabbat Shalom February 1, 2013