Shabbat Shalom May 31, 2013

Shabbat Shalom
May 31, 2013

Dear Friends and Family,

Tea Party
Apparently, 8 years is all Minnesotans will get from Congresswoman Michele Bachmann as she has decided (this week) to bow out of the 2014 election.  Her extreme Right-Leaning views have crowned her Tea Party Queen, but hopefully the tides are turning so more sane voices can return to the Republican Party.  I would assume Ronald Reagan would give his “thumbs up” to this hopeful trend.

Bad Neighborhood
An underestimated count of 70,000 lives have been lost in the last two years of the Syrian Civil War.  Now, Lebanon’s Hezbollah wants to add to that count as they have inserted their presence to protect the diabolical President Bashar al-Assad.  Too bad we can’t go back in time to the Biblical era to suggest the peaceful Caribbean neighborhood as our Jewish Homeland.  Is there some unforeseen reason we are smack dab in the middle of the volatile Middle East.

Iran is creating Nuclear Weapons (everyone knows that).  The UN is crazy (everyone knows that, too).  So logically,  Iran has been appointed CHAIR of the UN’s Conference on Disarmament.  How insane is that?  Bravo to 72 congressman (including our own Gary Peters) for requesting the UN to re-think this insulting appointment. Double Bravo to the US and Canada for boycotting the Disarmament Conference, yet this surely won’t help the true problem of proliferation

Summer Songs
As Memorial Day marks the beginning of Summer, here is my (and Rolling Stones’) tribute to the top 10 Summer songs.  Can you guess what comes between #10 Janis Joplin’s “Summertime” and #1 Lovin Spoonful’s “Summer in the City”.  Follow this link and click the red arrow in the website to see all 10 songs. My favorites were numbers 3 & 5.

Carol and George
Speaking of music, Mazel Tov to Carol King for breaking that glass ceiling as the first woman to receive the coveted and prestigious George Gershwin prize.  She was surrounded by talented friends like James Taylor and Billy Joel as President Obama recently presented her with the prize at the White House.  Past recipients are all favorite musicians of mine including: Paul Simon, Stevie Wonder (misguided regarding Israel), Paul McCartney and Burt Bacharach.  To view the White House performance, please click on this PBS website:

Cup Pursuit
Red Wings were so close…but no cigar.  Mazel Tov to Chicago friends and good luck pursuing Stanley.

Strange Trivia
It turns out Shabbat and Gefilte Fish could be responsible for our affection of Pee Wee’s Playhouse as it saved his father’s life during wartime:

Weekly Reason
To remind most of you, the original and main intent for these weekly emails is to reach out and say Shabbat Shalom to those near and far.  I found this video that gives my message in various forms.  Enjoy:

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



Condolences to Robyn Lederman and Dr. Ron Lederman (and their families) on the passing of their beloved father, Dr. Robert Lederman.  May his memory bring comfort to his family during their time of sorrow.

Condolences to Marcia Seigerman on the passing of her mother-in-law, Victoria Ester Seigerman.  My thoughts and prayers are with the family at this time.

Condolences to Lynn Obron (and family) on the passing of her father, Joe Greenberg. May his spirit and memory comfort his family during their time of mourning.

Mazel Tov to Vered and Tomer Zur on their new baby boy born on Kibbutz Ein Hashofet.

Mazel Tov to Dr. Gary Langnas (including Lisa and family) on Gary’s June 6th Israel Bonds honor.

Yasher Koach (Congrats) to our Jewish Community 2013 Awardees: Ilana Liss (Mark Award),  David Kramer (Wetsman Award), Amy Shefman (Greenberg Award),  David Magidson (Maas Prize), Ron Charfoos (Lifetime Achievement Award) andBarbara and Irving Nusbaum (Lifetime Achievement Award).  It was an honor to help present their awards to them this week.

The race is on as (friend) Mark Schauer throws in his hat for our Michigan Governor’s office.

Speaking of races, thanks to many of you who have already responded to attend theJune 9th (1pm) fundraiser for Gary Peters‘ senate campaign.  If you are interested, please call 248-799-0850 or email


Happy Birthday this week to:

May 29th
John Fitzgerald Kennedy (would have been 96)

May 31st
Bassie Shemtov
Irvin Kappy
Lisa Leve

June 2nd
Sue Curhan
Mike Binder

June 3rd
Joel Kelman

June 4th
Carly Mark

June 5th
Chris Mark
Janie Liebowitz

June 6th
Carli Siegel

Please pardon all errors (typos, gramatical, missing acknowledgments or insulting opinions) due to my human condition of imperfection.  Feel free to correct my mistakes.

Shabbat Shalom May 31, 2013

Shabbat Shalom May 24, 2013

shabbat fortune cookie
Shabbat Shalom
Dear Friends and Family,

Nature’s Deadly Attack
In under 30 seconds, the residents of Moore, OK felt winds reaching 200 miles per hour. To give you perspective, Superstrom Sandy’s deadly winds were a “mere” 89 mph. Two elementary schools, plus neighborhoods and shops were stuck in the tornado’s (2 mile wide, 17 mile long) path.  Sadly, 24 people, including 10 children, lost their lives in this disaster. Our National Jewish Community has set up a fund to help the victims. Donations can be made at  The people of Moore can take solace from the people of Joplin, MO as two years ago this week, they also experienced Natures deadly wrath, yet their lives have returned to their new normal.

Human’s Deadly Attack
Some London residents witnessed the brutal and brazen hacket attack (by two CRAZED lunatics) of an innocent British soldier, Lee Rigby, who was a father of a 2 year old son.  What is wrong with these brainwashed killers who believe a Cause is more important than a Life.  When will the twisted minds of our global society stop preaching terrorist methods in search of their utopia?

Arrogant Attack
Often, the root of all evil is pointed toward the Jews.  That message was verbalized again this week in Detroit by “our friend” Louis Farrakkan when he said “major US institutions are controlled by Satanic Jews and the Synagogue of Satan” with NO outcry from audience members like Rep. John Conyers or NAACP Detroit branch head, Rev. Wendell Anthony.  Silence to the witnesses of bigotry and racism is just as wicked.

Coastal Mayors
These anti-semites have more fuel for their fodder as now our two largest US cities (NYC and LA) both have Jewish Majors.  This week,  Eric Garcetti, was elected Mayor of Los Angeles.  Mayor Garcetti discribes himself as half-Mexican, half-Jewish with an Italian last name. He also happens to be the youngest LA Mayor (age 42) in over a century.

Gang Reform
Bravo to the Gang of 8 for their stedfast efforts to bring the Immigration Reform Bill to the Senate floor for June debates. 11 Million immigrants  could potential benefit from it’s passage.  Hopefully, I’ll post good news once it has cleared future obstacles.

The Doors
Enjoy this classic Ed Sulivan version of “Light My Fire” with a great view of the talented Keyboardist, Ray Manzarek, who died this week.

Musical Celebration
Speaking of Music, Happy 55th birthday to Keenan Woolens as he celebrates this weekend in harmonious form.  We are sorry to miss the festivities but know those who do attend will be “Happy Together”.

Get Smart
The Producers, Blazing Saddles, Your Show of Shows, 12 Chairs… Yes, all you Mel Brooks fans, these comedies are all credited to the brilliant (originally named) Melvin James Kaminsky.  Mel is one of the few EGOTs* in the entertainment business.  Both NPR and PBS spotlighted his long and comical career this week and you can find the Terri Gross NPR interview here  and the PBS documentary here:

A little overdue but better late than never, 80 year old Carol Burnett will receive this year’s Mark Twain prize for American Humor at the Kennedy Center.

Double Bravo
To Sir Paul McCartney for handwriting letters of support to the Russian Government requesting parole for jailed Pussy Riot band members, one of which has started a hunger strike.  If you remember, they were incarcerated for hooliganism due to their public protest against President Putin.

The Votes are in
As of January 1st, male youth (under age 18) will now be allow to join the Boy Scouts.  However, gay adults are still barred from leading troops. This week’s vote to end the 103 year old policy is welcomed by most Americans as our country is moving in a positive directions toward Equal Rights.

Our son, Mataan is now a Tough Mudder!

Mataan Tough Mudder






Wishing you and your loved ones a Sweet and Peaceful Shabbat Shalomand a pleasant and meaningful Memorial Day Weekend,


* EGOT =  Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony winner


North Star Reach
Please vote for North Star Reach at the Art Van Charity Challenge (contest ends May 30th)  (**directions on how to vote a bottom of this email).  NSR provides camping experiences for kids with serious health conditions.  For more info on North Star Reach, please click here:  Bravo to my sister, Sheri Mark, on her efforts as Board President and applauds to friend, Fran Victor, on her efforts as Director of Development.

Gary Peters
This week Senators Debbie Stabenow and Carl Levin both endorsed Congressman Gary Peters for his run for the US Senate.  Please join in their support by attending the upcoming fundraiser at the home of Jennifer and Brian Hermelin on Sunday June 9th @ 1:00pm.  For more info send emails to: or 248-799-0850

Celebrations this week:

May 24th
Robby Weinbaum

May 25th
Arthur Horwitz

May 26th
Marcia Balonick

May 28th
Linda Lee
Tzachi Shani

May 29th
Happy 2nd Wedding Anniversary
Daughter and Son-in-law
Ariella and Tzvi

Mazel Tov to:
Yoav and Anna Raban on their recent wedding
Rachel Reiters engagement to her love, Ryan.

** How to Register to vote the first time: Go to
1) Register on the Homepage
2) An email will be sent to you from with a link. Click on a link in the email to verify your email address. Check you spam folder if you do not get the email with in 10 minutes.
3) When you click the link to verify your email address you will be sent back to
Note: You only have to register once per email address during the voting process. Once you have registered, you can skip to step 4 daily.
4) Click the “Vote Now” button on the homepage
5) Enter login information at the bottom of page and the list of charities will pop up.
6) Click the check box for NORTH STAR REACH hit the vote button at THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE.
7) You have now voted for camp – thank you!

Shabbat Shalom May 24, 2013

Shabbat Shalom May 17, 2013

Shabbat coffee
May 17, 2013

Dear Friends and Family,


Mud to Good Use: 

Wounded Warriors will reep the rewards from our son, Mataan’s Tough Mudder (mud-covered military style obstacle course) experience this weekend.  Already $5 Million has been donated to the Wounded Warrior Project while the TM participants are awarded a mug of beer at the completion of the challenge.


Good from Bad:

Those 1,127 Bangladeshi garment workers, buried in the rubble of the worst industry disaster in history, have brought life (in their death) to future garment workers. Companies all over the world have finally taken action and responsibility to improve working conditions and wages for developing world services.  Of course, much work needs to be done to reach the minimal standards that exist in most developed counties, but hopefully this is a good start.


External Superficiality:

From cheap clothing to elitist attire…Abercrombie and Fitch is getting unwanted PR this week for their exclusionary practices of advertising to a select size and type of person.  Their marketing is not new, but a Mr. Greg Karber’s actions are a youtube sensation as he has been distributing Abercrombie attire to homeless people all over Los Angeles.  Of course, we live in a free society so A and F are free to choose their marketing strategy, but I am also free to avoid their product based on their superficial importance. By the way, here is one of their quotes: “We hire good-looking people in our stores. Because good-looking people attract other good-looking people, and we want to market to cool, good-looking people. We don’t market to anyone other than that.”


Role Model:

Speaking of cool and good-looking people, bravo to Angelina Jolie for publicly acknowledging her devastating decision to undergo a preventative double mastectomy after learning she has the BRCA gene which is an indicator for possible Breast and/or Ovarian Cancer.  Close to 1/2 million people die each year from Breast Cancer and until there is a better solution, many women with the same gene mutation can save their lives by following Angelina’s path.


Space Oddity:

Enjoy this really cool video by Canadian Astronaut Chris Hadfield as he performs David Bowie classic song Major Tom from actual Outer Space.  The visual are breathtaking.


Banana Seat:

Farewell to Al Fritz who died this week.  Thank you for bringing joy to my growing up years as we all rode throughout the neighborhoods on his famous (banana seat with the high handle bars) Stingray bike.



Questionable Honor: 

After protest and debate, the Newseum removed 2 journalist from their Fallen Journalist tribute this week. It was confusing to read the full page Newseum ad in Monday’s NY Times honoring 2 Fallen Journalist with Israel listed as their country of death.  I didn’t remember ANY journalist dying in Israel this year. It turns out they were in Gaza at the time of their deaths and working for the terrorist organization Hamas. Thank you Sen. Mark Kirk and others for urging the Newseum to reconsider this honor.


Coney Dogs and KFC

The Nice Attempt Award goes to Mike Binder for bringing our favorite Michigan Coney Dogs to Los Angeles residents.  After two years of dwindling sales, Mike (and his MI celeb friends) have sold the Coney Island to a Middle Eastern Restauranteur, appropriately, as after Coney Dogs, Middle Eastern food is our next Michigan favorite. And speaking of the Middle East, you can get a bucket of KFC in Gaza for only twice the normal price after it travels 4 hours from Egypt through the illegal tunnels to your table.  There are NO fast food restaurants in Gaza but plenty in the West Bank.


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




Thanks, Rabbi Jason Miller, for this week’s Shabbat Shalom VIP Greeter: Mr. Conan O’Brien Shabbat Shalom



Upcoming Events


Diabetes Walk

This Sunday May 19th @ 10:00am

Organized by the Orley Family and Friends

Wing Lake School (Maple/Wing Lake Rd)


Israel Bonds Luncheon

Professional Women’s Network

Wednesday May 22nd @ Noon

Home of Florine Mark

For more info: * 248.661.3500

Support Gary Peters for US Senate

Sunday June 9th @ 1:00pm

Home of Jennifer and Brian Hermelin

For more info: or 248-799-0850


Honor Patti Aaron

JCRC Activist award with guest speaker Ruth Messinger

Wednesday June 12th @ 7:00pm

Adat Shalom Synagogue

For more info: 248-642-5393


Learn about American Jewish World Service

Thursday June 13th

Dinner and dialogue with Ruth Messinger

Global programs to empower women and girls

Seating limited.

For more info: contact Bekah Dickstein or 212-792-2802


This week’s celebrants:

May 16th

Mark Lit

Amy Shefman

May 18th

Elise Benyas

Michael Maddin

Sosie Berg

May 19th

Joel Kahn

May 20th

Ashley Oleshansky

Brian Adelman

Nathan Upfal

May 21st

John Steinberg

Sally Orley

Trudi Weinman

May 22nd

Betsy Appleton (happy 60th dear friend)

Beth Brandvain

Rochelle Upfal

May 23rd

Les Grosinger

Mazel Tov to two College Grads I forgot last week

Alex Mark (my beautiful niece in Boston)

David Guz (also accepted to Med. School)

Mazel Tov to Los Angeles cousin, Josh Berg, on producing LA weirdest School Follies:

Please pardon all errors (typos, gramatical and missing acknowledgments) due to my human condition of imperfection. Feel free to help me correct my ways.


Shabbat Shalom May 17, 2013

Shabbat Shalom May 10, 2013

Shabbat coffee
May 10, 2013
Dear Friends and Family,

The rhetoric, lies and pressure has brainwashed another celeb into boycotting Israel.  The “Brilliant” Stephen Hawkings has just announced his refusal to attend the upcoming prestigious Presidential Conference hosted by Shimon Peres. Sadly Prof. Hawkings restricted his info gathering to one side and never equally investigate the situation.  Had he dones some research he would have discovered Israel’s 65 year history of attempts to make Peace (Oslo, Camp David, Wye River…) amid constant attacks (including suicide bombings, rockets, intifiada…).  It’s ironic Prof. Hawkings decided to boycott the Conference hosted by the same person who created the Peres Center for Peace not to mention the country that developed the computer chip that operates his mechanical voice.  For more details, please read this article: (Thanks, Julie WS for bringing this to my attention)

While the Bangladeshi Garment Factory death toll rises past 800, political extremism is NOT detered. This week radical Islamist protesters demanded death-punishable Anti-Blasphemy Laws (among other freedom restrictive laws) to be included in their current democratic constitution.

With over 70,000 Syrian deaths at the hands of President al-Assad and various Rebel groups, some in the world still consider it “offensive” that Israel defensively destroyed Iranian provided weapons moving about in her neighborhood. Why is it that, Arabs killing Arabs is permitted but Jews preventing Jewish casualties is a crime.

Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Day)
ONLY since 1967, has Jerusalem has been reunified under Israeli protection, allowing Jews from all over the world to safely and peacefully pray at the sacred Western Wall of our destroyed Temple.  This week we celebrate the holiday of Jerusalem Day with parades and memorials for the soldiers who fought to reclaim the City as our capital.  Please enjoy this beautiful tribute to the heart, soul and capital of our Jewish Peoplehood:!

NRA conference
Close to 70,000 gun-loving enthusiasts attended the 142nd NRA conference in Houston, TX this week.  Sadly, the event was a bastion of Fear-Mongering and (2nd Amendment) Rights Protecting with no regard or responsibility to the past or future innocent gun-violence victims. 72%of NRA members support background checks yet 100% of gun manufacturers (which encompasses the more powerful NRA membership) are against any gun (acquiring) restriction.

May the 3 Cleveland women reintegrate back into their family’s embrace and may our justice system punish the perpetrator and any accomplices.

Mazel Tov Gabby Giffords on receiving JFK’s Profiles in Courage award this week. Gabby has been a continuous role model both pre and post the devastating Tucson shooting.

Here’s a tip for new mothers for this upcoming Mother’s Day: LICK your baby’s pacifier. Your saliva helps protect them from allergies and asthma. Our spit helps boast their immune system.  NO KIDDING!
Read more:

To go along with the above saliva story, on deck to read next, I have the book Gulp (10th on NY Times Best Seller list) by Mary Roach, which details our complete digestive system from the moment we put food or drinks in our mouths till the end…  But right now I’m reading Give and Take by Adam M. Grant (17th on NY Times Best Sellers list) a fellow Detroiter who dedicated this fascinating book to dear friend, Jeff Zaslow of blessed memory).

Wishing you and your loved ones a Sweet and Peaceful Shabbat Shalom, a Happy Mothers Day and Hag Shavuot Sameach,



Deep and sorrowful condolences to the family of Patti Nemer as she passed (too young) this week after battling Cancer for many years.  May memories of her community efforts and her brave spirit bring comfort to her family and friends.

Please join us this Saturday evening at the JCC MusicFest honoring good friends Karen and Todd Sachse and featuring the entertainment of Ethan Davidson.  Here is the website for ticket sales:

Please join us this Monday evening May 13th at the MI Annual AIPAC event.  For more info visit

Please join me for the Israel Bonds Professional Women’s Network lunch at my mother’s home on Wednesday May 22nd at noon.  For more info, please contact Paula Lebowitz at or 248-661-3500

Let help support Congressman Gary Peters campaign for US Senate at the home of Brian and Jennifer Hermelin on Sunday June 9th @ 1:00pm.  For more info please call 248-799-0850 or email


Mazel Tov College Grads
Daniel Edelson
David Zuckerman
Amanda Orley
Jessica Curhan
Lauren Kepes
Brad Schlafer
Lauren Rouf
Paul Stanley
Shelby Levin
Danielle Winterberger
Rachel Devries
Matthew Greenberg
Alex Zaslow

Sorry if I have missed anyone.  Congrats to all Grads!


Happy Birthday this Week to:

May 10th
Paul Magy

May 11th
Brianna Mark (beautiful neice)

May 12th
Barbara Horowitz
Jason Fisher (future nephew)
Rachel Berg
Shira Elyakin (daughter from another mother)

May 15th
Brenda Steuer
Micki Berg

Shabbat Shalom May 10, 2013

Shabbat Shalom May 3, 2013

Shabbat Shalom May 3, 2013

Dear Friends and Family,

The final frontier has finally be defeated.  Bravo to NBA athlete, Jason Collins, for bravely coming Out of the Closet and proudly walking into the Locker Room as the first openly gay major league athlete.  The tides have turned on this issue with more understanding and less prejudices so some day soon Gay Rights Equality will be the norm and not the the struggle.

Gay rights

It’s astonishing that in the 21st century of our modern advanced country, there are still racially segregated activities but that is exactly the case for the High School Proms (organized by parents) of Wilcox County, Georgia.   That is until this year when some fed-up students decided to organized the first integrated Prom of Wilcox County.  Bravo to these young social activist.

Condolences to the 410 lives lost in the Bangladesh garment factory building collapse. Since there were 1000s of workers in that building, most likely that death toll will continue to rise. The property owner may also loose his life over this incident as the outraged Bangladeshi public demand the death penalty.


Last Saturday evening we experienced a double bonus night as we helped support the Food Rescuing Mission of Forgotten Harvest while being entertained by the comic genius of

Martin Short.  Not only was he hilarious, he was also gracious as he accepted my request to wish all of you Shabbat Shalom:

            Martin Short

Congrats to the new King of the Netherlands (their first king 123 years as all others have been queens), Willem-Alexander of the House of Orange-Nassau (yes that is his real name though it sounds more like an Orange Julius Stand in the Bahamas).  King Willem-Alexander is the youngest monarch in all of Europe and far less “Royal” than his neighboring monarchs.


The Netherlands may have had Women-led Royals for over 123 years, but street names in Germany lacked a female presence until recently.  However, the edict to require ONLY Female names for new Streets or Squares has bumped up against the Jewish Museum’s request to name their Square after the 18th Century Philosopher Moses Mendelssohn, who professed tolerance and understanding.  After much debate and discussion, a compromise was reached to include both Moses Mendelssohn and his wife Fromet Guggenheim Mendelssohn as the new name of the square.

Yasher Koach to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum for 20 years of preserving our past, teaching tolerance, disputing deniers and (hopefully) safeguarding our future from genocide.

Keep your family safe and encourage Seat Belt use by watching this brilliant, moving and touching short video:

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



Welcome to the world and family, Genevieve Dahlia Berg,  3rd child and 1st daughter of cousins Seth and Lorelei Berg.  We can’t wait to meet you.

Please join us in support of Gary Peters (current US Congressman and dear friend to many of us) in his effort to represent our State in the US Senate at the premier fundraiser graciously hosted by Jennifer and Brian Hermelin on Sunday June 9th (1:00-3:00).  For more info or to RSVP: 248-799-0850 or

Please help support The Joy Project sponsored by Jewish Family Service.  As Mother’s Day approaches, this is a wonderful opportunity to honor your mother or any female in your family as donations to the Joy Project will benefit the deserving mothers that Jewish Family Service helps all year long.  For more info or to make a tribute, please call 248-592-2339 or visit

Comedian Mark Schiff will be performing Monday May 6th @ 7:00pm @ Mark Ridley’s Comedy Castle in Royal Oak in support of Aish Detroit.  For more info: 248-327-3579 or

Happy Birthday to the following friends who are celebrating this week.  I’m trying something new with the birthdays even-though some of you (JW and HS) prefer the old way.  I like to shake things up a bit with these emails so they don’t get old and boring.

May 1st
Danny Kukes
Gail Mondry
Leo Maxbauer
Michael Singer
Sophia Ruiz

May 2nd
Zoey Spiegelman

May 4th
Joey Selesny
Laura Zausmer

May 5th
Dan Ruiz
Mark Milgrom
Matt Kletter

May 7th
Jeff Kepes
Steve Mieswitz 

May 9th
Julie Bodnick

May 8th
Julie Edgar


Shabbat Shalom May 3, 2013